Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas 2007 Dinner Menu

Being a semi-foodie, an annual tradition of my blog is to post our Christmas family dinner menu, once the chef (me!) creates and clears the plan:

Christmas 2007 Dinner Menu at the White Home

Salmon, poached in California chardonnay (vintage 2005)

Angel hair pasta with homemade basil pesto

Roasted corn with sweet red bell peppers

French-cut green beans, topped with seasoned, fried onions

Green tea muffins (homemade)

Vanilla bean cheesecake with dark Morello cherries

White cranberry juice

Caifornia chardonnay (2005)

Starbucks coffee, Christmas blend

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! And remember... amidst the gifting and feasting, give grateful thanks for the reason for our joyful celebration: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Our Christmas Arrived Six Days Early

Our Christmas arrived early this year... on December 19th, to be exact.

At 6:51 A.M, when Ian Maxwell Clark entered the world.

Yes, we were richly, deeply blessed with a second grandchild, a grandson, pictured at left with his beaming father, who happens to be my beloved son.

Mother, father and Ian are healthy, happy and at home now. Big sister Gabriela, 2 1/2 years old, is healthy and at home, of course, but not yet happy about this 7 lb. 2 oz. interloper into her universe.

In many ways, we're enjoying perhaps our most joyous Christmas season ever. Or maybe, just maybe, we're focusing on our blessings this year, and consciously noticing and appreciating all that God has gifted to us.

All four of our children, plus their two spouses and two children, will gather at our home this year (first time in three years!) for presents, festivities and a meal to celebrate family, traditions and God's love.

Like I do each year, I'll post our Christmas dinner menu once I finalize it tomorrow. Until then, savor the season...

And if you have the sacred opportunity this holiday season, hold a newborn baby close in your arms.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From My Reading Shelf in Dec 2007

While I sit here for the next hour (as part of a 250-person conference call with York Times, for which I've freelanced for the last three years), I thought I'd fill these semi-boring minutes by perusing my reading table.

On my reading table as of today:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winning collection of ten short stories, published in 1999. Our book club (at church) is reading this volume for our January meeting. I read the first story today, and found it touching, deep and emotionally intimate. This author is sensationally talented.

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert. A fairly funny book from the absolutely hysterical Comedy Central comedian. A birthday gift from Andrea. Should be a quick read, once I find a free afternoon.

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark J. Penn, a senior campaign advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton and a top-notch national political pollster. Sent to me by a publisher who wants a book review at my site. At first glance, the book isn't nearly as dry as it sounds. Penn describes 70 trends in American society in the areas of religion, politics, health and wellness, work, family life, food, money and more. Problem is... the underlying premise is to create a path for politicos to pander to special interest groups, rather than taking moral stands.

Interventions by Noam Chomsky. For the radical bent inside my placid, middle-aged exterior. The brilliant (and almost supernaturally insightful) Dr. Chomsky has taught linguistics and philosophy at MIT for more than fifty years. And he has an entirely different, radical take on all things political.

The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals by Brian McLaren. Ordered it today from Amazon on a whim while I was shopping for Christmas. Luke is my favorite of the Gospels, and Brian McLaren is a fresh, interesting Christian voice. Should be intriguing food-for-thought.

Any suggestions for other books?