Monday, January 6, 2014

Church, Chicken, And Crackers.

I didn't realize how much I missed taking part in an English-speaking church service until we live-streamed our church's Sunday night service Monday morning. It helps having a 12-hour time difference. :-) We were able to catch a portion of the song service, and I felt the tears starting to form as I listened. The piano and organ playing... the words being sung in English.... being able to pick out a few of the voices of people we know and love... having our hearts prepared for the preaching. What a blessing! 

I will admit I was slightly disappointed at first when we figured out our pastor was not going to be preaching, but a visiting missionary. But on the flip side, this was the first time in a long time that we actually got to see and hear from a new missionary. That's the bad thing of traveling on deputation: you miss out on the missionaries that come through your own church. :-) As I sat there listening to this man preach, the thought occurred to me I was taking notes and actually had my Bible open. You're probably thinking, "so?" but most services here in Thailand, I usually end up in the back of the room with Paul keeping him quiet. So for the first time in two months, I could really be still before the Lord during a service. Just keeping it real! That was such a precious time, and the added blessing was Paul slept until 8:00 so we weren't interrupted. 

Then my husband blessed me by making dinner Monday night. Usually after language school (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1 PM - 3 PM) I am so mentally drained that cooking dinner is the last thing on my mind. Those nights make for a great night out to the market or to some street vendor. :-) Sunday night Nat marinated some chicken and got the grill going Monday afternoon. After he grilled the chicken, he put the potatoes in the coals to bake and they were so yummy. I just savored every bite. :-)

As we were eating, my experiment was baking in the toaster oven. I should explain what my experiment was. In a box my mom sent recently, she included some graham crackers for Paul. I have yet to find them in country and as the pile of USA crackers were getting depleted, I decided to try my hand at making some. It was definitely a lot more work than I anticipated, and I let the dough chill Sunday, so by the time I baked the first batch it was Sunday night. There was a learning curve for sure! The first batch I rolled too thick, so they were more bars than crackers. Then the next batch I rolled thin, but the bottoms got burned because of the temperature. I learned that baking in a toaster oven is different than a regular oven. The good news is since all I have is a toaster oven, I needed to do five batches. :-) Trial and error!

The third batch I turned the temperature down and kept a closer watch, but they still got burned on the bottom a bit. I couldn't figure it out, other than the fact I used the timer on the toaster oven. So for the fourth batch, I set a timer on my phone and checked then well before they were supposed to be done. Perfect! The fifth batch was just fine too.

By the time it was done, I had lowered the oven temp 50 degrees and cut the time in half. So now I feel like I have a challenge before me in baking things in the oven. Thankfully Nat is of a scientific mind and can help me with the calculations and such. :-)

As I went to take the picture, my husband graciously said, "I can move the burnt one" but I figured that it was all a part of the experiment so the burnt one stayed in the picture! I don't know if I will make them again since they were very time-consuming (and the dough was very sticky!), but then again maybe I will... now that I figured out the technique!

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