Authentic Compassion

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Have Changed a Little Bit

Stiff whitehaired woman trying to suck in stomach - that was me about two years ago. Smiling woman with rose in her hand and wearing apricot top - that was me June of 2010.

After a few more photographs from graduations last summer - I realized - doggone - I really am fat. Being overweight had become a normal status for me, my self deceptive thinking was" after all I'm only X pounds more than last month, season, year". I began having pain in my knees and feet. Must be something wrong with my shoes right?
One more picture and one more step on the scales and the realization hit me in the face like a coconut cream pie - gotta do something about this weight. I began a restrictive (really really) diet program and was encouraged every day by my sweet husband. Weight came off - I felt a little like I was cheating somehow - it was too simple ( not easy just simple) to weigh less. Woo hoo I have days with no leg pain, my blue jeans started bagging down. In case you are now wondering what the blazes is she telling the internet about all this when she usually has cute goat pictures and scriptures? Just thought I'd reveal a little of this to y'all - not all the emotional junk which goes along with being obese (trust me - every medical indicator was obese - not just chubby!). I have a ways to go before I'm at a healthy BMI. I'm still working on living like a healthy person -balancing exercise, portion control and having fun. I like it though - I honestly like feeling I can be active. My clothes are two sizes smaller (only the jeans - had to buy more jeans because a person behind me was getting nearly a full moon when I'd bend over in baggy ones!). More to lose but I'm enjoying this - life isn't as saturated, hydrogenated, seamstraining fatipated here on Buhlaland and that is good.

Cake - ah birthday cake!

Birthday Cake - a wonderful tradition - celebratory baking is my kind of party.

Cake -
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons flavoring (I used vanilla paste)
3 eggs

Oven 350 - grease, flour, I also use parchment in pans -two 8 inch round pans. Put dry ingredients into mixer bowl, add shortening, 2/3 of buttermilk and flavoring. Beat 2 minutes medium speed -will be stiff batter. Add rest of buttermilk and 3 eggs - beat until thoroughly mixed - scrape down sides of bowl - beat again for short time. Pour into pans - bake until tests done (trusty toothpick test). Cool layers, frost with your favorite frosting - we used penuche (recipe below) but think I'll try s
omething different next time.
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients except vanilla in saucepan. Stir over low heat until comes to a rolling boil - stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute (reach 220 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and beat until lukewarm - stir in vanilla - beat until a smooth spreading consistency.
We were celebrating my dear fella's birthday this week - cake was what he requested so cake is what he got. Used to think our age range was "OLD" - now thinking it is clearly mature - or ripe whichever you prefer. It was tasty and highly caloric here on Buhlaland - and for a birthday that is good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Something Different for Me

If you have looked around on this blog page - you've seen the small Compassion International banner and a link to their website. I got an opportunity to serve at a local event for Compassion. Christian recording artist, Adam Paul Williams, was doing a concert and Compassion presentation at a local church - they needed a couple of people who were sponsors to work the booth. Skip would have been terrific at this but definitely not able to go in that kind of crowd. You see the fun and interesting other volunteer, Martha, standing inside our booth area with Adam Paul and his wife Kelly and the host church music ministry director setting up in first picture.

Then we have the completed display - the large banner is the artist and his compassion sponsored child - picture taken about a year ago when he visited Guatemala. Also seen is the adorable child of Mr. and Mrs. Williams - and no I am not in any of the pictures - didn't think to ask someone to take one of me in the group!

I was blown away by the beautiful voice and worshipful nature of Adam Paul Williams. Have added a link to his website and I hope the embedded link will play a little of one of his recordings. Had such a great time telling people about the blessing of sponsoring a child through Compassion and the work Compassion does with over one million children around the world. Wanted to share this with y'all - it is good on Buhlaland to know our two little guys in Bangladesh are cared for with the help of such a wonderful organization. Enough effusiveness - we are blessed so abundantly - being able to share it is absolutely the cherry on the sundae of our lives!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Complaint Department

If you have goats (or children or dogs or trained monkeys) you hear complaints - from the incessant bleating I hear from these goats to whining from the dogs and I assume chattering and words from monkey and children. I saw books about how to complain effectively while I was book browsing on There are Complaint Blogs, Complaint departments, and television is full of people's courts (what a ridiculous name) with people complaining about other people.
Dadgum folks - while I laugh at the goats grumbling - the country seems overrun with an entitlement attitude of "I ain't getting what I want and everyone has to hear about it". While scriptures tell us exactly how to resolve issues in the Body of Christ - how do we resolve things in the secular world? Does complaining help or do we have to take action? Seems a lot of words flying around now about how much damage is done by words - sticks and bones may break my bones - and words can absolutely strangle me. (Paraphrase by Linda Sue) A greater tone of civility wouldn't hurt anybody - no group should be screaming hateful phrases at any other group. While I'm totally unwilling to accept societal guilt for the actions of mentally ill people - any words I repeat or support are on my ledger sheet. Old slogan - we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk. Perhaps with all the "communication" which is supposedly taking place (text, twitter, facebook, blog, forum or bulletin boards) much of it is akin to graffiti - marking up something for our selfish motives. Obviously this isn't my cutesy Buhlaland blogging - I'm concerned our society has gotten so far off the rails of common sense, decency and respect for one another we won't find our way back.
14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (New Living Translation)
You think that's too simplistic? Is the world stronger in it's pull toward violence, vile language and discord than the Word is toward a peaceful path.
“Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.” I Peter 3:8, The Message
It is better to be humbly grateful than grumbly hateful.
Chuck Swindoll , pastor and author
Ok if you don't want to take scriptural advice - how about sports advice?
There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.
John Wooden

