Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lemon Meringue Pie

In honor of National Pie Day (3/14 is like 3.14 = pi), here's a tasty lemon pie recipe. It's very refreshing, with a sweet and tangy citrus flavor.

1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups water
2/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks

4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt until well blended. Stir in the water and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil

Note: If you have fresh lemons, you can use the juice from 2 lemons plus their zest instead of the lemon juice and increase the water to 1-1/2 cups. I don't keep lemons on hand, so bottled juice works fine for me.

When the lemon mixture comes to a boil, stir in the butter. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl or mixing cup and add about 1/2 cup of the hot lemon mixture slowly while whisking. Then, pour the egg mixture back into the lemon filling and whisk well. Bring the mixture back to a boil and continue cooking and stirring for a couple minutes, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and pour into a baked 9-inch pie crust.

Preheat the oven to 350. Beat the egg whites until they start to foam. Add in the sugar very gradually as you continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, sealing all the edges around the crust. Swirl the top to add some texture. Bake in preheated oven 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Refrigerate pie until chilled before serving. Enjoy!

Ok, I don't usually use paper plates for pictures, but we ate this pie in a hurry and this is the only picture I got. It was so good.

Friday, December 22, 2017

God Has No Feminine Side

I hear the statement that God is both masculine and feminine or that God has both male and female traits now and then, and I think it is worth clarifying the issue because it is easy to be misled into an erroneous view of God. It is not uncommon to hear people claim that God could just as easily be referred to as Goddess or to hear them speaking of Him as Mother God or something of that nature. Even those who don't go that far might be a little confused about God's gender, if you will. So perhaps this will be helpful.

I should think it obvious that God the Father does not have a body and thus has no sex. He is not male or female and has no attributes of male or female bodies. So we must distinguish in this case between biological sex and personal attributes such as masculinity and femininity which could apply even to a spirit being.

What people often mean when they claim that God has both male and female traits is that God exhibits all the good traits which we attribute to both men and women, including some that we might associate more with one gender or the other (such as caring, nurturing, compassion for females or strength and courage for males). This part is true. God does exhibit all good traits.

However, such character traits are not necessarily either masculine or feminine. We often associate certain traits more strongly with masculine or feminine roles, but the traits themselves, in being good and noble, are not solely the province of either gender. A man can be caring or compassionate and do so without being feminine. A woman can be courageous or strong without being masculine. So the roles of masculinity and femininity are not merely a collection of traits.

I would claim that the underlying basis for masculinity and femininity are in their contrast to one another and their emphasis more so than individual traits, and especially their contrast with regard to authority and leadership. The masculine role is one of leadership, authority, protection, and provision with respect to the feminine and the feminine role is one of receptiveness, submission, vulnerability, and willingness to be led with regard to the masculine.

Given these definitions of masculine and feminine, as contrasts to one another rather than a list of traits, it does not make sense to claim that God has both masculine and feminine traits. Traits have no gender. Masculine and feminine refer to roles, not merely a group of traits.

Under this definition, God is only masculine because He holds only the role of authority, provision, protection, and leadership with regard to everything else that exists - His creation. God does not hold the feminine role. Ever. He submits to no one. He is not led by anyone. And thus while we can acknowledge that God can and does exhibit compassion, nurturing, and care for those in need, these do not make God feminine any more than they would make any man feminine. They are noble and good traits and have no inherent gender, even if the female sex is more associated with them, and perhaps exhibits them more often.

God's role with respect to His creation is the role of the masculine, and thus we should only refer to God with masculine pronouns. That is also, not coincidentally, the way that God has revealed Himself to us. It is a serious error to claim God is feminine, and we must be careful to avoid this error.

Friday, December 15, 2017

If You Want Children, Make Wise Choices

The common feminist advice given to women to live in the moment, travel the world, go drinking, hook up, and have fun in your 20's and even 30's and then settle down and be a mom when you've had your fill is absolutely terrible advice for many reasons.

1) A woman's fertility is not guaranteed. Waiting until the 30's or 40's to have children all too often means not being able to have them at all. Not naturally, anyway, and often reproductive technologies can't even help. Fertility, unlike travel or luxuries, won't wait. Use it while you have it.

2) Having children doesn't prevent women from having fun, as so many assume. Yes, children tie you down to some degree, but they're not little ball and chains. Your life isn't over when you have kids. In fact, having children helps us realize what really matters about life and have a far richer and more fulfilling experience than any party lifestyle will ever provide.

3) Being irresponsible, drinking, partying, and hooking up are terrible choices regardless of what age you are or whether or not you have kids. They're bad moral choices and also harmful in many other ways.

4) Being a party animal doesn't prepare a woman for being a wife and mother. Quite the opposite. It teaches her to live for her instant gratification and not consider others or the future. It teaches her to resent children as little burdens that stop her from doing what she wants to do. It teaches her to care only about herself. In short, it turns her inward rather than outward and fuels her natural selfishness, which is exactly the opposite of what is needed in a good mother.

5) Partying, drinking, and hooking up make a woman a bad wife, and bad wives are also, by definition, bad mothers. The kinds of habits that cause a woman to be a good wife, to knit her heart with her husband's, and to put others before herself also help to ensure that her children will grow up in the stable, married home they need. Premarital sex undermines marital stability. A habit of selfish indulgence doesn't magically end when the wedding is over. The habits we make follow us for a lifetime.

6) Selfish, irresponsible behaviors like drinking heavily and premarital sex cause disease and reduce a woman's chances of having healthy children. Alcohol kills brain and liver cells. Some STDs can be transmitted to a child, cause cancers of the reproductive organs, or cause sterility. Fertility isn't assured for any woman as she ages, but it's even less sure if she is engaging in behaviors that put her and her reproductive health at risk.

7) Smart, loyal men who want to settle down and have a family don't pick partying women for that role, and for good reason. The 30-something living weekend to weekend just to party or hooking up with a string of different men is not good wife material. So when she finally decides, in her mid-30's, after being all used up, that she wants a husband and children, she is very likely to find she has zero prospects. Men aren't going to marry her now. They're not stupid.

The bottom line is that women who want a husband and children need to plan in their teens and early-20's to pursue behaviors that help further that goal and prepare them to find a good man and make use of their fertile years. They need to be cultivating the kind of character that makes good wives and mothers. They need to be making wise and healthy choices. Those who do the opposite and think they can party like there's no tomorrow will likely find that their family goals never come true, and all because they made poor choices. For good or for ill, we reap what we sow.