Friday, November 21, 2014

The Kitchn Cookbook -- book review

My latest cookbook to take a look through, and actually read thoroughly is The Kitchen Cookbook. This cookbook is by Sara KateGillingham and Faith Durand. These ladies run a popular website with the same name, The Kitchn. The Kitchn website is a sister site to the popular all things home site Apartment Therapy. You may be familiar with both of these sites from their ever popular pins on Pinterest.

The Kitchn Cookbook isn’t just a cookbook though. Actually only a little less than half of the book is comprised of recipes. The rest of the book is comprised of all things kitchen relates; how to organize, helpful food prep tips, guide on basic cooking terms and how to do them, tours of several real kitchens, and much more. So, if you are looking for a good, lot of recipes cookbook this may not be quite what you are looking for. Now, if you love cooking, the kitchen is a central part of your home, or you love all things kitchen related, then this book you would probably enjoy. This would also may a good gift book for someone just starting out on their own in their own place, just getting married, graduating college, or buying their first home.

For me personally, this isn’t a cookbook that I think I would turn to often to find a recipe or get some food inspiration. I might also mention that many of the recipes in the book can also be found on Pinterest. With that said though, The Kitchn is an interesting read with a lot of good information in it. Also a plus is that all the kitchen tours featured in the book are of real kitchens that people really use, not just staged kitchens that aren’t even used. Thus said, the pictures in the book look real, not staged. This is a nice touch that makes this book a little different from a lot of other cookbooks. One of the things that I also liked about the book was these little sections called Dana’s Meditation. Dana’s Meditations are little beautifully written bits about the kitchen or cooking. One last note, the recipes are simple and truly easy to follow. In fact all of the book is simply written and quiet readable.   

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Deborah & Jael

Since both Deborah and Jael are mighty warrior women of the Bible and their stories are part of the same larger story, might as well study them together. Their story begins something like this. The Israelites were ruled by a series of Judges for many years. The Israelites also kept repeating the same cycle of doing well with God and then “the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (Judges 4:1, and many other places in Judges.) It was a vicious sin cycle that they were caught in. Deborah was ruling as judge of the land at one of those times when the people had turned away from God. Deborah herself was a righteous, Godly woman. The Israelites, because of their wickedness, had been oppressed by a king of Canaan for something like twenty years. They were especially afraid of the commander of the king’s army, Sisera.
So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help. Judges 4:2, 3
The Israelites had good reason to be afraid of Sisera, he was a bad dude.

Deborah knew that it was time to take on Sisera. To do this, she enlisted a man by the name of Barak. She gave him the message that God had given to her for what to do.
“The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”  Judges 4:6, 7
Barak said that he would go, but only if Deborah would go with him. Now when I read this it seems a bit strange. Why would Barak need Deborah, a woman, to go with him into battle? It wasn’t common practice at that time for woman to fight in battles alongside the men. I read a few commentaries on this and they seemed to reference the fact that since at the time Deborah was the Judge and leader of the land, Barak would want her with him. Another commentary put it sort of in this way; Barak didn’t want to go where Deborah was not willing to go herself. It would be like when a friend dares you to do something, and you say, “Ok, I’ll do it if you do it with me.” Deborah agreed to go with Barak into battle. She warned him that it would cost him the honor of victory, instead that would go to a woman (Judges 4:9.)

During the battle, Sisera managed to escape by foot. He ran right into the tent of Jael. She welcomed him in.
Sisera, however, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there were friendly relations between Jabin king of Hazor and the clan of Heber the Kenite. Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she put a covering over him. Judges 4:17, 18
Sisera was tired and thirsty from having been on the run. Jael took him in, gave him a place to lay down to rest, and a drink of milk. This would be when Jael steps into the role of a mighty warrior woman.
But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died. Judges 4:21
Jael was a woman not to be messed with. I bet her husband didn’t want to get on her bad side after this incident. I can only imagine the amount of force it would take to put a peg through someone’s head. Because of what Jael did, the words of Deborah came to pass in that Barak wasn’t the one to get the credit for conquering Sisera.
Barak came in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple – dead. Judges 4:22

The death of Sisera was also a key in the Israelites becoming stronger over the Canaanites. Without Deborah and Jael this may not have happened. They were both honored in Judges 5 in the Song of Deborah. Both of these women were honored in their land for their heroic deeds and Godly character.