My Pregnancy is Apparently Your Business?

Relatives:  So how are you FEELing?

You (thinking):  What, apart from the headache and the sciatic pain?  or do you mean the sleeplessness and fatigue?  or the ALREADY GAINING 40 POUNDS AND THERE’S STILL 3 MONTHS LEFT?  Or the I-almost-but-not-quite-made-it-to-the-bathroom-after-that-walk-with-a-full-bladder?  Or the million other indignities suffered bodily by a pregnant woman?

You (say): Oh, fine, everything’s fine.

You (think): and stop looking at my belly or I’m going to SIT on you.

Mennonite Encounter: Aftermath

The Mennonite church rocks and not just because the congregations always sing in 4-part harmony, often a cappella.  AND all four verses.

Top that, Methodists.

Amidst an American Christian culture (and yes, it is distinctly American) that seems to be running amok and is sometimes frighteningly Taliban-esque in its overtones, the Mennonites are one of those branches that stand out from the crowd. Or rather, stand apart from the crowd and just go about their own business.

And what is their business?  As far as I can tell, their business is peace (they are so in your face about their peace, already! ha. just kidding), justice, equality and striving to live more simply so that others too might live, not just local neighbors but global neighbors.

What if, instead of going out into the community to “save” people, to “win them for the Lord” (yes, if you aren’t familiar with the lingo, this is one of the phrases), to proselytize, basically, to go out with an agenda of soul-winning, and go after this agenda disguised as a do-gooder, as someone handing out kindness and food and money and programs all the while with the main purpose of getting them into the church door and their butts into a pew, but what if, instead of that, we all went out into the community and shared kindness and food and money and programs for the main purpose of doing it because that’s what followers of The Teacher are supposed to do?

Think of the revolution.

Of course, I speak from my own cherished faith as a Christian, but what if EVERY faith background did this?  Offered charity and compassion because of a desire for them personally, themselves, to be more  like the one they follow, not to get the other person to follow that One?

I’m not a theologian and I don’t claim to be. I don’t claim to even be a particularly good Christian. (heck, I never even knew what Quiet Time was until I went to university. And?  Usually I would fall asleep during my Quiet Time. And I just asked Troy if he ever fell asleep during Quiet Time and he said “no” so I guess I WAS really the only one who did that and that shows you!)  Anyway, meditating yourself into a nap aside, I guess one of the things that makes me distance myself from American-style Christianity is the overwhelming emphasis of having strings attached. or at least that is how I perceive it.  I know it’s not always the case. But I know that with some people it is.

(and this is one of the reasons I think I support the current health care program overhaul. I’ve heard the argument that people want to help others through their churches, but again, there’s that “strings attached”. don’t you think maybe the government might be a good vehicle for us to do the Lord’s work of extending compassion and social justice? not always and it’s not perfect but it’s a good place to start, imho. AND it’s a lot easier when its just taken right out of your paycheck than to add that extra percentage to your weekly tithe, week after week, month after month, year after year. there’s lots of reasons to NOT add it in and not many to do so.)

Would Jesus act like that?  Did he really heal the lame and the blind just so they would go to temple or synagogue or home church or Wednesday prayer meeting?  Somehow, I kind of doubt it. Doing awesome stuff like that was, I think, just kind of an impulse, a compulsion; he couldn’t help it, it was just who he was.  And sure, he told them to go and sin no more, but really?  He just did it becaused he loved them in all their inopportune, unattactrive helplessness, put down and down-trodden, no resources and no way to buck the system or to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

So that’s one of the reasons I’m not an evangelical. I try to live simply and charitably because THAT’S WHAT’S EXPECTED OF ME. And usually I fail. But I try.  And if somehow someone wants to look behind that and understand my motivations, then we can go further but otherwise, I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and, hands off, I’ll just leave everything else up to God.

(or maybe I’m just lazy. remember, I often fell asleep during QT)

It’s a lot easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. MAYBE (yeah, actually, I’m PRETTY SURE) we need a lot less talking, a lot more listening and a lot more walking.

Because walking’s good for your heart.

I’m with the Mennonites; peace, justice, equality, simplicity. All that comes first and the rest all falls into place.

Cheap Eats: Stew Edition. And also a bit about The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

So I got my meat share a couple weeks ago and Woohoo! I’m so excited to have access to 100% grass fed and finished beef.  The farm we bought from also has their own processing plant and they only process a few animals a DAY (compared to the up to 400 animals processed per HOUR at one of the Big Five processers.  Thanks, Ominvore’s Dilemma, for that tidbit!) to keep the final moments of life as stress-free as possible.

This is all very important to me.  Americans have gotten used to and in fact demand cheap food, regardless of whether that food is actually good for them (and the planet. and their children and grandchildren) or not.  Ground beef at 1.99/lb frees up people to have satellite TV and drive their latest model hybrid SUV (isn’t that an oxymoron?). 

 T pointed out the irony to me a few days ago that people will get all up in arms about demanding quality of so many things that they are paying for….except food.  That is the one place they will cut corners and buy poor quality, even if it comes at the risk of cancer, diabetes or obesity.  And not only that, DEMAND that it BE cheap, be incensed if it’s “too expensive”, relatively speaking. 

