Birthday Book Stack & Burr Grinder ~ BitterSweetLife

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Birthday Book Stack & Burr Grinder

kitchenaid burr grinder
It's kind of a tradition around here for me to post pictures of books after significant moments of book acquisition, like birthdays and Christmas or the beginning of a new semester. This last birthday wasn't a huge one for books, so I was debating whether to chronicle it...but after some deliberation, I decided to go ahead.

The books I did get were significant--and the lack of a tall stack was more than atoned for by another item that will have a very, very significant impact on the life of this blog. Yeah, I know, the books and the burr grinder in the photo are not technically "stacked"--but let's not get hung up on minor details. I recruited Aidan to help showcase these notable new arrivals. Here's the breakdown, from left to right.

Based on internet research, secret, taped conversations between seminary professors, name-dropping preachers, and highly-regarded book lists, I've gained the impression that Douglas Moo's Epistle to the Romans is the foremost commentary on this wonderfully dense New Testament book. That, and I like utilizing his name.

"What are you reading?"

I was fortunate enough to hear Ajith Fernando speak at a conference couple of years ago, and was deeply impressed by his mind and spirit. A brilliant scholar and communicator, Fernando calls Sri Lanka home; he's lived through civil war and is nevertheless one of the most joyful, energetic people I've ever encountered. His thoughts are sticky, both inspired and understandable--I've revisited my notes from the talks I heard him give, and will do so again. I own several of his other books, and covetously leafed through his Application Commentary on Acts several times, knowing that one day it would have to be mine. Now it is.

Lemony Snickett. The first three books. From Lindsay. I've always loved stories that feed my imagination with adventure and humor, and since I started seminary, this preference has become a survival strategy. I kid you not. From what I've heard, the Lemony Snickett series will help me to complete my degree without completely ruining what's left of my personality. From the back cover: "I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children...It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing." Nice.

And finally, the Big Deal. After I discovered CoffeeGeek several months ago, I realized that my coffee routine was seriously compromised. For years, I'd used a push-button blade grinder for my gourmet beans, which is like using a dull axe to harvest living organs from a donor. Exactly like that. Blade grinders crush and mangle beans into uneven fragments, losing a lot of the taste in the process. Burr grinders, on the other hand, are precisely calibrated machines that slice beans instead of crushing them. They preserve the coffee's flavors and oils, resulting in a better-tasting cup.

Obviously, I started losing sleep over this right away, even more than usual. So I started reading reviews, and got pretty excited when I learned that KitchenAid's pro line grinder had performed really well for Mark Prince of CoffeeGeek, and did not cost as much as a used Honda. Nevertheless, I was still really surprised when Lindsay's parents gave me one for my birthday. It was a stroke of brilliant generosity. Surprise gave way to elation as I brought it home, unboxed it, and installed it on our counter.

Beautiful. Solid. Delicious. Weighs a good fifteen pounds. Grinds beans for drip coffee, French press, or espresso. My coffee tastes brighter and cleaner, with additional nuances. Now I can detect those "undertones" and "bouquets" listed on the packaging. I took the grinder apart a couple days ago and cleaned it, just for fun...

So there you have it. There's something about listing out birthday presents that makes me enjoy them even more.

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Lauren said...

3 thoughts...

Moo's commentary on Roman's is absolutely amazing. It's sitting on my shelf right now. I hope you enjoy it.

Lemony Snicket is brilliant and perfect for seminary students.

As exciting as both of those are, they are completely overshadowed by the coffee grinder. It looks like a beast.

brad brisco said...

I don't know about your other acquisitions, but the Moo commentary is simply the best. I have used it in a Life of Paul course for several years.

Ashley said...

Thanks for the reminder of why old books are so unique and the many books you mention/discuss on your blog. Communion with the Triune God will now be added to my list!

Ariel said...

Lauren and Brad, thanks for the verbal reinforcement re: the Romans commentary. It feels good to have a big acquisition like this affirmed. I'm looking forward to many great hours of Mooing.

Ashley, you're welcome. And I'm glad you like the rapid fire parade of books around here. I get a warm feeling inside when someone ends up reading a book I recommended...


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife