Friday, November 14, 2008

Red sky at morning

Sailors take warning.
Red sky at night
Sailor's delight.

Well, I don't know much about sailors, but I enjoy a red sky in the morning just as much in the evening. This morning's was spectacular. It began low and deep, a dark band of burgundy just over the horizon, turning scarlet and magenta, flaming into crimson and orange, spilling through the window bathing my kitchen and sitting room with a tangerine hue. It blazed hot and pink, then just as quickly faded into the gray - a commonplace winter day with a magnificent introduction. What a fiery show - so easy to miss in it's brevity, but dazzling nonetheless.

As I enjoyed the salmon blush throughout my home, I pondered on the night it was chasing away with it's splendor. A restless one, for sure. Spent wondering what it was like for my grandma to be spending her first night face to face with her Savior. Spent wondering what it was like for my mother and grandpa to be spending their first night without Grandma.

I thought more on sunrises and sunsets - how we love to see them, even pursue them. Remembering evenings spent shivering on the beach, waiting, just so we could be there for the blazing display of the sunset. Seeing the flaming pinkness at dawn and being unable to hold back a "Hey, come look! Quick!"

What is it that makes them speak to us, beckon to us to watch, observe, until the last gleaming bits are gone? Is it not a foretaste, a little hint, a sweet taste of the glory of our precious Lord? A reminder of His majesty?

Of course I'm not the first one to think so. A quick search in my concordance produced others.

2 Samuel 23:4
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings the grass from the earth.

Habakkuk 3:4
His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.

Is not Grandma now surrounded by His splendor? The eternal sunrise and sunset? The Alpha and Omega?

When we're dragged down by dreary gray days, or overcome by the darkness of night, God provides a beautiful reminder of His resplendent glory, and provides a precious hope of our future eternal home in brief moments - by the red and golden glow of sunrises and sunsets.

Oh, God, thank you that Grandma is with you. Thank you for the continual reminders of your goodness throughout nature. May I always have eyes to see the little glimpses of glory in the commonplace everyday.

Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Popcorn Balls

Shortly before our marriage, I came across this recipe for popcorn balls in an old cookbook. Since then, it has provided many hours of fun memories with many different people. I remember as a child lingering by the gourmet popcorn stand in our mall longing after the enormous variety of flavors in enticing colors - and priced outstandingly beyond our frugal budget. Occasionally, a friend would share a bite or two with me. So you see why I was so delighted to find such a simple recipe. I could finally make my own - whatever flavor I desired, and eat to my heart's content! :)
Especially nice for making with a group of people you love, it's easy to turn out loads of balls with plenty to share for everyone - and with a very affordable price tag! In addition, these do make fun gifts wrapped up in a bit of wax paper and tied with ribbon. Plastic wrap may show off the colors better, but it also tears open more easily. They also make an appealing addition to a bake sale, particularly when made in team colors.

Popcorn Balls

16-18 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg. gelatin (4 oz. size) any flavor

Put popcorn in large bowl or pan.
Mix corn syrup and sugar in saucepan; bring to boil.
Boil one minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in gelatin powder until disolved.
Pour over popcorn, stirring to coat popcorn.
Grease hands well.
As soon as it is cool enough to handle, form balls.

* When making these with a group, we find it easier to designate jobs. Someone pops the corn, someone mixes the syrup, someone prepares the table and greases little hands, someone stirs the mixture, etc.
* The amount of popped corn you use is adjustable, depending on how heavily coated you like your popcorn.
* Before pouring on hot syrup, remove as many unpopped kernels as you can from your popped corn - makes for a nicer ball without hard kernels to break your teeth. :)
* Use a wooden spoon or utensil with a stiff handle to stir - and someone with muscles.
* We spread a couple of large sheets of wax paper on the table to place our shaped balls on where they continue cooling and hardening.
* We do not like to pack our balls too tightly. It's easier for little teeth to eat them if they are packed gently.
* One batch is not enough. :>