Saturday, September 29, 2012

If My People Will Humble Themselves

President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation:

A Day Of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer
in the The United States Of America on April 30, 1863

WHEREAS, the senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and Just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution, required the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation:
And whereas, it is the duty of nations as as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:

And, in so much as we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request , and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness whereof, I have here unto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventy.
By the President:
William H. Seward, Secretary of State

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cornbread Muffin Goodness

With autumn making her appearance here in the Midwest (love the cooler mornings and looking forward to sweatshirt weather!) I'm sharing one of our favorites.  Serve these with a big bowl of chili or bean soup and enjoy.  These also make a great after school snack.
Corn Bread Muffins (with some 'extra' yumminess mixed in):
Corn Bread "Base"
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease (or use cooking spray) muffin or mini-muffin pan. Combine dry ingredients.  Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. 
Here's where we ramp it up ....
Get 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. of bacon.  This is your call.  How much do you love bacon?  Do I really need to ask that?! I fry bacon in the oven - MUCH less mess and faster - but you can also do this in a skillet if you prefer. 
Line a cookie sheet with foil (make sure the cookie sheet has sides!) and lay bacon slices on it side by side.  Place in 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  Check after the first ten minutes.  There is no need to turn the bacon but  I usually rotate the pan at least once.   Easy!
While the bacon cooks, grab a large onion and dice it up.  Heat a skillet on  medium high with a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon or so) and add onions.  Throw in a pinch of salt, pepper and a little bigger pinch of sugar.  Stir and allow the onions to caramelize.   This will take about 5 minutes.
When the bacon is cooked, take it out of the pan and blot it on paper towels to get rid of excess grease.  Then, crumble it up ...
 Grab those onions ....

... and stir both into your batter.  To make these EVEN better, at this point you can also throw in about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  I didn't do it this time, but trust me, you should definitely try it.  Diced jalapenos or a little crushed red pepper could also be added now for some 'heat'.

Spoon batter into muffin tins.  I almost always use the mini-muffin pans and fill them to the top.  This pan holds 24 minis ...

Bake muffins for about 12 minutes then check.  If you use the mini pan, 12 - 14 minutes should be good.  Larger muffins will obviously take a little longer (probably about 20 minutes).  Just keep an eye on them and when they spring back from a finger poke and the edges are a little golden, you're good to go.
Do I even need to tell you what comes next?  Eat them warm with butter.  Butter is necessary, required, a must.