Snickerdoodles and Memories of Mommy

Great Memories of Mommy

My family called my mom, “Mommy” all the years that we were blessed to have her in our lives.

Bible Time started when we were young

Bible Time with Mommy

I am thankful for the many ways she invested in my life and in the lives of so many others. Her investments into the spiritual lives of others will continue to produce dividends for eternity.

This year marks the 20th year since she passed from this life into the next, and I’m remembering many wonderful ways that her life affected so many. Thinking of her accomplishments, the most important was to work with my dad on the translation of the New Testament into Piapoco, one of the minority languages of Colombia and Venezuela. Below is a photo from the final checking of the text before the New Testament was formatted for the first printing back in 1986.

Final Checking of New Testament in Piapoco

Our Piapoco friends were very excited to have the New Testament completed in their own language! When the first copies arrived in each village, the leaders prayed with my dad, thanking God for the New Testament in their language….

New Testament Distribution

Thankful for the Piapoco New Testament

…. and then everyone wanted a copy!

Everyone wanted a copy of the New Testament in their own language

Let the Little Children Come!

We are thankful to be in contact with some of the Piapocos we knew in Colombia. They are still enthusiastically requesting copies of the New Testament and the book of hymns and choruses in Piapoco, most of which my mom wrote for them. This month, the New Testament is in the reprint process. We praise the Lord for this wonderful news that the Piapoco people still value God’s Word in their own language and continue to request it.

If you’re interested, you can see what the New Testament in Piapoco with Spanish section titles looks like here on Scripture Earth. This is a neat site to view various resources in many different languages from around the world. If you visit Scripture Earth, you can see some other results of my parents’ efforts – the three volumes summarizing the Old Testament.

Even as my parents were focused on their work as translators, they never let my brother and me feel as if we were less important than their ministry. Instead, they found ways to include us in their work. We listened as my mom taught people how to read and write and we joined in as my mom taught the villagers the new songs she had written for them in their language.

Teaching Literacy on the Front Porch

We also helped collate the pages of the hymn books when they were printed and ready for assembly and distribution.

Collating the Piapoco Hymnbook

My mom invested in my life in so many ways; the most important was her influence to trust and obey my Lord. She also encouraged me to learn to cook. She didn’t enjoy working in the kitchen very much and didn’t have a lot to teach me, but she encouraged me to read the recipes in the cookbook and follow them. Her contribution was to wash the dishes to keep me motivated! I enjoyed learning to cook and I appreciated her help with the clean up process.

She had a few recipes I remember fondly. One recipe I remember she would prepare almost every Christmas was for Snickerdoodles. I still have not located the old notebook of recipes that she and my dad prepared and collected while we were in Colombia, but I found a Snickerdoodle recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.

Following the method outlined in A Recipe for Survival for converting a standard recipe to a gluten-free recipe, I developed the following:

Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

SNICKERDOODLES

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup sorghum flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup tapioca flour

1/4 cup rice flour

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 Tbsp rice bran

1 Tbsp flax seed

2 Tbsp raw cane sugar

1 tsp cinammon

Directions:

1. Beat the butter for 30 seconds using an electric mixer.

2. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder to the butter and mix in well with the mixer.

3. Add the egg and honey to the mixture and mix them in completely.

4. In a separate bowl, combine everything else except the 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

5. Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix well.

6. Cover the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

7. In a separate little bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

8. Using roughly 1 -1/2 Tbsp of dough, prepare each little sphere of cookie dough. Roll the spheres in the sugar/cinnamon mixture and then place on a cookie sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.

9. Bake in a 375 F oven for 10-11 minutes. For my oven, I find it’s best not to preheat it for this recipe.

10. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven. After 1 minute of cooling on the sheets, remove the cookies from the sheets and place the cookies on a cooling rack.

Enjoy making your own memories with these tasty cookies!

Sweet Rolls and the Sweet Exchange

Gluten-free Sweet Rolls

A few months before we decided to publish our book, a friend on a very strict gluten-free diet asked me to develop a sweet roll recipe she could enjoy. Usually, something unique has to occur for me to invest time, energy and ingredients in experimenting with a dessert. For example, both of the cakes I developed were for receptions for friends who were either getting married or renewing their vows. In this case, since my friend was craving the sweet rolls, I decided to work on the project.

A couple of years ago, I posted some tips for following the recipe in our book. You may want to refer to that post before beginning your sweet roll preparation.

In the event that you would like to try preparing the recipe on pages 178-179 of A Recipe for Survival,  I took some video to show how I work with the dough. I prefer to add the water in the recipe so that the dough rises better. It’s a very moist dough.

Gluten-free sweet roll preparation

It starts out as a small amount of dough,

Gluten-free sweet roll dough ready to rise

but then after an hour or so in my oven with the pilot light on, it rises very well.

Our gluten-free dough has risen!

But that means that I need to add more tapioca and/or rice flour just before and while rolling out the dough in order to make it workable.

This was the first time that I tried recording videos, so the results are not stellar as far as lighting and technical quality go, but I didn’t want to invest another day in making sweet rolls and videoing the process. Brody is good at editing videos and cleaning up the rough start I make to video projects; however in this case, he could not do anything with the footage due to how I saved the files off the camera onto the computer. So, here they are, in unedited form. To give credit where it is due, the CD you will hear in the background of the videos is Acoustic Hymns 20 Favorites Featuring Jack Jezzro produced by greentree records. It is one of my favorites to play while I’m at home, cooking.

