Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A quick link

I only had one class today (we were done with material in Ecology so I gave them all the day off) but I have a big stack of papers for Policy and Law to grade, so I'm just going to duck in here quickly to place a couple of BBC links for later.

The first one I read earlier while taking a break. I've commented before on my love of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and I ran across about Charles Schulz on the BBC website. And some commentary that while he was essentially a mainline Protestant (I believe, but can't quite remember for sure, he was what is sometimes called "American Baptist" - more mainline and less theologically conservative than the Southern Baptists), but that he also had some existentialist leanings that may have come out, especially in the earlier strips.

And yes, I remember that particular melancholy of the older Peanuts strips. And perhaps in some ways it shaped my psyche, seeing as I read them pretty much constantly as a kid. (I like to think at my best I am like Linus - and perhaps in some ways I am - the security blanket in particular, though mine more commonly take the form of small stuffed ponies. At my worst I am, I don't know, perhaps a blend of Lucy's "look at me, pay attention to me" desperation and Sally's acquisitiveness)

I read "The Gospel According to Peanuts" once but don't remember much of it; I don't think it was particularly compellingly written.

But a quotation from the article struck me:

"There are no big answers; there are only small answers in the now, such as the joys of food and friendship."

And yes, I think even in a Christian context, there is something to that. We don't get to see the big answers, if they exist; we see our own lives. And also: there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying food, and friendship, and the other good things of life. If you read the Gospels, Jesus seemed not to be averse to breaking bread with friends.

I find more and more it's the small comforts of life that keep me going: the promise of a good solid nutritious dinner, a cup of hot tea on a cold day, or laughing over an old joke with a friend, or even just getting home and being able to lock the door on the outside world. And maybe not having the big answers is okay if you have the small ones.

The second link, which maybe falls under "joy of food" is this - Christmas cookie (sorry: "biscuit") recipes from the BBC.

I have decided I want to make gingerbread cookies. Either for one of the things down here before Christmas, or if I have not time, when I am up at my parents'. I want a softer recipe so I don't have to soak them in tea before eating, and I probably want a roll-out recipe.  Probably won't frost them, or maybe I melt a little dark chocolate and spread it on some of them (or dip half of each cookie in chocolate).

But there are other good ones there: Cardamom-lemon. And chocolate-and-cherry. And the mint chocolate ones look good, too. (And I'm going to look at the low-sugar one but if they expect you to use a substitute sugar, no)

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