Perhaps because food is the one area where it’s actually possible to hide poor quality–by manipulating taste and fooling our bodies.  As long as it fills you up and tastes good, it doesn’t matter if it is produced off the backs of animals sweltering in feedlots filled with their own excrement, fed diets that they were never meant to eat, or that the quality of soil on the American farm steadily declines as it has for the past 50 or 60 years since contemporary growing practices became the norm or that the American farmer can’t make ends meet but are caught in the agribusiness web of lies that preys on both producer and consumer…and consumee.

Oh, but I digress.

Can you tell I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma?  If you haven’t read it, you ought to.  Everyone who eats food should.

Anyway, because my 100% grass-fed beef did in fact cost more than $1.99/lb, now my goal is to dole it out as slowly as possible.  I’ve actually made dishes that contained meat TWICE this week and it seems so profligate! 

One fabulous way of stretching the meat budget is in soup and stew and casseroles.  Basically, one dish meals that you can toss lots of veggies, beans, grains into as well.

Tonight’s dish was a great winter chili made with sausage. I combined a couple different recipes and it was really good.

Using my 1 pound of ground pastured pork from the farmer’s market, I got 6 servings out of this:

Ingredients:

1 lb pastured pork or sausage
1 c. white beans, soaked overnight in water and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (this is the only thing you have to do ahead for this one) (or use a can of beans, with a side of BPA)
2 c. pumpkin or squash puree (again with the BPA!  Unless you make your own puree, which I did because it’s not hard, it just takes baking time)
2 cups broth (I used veggie broth since I had it)
1 large onion, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced (or can of mushrooms. or pre-sliced. whatever)
1 large carrots, chopped in large hunks
1/4 c. cream to stir in at end (optional. unless you are me. and then cream is never optional. much like cheese.)

Season with: 2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp garlic

Top with: frizzled sage leaves, fresh cilantro, chopped parsley, feta cheese, etc.

How to:

1. Boil beans, if not using canned, till tender. Fry sausage and remove from pan. Fry onions and mushrooms together and set aside.
2. Add all ingredients, except mushroom and onion (I like to have my onions not be to mushy but you can add them all in together if its easier) to crock pot and simmer on low all day.
3. Stir in cream at end if using, top with whatever you like.
4.  Eat.  Also good with a side of toasted multi-grain bread.

Cheap Eats, Ethnic version: Bibimbap

This is NOT a quick meal but it IS relatively cheap AND delicious AND not quite so time-intensive as the typical Korean style way.

BiBimBap

Ingredients

Carrots, 2-3 matchsticked (or buy them that way)  (ideally, carrots are a good thing to buy organic, as are all root vegetables.  On that, do you know that carrots are SO good at absorbing all the stuff that’s in the ground that it is planted as a throw-away crop for leaching out nasty chemicals/pesticides/etc from the soil?)
1 zucchini, sliced into half circles
1 small bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed (altho, I used beet leaves this time because I had some left-over from my beet kvass and that tasted just as good)
mushrooms, pre-sliced will save you more time but whatever
bean sprouts

Sesame seed oil (yep, you need this or it won’t taste right)
Sesame seeds for sprinkling
GoChuJang (fermented Korean red pepper paste. I SUPPOSE you could do without it but it would REALLY not be the same.  I found some preservative-free, msg-free GoChuJang by Annie Chun’s at Kroger for about $5.  The typical GoChuJang that you’d get at the Korean market has MSG so it was worth paying a bit more for the Annie Chun’s)

Boiled rice, traditionally sticky white rice but do what you like

1 egg per serving, fried sunny-side up

How T0
Take all your sliced veggies and fry them up in sesame oil.  If I am making this dish for company, I fry them all individually which, let me tell you, is a PAIN but makes the presentation nicer.  If it’s just us then, meh.  But I DO fry the mushrooms and spinach together after frying the others because the mushrooms will discolor the bean sprouts and zukes. Not a big deal but there you are.

Dish your rice into bowls, heap the veggies on top and drizzle all with more sesame oil.

Fry 1 egg per person sunny side up in sesame oil and top your bowl with egg.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Viola.

Slather on Add GoChuJang to taste and enjoy.

It’s not hard, not too time consuming if you cook all the things together and buy pre-cut things AND its an awesome way to get your veggies for the day in.

And now for something completely different

Just wanted to reassure you that this is not becoming a Food Blog.

Here ya go:

1. Bonghakgol Forest Air-breathing Fields

The museum tries to fill a role as a public-oriented museum through the Culture School Program where people can join a nude croquis class, pottery class, history of Chinese picture class and art theory class.

This step coats the fried dough with grain syrup. After coating with syrup, coat with pooped rice evenly.

Subtitle: Breathing Suncheon Bay Embraces the World Garden.

④ Namwon Chunhyang Festival, the only love festival filled with scent of love

Happy My Bathroom – More refreshing with Smartlet, the all-in-one bidet!

the excretion of desire and scars of greed

I think people do one’s want. That is blessing of god. In order to do that it needs blood, sweet and tear. I does that things and success, I have a ready what I want.

The elegant and charming scent makes everyone fall in love.

Heartburning is implied in the vocal sound

Ban panting on surface

Quality fist management