TJ Singleton

Software Engineer, Baptist Preacher

Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder

First things first, mine did not come out the same lovely pale orange color. What is the trick there? The comments point out that browning the vegetables longer would help here. It did, however, turn out to be good.

I wasn’t crazy though about the creamed corn. It really influenced the flavor more that I would have liked and there wasn’t enough kernels. Maybe next I’ll try equal parts cream corn and whole kernels.

The ingredients do not mention salt or pepper which I thought was odd. I added a liberal amount of both. I really like a healthy dose of the pepper. The bitterness contrast the richness of the milk. The author does make mention in the comments that she seasons to taste at the end.

I substituted the rendered bacon fat for the olive oil, because I’m that kind of guy. I also let it simmer for about 3 hours past what the recipe called for. I had a bowl according to the recipe, but the flavors hadn’t had time to marry yet. Also, the chicken wasn’t very tender after 20 minutes. It was much better after the 3 hours.

I left the bacon slightly bigger than “bacon bits”. I think it would have helped to diffuse the flavor more to chop it finer. Adding an extra slice or two wouldn’t hurt either. I also wish I would have left some of the bacon as a crunchy topper at the end.

Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder

Fajita Seasoning Mix

This stuff is awesome. Em and I loved it. I rubbed a whole batch on some skirt steak and grilled it fast over the searing burner. It was GREAT. Well, the seasoning. I kind of failed on the skirt steak and left half of it too blue. This is much better than what’d you would get in a packet.

Fajita Seasoning Mix

Roasted Chicken With Rosemary

Em and I enjoyed this a couple weeks ago. The chicken was moist and wonderful. While it was good, it was underseasoned. The flavors are solid, it’s just not very strong. Next time, I’ll double the garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary. One thing is for sure, the butter really shines in this dish. My only other observation is it lacks anything acidic. I think a little lemon would be a nice addition and add some contrast.

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

Chicken and Okra Gumbo

First off, I love Fatz chicken gumbo. When I picked this recipe, that’s what I was hoping to end up with. While this isn’t quite as good, I did enjoy it.

I used box stock. I think this actually made it have too strong a chicken flavor. It came out thicker than I expected. I had cooked it to eat for lunch throughout the week and had I to add some liquid to each bowl to cut it a bit.

Em had suggested using a rotisserie chicken from Publix. This made it easier and the chicken tasted great. I thinly sliced some of the crispy skin for an attractive topper.

The recipe said you can use frozen okra, but don’t. Publix didn’t have any fresh in stock so I tried it. It just doesn’t hold up and breaks down too much. The okra is one of my favorite parts. I love popping the seeds against the roof of my mouth.

I’m going to pick up a pint of gumbo next time I’m at Fatz and see if I can’t get closer. I’ll keep you posted.

Chicken and Okra Gumbo

Switched to Octopress

I just made the switch from wordpress to octopress. I did this for several reasons. Mainly, I just didn’t want to deal with script kiddies trying to exploit my wordpress install. I could understand wanting to have a web ui to update content for a different audience, but wordpress really was overkill for my needs. A nice benefit is speed since the site is generated, static files even with my cheap web host.

Getting started with octopress was easy. Modifying the templates was trivial. So far I’d recommend it for my programmer buddies. Hopefully the change will help me to be more faithful in my writing endeavors, but a tool can only do so much. ;)

Better Acceptance Tests With Page Objects

Recently, I tried organizing acceptance tests around an actor/user class. These classes became unwieldily the more areas of the site they interacted with. In hindsight modeling the page instead of the actor makes much more sense. I recently came across a couple libraries that implemented this pattern, however I haven’t tried either yet.

David’s Final Prayer for His Son

And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

1 Chronicles 29:19

Stop and think for a moment. If you only had one more chance to pray for your child, what would you pray for? Would you pray for a long, healthy life? Maybe you’d pray that they would be blessed with financial success. Would it be that they remain happy throughout their days? David had come to the end of his days. We have read his last recorded prayer for his son, Solomon. However, David did not pray for Solomon to have a great kingdom, good health, an abundance of riches, or a happy life.

Isn’t it fitting that a man after God’s own heart prayed that his son should have a perfect heart? David is praying for a complete heart, a fully restored heart, and a heart at peace. David wants Solomon’s heart to be fixed on God and complete in Him. David is also playing on Solomon’s name here. Solomon’s name is related linguistically to this word perfect. I believe David is praying that Solomon live up to his namesake. David had blood on his hands which prevented him from fulfilling his desires for God. David was praying that Solomon wouldn’t make the same mistakes.

Notice the distinction David makes between keeping God’s word and doing it. David wasn’t just praying that Solomon would live right, but that he’d treasure the word of God. The picture is that Solomon would put God’s word in a protected place in his life and hedge it about. David knew that if Solomon hid the word of God in his heart, that it’d ensure his heart would be perfect. He knew that Solomon could never perform it, until he had esteemed it. David desired that Solomon know God and live for him.

The final thing we find David praying for is for Solomon to stay in the will of God. God had allowed David to set in motion the planning and provisioning of the temple. God had told David that his son would build it. David prays that Solomon does not stray from the will of God and remains on the path God had laid out for him. David knew God’s plans were right and perfect. David trusted God’s plans were far greater than his own. Therefore, David petitioned that Solomon would do that which God would have him to do.

I challenge you to pray like David. This is a wonderful prayer for your children. This is a wonderful prayer for yourself.