Friday, July 11, 2008

After Jake, Expanded

As noted in a prior post, some of the commenters from 'Father Jake Stops the World' have decided to carry on.

I wish them well. The prior website had several things going for it. The first was Terry Martin's passion, which was very much a two edged sword. But it meant that persons of similar inclinations could respect him and feel comfortable reading his blog.

Another was that he had a ground level view (that of parish priest) of what was going on. That coupled with his passion meant that he didn't pull many punches. Which, of course, resulted in some lively reading.

Lastly, because of the first two, he built an online community of like minded persons.

I don't know if the new blog will be successful (I hope it will), but it will be interesting to see what elements from the old site carry over and what new elements get introduced.

Friday pop

4 +3h b1$h0p$

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Because They Grew Lonely

Some of the more frequent commenters at Father Jake's place have started their own blog. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

For all my Gamer Buds

Why am I not surprised that wives are level 70?

Probably NSFW.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lambeth Reflections- Or Matthew Gets Really Cynical

The final Lambeth communique has been sent.

Let's see. The preselected Indaba groups meet and choose a spokesbishop. This spokesbishop forms with other spokesbishop a mini synod (minisynod). This minisynod will hold four open venting sessions. The rest of its sessions are therefore presumably closed. The minisynod will compose a 'reflections document' to capture the mind of the Lambeth bishops. This document will circulate through the conference by means of the indaba groups. All bishops get to speak, but only the minisynod decides, and only the minisynod has editing privileges.

If the groups are selected honestly and the listening process is genuinely responsive, it could work a treat. But the choke point is the minisynod. If the indaba groups which choose the spokesbishops are gerrymandered, then the process will be corrupt.

Who selects the indaba groups and what are the real criteria? Will the group memberships be published?

The advantage of a parliamentary system is that everything is out in the open. With the new process, there are certain critical chokepoints for information flow and decision making. I realize my opinion matters not at all to those organising the conference, but I have no trust in their good will.

Addendum: Perpetua reminded me that I had a prior post on gerrymandering.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Little Weakness

I placed another book order with Amazon early this morning. I ordered "The Religion of Money: Dialogues in Economic Controversy", just because it looked interesting. I had to get the "Legend of Colton H Bryant" because it is by one of the best of the current crop of writers, Alexandra Fuller. And "Decline and Fall: Europe's Slow Motion Suicide" and "Cry Wolf: A Political Fable" were just calling to me.

But I'm not an addict. I can quit at anytime.....

A Very Warm Welcome to Church Hell

For all of my Church of England brethren, welcome to the Episcopal Church (or Anglican Church of Canada if you prefer). You currently have a leader of Griswoldian proportions, right down to his surface High-Churchiness. What’s coming next is your very own Katherine Jefferts Schori or Fred Hiltz.

The progression is probable, but not inevitable. So there is still time to decide what to do.

But the main thing to be wary of is bishops who flaunt orthodox credentials. Far too many Canadian and American bishops found that when the rubber hit the road, they preferred being a bishop to serving Christ. There’s an exquisite sense of betrayal when you are a member of a diocese that has chosen heresy over schism.

In evaluating bishops, I have found it useful to ask the question “What would Athanasius do?” I commend that to you.

Just do not expect charity. Learn from our mistakes.

From a comment I made over at StandFirm.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Steamy Fun

Our marriage is a mixed marriage and as such has tension from time to time. Sally is a potato girl and will not eat rice. I will eat potatoes but I dearly love rice. So whenever I eat apart from my wife I take advantage of the situation and cook the foods she won't eat.

One of the pots I insisted I keep when we married was a rice steamer. It died two years into our marriage and I had to scramble to replace it. Most people think of electric contraptions when you mention 'rice steamer'. What I have and had was more typically termed a Charleston rice steamer. It looks an awful lot like a double boiler. What it is, is an absolutely idiot proof method of cooking rice. It's nigh impossible to overcook rice in a Charleston rice steamer. The only peril is if the water in the bottom boils away (which is how mine died).

Ever since law school (20+ years ago), I've been making a variation on Jambalaya in my steamer. I made it again today for lunch, in fact. It uses one pot, which is key for me as I'm the one who does the dishes around here.

Steamy Legal Jumble

1. Boil the water in the bottom of the steamer. Salt this water (a pinch will do)
2. Cut the protein into tasty bite sized chunks. The protein can be any mixture of eggplant, shrimp, sausage, cooked chicken, really any meat or meat substitute that remains coherent. I prefer seafood or sausage as that keeps the pans down to a minimum.
3. Once the water is boiling add 1/2 cup rice + 1/2 cup stock for each person to the steam basket (the top bit).
4. Into the same basket add the protein, chopped celery, onion and bell pepper to taste, chopped garlic, and whatever herbs and peppers you think enhance flavour. If I'm cooking seafood, I usually add a pinch of Bay's for example. Go crazy with herbs! Okra is primo in this.
5. Put the basket on top of the pot of boiling water. Cover.
6. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Set a timer for 30 minutes or more.
7. Walk away and neglect the pot until the timer goes off.
8. Serve and enjoy!

Gourmet cuisine it ain't. And it isn't authentic creole either (they don't seem to use rice steamers). But it is really good one pot cooking.

Today's ingredients were:

Two thin sausages (bought on sale), 2/3 cups rice (I really like rice), 2/3's cup beef stock, remnants of an onion (chopped), 1 small bell pepper, 1 stalk celery (all we had), pepper, scant pinch of salt, basil and herbs fine.

I'm absolutely positive my sister has a variation on this with a better name that is tastier besides.

Addendum: One of the criticisms of Charleston rice steamers is that the rice in the top dries out and is therefore hard to clean. There is a trick to that. About fifteen minutes before you're about to do the dishes, return the bottom portion to a simmer. Put the empty or partially empty top part back on. When you are ready to wash up, scoop at all remaining food in the top and save for leftovers in a microwave safe dish. Place the top part in the sink. Put some dish soap in it. Empty the water from the bottom part into the top part. Let it soak for a bit. It should now clean up a treat.