Monday, December 15, 2014

Busy Weekend

It's been quite the busy weekend.  I brought home work from school Friday and spent Friday night, Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon and night making out semester exams and study guides for those exams.  Saturday night a friend of mine had a belated birthday dinner for me and an early birthday celebration for another friend.  They grilled steaks, each was huge and cut two inches thick.  It was more than I could eat. We had a wonderful time though.

Sunday morning, I went to my niece's baptism.  It was at one of those huge Baptist churches, where my sister and her family attend church.  My brother-in-law refuses to ever attend church with us because he says the singing is terrible, and while we don't use music, I always find our singing, with all voices, and only voices combined, to be the most beautiful sound.  However, the singing I heard yesterday morning was pitiful.  The one song that they allowed the whole congregation to sing was merely drowned out by the orchestra and most of the music service was solos and duets.  One of the joys of going to church, for me, is being able to sing, and at this church no one was encouraged to sing except those whose voices they deemed worthy.

The rest of my Sunday, not involved in making exams was spent baking.  A friend of mine gave me a KitchenAid stand mixer for my birthday, and I've been dying to try it out and I always love baking for Christmas gifts, so I made four dozen cookies and a dozen mini loaves of bread.  The cookies I usually make are very simple: refrigerated cookie dough, a cup of dried cherries, and a cup of pistachios.  When they are done and cooled, I dip them in white chocolate.  Everyone loves them.  It's an easy recipe, but kneading the pistachios and cherries into the cookie dough takes a while to get a good mixture, so I decided to make the cookie dough from scratch this year.  What has always taken about 30 minutes to put together, took less than five with my new mixer.  I was amazed and the cookies look beautiful, but I will wait and dip them in white chocolate tonight.  I ran out of time trying to get everything done.


silvereagle said...

Sounds like a good weekend for you! I played Santa Claus, false beard, stuffed with pillows, etc. on Saturday pm, and went to a party at the church last night. Cooking: Have made 13 pecan pies, 4 more to make, and 4 apple pecan caramel pies...those are my Christmas gifts this year.....Love the cook in your photo there..send him my way!!! Much of it is like a karaoke sing session.....

And I agree with you on the church music offered today!!!!!

Susan said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your weekend. But OMG, those cookies dipped in white chocolate! I never heard of that recipe. It sounds delicious. Do you do mail orders? And speaking of mail orders, I'll take the cook at the stove, too! :)

Joe said...

Here's the recipe:

However, if I find that cook, he's all mine ;)

Bodhisbuddy said...

Like you, I love singing in church. When I retire and have time for such things I'll find a welcoming congregation with a decent music program and rejoin the choir.

I grew up in a Catholic parish where congregational singing was mostly sotto voce, if anyone sang at all. Mom would give me 'shush' looks if I started singing too loudly. I guess it was a don't-draw-attention-to-yourself kind of thing. So it was mind-blowingly cool when, as an adult, I went with my dad to his church (Lutheran) where the congregation not only sang lustily, but often in harmony, and, because they sang 4 or more verses of most of the hymns, you could try out several vocal parts if you wanted, or just belt (tastefully) the melody.

I tried your cherry/pistachio cookies last year. They were the kind of cookie I'd happily eat if someone else went to the trouble of making them, but my appreciation was somewhat tempered by all the effort I had to expend making them myself. I'd assume those breads you mentioned were quickbreads. What flavors scream holiday to you? Pumpkin? Date/nut? Banana??

Jamie James said...

I think this coming weekend will be like that for me, minus the grading. But I will be done with work until January 5th, and I can cope with that! The boy will be back, and we're planning some "innocent debauchery"! So I know the leadup to Christmas Day will be fun.

I was always in large, but not mega- churches. We always sang, and usually outsang the organ (unless one particularly deaf organist was playing, then it was forte fortissimo from note 1 until the AMEN! And believe me, in these churches, if you could catterwauler, you were welcome in the choir, heck I sang from 6th grade until after college. And I even won the "Can't Carry a Tune in a Bucket" award once.

Peace <3