Meal Mondays: Roasted Tomato Soup with A Cheddar Lid

The Recipe:
Taken from Smitten Kitchen, this biting, warming soup is so great for when the weather is cold and autumnal. Which, it wasn’t today, traitorously. The joys of meal-planning in advance, right?

The Ingredients:
3 pounds tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) red pepper flakes

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Crusty bread, cut into short strips
Cheddar cheese, grated

The Method:
1. About 2 hours before you want to eat, preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread tomatoes out on it cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap garlic in foil, add to pan, and roast everything for about 45 minutes to an hour, until tomatoes are browning and garlic is very soft.
2. Cool tomatoes slightly, then add tomatoes, peeled garlic, and any browned bits from the pan to a food processor and pulse to a coarse puree.
3. Place tomato puree, thyme, red pepper flakes, and stock in a medium stock pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350F. Spoon soup into 4 ramekins, top with bread strips and generous handfuls of cheddar. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Broil for a few minutes to brown cheese, and serve.

The Verdict:
So good, make it.

Also. I hate it when Steven is working long hours and I have to take my own pictures, bleah.

TIL: Bill C-33

Today I learned that a bill called “First Nations Control of First Nations Education” is currently under debate between the Assembly of First Nations and the Aboriginal Affairs department. (Apologies for any misinformation as this is not an area of expertise for me.)

From Prime Minister Harper’s website:
“The legislation will ensure First Nations control of First Nations education while establishing minimum education standards, consistent with provincial standards off-reserve. For example, the legislation will require that First Nation schools teach a core curriculum that meets or exceeds provincial standards, that students meet minimum attendance requirements, that teachers are properly certified, and that First Nation schools award widely recognized diplomas or certificates. These requirements do not currently exist… The legislation will also improve transparency and promote accountability by establishing clear roles and responsibilities for First Nation education administrators, and annual reporting requirements. The bill will also allow for the establishment of First Nation Education Authorities. These Authorities will act like school boards in the provincial education system to provide the key secondary support to help ensure that First Nation schools are meeting their requirements under the Act, and are providing a quality education for First Nation students.”

From the AFN website:
“First Nations are calling for real engagement with the federal government on an honourable process that recognizes and supports regional and local diversity to achieve First Nations control of First Nations education based on First Nations rights and responsibilities.  First Nations overwhelmingly rejected federal legislation, Bill C-33, because it was about federal control of First Nations education. In the wake of that rejection, First Nations are calling for a new path forward leading to genuine First Nations control supported by fair, predictable and stable funding for First Nations education.”

From the Bill itself, section 21, which would preclude the possibility of First Nations language immersion schools (not the contrast of ‘is to’ and ‘may; it’s not insignificant coming from a government that has in the long-term played the part of dismantling and erasing First Nations cultures):
“Subject to the regulations, the council of a First Nation is to offer English or French as the language of instruction and may, in addition, offer a First Nation language as a language of instruction… The council of a First Nation may, as part of an education program, give students the opportunity to study a First Nation language or culture.”

From Twitter, the hashtag #IAmRogue on the subject:

I have recently been staggered by how little I know about Canadian First Nations and the issues surrounding their interactions with the Canadian Crown and white privilege. As I do begin to educate myself and practicing listening and caring, you will find there are more posts on First Nations issues here.

Bible: Foundation Verses

For Bible, we’re not really limiting it to one day but rather doing things like praying, reading together, singing, memorising Scripture, learning catechism, etc. over the course of our weeks. We have started memorising our way through these Foundation Verses from Desiring God ministries. I don’t have much of a system, just saying the verses lots and using our sign language where we can.

(Great little moment, we started with Genesis 1:1, and I was teaching it to Scout Kid while we played mini-sticks with Scout Kid in full goalie regalia. We’d said it through a few times and I was leaving spaces for him to fill in he blanks and we got: “Okay, Scout Kid. ‘In the beginning God created…?'” “Hockey!” Er, no, that was the eighth day of creation I think…)

Art: Concrete Indians, Nadya Kwandibens

“Seen through the lens of Nadya Kwandibens, being Indigenous in a modern world is a beautiful balance. As a Toronto-based professional photographer and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe of the Northwest Angle #37 First Nation in Ontario, Canada, Kwandibens has spent years capturing the spirit of today’s Indigenous Peoples in a manner that highlights the unique way Native identity intersects with contemporary life.”

Beautiful photographs. See more here.

