My First Pipe Tobacco Cake

I made my first cake/plug* out of miscellaneous pipe tobacco this past week. I made a DIY “noodle” press with:

  • 3″ diameter PVC pipe, 5″ long
  • 6″ C-clamp
  • 2 hockey pucks
  • Parchment paper

The parchment paper-covered pucks slide perfectly into the PVC pipe. With 4 ounces of a random pipe tobacco blend in between, I tightened the C-clamp. I had trouble keeping the clamp surfaces and pucks perpendicular, so the cake came out lopsided. I have an idea to try next time to prevent that.

For the actual tobacco, I used:

  • Lane HGL (about 2 ounces)
  • Hearth & Home’s Louisiana Red (about 1 1/4 ounce)
  • Country Squire’s Shepherd’s Pie (about 1/2 ounce)
  • Just For Him’s Whiskey Gravy Biscuit (about 1/4 ounce)
  • A splash of Buffalo Trace bourbon in the storage jar, and a couple drops on the cake after I cut it in two

Why do this?

  1. It reduces the number of jars on your shelf. Who doesn’t want to save space?
  2. It looks cool. Plus, it feels more manly to cut tobacco from a cake/plug than to pack loose bulk-blended pipe tobacco.
  3. It creates a unique blend. You’re the only person in the world who has that one-of-a-kind blended cake.
  4. The pressure can enhance the combination of flavors. I’ll see what difference four days in a press makes when I smoke this.

Some quick Q&As:

Q: How long did you press it?
A: Four days. More is probably better until it gets too dry or to the point of diminishing returns.

Q: Why did you use those particular tobaccos?
A: I had too much, plus I’m pretty settled on the blends I smoke. The ones I used for the cake don’t make it into my pipes much anymore.

Q: So do you recommend not buying those tobaccos? Are they poor smokes by themselves?
A: No! I do recommend buying them. They’re great blends, I just prefer others more. Since taste is so subjective, I think it’s wise to try many blends to find what you love and maximize enjoyment.

It smells about as incredible as you can imagine! I would love to find a candle that smells precisely like this cake. I just hope the retrohale and room note are similar to the tin note.

I’m going to let it age for a few weeks/months before packing a bowl. God bless and happy puffs!

*Cakes are usually called “crumble cakes” which are meant to be pulled apart and rubbed between the fingers into smaller pieces before packing in the bowl. Plugs are pressed more tightly, and the tobacco must be sliced off in strips before preparing them to pack. What I made is kind of in-between; the sides are noticeably more loose than the center (probably from drying). It likely needed more time in the press and needed to be more moist. I’ll dress with bourbon before blending my tobaccos next time.

Original Stanza: Come Thou Fount

What a peace, thy life surrendered
Won for sinners such as me
And thy resurrection rendered
Death a sting-less enemy

I’ve no fear of all tomorrows
Thou dost ever hold me fast
Soon shall end all earthly sorrows
When I see thy face at last

I was listening to the Kings Kaleidoscope version of “Come Thou Fount” a few weeks ago, and had recently read Psalm 136 as part of my evening Bible reading. Verse 23 jumped out at me:

It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

” … remembered us in our low estate” is particularly poetic, and the wording seemed like it would be a great fit in the “Come Thou Fount” melody. Since I like to write new verses for old hymns, I got to work.

The line straight from Psalm 136:23 eventually morphed into something else, so I plan to use it in the future. But it did inspire a stanza with which I’m very pleased.

#009 How To Get Started Smoking a Pipe and Helping Lead the Church During the Pandemic

In this episode, Ryan gives his recommendations for trying out the wonderfully relaxing and contemplative hobby of pipe smoking. He also talks about what he and his fellow elders have done during the quarantine to shepherd the church family.

Original Poem: The Call

Would you call me brother
Or cousin, or son?
Is our blood so dissimilar
That we cannot coexist in
Living, breathing
Harmony?

From communities to inhabitants
Of the same zip code
Neighbors to acquaintances
To strangers we go.
We to I.
Us to me, my, mine.

This is not yet a wasteland
But a wasted land.
Not yet a cacophony
Although chaos rings loud.
For there is a voice on the horizon
Distant, soft, suffering.

Music descending to the ears of the hopeful
Noise soaring to the ears of the beast.
It is a call
A call to me, you, us:
Wake up from this reality
And dream again.

#008 Seed Starting, Public School Bible Classes, “Free” Childcare, and the Tree Survey

In this episode, Ryan gives more details about how he starts seeds indoors, recalls conversations with Christians about public school Bible classes, discusses Bernie Sanders’ “free” childcare proposal, and finally shares his responses to Arbor Day’s tree survey.

