Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Daddy and the Duck

One of the pleasures of being in the education field is having time off during the holidays to spend with family and friends. Yesterday, I got a phone call from my daddy asking what I planned to do that afternoon. We ended up running errands together and as a last stop toured the meat department at our local Hitchcock's.

Now for those of you who know my daddy, he's quite an adventurous cook. As we scanned the choices of pork loins, butt roasts, and various chicken and turkey parts, my eye fell upon an odd shaped whole bird. Upon closer inspection, the bird in question turned out to be none other than our dear friend "daffy". Daddy was feeling up for a little adventure, so we added the duck to our cart and headed to check out.

After spending the night in my fridge soaking in a marinade of olive oil, water, lime juice and chipolte pepper marinade, we started the cooking process this morning. After allowing the oil in the marinade to "set" we coated the skin with McCormick's Season All. On chickens, this makes the skin taste amazing. We then tucked the bird's wings behind his back and sat him squarely down on a can of beverage that good southern girls never admit to drinking and sat him in the electric smoker for about 6 hours. When he came out, we covered him with an orange sauce that made him shine.

This was my first experience eating duck. I must say, it was definately a new taste. If you ever try one, be prepared. They are very greasy and have more fat on them that a chicken does. (probably to insulate them when they are swimming) The breast meat has a texture and slight flavor that reminds me of liver, but the dark meat is better. All in all, it was quite an experience- not necessarily one I'll be repeating any time soon!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Prayers with Big Power

I am blessed to teach the Kindergarden to 2nd grade Sunday School class at church. Every Sunday, we begin class by taking turns praying. Some of the kids say the same prayer each time, but my favorites are when they pray from the heart.

"Dear God, please help the people in Africa that don't have any food, Please help us to want to be good, please take care of our soliders..." And the list goes on. These little prayers are so sincere and special, you have to hide the smiles that cover your face. And you wonder exactly what they have heard during the week that made such an impact on them. But even more than that, they are powerful. The Bible tells us that Jesus took special care of the little children. I personally believe that those little children have a direct line to God's ear.

My mom tells a story about my own faith in the power of prayer as a small child. She and I had planted a small flowerbed full of gerbera daisies and it was my job to water them. One afternoon, I ran into the house upset because my flowers had wilted. She and I went to investigate and found the flowers to be in a dead wilt. She, the adult, was almost sure that there was no hope for the plants. Me, on the other hand, I was convinced that if I prayed to God about it, he would be able to save my garden. As I knelt on the ground and prayed over my flowers, my mother said her own prayer that God would not crush such tender faith in his power.

The moral of the story... those flowers lived!