Adventures

This post on Adventure Journal had a bit that hit me like a lightning bolt:

“A couple weeks ago, Alastair Humphreys told me about the Explore feature on Kayak.com that allows you to enter the amount of money you’d liked to spend, and shows you where you can fly in the world for that amount.

This is of particular interest to Alastair, because this year he’s encouraging everyone to save £20 (or $20, or €20) every week for the entire year, and then take that money and plan an adventure with it—for $1,000. He said at the time of our conversation, a little over halfway through the year, he would be able to get from his home in the U.K. to New Zealand, according to Kayak.”

A quick and dirty calculation tells me Steven and I could get to Portugal next year if we did this $20 a week plan. Since we haven’t been on a vacation longer than a weekend since our honeymoon (4 years next week!) and not at all since our children were born, this would make a good goal for our 5-year anniversary. Because heck yeah I’d go to Portugal with him!

Want to find out where you can go with your budget?

The Manly Church

Today I want to talk a little bit about the common charge heard in Conservative/complementarian circles that today’s church is ‘feminised’, springboarding off this article from Christianity Today called “Act Like Men: What It Means to Fight Like a Man“, subtitled, Men, is [sic] your life characterised by courage, strength, and love?

Here’s how the article starts: “One of the reasons many churches struggle is they’re not a friendly place for men. Think about the worship service at your church. More than likely, there’s a lot of talk about loving each other, but not much about fighting against sin or fighting for each other. There’s holding hands when we sing, but not much locking arms as we get marching orders for the mission.”

The article goes on to cite passages like 2 Timothy 4:7 (“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race…”), Ephesians 6 (“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil…so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.”), and 1 Peter 5:8 (“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”)

You may not be surprised to find that I take issue with this. Here’s why: what they are talking about is not feminisation. It is just plain weak theology and vague experientialism– and I refuse to accept that as inherent to my gender. “Is your church all about lovey-dovey pop-psychology stuff, with no serious, difficult looks at sin and struggle to be seen? LADIES.”

Those passages referenced above? Are inspired Scripture intended for the whole of the church, not ‘Notes from the Men’s Manual of Being a Good Christian’. Battle language is part of our life as Christians; warring against the flesh, fleeing temptation, standing firm against the flaming darts of the enemy, being alert and watchful are the territory of every Christian. Being “characterised by courage, strength, and love”? Two-thirds of that dictum are in my blog title referencing Proverbs 31, the excellent wife.

I have always loved John Piper’s description of “strong complementarian women” as having “massive steel in their backs, and theology in their brains.” By all means, let us call churches to draw from the richness, depth, and strength of Scripture in their meetings instead of relying on niceness to save us. Let us face the darkness of our sin, let us ask the Spirit for self-control, endurance, and discipline along with our love, kindness, and gentleness– and let all of us do this without drawing a line down the middle for gender, because that line is not written into God’s Word. Let us not, however, make the mistake of calling a theologically-weak, feel-good, standardless church ‘feminised’. Because, I beg your pardon, but that ain’t my femininity.

Music: Note Names

Today’s exercise went in a very unexpected direction, which I guess is the fun of following the lead of your student’s interest. The only plan I had was ‘label the piano’, but here’s what we did:
-Got out our alphabet stickers and began labeling the notes– all the C’s, then all the D’s, etc. As we did this, I showed him out all the C’s sound the same, and so on with the other notes.
-Talked about how the high notes were light and high like a fairy’s feet, and the low notes were deep and heavy like a giant’s feet. Oh, oops, I mentioned fairies, so Scout Kid, “Where Peter Pan?”
-Improvised a quick song for each octave, with the low octaves serving as Captain Hook, the cannon, and the crocodile, on up through Peter Pan, Wendy, John & Michael, and Tinker Bell. Samples: “Crocodile ticks loud; his clock rings,”and “Peter Pan flies up in the sky.” Not fabulous lyrics but we did sing a lot of scales that way…

English: Alphabet Puzzle

Mondays are our busy day (grocery shopping + claiming back the house from the weekend mess) so we keep the activities simple. Our English activities will actually be mostly playing with letters, talking about phonics and letter combinations and such as a natural part of the play. Here’s what we did today:
-Got the fabulous Richard Scarry’s ABC Word Book and Scout Kid’s hand-me-down alphabet puzzle out. Dumped all the puzzle pieces on the floor.
-Flipped through the pages, finding the letters that matched the respective pages, talking about the letter sounds, and reading the words in the pages.
This was a very simple activity and I wasn’t sure Scout Kid would be interested, but he enjoyed it. He was definitely more interested in this than last week’s geography activity (although he did actually end up liking the continents song.)