Friday, October 17, 2014

I, Thy Babe


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homemade Sausage: A Poem About Marriage


Homemade Sausage 
A Poem About Marriage

A plump wife loves her sausage well,
And loves with generous ardor,
But only if you keep her shelf
And cupboard fully lardered.

As every maiden chaste well knows,
The best to marry's a man of the land.
He'll be good when he plows, sure when he sows,
And know how to handle her lusty demands.

A salumista's daughter married
The salt of the earth, a farmer's son.
And once she over the threshold was carried
He learned what a prize of a woman he'd won.

"I have skill beyond a normal bride's,"
She said as he put her down.
"My father's delight when my mother had fried
His sausage just right could be heard 'round the town.

"When I came of age my mother's instruction
On how to make bangers I heeded full well.
Her recipes all on sausage production
I'm eager to try if you'll lay down a spell.

"The men in this county all talk without end.
It's butchers, and pigs, and who's biggest herd.
But now that I've come, seen the size of your pens,
You've got so much meat it's almost absurd.

"Yes, a plump wife loves her sausage well,
And loves with generous ardor,
But only if you keep her shelf
And cupboard fully lardered.

"I can make you kielbasa, the specialty of Poles.
I'll smoke it for days, the tenderest meat.
I'll squeeze it and grind it, then press into rolls.
The pop and the spurt when you bite is a treat.

"I'll make you chorizo, with paprika or chili,
It'll be just as spicy as you can bear.
All the fire I've got 'til your tongue is burnt silly,
And a few hours later the spice is still there.

"Speaking of spice, and the meat that you own,
The steps for andouille are simple to do.
A more salut'ry sausage has never been known,
The fat makes you strong, and the wine well will too.

"When a hot dog or wiener's made simply and right,
I know you'll be pleased that I know how to bake.
Slide it into my bun and take a big bite,
With a bit of the relish from the pickles I make.

"Yes, my relish will prove it's true:
I'm good with cucumber too."

"It's said better's the wurst when times have been hard,
Just give me one hog, we'll be happy and filled.
For even bologna, with its cubes of pressed lard
Is healthful and tasty when seasoned with skill.

"For the times that are lean I'll make winter salami;
If you must be up early it will be chipolata.
For the times that are easy a sausage romani;
If you'd like times of quiet I can make soppressata,

"Marriage, my husband, is an oath and a pledge,
With contracts and duties for wife and for man.
Be sure every day tend my garden and hedge,
Trim the bushes all regular to keep me in hand.

"A plump wife loves her sausage well,
And loves with generous ardor,
But only if you keep her shelf
And cupboard fully lardered.

"For I delight in sausage, and you delight in me,
And if you give me sausage, I will delight in thee.

"So go you out from home each day,
Give me all the meat you breed.
When you return at night to lay,
You'll know your farmer's seed
Has taken hold with winsome worth:
And yet more sausage-makers
will walk upon this earth."

As you can imagine the farmer was pleased
To hear such a speech from his spouse,
They held on to each other until they released,
Professing their faith 'til they shook the house.

The Perfection of Benjamin Franklin


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Two Things About Christians & Plagues


Well, people seemed to be settling down a bit about the whole ebola crisis thing (may I not come to rue those words). Nonetheless, the probability remains: if not ebola, some plague or another will strike us at some point. Plagues are a thing that come upon man, in all their horror, and Christians ought to think of how they'd behave if a plague were at our doorstep. Do not think that all our magics and sciences will save us, as great a blessing as they might often be.

I do not wish to oversimplify anyone's situation or responsibilities, but, speaking as the Christian father of five, I would like to lay out two simple facts two think about when facing plague, waste, pestilence, war, and persecution.

When a plague comes upon a city, Christians stay behind.

And when a plague comes upon a city, Christians are blamed.

What might this mean? For one, that when God's judgment comes upon a people, we don't get to blame the pagans. The example of our fathers is to take the brunt of God's judgment on ourselves, and intercede for and serve these others, even as they revile us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How To Go On Dates With Your Spouse


This post is in response to a request. I love getting requests for topics (email me if you have one), both here and at the ol' YouTube channel, and I try to respond to as many as I can.

Request posts are usually fun and challenging, since it's usually on a topic in me ol' wheelhouse, but coming at me from a slightly different angle than normal. This one is extra-specially fun and challenging, not to say flattering, because it's on how to go on a date and my own wife told me I should write it! Victory and wifely affirmation!

So here I am, starting this post off with a little braggadocio and a little establishing of the bona fides. Wifey says that my approach to romance and going on a date is worth sharing with the world. Hey, I let another praise me. And then I pass it on.

You can see that I'm as pleased as punch to be praised by wifey in this way. I hadn't realized I was so good at going on dates, especially since it seems that we never get to go out. But apparently I'm a master, and I'm here to share my craft with you.

I am going to propose a certain way of looking at going on a date with your spouse, then explore what how that attitude might unfold practically. Whether you are young and childless and "going out" is an easy and frequent thing, or whether you are seasoned and weathered like wifey and I, with each date we manage to go out on being a precious treasure, I think this approach will help the romance without being desperate (for the busy parents) or contrived (for the young and free).

This past month wifey and I were able to go out on two dates (mirabile visu!). If we get one date a month we count ourselves blessed, which can put a lot of pressure on one evening, especially for wifey, for whom just leaving the house some weeks is a treat. The first date was a disaster, mostly because we can both be jerks. But for the first time in our fourteen years of marriage we had a conversation about what a date was, and what our expectations for one were. It was eye-opening for both of us. Our second date was, of course, marvelous. After we had that conversation, wifey said that she'd never thought of a date in the way I'd explained it, and told me that the blogosphere needed to know about it.

So here I am.

