Monday, March 30, 2020

This, too, shall pass away

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

We have an adage for use in times of difficulty: “This, too, shall pass away.” A favorite expression of President Abraham Lincoln, it provides a certain amount of comfort in times of trial. It gives us the stamina we need to overcome our “light affliction.” When faced with distress or trouble, we instinctively know that in time, it will pass.

At the moment, we cannot visit dearly loved brethren. Civil authorities have directed that we practice “social distancing,” stay inside our homes and only venture out to seek medical attention or to purchase food and supplies. We cannot assemble as a church. It is not clear how long the lock-down will last. Not do we fully understand the ramifications of the novel Coronvirus.

Yet, the words of the Holy Spirit comfort us. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Regardless what happens in the temporal, our faith is in God, not in the things that can be seen. We place our faith in a God that is working to provide a “house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” Paul, through the Holy Spirit, confidentially teaches us that we will one day “be present with the Lord.” So, whether our “light affliction” passes tomorrow or at some distant time in the future, it will pass.

Lord willing, the members of the church will remain free of the Coronavirus and will have future opportunity to serve His Son Christ Jesus for many years to come. Yet, we cannot predict the future. In the meanwhile, we will do our best to stay in contact with each other and to pray for comfort, guidance and healing. Be assured when we place our confidence on things eternal, God will provide.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Coney Island chili sauce

This Coney Island chili sauce adds an element of spice and richness to any hot dog. With a helping of finely chopped onions and a stream of yellow mustard, you have a dish that is worthy of any camp meal or potluck. And it can also be turned into a stand-alone chili with the addition of beans.

Now I admit that I have never had a hot dog covered in authentic Coney Island chili sauce. The sauce is said to have been originated by Greek and Macedonian immigrants to Indiana and Michigan in the early Nineteenth Century. One day I'll have to search out a Coney Island restaurant in Michigan.

In my quest for a good hot dog chili for my summer camp, I first thought of trying Coney Island chili sauce when I ran across several YouTube videos. Although I enjoyed these recipes, many were lacking in texture and smoothness. After much research, I found that many "authentic" recipes added ground hot dogs to the chili. That was the key ingredient. Along with the addition of masa as a binding agent, I found what I was looking for.

So, while I don't make any claim to the authenticity of this recipe, you have my guarantee of its goodness. Give it a try. You will enjoy it.

Large quantity recipe for Coney Island chili sauce.


Do not brown the ground beef as you would in a pot of chili con carne. Once you puree the hot dog, onion and garlic, place all chili sauce ingredients in a medium pot with the water. As the chili comes up to temperature, break up the ground beef with a potato masher until the chili is smooth. Simmer, thicken and enjoy!

Purchase lean ground beef for this recipe. While I used 90/10 ground beef for this recipe, a leaner grind will work as well. Lean ground beef reduces the amount of grease that rises to the top. I used an all-beef hot dog for the puree.

Hot dog paste:
6 oz hot dog
½ cup onions
3 garlic cloves

Chili sauce:
1 pound 3 ounces lean ground beef
2 cups cold water
⅓ cup ketchup
¼ cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons celery salt
½ teaspoons ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

⅓ cup cold water
2 tablespoons masa

In a food processor, process hot dogs, onion and garlic into a smooth paste. Combine hot dog paste, ground beef, water, ketchup, butter or margarine, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, celery salt and cayenne pepper to medium pot. Mix with a potato masher or spatula over med-high heat until mixture has a finely ground consistency and begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and reduces, about 1 hour.

Mix cold water and masa into a smooth paste. Slowly pour into sauce, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over steamed hot dogs with finely chopped onions and yellow mustard. Makes a bit over 5 cups.

This recipe is based a recipe by Chef John of Food Wishes, also available on YouTube and Allrecipes.