A Retreat to the Mountains

A have the great blessing to have a couple days to myself up in the mountains. I’ll be spending it working during the day, but it does afford some evening pleasantry. Currently, I’m making chili, starting a puzzle, and marveling at the Creator’s work. But I think I am going to try to get a head start reading for my next class (Intro to OT 1), as well.

As I said, chili. This burner does not want to offer a stable “low” heat:


And a puzzle. This one is my father-in-law’s, and I’ve been meaning to finish it so I might return it:

And what beauty (and a critter living under the staircase):

Looking forward to being back Sunday for worship with the local body!



In his discussion on “Qualifications of Inerrancy” in 40 Questions About Interpreting The Bible, Robert Plummer encourages pastry-making informed by appropriate sources:

7. Inerrancy does not mean that the Bible provides definitive or exhaustive information on every topic. No author in the Bible, for example, attempts a classification of mollusks or lessons in subatomic physics. The Bible tangentially touches on these subjects in asserting that God is the creator of all things, marine or subatomic, but one must not press the Scriptures to say more than they offer. If you want to learn how to bake French pastries, for example, there is no biblical text that I can suggest. I can, however, exhort you to do all things diligently for God’s glory (Col. 3:17) and not to engage in gluttony (Prov. 23:20). And I would be happy to sample any of the pastries you make.

40 Questions About Interpreting The Bible, p. 43, Robert L. Plummer (italics his)

All jesting aside, the book so far has been a very crisp read, and I am enjoying it quite a bit. This last question/chapter was on the presence (or lack thereof) of error in Scripture. It immediately put me in mind of Warfield’s The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, which sits nearby. Alas, it will remain undisturbed on my desk for another occasion. I must be through question seven this coming week, as my Biblical Hermeneutics class begins in earnest.

From the same question (#4), the following “Reflection Question” is posed, which I offer as an exercise to you, the reader:

What is the most puzzling text in the Bible to you?

Now, onward to transmission accuracy.


M.L. Rose Burgers and Brews

We stopped on our way to Aberdeen at a lovely little place in Nashville, Tennessee. Mmmmmmmm.

Time to get back on the road!

The Day Before Thanksgiving

So, to begin, it’s my mom’s birthday. So, Happy Birthday! Look forward to being there in December for Christmas!

I’m holidaying now in beautiful Banner Elk, NC. And, since it was open, it was the perfect opportunity to visit the book exchange in the historic school. I came prepared, with books that Mr. K’s in Greenville, SC has passed on, books I was glad to part with (or at the very least, was not overly sad to part with).

Quite A Haul

So, a couple nice looking cook books, some witty poetry, a couple of interesting looking Dan Brown novels (he may not be historically, or otherwise, accurate, but they can be a fun romp), a couple Orson Scott Card novels, etc.

I really need to get my “owned” books loaded in Libib. Goodreads tracking of “owned” books leads me grumpy – it never works on mobile. I know I have all but one of the Harry Potter novels, but couldn’t remember which one… I like the social aspects, but definitely not impressed by the collection aspects.


So, this June will be 20 years. My father-in-law offered us a week through his timeshare. After a laborious search on a timeshare site in need of some serious development hours, we narrowed it down to two, and then eventually one.

It was quite the toss up between a TradeWinds excursion (half spent on a catamaran trek and half lounging at a beach resort) and a rustic Italian village/resort (or their more English-friendly site) to be used as both peaceful retreat and base camp for exploring the green center of Italy. The catamaran sounded interesting, even exciting, but the all-inclusive fee of $200/person/day, for a 7-day jaunt by two people was intimidating, to say the least. It was discouraging, really, when we discovered it.

Initially, we were put off by the half-board concept offered by La Casella, and many of the other offerings in Italy. But, upon further study, we actually found it to be a pretty cool idea – basically, in advance you are covering for a decent breakfast and dinner. And from what I can read in reviews of La Casella, the five-course dinners are pretty impressive.

A nice aerial shot of the clubhouse at La Casella

And what’s more, it’s close to Orvieto and all that Etruscan wonderment, and an hour-and-a-half-ish by train to Rome. It is surrounded by wine country, cheese production, history and art. And it has all the on-site potential for cooking classes, hiking the Italian countryside and horseback riding. The choice was clear upon review.

Well, this certainly has put some of my current language learning goals in perspective! Revisiting Italian is definitely in order, even if it means putting German, French, Chinese and Korean on a back-burner (maybe just a simmer). Kicking off on Duolingo, I found my previous self-led efforts had not been completely wasted. I cleared 21% of the existing material in Duolingo, though I am most certainly rusty. Kim also started Duolingo’s Italian course. She is expressing feelings of annoyance with Italian at this time…

As mentioned, I already have some other materials on the shelf that I will be looking at. Here is a sampling:

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Oh, and major goal while in Italy, besides enjoying the stay with my wonderful wife? Collecting a copy of Il signore degli anelli, of course!

Busy Morning

The girls both have a military ball to attend this evening, Jenna got up super-early for a guard competition, and Kim left to go see it. I took some time to do bills and make some changes on my laptop. OneDrive does not impress me, by the way.

