FOOD FOR THOUGHT, by Minister Hugh Bradford

 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. — Micah 5:2

Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of Love.

3-Ingredient, Microwave Turtles, by Leslie J. Ansley

Three ingredients, 10 minutes. Need I say more?

I love turtles, and that’s something I definitely get from my mother. Turtles from Esther Price were her favorite. Esther Price is a chocolatier based in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Candies come in a gold box, and during the holidays, especially, there was always a gold box of Esther Price “caramel pecans” (fancy name for turtles) in the kitchen.

Here’s a recipe for making your own turtles, and it couldn’t be easier. Once you get the hang of it, experiment with dark chocolate, or sub cashews for the pecans. Homemade candy is a great gift for family and friends. There are some really nice gold boxes out there, too.

turtlesIngredients

2 bags milk chocolate chips
1 cup whole pecans
caramel bits or toffee chips

Instructions

  1. Spray a cupcake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Melt 1 bag of chocolate chips in a microwave safe container on medium for 2 minutes in the microwave.
  3. Stir.
  4. Continue in the microwave for another 2 minutes.
  5. Evenly portion the chocolate into the bottoms of the cupcake pan.
  6. Add pecans on top of the chocolate. (how many is your preference)
  7. Melt the caramel bits (in a sprayed bowl) for about 30 sec increments in microwave, stirring after each increment.
  8. Add caramel or toffee on top of the pecans (up to you how much)
  9. Melt the second bag of chocolate in the same way as the first.
  10. Evenly portion the 2nd bag of chocolate over the top of the pecans and caramel. Be sure it covers the pecans and caramel.
  11. Let cool.
  12. Remove from pan.

Scented Soy Candles, by Leslie J. Ansley

soyThe first time I made a candle was during art class in elementary school. We melted crayons along with the wax for color, and poured the melted wax into empty frozen orange juice and oats canisters. The candles hardened overnight, and the next day we’d peel away the cardboard container to reveal our cool, colorful candles.

Candles are inexpensive and easy to make, and you can scent them any way you please. Try this “recipe” yourself.

Yield: 1 16-oz. candle, or many smaller candles to equal about 18 oz.

Ingredients

  • Clean, dry containers (any combination of sizes that will hold approximately 16 fluid oz. of liquid; i.e; two 8-oz. or one 12-oz. jar and one 4-oz. jar)
  • Candle wicks
  • Double-sided tape
  • 4 cups soy wax flakes
  • Essential Oils (15 drops per 4 cups of wax), optional

Instructions

  1. Set the glass containers on a clean, dry dishtowel. Cut a piece of wick for each container that is 4 inches longer than the container is tall. Place a small piece of double-sided tape in the bottom center of each container. Tie a knot at the end of each wick. Press the knot firmly into the double-sided tape to lightly secure it. Leave the free end of the wick hanging over the side of the container.

2. Fill a sauce pan to the top with soy wax flakes. Place the pan over medium heat. As the wax begins to melt, after about 5 minutes, gently stir it until all of the wax becomes smooth and pourable. (Alternatively, melt the wax in the microwave.)

3. Remove the wax from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Add essential oils, if using, and stir to combine.

4. Pour the wax into prepared jars, leaving 1 inch of space at the top of each jar. Center the free end of the wick in the wax. Twist the wick around a pencil or wooden skewer. Let the wax dry for at least an hour. Cut the wick short so that only about 1 inch remains.

“What I Love About the Holidays”

by Regina Lee
 

Sister Regina Lee shares some of her fondest Christmas memories.

What do YOU love about the holidays?

Send us your thoughts in written or video form and we’ll share it right here. Email your story to Leslie Ansley. Please include a photo if you have one. If you have a short video to share, upload it to Leslie’s Dropbox via this link.  Pleasant Holidays continues through Sunday, December 25.