YouTube Videos

Tea with gluten-free sweet rolls

Based on some conversations with my gluten-free friends, I suspect they dream of a stack of sweet rolls with a cascade of icing!

Gluten-free Sweet Rolls with Icing

A person who craves sweet rolls which don’t make him/her ill may consider this recipe and the results precious.  In fact, one person recently described these rolls as “amazing.” However, even more precious and amazing is the judicial transaction referred to as “The Sweet Exchange” in a 2nd century letter to Diognetus from Mathetes. You can find a helpful background for this letter and the English translation of the original letter at www.earlychristianwritings.com. The letter has been divided into chapters and verses for ease of reference. Chapter 9, verse 5 is the verse which has inspired sermons and songs mentioning “The Sweet Exchange.”

Even sweeter than the tastiest food here on earth is the knowledge that Christ took on my sin and God gave me Christ’s righteousness. Only through Jesus Christ is God both just and merciful. I see His justice in His punishment of my sin in Christ. He shows His mercy by not giving me the punishment I deserve.

All my daily pain, difficulties and disappointments fade into the background as I meditate on the kindness of God to give me Christ’s righteousness and take away my sin. God’s Word calls my good works apart from Christ “filthy rags.” Remembering those verses in Isaiah adds depth to my understanding of a new song, “His Robes for Mine,” our church learned a couple of years ago. This rendition of His Robes for Mine is particularly inspiring and encouraging to me. While preparing this post, I played this over and over. I discovered that I craved it just as I used to crave chocolate! The lyrics for the song can be found here.

Perhaps you’ll enjoy making these “amazing” gluten-free sweet rolls, but more importantly, I pray that you will be encouraged in your difficulties as you meditate on God’s truly amazing grace toward helpless sinners.

Romans 5:6 (NASB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Chicken Noodle Soup and a Mother’s Legacy

How often do you consider how you were introduced to the truth?

We have some friends from Fiji, and I remember a sermon he preached in which he shared a little of the history of their country and how the Gospel came to his homeland. He expressed gratitude for the sacrifices made by those first missionaries who came to his country, bringing the Gospel. Because cannibalism was practiced at that time in Fiji, the missionaries were consumed. But before the missionaries died, God used them to share the truth with some of the Fijians, and eventually through the generations, our friends heard the good news of the Gospel.

In my case, I’m thankful for the Godly heritage on both sides of my family. My grandma’s mother, Dixie Lee Gabbard, raised her children faithfully, and now, four generations later, we see her devotion to the Lord in some of her poetry, and we continue to benefit from the cumulative effect of one generation passing the truth on to the next. My grandma, her daughter, says the following poem is her favorite…

THE TOP OF THE HILL

Some days, when I’m tired of my daily routine

And the urge of my heart I can’t still,

There’s a well-worn path my feet often take,

Past the barn, to the top of the hill.

Although I’m aware when I start on my way,

There’ll be numerous joys to thrill,

I’m never exactly prepared for the “lift”

That I get at the top of the hill.

All nature is hushed– ‘Tis the presence of God,

Why else so calm and so still?

And there’s sweetest communion and peace for my soul

Found in reverie here on the hill.

I’ve never had riches and never known fame-

I’ve no such desire to fulfill,

But, rather I’d see some tired, erring mortal

Find peace at the top of the hill.

When I’m gone and appraisal of my possessions

Reveals their value nil;

Then you’ll know they’ve not learned of this priceless enchantment,

That’s mine at the top of the hill.

Grandma remembers that well-worn path past the barn. We have some photos of the time that she took my mom as a little toddler back to Arkansas to visit Grandma Dixie on her farm. I imagine that the three of them took a walk to the top of the hill.

I enjoy photos which show multiple generations… they remind me of God’s faithfulness and grace which extend throughout the years to His creation in general, and to His people in particular.

In addition to our faith, I appreciate recipes being passed on to the next generation. I was glad I could modify Grandma’s famous Chicken Noodle Soup (pages 126-127 of A Recipe for Survival) to make it workable for Brody. Our family has so many wonderful memories surrounding Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup, including the evening when Brody’s siblings and parents arrived for our wedding almost 7 years ago.

That night, Grandma prepared a large quantity of soup and cornbread since I had told her many people would be arriving for supper… then when some travel plans shifted due to delayed flights and other reasons, she thought she had way too much soup and began sharing it with the neighbors.

Then later in the evening, most of us showed up, ready to eat! For the last serving, one family member only received roughly a half-cup serving with a little square of cornbread. The stick of butter I pulled from the fridge to offer with the cornbread was the largest serving of all the items I set before him! He was gracious and said the amount of food was just right!

Recently, I prepared a large batch of our version of Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Brody was satisfied with the results of freezing some of it. I didn’t have any after it had been frozen and thawed, but he assured me that the texture was acceptable.

Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup

Have you enjoyed the results of modifying a favorite family recipe?

Psalm 145:4 (NASB)

One generation shall praise Your works to another,

And shall declare Your mighty acts.