There is a phenomenon called Nesting” that some of you may have heard of, especially if you have ever had a child. Nesting is considered a point in time when a future parent prepares their lives for the arrival of a child. Some things that such a parent might do are clean, rearrange, paint, or otherwise child-proof their house, clean, re-prioritize, or otherwise child-proof their daily activities, such as giving up bad habits, or do something otherwise out of the ordinary. My form of nesting, if you can call it that, had interestingly enough nothing to do with any of the above categories, but I found myself realizing that it was nesting as my weekend went on, in so much as I was preparing in what small ways I could for the arrival of our new addition. This weekend, as I am wont to do anyway, I cooked.

Jay, you might say, that’s not weird for you; you cook all the time! Let me rephrase, I cooked everything in my kitchen; I spent upwards of six hours in the kitchen on Saturday and approximately four hours on Sunday.1 I ended the weekend with pumpkin seeds, chunks, and puree; fresh stewed tomatoes, homemade tomato sauce, and the makings for gazpacho; spiced parsnip soup; and sweet red pepper hummus and homemade chick pea burgers.2 If that seems like a lot, it is; I might as well have been prepping for Thanksgiving Dinner. I have posted pictures below to better illustrate what all I am talking about. If this isn’t nesting for me, I don’t know what is.

The fact is that I like cooking and I like sharing what I have done with others that enjoy cooking. I have posted two reviews of and discussed my use of Basil over the years because it was the first time that what I really needed in an app was placed at my fingertips. After the arrival of my first child, I have no idea what type of time I will have to enjoy such activities—writing or cooking—and that freaks me out a little because cooking isn’t just cooking to me, it is therapy.

As is also the case with my stance on physical books, I do not want to miss out on the chance to provide my child with a developmental moment in the form of a healthy love of food and cooking. What better time, therefore, to announce that I will begin posting recipes, like I post links, on this blog. Over the coming weeks and months, as I continue to nest and acclimate to the birth of my first child, I will be consolidating Engineered Eloquence into a single website, so as to mitigate the confusion over what is considered a standalone post and what is considered a link. This is especially necessary given the fact that my cooking posts will be a cross between a link to an external recipe site most times and a post with successes, failures, and thoughts that I feel like sharing about the recipe itself. In addition, I am going to try out a couple Basil integrations, almost like the Instapaper read later” link that I append to text posts. Finally, I am going to be testing out a few Tumblr/DNS tricks that will allow people only interested in links, posts, or recipes to get to that content quickly. One immediate drawback is the change to the way RSS and Archives will work, but my 100 or so consistent readers shouldn’t be bothered by that.

I hope the changes are met with generally positive reactions and that it won’t detract from the content, as it is always my goal to put the content front and center for the benefit of my readership. Links will continue to be posted at regular intervals, but I know that my long-form posts may suffer short term, as my life is about to get hectic. Enjoy the pics and let me know what you think about the changes when they occur on Twitter,, or Facebook.

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Soon-to-be Pumpkin Puree

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Tomatoes in Progress

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Spiced Parsnip Soup

  1. I will admit that some of the time was spent cleaning, although I attempted to clean in stages as I dirtied things to make it: 1) easier to move onto the next dish or ingredient and 2) easier to clean up at the end of each day.  ↩

  2. Lexi and I even made blueberry, cream cheese crepes on Sunday morning and completely from scratch lasagna Sunday evening.  ↩

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.