Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daily Twists

This morning's church service had a valuable lesson for me.  We are studying the book of John and discussing discipleship: learning from Jesus' first disciples and finding how that relates to our lives as Christians today.  Today we read about Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine and the message that came out of it is that Jesus values us

At first glance it doesn't seem like a very profound message.  After all, would he have gone to the cross if he didn't value us?  So of course we can observe and believe externally that Jesus values each one of us, but this story gets more personal than that.  It tells us Jesus is actually concerned with the daily events of each of our lives.  His first miracle was at a wedding and the act probably did little more than to assure the hosts wouldn't be embarrassed when the wine ran out.  Of course, this miracle had larger consequences than just saving a family from shame, it began Jesus' path to the cross.  But because he chose to start his journey with a miracle that fixed a real problem for real people, we can be assured that Jesus is interested in our real lives, the lives we lead here on earth.

Many would suggest that somethings are inappropriate to pray about, or to concern Jesus with.  However, this message in the second chapter of John should place confidence in us that our Christ is one that is worried about what we are worried about.  A smart way of saying it is, if Jesus wasn't interested in the twists and turns of daily living then he wouldn't be interested in 90% of our lives!  I don't know about you, but the Jesus I believe in and know is concerned with 100% of my life...all the funky twists of my daily living!

Speaking of funky twists...check out these!
Mr. Kummerow's mom and step-dad came over for snacks after church and we served these pretzels along with many other great "nibbles."

Soft Pretzels
Recipe by Peas and Thank You 

Makes 4 large twists

3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp organic sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast (1/2 of a packet)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp vegan margarine (Earth Balance), melted
10 c. water
2/3 c. baking soda
coarse ground sea salt

In mixer bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup warm water, sugar and salt.  Sprinkle yeast on surface of water and allow to set for 5 minutes, until water becomes frothy.

Slowly mix in bread flour and melted butter until dough becomes soft but not sticky.

Transfer dough to oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel in a warm corner of the kitchen for 1-3 hours for dough to rise.  (We started our dough before church, and finished the pretzels when we got home)

Make sure to wear your apron if you are going to be cooking before church!  Don't want to dirty that pretty dress!

Remove dough from bowl and onto a lightly floured work surface (only if you need flour).  Separate dough into 4 equal parts.  Roll dough out into long strands (about 2 feet long).


Shape into pretzel twist using a little water to get sides to stick.

Heat 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup baking soda to boiling.

One at a time drop pretzels into boiling water and boil for 30 seconds.
Remove quickly from pot and place on greased baking sheet.  Continue one by one until all 4 twists are boiled.  Sprinkle pretzels with kosher salt (or perhaps cinnamon-sugar if you'd like!)

Bake pretzels on greased baking sheet at 450* for 13 minutes.
Voila!

We enjoyed our pretzels with a delicious Wasabi Mustard dipping sauce!

Wasabi Mustard 

1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tsp wasabi
2 tsp shoyu (soy) sauce

Whisk together all ingredients and use as a dip for pretzels or even a spread for sandwiches.  It'll add a nice kick to any meal!

These pretzels were so delicious!  I can't get enough of them!  I want to run inside (yes that's right, I'm sitting outside and working right now!) and make another batch right just looking at them.  Of course I wanted to hog them all to myself...but I shared.  Alina and Ron really enjoyed them along with the other snacks we set out.
These are pineapple oranges.  I had never heard of them before but they came in our produce box this week.  They are deliciously sweet and juicy!
Mr. Kummerow whipped up some more Naan to go with our leftover Sweet Potato Hummus.  We got our Naan recipe from here, but had to add an extra 3/4 cup of flour to make it work.
All together now!  It was quite a spread.  Alina also brought guacamole with tortilla and pita chips.  Our nibbles were quite delightful, but nothing was better than the pretzels!  So good!
Doug pointed out one other important message today in the story of Jesus' first miracle.  He chose to transform water into wine and it serves as a parable for Jesus' real purpose on the cross: to transform our lives from something bland to something spectacular (I don't know about you but I find wine pretty spectacular!)  Jesus released us from the debt of sin and gave us the opportunity to live a fulfilling and transformative life.  What are you doing in your life to show that you have been transformed by Jesus?

2 comments:

  1. Mmm, those pretzels look awesome!! I must try making those!

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  2. I am a new reader of your blog and would like to thank you so very much for writing all of this. I, too, am a vegan and a Christian, and I am always sort of hoping that God will throw some others in my life as some sort of guides on how to... Combine the two?.. (Forgive me if that sounds sacrilegious!)

    Your last question sort of haunts me. I can only trudge up vague answers...

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