Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunrise on the Battery a BookSneeze review

I was very, very pleased with "Sunrise on the Battery" by Beth Webb Hart. As you can see from my earlier reviews I love Christian fiction and even non-fiction but this book was a new high for me.

The story of "Sunrise on the Battery" is one we all can learn very important lessons from. From reading about fictional married couple Jackson and Mary Lynn Scoville we glean insight that material goods do not make a good life. You can own everything you want, have tons of money, and still feel empty and hollow.

We also learn that when you ask God for mighty things, as Mary Lynn did when she became a Christian and prayed for Jackson to find the Lord as well, God will do mighty things. The unsurprising part of this is that sometimes you don't really realize what you are asking for until God does it. When Jackson comes to Christ, he starts making changes in their family life and trying to instill morals and values that are Christian centered and live a life pleasing to God...and suddenly Mary Lynn finds herself wishing she had not become a Christian at all due to the sweeping changes and what she sees as their perfect, comfortable life start falling apart.

As Christians none of what happens or the life lessons imparted should be surprised. Matthew 16:25 says we must lose our life in order to gain it and if we try to gain our life, we will only lose it. This is the main theme of the story and it is a fabulous one to remember. I found myself questioning my motives, my life plans and goals and the way I am living now all because of reading this excellent book. I highly recommend it!

NOW, do you want your own copy of "Sunrise on the Battery?" Comment, tweet about this post, share it on FB then come back and share in another comment where else you talked up the giveaway! On April 1st I'll choose a random entry to receive a copy of this terrific book!

~~~I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher. I did NOT have to give a positive review in exchange, this is just how I genuinely feel about this title.~~~

Spring, sprung and unsprung

Here in Maine we had an extremely mild winter, not much snow to speak of. Occasional storms of 4" to 6" but sunny warmer than usual days along with rain kept the snowpack to a minimum in my town. Spring officially started on March 20th and voila! This week we have clouds, high winds, and two days of snow. Yet today it is nearly all melted again. VERY unusual and my husband and I along with some other farmers/growers are concerned about what the strange winter will mean for our already short growing season here in Maine. I have heard comments ranging from there will be no impact right up to "pack away the seeds til next year. The lack of snow means lack of groundwater and its going to be a bad growing year." I think it will most likely be a little harder than usual but it all falls under the "wait and see" category, doesn't it? One day at a time and let go, let God. That's all I can do for now.

This is premium time for ASPARAGUS and if you love asparagus or have never tried it and are thinking about it, now is the time. It is in season from late February to June here in the U.S. and April is the prime month for harvesting. This is the time to try new recipes (bacon wrapped asparagus spears, anyone?) or classic dishes (asparagus with hollandaise) that star the tasty young great stalks. If you have tried asparagus before and weren't a huge fan, try WHITE ASPARAGUS. These stalks are protected from the sun while they grow so they mature white, more tender and much sweeter than the classic green stalks. If the white creeps you out, as it does my 12 year old daughter, look for the gorgeous purple varieties that are sweeter than green but not as tender as white. Here's one of my favorite ways to do asparagus right now:

Oven Roasted Spring Veggies
1 to 2 bunches fresh asparagus, tough part of stalks cut off or snapped off and tender tops cut to 2" pieces
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 pound pre-washed bagged baby carrots
1 large RED onion
1 head garlic (yes, head!) all cloves peeled and left whole
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400*. Toss all veggies together in a large mixing bowl with the EVOO. Spread out in a single layer on one or two cookie sheets depending on the size of the sheets you have. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until potatoes are tender and slightly browned and all other veggies are lightly caramelized. 

This is an excellent dinner main course with some pita crisps and hummus alongside OR as a side dish to your family's favorite meaty main dish!