Seems too many choices are being made by polling, peer pressure or herd mentality - stop think and remember a word spoken cannot be taken back - but words unspoken can do no harm and no foul. That's the way I'm seeing it here on Buhlaland - it is good to be in a department other than the complaint department -

How about joining in the refreshments committee- refresh the air with gentle words and the stomachs with some treats - I promise some treat ideas soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ma and Pa and Someone Else's Pup

Christmas up at dear friends' home - one son had given his wife a puppy for Christmas and we got to play with little Kimber for a while which resulted in real puppylove! Didn't want anyone to think I'd disappeared from blogworld - so here is a quick update - alive, reasonably well, ready for winter to end and knowing it is Good on Buhlaland -

Don't know about others but I find it helpful to be reminded to pray about everything - in all things to seek His will - even in my insignificant personal junk can be part of an ongoing conversation with Abba

Your Problems Matter to God
By Max Lucado
Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. Psalm 136:1 The Message

If I know that one of the privileges of fatherhood is to comfort, then why am I so reluctant to let my heavenly Father comfort me?
Why do I think he wouldn’t care about my problems? (“They are puny compared to starving people in India.”)
Why do I think he is too busy for me?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bad Timing Great Ganache!

Everyone is no doubt well into the New Year's resolution phase of "eating healthier, less sugar and sweets, exercise more, become more like Mother Teresa and less like Mama Cass (God rest her soul)" so I should definitely have put this blog post up while we were in the eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow may not come!
In a spirit of better late than not knowing how delicious chocolate can be - here we go.
Chocolate Ganache (even in Texas we can say it correctly - guh-nahsh) looks wonderful and only recently appeared in my cooking repertoire (can you tell I am working on my vocabulary ?). For Christmas Day supper with beloved neighbors - I made my usual German Chocolate Cake from recipe on the Baker's Sweet Chocolate package with a few adaptations

pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
5 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
HEAT oven to 350°F.

COVER bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round pans with waxed paper; spray sides with cooking spray. Microwave chocolate and coffee in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in small bowl with mixer on high speed - beat until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.

ADD egg whites by dumping all the stiffly beaten egg whites on top of cake batter and fold in gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.

BAKE 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool.
Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake

4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk (I have been known to use heavy cream or half and half)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
(7 oz.) BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut (about 2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups Chopped Pecans
Whisk egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 min. or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Yes it takes that long and don't stop until thickened and very goldeny color. Remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans; mix well. Cool to room temperature.
Crowning Glory Ganache:
SO simple
Two ingredients: best chocolate you can find (I prefer dark chocolate) and heavy cream. Proportions are 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cream (for example 3/4 cup chocolate to 1/4 cup whipping cream (not whipped!)
Method is always the same:
I used microwave to heat cream to a boil, remove from the heat and pour over a bowl of chopped high quality chocolate or fabulous find of 60% cacao Ghiradelli chocolate chips which are available at WalMart at least in our area.

Chocolate ganache can be poured as a coating or cooled slightly and spread - for me --pouring gave a good sheen and results thin enough to avoid overwhelming cake flavor.

Assemble your German Chocolate cake - one cake layer then thick layer of cooled filling, next cake layer, filling and final cake layer. At this point you have to make a choice between beauty and yummy - I went for yummy and topped the cake with additional layer of filling - would have looked elegant if I'd simply poured ganache over the assembled cake without coconut pecan topping - BUT you make it the way you want. Dark chocolate coating brought a different dimension to a traditionally almost too sweet cake - we loved it. I will try ganache on next cake I make - it'll be a while because we are back on healthy eating plan - much cake is NOT an option for next few months. Rejoicing because I know there will be cake again on Buhlaland and that is VERY good.

About a New Year and making ourselves new (er)

Luke 5:36
He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. "

"Old error in new dress
is ever error nonetheless."C.S. Lewis Screwtape Letters

"It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish."~J. R. R. Tolkien

"We turn not older with years, but newer every day." ~ Emily Dickinson

"The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so." Mark Twain

Amen to Mark Twain's comment - making myself newer this year by believing things which ARE so - and cake is good, God is great and life on Buhlaland is very good.