Thinking People

I’m not sure what’s led to a complete and utter lack of discernment in this world but we’re there. As a Christian, I basically speak directly to two “facts” of 2012:

  • The Bible is written by men thousands of years ago and can’t be trusted
  • Everything said in current day should be assumed fact immediately

Sure, some of you reading this will contest one or both of those, most likely the latter. We want to pretend we have discernment but in an age of retweets it’s push the button first – tobe first – and then worry about the truth and the fallout afterwards. Which brings me to the article that prompted this:

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Read the blurbs and the Tweets and what we have is an original manuscript that finally proves Jesus was married. This is good news for false Christians because it means Jesus was more human than we thought (read: sinned) and now we’re justified in our human actions! Good stuff. All this from one single cellphone-sized fragment of papyrus.

Except that’s not what the story was. The actual story, possibly best laid out in The Christian Post, is that someone found a tiny single fragment of papyrus that said Jesus was married. What does that mean? That at some point in history someone thought Jesus was married. Which we already knew. Which has been proven false through 19,300 fragments of New Testament writings dating as far back as AD125.

But in 2012 a single fragment of papyrus that tells us something we want to hear is far more important than a book written by men that has no doubt been translated poorly over time and no longer tells the same story. Ignore that we have almost 20,000 fragments of varying sizes that have been used as recently as the past decade to translate, ignore that there are thousands of single fragments that aren’t reliable.

The truth is the information is out there. The New Testament is the most historically accurate translation in print, above and beyond any other book you could find. We’re confident in the translation. It’s written closer to the source material than any other historical book, so those of us who’ve taken the time to research are confident in the material. Where the true issue lies isn’t in translations or material, it’s in a book that tells us how to live when we’d rather guide our own ship. I have far more respect for someone who simply admits that than those who choose to perpetuate ridiculous “facts” online.

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
– GK Chesterton

Oh My God

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we’re better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other
Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense

Oh my God

Recipe: Mexican Rustic Salsa

Dangit, I need to get in the habit of posting here. If I’m going to stand up in a meeting with people and proclaim my blogging longevity I need to actually own some semblance of regularity here. So I attempt again to not get bored of blogging and have something moderately interesting to say.

I had Friday off work, and I’d like to say it was for some grandiose idea but really it was to BBQ, drink, and watch Batman. I kinda just wanted a day off and my friend, Mike, offered up his home. I decided to try making a rustic-style salsa with traditional ingredients as a bit of a snack around the BBQ Mike would be producing. That meant fresh tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cayenne peppers, garlic, limes, and cilantro:

Garlic and peppers roasted in a cast-iron skillet

After washing the veg were laid – notice the papers on the garlic, because we’re going to roast them inside there – in a cast-iron skillet over a slightly less than medium heat. They would rest here, flipped periodically, for about 3o minutes until everything was black and blistered. Once they’re at this stage, put them in a bowl and seal it with plastic wrap to allow them to steam their skins free. Once they’ve done that you can easily peel them all, seed the peppers, roughly chop and toss them in a blender or food processor, pulse away and turn into a bit of a paste.

In the meantime, I took some fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced the top off, cross-hatched the bottom, coated them in grapeseed oil and salt, then into the oven uncovered on 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Once that was done, they looked something like this:

Roasted tomatoes for rustic salsa

Roasted tomatoes for rustic salsa

 The final stages are fairly easy – puree the tomatoes (I only needed half of these for the batch I made) with the peppers and garlic, then fold in some crushed tomatoes (about a 15-oz can), the zest of a lime, the juice of a lime, and about half a handful of chopped cilantro. If you were being authentic you might add a spanish onion, best done by dicing, rinsing in cold water, and allowing to dry. And that provides a perfect rustic salsa, Mexican style, perfectly paired with blue corn chips. Good luck!

Mexican rustic-style salsa

Mexican Rustic Salsa

Recipe: Enchiladas Suizas

Thanks to TLN I can finally catch episodes of ‘Mexico – One Plate at a Time‘ again. It’s been two years since PBS stopped carrying it on our local affiliate and I’ve missed my weekly or twice weekly looks at authentic Mexican food. After a couple weeks of catching up I found myself, once again, inspired to get cooking, so last night I pulled out my associated Rick Bayless cookbook and sought out some enchiladas to create. I settled on Enchiladas Suizas, typically filled with roasted, pulled chicken and topped with a sauce of tomatoes, green chiles, and cream. Why not?

I coated chicken thighs in salt, pepper, and ancho chile powder and started cooking them in a cast-iron skillet while getting some onions sauteeing in bacon fat. That’s right, I don’t mess around.

Onions in bacon fat

Once they were translucent I hiked the heat up until everything started sizzling and browning, then dumped in a blended mixture of whole, roasted tomatoes and three roasted jalapeno peppers. I stirred this mixture for almost 20 straight minutes until it had reduced and darkened in colour, then added in some chicken stock and let simmer for another 15 minutes. Finally, a dousing of whipping cream to make it authentic.

Roasted tomatoes and green chiles

From here it was assembly time: Dip tortillas in green chile tomato sauce mixture, fill with pulled chicken combined with green chile tomato sauce, roll into enchilada, add to oven-safe container, top with yet more green chile tomato sauce, top all that with grated old white cheddar, then oven bake and serve with cilantro on top. For such a simple dish with only a few ingredients I was surprised how good it tasted, nothing fancy and no weird techniques, just honest food cooked slowly. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Enchiladas Suizas

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