Apple Pie  

Posted by: cmun in

My first attempt at baking an apple pie magically conjured up this lovely , aromatic of what became our breakfast that morning. I baked this late one night last month, and putting it in the oven at midnight, I went to dreamland with dreams of the children tracking the whiff of cinnamon treading on white fluffy clouds.

The next morning,sceptic and realizing that I should have a baked pie in the oven , I gently pry open the oven door to discover to my delight, my first successful apple pie !
Baking pie is a rather straightforward technique but if you don't get the dough right the first time (like mine), don't fret. Trial and error helps you to learn and as they always say, practice makes perfect.
Apple Pie Recipe
. 6 green cooking apples
. 6 tbsp sugar
. 50g butter
. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
. Rind of 1 lemon
. Juice of 1/2 lemon
. 4 tbsp water
. 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water
. 450g plain flour
. 225g butter
. 1/2 tsp salt
. 3 tbsp icing sugar
. 2 egg yolks
. 4 tbsp cold water
(Preheat oven now at 180 oC for 1/2 hour)
1. Peel, core and cut apples to bite-sized pieces.
2. Heat saucepan with butter, add apples and toss for 1 minute.
3. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes.
4. Thicken with cornflour mixture. Leave to cool.
1. Sieve flour,salt and icing sugar. Rub cold butter ( cut into small pieces ) into the flour mixture with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Mix water with egg yolks, then mix liquid mixture into flour. Bring the dough together with hand, but do not over-knead, as pastry will toughen.
3. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
4. Divide the pastry in two. Roll both portions into 3mm thick layers to the size of greased pie dish. Lay one into pie tin/pan. Fill with the apple mixture.
5. Lay the remaining over the apple mix, with the edges of the two pastry layers meeting.
6. Dampen between edges then crimp with a fork and brush with about 1/2 beaten egg white (leftover from the yolks used for pastry).
7. Bake in 180 oC oven for 45 minutes.
Tips :
I found that the 4 tbsp of water for kneading the dough is incapable of working the flour to a decent consistency for laying the pastry. Lack of water produces crumbles when I believe the dough should be like that of my kids' Playdough plasticine . Add a little water gradually until the dough is stretchy and 'strong' to be draped on the pie pan.
This simple recipe is on page 10, the September 2008 issue of The Salvation Army War Cry magazine.
For a copy of the magazine, email:

The Cross  

Posted by: cmun in

" .. and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me . Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. "

NIV Bible Matthew 10 v 38,39

" Then he said to them all : " If anyone would come after me , he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? "

NIV Bible Luke 9 v 23 - 25

Comfort Zone

I chanced upon this series of cartoons from Lee Choo's blog and found the creative sketches absolutely amusing yet infused with the impact of Jesus's drastic invitation to discipleship. The gospel runs at cross purposes with the values and vision of the world , thus making it no easier for 'Christian' to carry his cross - the sufferings and hardships and all the inconveniences that being a Christian will infect one with !

In this modern times of technology saviness and media starved age where a good dose of money is perceived as an antidote capable of bailing out almost anything including jilted lovers , broken families and politics (yes, smile again), why even bother the trouble to drag oneself into 'religion' , especially one that requires you to 'carry your cross' ???

Yet it is only by enduring these 'inconveniences' that the meaning of life will become clearer to us ,when we realize that we will find purpose in life when our search leads us from why to whom. We have only to look at our Lord Jesus crucified on the Cross and there we will find the meaning of our existence and the answer to our searching and longing.

It is only by clinging on to this One and Only loving Saviour, Jesus, the one who so generously forgives absolutely all our sins if we asks him to and wipe our records clean to enter the gates of heaven , that all the trials in our lives would make any sense .

It is only by the cross that would prompt Christian to fix his eyes on Jesus, lest he will find time chipping off blocks from it and gayly going around in circles collecting trophies of his life's achievements at Vanity's Fair. Why not, as 007 laments, 'the world is not enough'. What's with a little drunken party, a few other women (or men) in bed or a little ambition to my first million in the bank (never mind those brood of neglected children at home, a potential to becoming druggies and repeating a perpetual cycle of a similar history)?

"What's wrong?" That familiar question we pose to self-defend and propel us to the comfort zone.

Ask again. "What's not wrong?"

Have you believed and entrusted your life to Jesus for a purpose-driven life?

If you have, have you committed yourself to a Christian life worthy of the calling of Jesus?

Have you lost your Christian life? God still loves you just the same as the day when you first gave your life to Jesus. Pray and rededicate your life to Christ. Return to church immediately for fellowship with other Christians. Don't be the single 'coal' that leapt out from the heap of coals. Attend Bible Study to be guided by the Word of God. Resist temptations and seek professional help to stop any addictions.