And, plates swirling in the air, it was requested that I drive Julianne to a friend’s distant house so that they could get ready for the dance early, before taking photos at the local botanical garden. I told Sean to drop the device he had been on all morning, decide on a place for lunch, and jump in the car with me.

Moe’s. He chose Moe’s. And I was not surprised.

Blue Ridge Wonderland

I made a much needed break from home for the weekend, and took wife and kids to Banner Elk, North Carolina. It’s cold, and the leaves are off, of course. But it still has its own sort of beauty this time of the year.

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, almost to Blowing Rock, we took Boone Fork Trail beside a partially frozen creek. Lovely. Not a very long hike, but that was fine for today. It was enough for Kim to break in her new boots, at the very least.

And then, we followed it up with a visit to Blowing Rock Brewing Company, where we had a fairly peaceful lunch. The Juniper Rye was delicious! And the Breakfast Stout, though not Kim’s absolute favorite, was still enjoyed. Good fish and chips, tasty chicken and goat cheese. Will have to go again!

Indian Wednesday

That is, food.

My wife is not the biggest fan of lamb, but my daughter likes it much as I do1. Since my daughter was left home with me over this past weekend2, I had intended to make us something with lamb. Even got it from the local Publix. However, Jenna kept on going out and doing teenager-y things, and it just didn’t happen.

However, that meant I still have lamb. And, well, it wants to be eaten! And in respect of my wife, I chose two dishes to make for dinner, one lamb and one chicken. Those choices? Aloo gosht (Delhi-style lamb cooked with potatoes) and Murgh aur masoor dal3 (Bombay-style chicken with red split lentils). Both recipes are out of Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (link below).

Beautiful. And where is the smell-o-vision!?

Both dishes were wonderful. The lamb was super tender, the smell intoxicating, the spice level underwhelming. But I knew Jenna would not want the lamb very spicy, and Kim would not tolerate the chicken spicy, either. Despite that, the flavor was excellent. While I love lamb and get it rarely, I think the flavor of the dal was my favorite. It was a mix of nutty, spicy, savory and light citrus. Mmmm.

Everyone seemed to enjoy and there was plenty to go around. Can’t really beat that.

  1. A lot.
  2. The rest ditched us at home and went to the Banner Elk/Boone, NC area, to ski, snowshoe and sit by the fire.
  3. Well, actually it was toor dal (yellow split lentils), as I found out midstream that we had run out of the red.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Sausage & Peppers

When I want a simple meal, with a lot of color, this is my go-to. Well, if I want a simple meal and I am playing the part of a bachelor. My wife and her pitiable lack of gall bladder disapprove of the peppers, so this is a dish I only get when I am on my own for a weekend, as I am now.

A feast for the eyes and the belly!

This is probably one of the first meals I ever made on my own. And I won’t claim that it originated with me; no, I learned by watching my mom make it for the family. It isn’t so much a recipe as an idea. Meat, onion and peppers, cooked together for long enough to sear and meld flavors. And I’ve made my mistakes, so I adjure you now: don’t for a moment consider plopping a lid on your pan! If you are curious, just try it. May a parental figure scold you for your failure to heed good advice!

So, it really is simple. Cut your meat. Start frying your meat. Wait until it is starting to brown, then cut a large onion. Add it to the pan. Cut a pepper. Add to the pan. Cut another pepper. Add to the pan. Cut a final pepper. Add to the pan. Simple. I aim for similarly bite-size chunks of everything.

Then cook until it is done. I usually go by the searing on the meat and the softening of the onion. Pair with pasta of your choice, and you are in business!

Sausage & Peppers

Combination of Polska Kielbasa, onion and bell peppers. No fancy ingredients, just simple and tasty ones that together are more then they would have been alone.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bell pepper, onion, polska kielbasa
Servings: 6


  • 2 packs Polska Kielbasa (not important, but I have always used Hillshire Farms, as did my mother before me)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 bell peppers (assorted colors, red, green yellow, orange…)


  • Place pan on medium-high burner. Cut sausage into bite-size pieces and add to the pan.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, until just starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Cut onion in bite-size chunks, and add to the pan. Stir.
  • Cut first pepper (go with the green). Add to the pan. Stir.
  • Cut the second pepper (red?) and add it to the pan. Stir.
  • Cut the final pepper. You decide the color. Then add it to the pan and stir.
  • Cook until the meat is well-browned, onions are softened, and the peppers are just charring a bit, stirring occasionally.


I always serve this with elbow noodles. Pull back on butter or oil, if you are typically inclined to these, as the dish itself will provide.

Hunter’s Schnitzel

Tonight was a night for a low-tech meal. And World Market has provided the answer. Es hat sehr gut geschmeckt!

Really tasty. Not everything I have picked up to try from World Market has had the same success with the family. But even the kid who plugs his nose at mushrooms (and potatoes!) said that the sauce was delicious. He of course avoided every mushroom he could, but still.

And it prompted an interesting discussion on cultural overlap between Italian and German cuisines, and the spelling of potato dumplings in various language. What’s not to love?