Wednesday, July 4, 2007

America, Bless God!

   While in Texas this past week, I had the opportunity to see the movie, What a delightful movie! There were several Scriptural principles conveyed in this film. The overall theme of the movie is that if you follow your passion, and are Ratatouille. diligent about it, you can achieve your dream, regardless of the odds against you, including where you came from, or who you are. A common thread throughout the film was the value of honesty. They made that point very well. Another message in the film was the value of a good friend. The virtue of loyalty is given some spotlight as well. Three of the characters are changed by the power of love. The other lesson I appreciated was to not look back at where you have been, but always look forward to where you are going. The little rat Remy, is passionate, diligent, shows himself friendly to unlikely recipients, learns that honesty is always best and loyalty quite important, and presses on rather than stumbling and looking back. This behavior results in the most amazing display of....... hum..... I'll leave that for you to see and decide. But before you do, I must add this.......

   On the down side, like so many other "children's" movies, there were age inappropriate scenes. There is a considerable amount of wine drinking. One scene resulted in the youngest person in the movie who is also one of the main cast of the show, getting drunk. A scene of a couple fighting, a gun is involved, a spilled glass of wine, and then the two ultimately kissing to make up... quite passionately, is shown. The female lead character slaps the lead male character across the face and this is left to appear normal. She also draws a spray container of mace on him at one point. She is hostile and defensive throughout the majority of the movie. I will say that once love sets in, all of that does change. That is however, near the end. There is a scene that a shot gun in used repeatedly and haphazardly by an elderly woman and one where the chefs in the kitchen are violently throwing knives. Both of those acts of violent aggression are aimed at the rats. There are dead rats hanging in a store window displaying the potency of Rat Killer they are selling. There is at least one rat in a trap as well. There are lines such as, "Welcome to, Hell." and "I will kill you." in this film. But I think maybe one of the rock bottom disturbances for me is that the entire story is based on an orphaned child, born out of marriage.

   Are these situations children will grow up to know about and have to make their own judgements about? Yes. Do they need to be portrayed as normal and entertainment? I don't really think so. See if for yourself and then decide on the appropriateness for your family.

   A little addition here. I like fine cars, especially foreign cars... and most especially, small foreign cars. I really enjoy the Mini-Cooper. The VW Beetle has been a favorite of mine since the late 60's, and while in Germany a few years ago I discovered the "Smart Car". So, an added perk for me was the array of really cute cars you get to see. And, another side note... the food and it's preparation is great.

   All in all, this is a timeless, genderless, race-less, delightful and wonderful piece of cinematic art. It is however in my opinion, not ageless, it is for adults. I predict it to be a classic.

   Since seeing Ratatouille, I've wanted to whip up some French cuisine. So........... we started the day off with rich dark coffee and Tarte Aux Mure & Framboise. The recipe is really for Tarte Aux Fraises. I had to choose between yellowish strawberries, and ones with mold already on them. So the Tarte became a Blackberry and Raspberry tart. When putting it together I realized my fruit selection lent itself to being patriotic after all... whoo hoo. I did use the Sugar Crust Pastry that the chef recommends.
Unfortunate UPDATE: The site http://www.easy-french-food.com/ was one of my favorite French recipe sites but no longer functions quite like it once did, and these two links are no longer useful.

When I got home from Texas, I noticed my basil was growing in abundance. So the other French recipe I chose was, Chicken with Basil Cream. Dinner looks a little like this:

Chicken with Basil Cream
Poulet avec de la Creme de Basilic
Fresh Green Beans with Tarragon Butter and Toasted Almonds
Les Haricots Verts frais avec du Beurre d'estragon ont grille des Amandes
Baked Potato with Butter, Chive, Salt and Pepper
Pomme de terre cuite au four avec du Beurre, Ciboulette, Sel et le Poivre

It's been a while since I've taken French, but that should be about right. I am thinking about taking French again. I have always liked the language, and if I get to England in the next year, it could come in handy. Maybe Berlitz??? The movie...... well it moved me. Guess you figured that out already.

Perhaps I should have waited ten days to make these two tasty French recipes. I could have done a little Bastille Day thing. Of course if I am to celebrate anything on the 14th of July, it would be my youngest grandson's first birthday. :-)

Have you ever thought about the similarities and differences between our Independence Day, July 4, and France's "Fete Nationale" or Bastille Day, 14 Julliett? Both celebrated in July and grant a day off from work. Both display the national colors of red, white and blue. Both required violence and deaths. Both sport fireworks, airshows, parades and picnics. Anthems of victory evolved from both events. Both commemorate independence for the people, and both began in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. I guess the big differences are that we became independent from the British, and the French were essentially freed from their own government...... and........... the food. Ah, the food. There are some differences there. Typical fare.......... American: hamburgers and hot dogs. French: varieties of baguettes, local cheeses, charcuterie.. (cooked meats such as ham and seasoned dried sausages), fish and chicken pates. American: potato salad and baked beans. French: mixed green salads, mixed olive salads and ragouts such as eggplant and peppers. American: chips and dips. French: bowls of fruit. American: lemonade, beer and wine coolers. French: wine. American: cake and watermelon. French: Madeleines, macaroons, Basque Cake and lots of cherries.

If you noticed not seeing any of the typical creams or sauces in the French food offering for the Bastille Day fare, it is because they typically do not introduce their smooth and scrumptious creams and sauces to summertime celebrations. The Tour de France is going on at the time of the Bastille Day festivities. Maybe that trip to England this year needs to be that week, next year. :-)

I fully intend to make a dinner of Ratatouille when the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and bell peppers come in. :-) I will stick to the traditionally common Provincial method rather than "Classical" higher end method. You see both in the movie.

Ratatouille: A popular dish from the French region of Provence that combines eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs — all simmered in olive oil. The vegetables can vary according to the cook. They can be cooked together, or cooked separately and then combined and heated briefly together. Ratatouille can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, either as a side dish or as an appetizer with bread or crackers. source: www.ChefsLine.com

I have waited until today to add a favorite website of mine to my list of, "Great Links". I am going to give a link here so that anyone that wants to see what the purpose and general mission of the web site is, can do that. The new web site I am adding is, Wallbuilders. I hope you will spend some time looking it over. It is an amazing and vast wealth of credible information about our government, its history, where we are headed.... and how to get where we want to be. We have an important election coming up this next year and there are messages out there being thrown at us from all directions. Be sure you are getting the truth so that you are best informed, and can make sound decisions about where you stand and how you will vote. And, DO vote.... please.

No matter where you go, you see a signs, decals, T-shirts, ball caps, yard signs, pennants.... and the list goes on and on, that say, "God, Bless America". I really do understand that when that slogan is displayed, it is displayed sincerely, and with the very best of intentions. But, I have to tell you, when I do see that slogan displayed, it makes me sad because it implies we are without hope, or at best have to nebulously grovel for help. Sometimes it makes me angry because like it or not, the enemy of our souls strives to make us feel hopeless. In general to see that saying slapped everywhere can make me a little weary. I really believe that it is essentially a slap in the face of, God and at best it must grieve Him. Think about it. Let's just say you have just set dinner on the table. And, you have made your child's favorite things, all of them. They are ready to eat... all junior has to do is listen to you when you call, go to the table, and make the effort to receive it. But, junior is sitting in the middle of the front yard whining because he wants to eat. You tell him every way you can that everything he could ever want is just inside at the table and that all he needs to do is get up, go in, sit down and enjoy it all. Well, as hokey as you may be thinking that illustration is, that is exactly what that slogan is saying. You see, God has already done it all, and you can read ALL of it in His promises.. His Word.. The Bible. There is no more for God to do with us except send Jesus back to get us (and the events that will surround all of that). God has done what He is going to do. He has sealed it with the blood of, Jesus. He has given us His Word so we can know all about what He has done and promised. Now, it is up to us. We need to listen to Him, get up and obey Him, and receive those promises. Instead of "God, Bless America", how about we begin seeking Him through His Word, obeying Him and believing the promises He has already given us? How about??? "America, Bless God!" The results would be more wonderful than we could ever imagine or ask for!

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Psalm 91:

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

I don't know about you, but I receive that and pray it over my family... regularly!

1 comment:

Miss Eagle said...

Teresa, have a post on scones you may be interested in. Pop over. BTW, Happy national day! Have watched Martha doing her red, white and blue stuff on the telly.

Blessings and bliss