Original Hymn: All Who Have Loved His Appearing

Feel free to sing this hymn in your church without changes, addition, or omission. Let me know all about it in the comments or via message here or on social media.

All Who Have Loved His Appearing | Words & Music: Ryan Cornett

V1
Like saints before, let us repeat
“The good fight we have fought”
No works did we ourselves achieve
The fruit, the Spirit wrought

C
Laid up for us is a crown: his righteousness, our award
‘Tis not of efforts that we have made; the price was paid by the Lord
That great coronation is nearing
For all who have loved his appearing

V2
When all is done, then let us say
“Praise God, we’ve run the race”
For Christ we stood, by strength not ours
Yes, it was all of grace

V3
As breath departs, may we proclaim
“Through him, we kept the faith”
Our boast is only in the Lord
He, who alone can save

THE STORY

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8

When reading God’s Word, I look for phrases that are especially poetic to modern tastes and could possibly inspire an entire song. I have a list of dozens of such phrases from the Bible. One that particularly stood out and stuck with me for months was “all who have loved his appearing.” I kept coming back to it and the passage it’s in. The three things Paul lists: “fought the good fight, … finished the race, … kept the faith” seemed like a good place to start, with each victory having its own verse.

The chorus, or refrain, is inspired by my study of the doctrine of imputation. At the cross, our sins were imputed onto Christ and he bore the entirety of the punishment earned by our sin. Consequently, Christ’s righteousness can now be justly imputed, or credited to those who believe. And how glorious the thought that the Lord Jesus Christ’s righteousness is so richly, so deeply applied to us, that we are awarded for it–and with eternal life, no less! Our crown of righteousness was earned and laid up for us by our Savior Jesus. What a glorious day the Redeemed have to look forward to!

INSPIRATION

1 Corinthians 1:31
1 Corinthians 5:10
Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 4:30
Philippians 4:13
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Spoken Word: The Trinity

“The Trinity” is a human term that does not appear in Scripture
But truths throughout the Bible paint a crystal-clear picture
It and “Triune God” are phrases we use to summarize
What God has revealed about himself to human ears and eyes
The Trinity is present at and responsible for creation
Was there at Christ’s baptism and seen in Revelation
A very convincing verse is 2 Corinthians 13:14
The Son’s grace, the Father’s love, and the Spirit’s fellowship are seen
In Isaiah 44, the Lord says “there’s no other God besides me”
It’s also true that the Father, Son, and Spirit share divinity
But, the Spirit is not the Father, the Father is not the Son
The Son is not the Spirit, yet they are Three in One
We don’t serve many, no we serve one God in Three Persons
Yes, one Being alone is worthy of all creation’s worship
The God we serve is self-sufficient, in eternal community
He said, “Let us make man in our image,” all for his glory
God the Father, Son, and Spirit didn’t create out of need
We contribute nothing to God, he is perfectly complete
The Trinity does not change, doesn’t improve or get better
Oh, but the Triune God changes us; the Three work together
The Father purposed it, the Son, Jesus, purchased salvation
The Spirit produces it to make the one once dead a new creation
Changed, our thoughts of God rightly regard knowing him as serious
But God doesn’t illuminate everything; his ways are still mysterious
You can’t explain the Trinity, though some will try it still
They’ll point you to the simple apple—the seeds, the flesh, the peel
They take one thing with several parts to try and achieve their goal
And say, “God is like this apple here; the three parts make the whole”
They might even say, “Thinking of the Trinity as water will suffice”
“God is like it in its three forms of vapor, liquid, and ice”
But God the Trinity does not exist in equal parts divided
Coming together as the One True God only when united
As for thinking of the Triune God as forms like states of matter
Is that liberty or just wrong? I’m afraid that it’s the latter
You might be saying, “Hey, these words you’re bringing here are brutal”
But explaining the Infinite God with finite things is entirely futile
We could try forever to give a metaphor or a simile
But none are adequate, so I’ll just say, “God is One in Three”
God didn’t reveal more to us because this is how he planned it
And at least on this side of heaven we’ll never understand it
But doesn’t it make more sense that God’s beyond our comprehension?
It’s not an issue to struggle with how Three are One without division
And just how the Three could be one God, one being, and one essence
Maybe I’ll be able to wrap my mind around when in his presence
No matter what, when faith is sight from down on bended knee
I’ll worship my great Savior, the Triune God of one and three