Very often a date, especially when it's a treat, is seen as "we can finally do that thing we've been wanting to do" or "I can finally go to that restaurant I've been dying to try". We've really been wanting this, or even we've really been needing this.

That's fine as far as it goes. There's nothing wrong with wanting a little relief, or a little treat, or a little variety. But often the wife can feel like she's owed something, and the husband can feel bound to provide that, or, archetype-of-all-archetypal-marriage-memes, the husband is left trying to guess what the wife wants out of her evening out. And if both are trying to maximize date payoff, things can get stressful.

Husbands and wives, you may have noticed, are not very much alike. Some spouses share interests, but many do not. It is not often that you find a married couple who have both been dying to go to the same new steakhouse, or see the same movie, or visit the same museum.

It is easy for a date to become about what one spouse wants, or, more commonly, to be a compromise between what each would like to do. Now, compromises in marriage are no bad thing, but they are not at all necessary here.

Let me suggest to you that, instead of seeing a date quantitatively, husband and wife should look at an evening out exactly as they would look at a dance.

The dance of a date means that the husband leads, and the wife responds. Importantly, this is not the same as doing what the husband wants. Nor is it guessing what the wife wants. Instead, the husband, who has studied his wife all these years, makes a plan for the evening completely geared towards her, and he leads her through that plan. The wife then responds, not by having specific expectations, but by allowing herself to be delighted by whatever he has chosen for her, confident that, clumsy or graceful, he has chosen everything for her enjoyment, not his.

You can see that, if you are one inclined to feel pressure or stress over a date, this would disarm any traps that might be waiting. Everything is for the wife, but she is not stressing about maximizing enjoyment because it's not her agenda, it's his. He has taken the lead in the dance, but, let's be honest, he's not on the dance floor for any other reason than that his wife wants him to be. At least, that's how dancing is for many of us men. The responsibility is his, but the fact that the agenda is his means that the wife is approaching the date as a gift, not as something that is owed or deserved or needed.

A fun way to do this, by the way, is for the husband to be coy about what the plans are. This reinforces the dancing husband-as-lead role, and increases the play of surprise in delight. Sure, wife might think that you're going to eat, or that a movie or a walk in the park might be included in the evening, but she doesn't know. She has few expectations, but is responding.

Of course, the fact that there's a plan doesn't mean it needs to be stuck to. Husband can call an audible if he likes; he responds to her as he leads. And if she doesn't know exactly what was going to come next, she doesn't even have to know that husband called an audible. She only knows that somehow this evening he knew exactly what she wanted.

So that's it. Dates as dances. That's what my wife wanted me to share, and it is done. Leave a comment below telling whether this is helpful or not, and how it resonates with your past experience. What were your best dates like? Did they look like this? Does this seem easier or more difficult than what you've been doing? Or is this too way too obvious, and you've been doing things this way since you were eighteen?

Happy loves, folks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

May Christians Have Tattoos? Discuss.

Well, this guy thinks he's hilarious.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review of Tom Eltang Virginia

Danish pipe maker Tom Eltang has partnered with Smoking Pipes and Cornell & Diehl to launch four new tobaccos. This is part of Cornell & Diehl's new identity reflecting a new ownership group. You can find reviews of their new Cellar series here and here on my site. I have all four of the Tom Eltang tobaccos, and will review them on this here. The first is the Tom Eltang Virginia.

The Virginia is a very straightforward red Virginia and burley blend. The tin gives off a very strong classic red Virginia scent, that pepper vinegar-Tabasco-ketchup craziness that cures our ills. The smoke itself is much more impacted by the burley than the aroma is. While not enough to overpower the tobacco, the burley ensures that the blend doesn't become dangerously ambitious (don't worry, not all the Eltangs are as straightforward as this one). It's very woodsy, campfirey without being acrid, with just a touch of the salt air that emerges from Virginia-dominant blends like Stokkebye Navy Flake.

A really nice smoke, but not one to blow you away. But then again, not designed to blow you away. Recommended.

Reviews of the Tom Eltang Mixture, English, and Sweet & Mellow to follow over the next few days. Happy puffing!

Also, as if I hadn't mentioned it enough, don't forget to pick up my ebooklet, Christian Pipe Smoking: An Introduction to Holy Incense.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Christian Pipe Smoking Now Available For Download!

Hey, my first e-book, written in cooperation with another Brazilian-American bundle of pipe-smoking joy, Uri Brito, is now available for download at Amazon!

It is an apologetic of joy for that most delightful of degustatory experiences. An essay of sass, a versification in poetic veracity, a true offering of fellowship to you and praise to God. We hope you enjoy it, brief as it is.

A review of Christian Pipe Smoking on Gospel Spam.

Another review at the Torrey Gazette.

So buy it already! And happy puffing to you, brother.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Out Tomorrow: The Finest E-Book On Christian Pipe Smoking Ever Written

Update: the book is now available here.

Available tomorrow (Friday 9/26) at Kuyperian Commentary is this beautiful minor opus which I recommend to you: Christian Pipe Smoking: An Introduction to Holy Incense. Available, for now at least, as an e-book only.

It is but a booklet, some twenty-five pages, but each page will delight the Christian pipe smoker, enlighten his heathen fellow-enthusiast, crush the ambitions of the heathen teetotaler, and soften the heart of the Christian abstainer. All four of these good things are guaranteed to happen if you but promise to go onto your porch tomorrow with your pad or other device, light your pipe, and visit Amazon.

Tomorrow I will give you the information you need to get hold of this marvelous booklet. For now, dear brother, smoke in cool hope of things to come, knowing that your vindication is nigh.

And before I pile on any more high-flown rhetoric, I leave you. Keep that holy incense lit until tomorrow.

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