Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Meaning To Easter Eggs

My daughter Chloe always asks the deepest theological questions when I go to tuck her in bed. Maybe I need to start accounting for that and send her to bed 30 minutes earlier... So tonights question is one that is hard for people of any age to grasp "How did God start? Cause he didn't just go 'bloop' and appear-I mean when did he get made?" Did I mention she is 8? I was speechless for a moment. I told her that he has been around forever. Then I admitted that this is an area I struggle understanding and that it is really hard for any adult or child to truly grasp no beginning or end thing. Eternity is hard to describe if you think about it. Then I saw half of an Easter Egg on her floor. (thank you Lord I know it was left there for a reason!). I held it sideways then asked her what shape it is.
"A circle," there was a look of 'duh' with the answer.
"So where does the circle start?"
As I am explaining this it is being explained to me as well, I was taught in school that a line <-> is never ending...but what if there is a wall 5 miles -> that way? And there is infinity but that doesn't come up much in my daily life.
I am glad it clicked with her and that she then asked with a big grin "so that means Heaven will never end?" I love seeing what we have been teaching sink in!
So why do we not have a symbol for God? The cross represents Jesus and how he died for us-I would rather have a loving symbol than a torture device though. I purpose a circle! Never beginning, never ending. It seems like a great reason to be using (plastic) Easter eggs this year!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dalmas! What You Have Never Heard Of Them?

All the cool people are doing it! Like Italians and Greeks...and stuff.Dalmas are stuffed grape leaves. Stuffed with what you ask? I'm getting there. We all know the benefits of grapes and wine :) so you can imagine the benefit of eating the actual leaf-go ahead imagine, because there are more than I am going to list. Things like reduction in edema, heart healthy stuff, and only about 2 calories per leaf. Traditionally they would be stuffed with a rice mixture usually containing meat of some sort. Lets just say that when I made them they were gone almost instantly, and I thought I had made enough for a few days-silly me! First of all, where do you find this oddity? I found it at HEB I am sure some Kroger's carry them but I did not find them at the one near us-though I can not seem to find most forms of healthy food there so I am not surprised. Second, prior to making these you will need to do 2 things cook rice (I use whole grain), and blanch the leaves.
To blanch the leaves, remove the amount you will be using-what the heck use the whole jar. Gently un-roll them and lay them out, then place them in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Don't stir just let them be. Carefully remove them from the water and let the leaves cool while you prepare the rice mixture.
Here it goes-Im sorry I dont measure things when experimenting
Zingy Dalmas
Cooked Rice approx 3 cups if you are using the whole jar of leaves
Lemons 2 (reserve 2tsps juice for later)
Italian seasoning
Garlic pepper
sauteed garlic and onion (optional)
olive oil

Mix the seasonings to taste into rice. zest one lemon and mix that in as well. Then squeeze in some good ol lemon juice, again "to taste". Add onion and garlic if using.
Then comes the hard part-rolling! You will use 1-2 TBL of the rice mixture per leaf. Place the mixture in the center of the leaf then fold the side closest to you over the rice. Press down gently to pack the rice snuggly, then fold the sides over (right and left side) then roll forward till it is a snuggly wrapped dalma. Why is this hard? You will find out for yourself once you start, but the leaves tear easy! They are pretty small when finished-about the size of a womans thumb. Place in container and use remaining lemon juice and olive oil to drizzle over dalmas to keep moist and add an extra zing. The reason I do not use salt is that the dalmas come in a salty brine, if you were to be so fortunate as to have fresh leaves you will want to A. blanch them longer, and B use salt.
Use hummus to dip them in-but that is a whole post in itself! So for now I will recommend the Sabra brand-the original, roasted red pepper, and roasted pine nut are all great-oh and the roasted garlic.