Saturday, October 03, 2015

For wild October days, peace from Wendell Berry

A dear friend posted this poem via Facebook the other day,
 and it found me in the midst of a wild day. 
I'm not familiar with the author, Wendell Berry, but I hope that my re-post of the image will be acceptable. Here also is a link to this particular poem, 'The Peace of Wild Things' at the Poetry Foundation website.

Thank you Wendell for sharing the peace - you helped me on a wild day.
If you would like to listen to Wendell read some of his own poems, visit his podcast here.


Friday, October 02, 2015

Seven word prayer for October


Breathe.
Trust.
Play.
Rest.
Create.
Love.
Be.

These are the words that I need.
These are the words that I will hold close.
These are the words that are a prayer - 
when I forget to breathe, when I don't remember to trust, when I need to play, when rest is far from me, when I don't feel like being creative, when love is what I long to feel and when "being" needs to be enough.

Be.
Love.
Create.
Rest.
Play.
Trust.
Breathe.

Thank you Jesus...
 for these seven simple and profound words.
No matter the order - these seven words bring light and life.
Amen.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Just like that... it's October


Image found at Infinity Institute Newspaper

Just like that...
The air is crisp so that the windows need to be closed at night.
Just like that...
I've worn more sweaters and hoodies in a week than I've worn all summer.
Just like that...
Soup and stew sound like the perfect thing for dinner.
Just like that...
The harvest moon hangs in the sky and autumn is here.
Just like that...
there is pumpkin spice flavored EVERYTHING available!
Just like that...
it's October.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Composition lessons

I can't remember when I learned about Nablopomo, but it can tell you that it has been a major means of encouragement in my regular writing habit. While it's hard to believe that I've been blogging for over fourteen years, I've been writing since I was in elementary school and was given a black and white speckled notebook in English class.


On the day I received my first composition book, I was thrilled. The pages were empty, the lines were straight and my pencil was sharp. What a beginning that was. 

Every day when I open my page (on paper or on my computer screen) to write, I don't always feel excited. Sometimes my pencil is not very sharp and my mind wanders for a while to have something read-worthy to write. There are days that life gets away from me and the regular writing time has to be used in other endeavors, but when I loose writing time I miss it. Writing has a way of re-centering my heart and mind - and  hopefully gives others a chance to catch their breath too.

We compose.
We erase.
We re-write.
Writing is a practice - I don't ever think it's perfect. 

Writing is like life and the Benedictine prayer that I hold close to my heart - 


Open the book and turn to an empty page. 
It's time to write AND begin again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Wheat free cooking lesson: Eggplant

One of the foods that I miss since I discovered a wheat sensitivity is breaded eggplant. It used to be my go to comfort food. A few weeks, I noticed an add for 4C Gluten Free bread crumbs and since I had two eggplants waiting in the fridge, it was time to give wheat-free breaded eggplant a try.
Here is how I made mine:

Ingredients:
2 large eggplant
2 cups (approx.) 4C Seasoned Gluten free bread crumbs
4 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon Wegman's garlic seasoning (or Borsari)

Cut eggplant to desired thickness (the thinner the crisper it will finish).
Dip slices into egg and seasoning mix and then drop to coat in GF crumbs.

You can cook the coated eggplant two ways - on the stove top or baked in the oven.

If you cook on stove top, be sure to keep the temperature even and to you use a lid for your pan to hold heat in. Do NOT cook on high as the crumbs will burn before the eggplant is cooked through.

If you bake the eggplant (my preference), preheat oven to 350-375 and bake for about 25 minutes flipping the eggplant as one side browns.

The eggplant can be served solo or with your choice of sauce.
If you would like to try another way to coat the eggplant, I've used oat bran in the past as well, but this is a nice way to enjoy a "bread-like" treat when bread is something you are limited from eating.
Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Door Knocking Lessons

There is a wonderful section of Anne Lamott's book, Traveling Mercies, that describes her conversion experience. There was no altar call and no pleading - but there was persistence and the knocking that could not be denied. 

"...everywhere I went, I had the feeling that a little cat was following me, wanting me to reach down and pick it up, wanting me to open the door and let it in. But I knew what would happen: you let a cat in one time, give it a little milk, and then it stays forever. So I tried to keep one step ahead of it, slamming my house door whenever I entered or left.
And one week later, when I went back to church, I was so hungover that I couldn’t stand up for the songs, and this time I stayed for the sermon, which I thought was so ridiculous, like someone trying to convince me of the existence of extraterrestrials, but the last song was so deep and raw and pure that I could not escape. It was as if the people were singing in between the notes, weeping and joyful at the same time, and I felt like their voices or something was rocking me in its bosom, holding me like a scared kid, and I opened up to that feeling – and it washed over me.
I began to cry and left before the benediction, and I raced home and felt the little cat running along me heels, and I walked down the dock past dozens of potted flowers, under a sky as blue as one of God’s own dreams, and I opened the door to my house, and I stood there a minute, and then I hung my head and said, “[Okay,]. I quit.” I took a long deep breath and said out loud, “All right. You can come in.” So this is my beautiful moment of conversion.  From Anne Lamott's -Traveling Mercies.

Then there is the text from Revelation 3: 19-20 that speaks of the persistence of God to seek out the people that he so loves...

"19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me."

Jesus has a way - through the power of the Holy Spirit - of entering our lives in ways and through people we least expect. I know it sounds like a sweet platitude or words to fill the space of this post, but please hear this... God loves you.
Stop. Really hear these words.

Let them sink into your mind, inhale them with every breath, and let your heart be warmed that the God of the universe cares for you...
Jesus is knocking and waiting at the door.

You. Are. Loved.
Image of Holman Hunt's "Light of the world" found at Yorkview Heights


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Recipe lessons: Mean Green Creamy Veggie Dip

While I love to cook and create tasty new recipes, I rarely take the time to jot down my creations. Just this weekend, my daughter asked me to change this trend and start to catalog some of my mash-ups for posterity.

Today's recipe is a new one. I threw this veggie dip together for my son's high school graduation party and have been making it ever since. I call it, Mean Green Creamy Veggie Dip... 


Ingredients:
1 bag of Trader Joe's Cruciferious Crunch Collection: Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Green Cabbage & Red Cabbage
1 block of fat free or low fat cream cheese
1 cup water
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
2 tablespoons of Garam Masala (to your taste)
Salt (to taste)
1 cup (more or less to your liking) TJ's Lite Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese.

How to cook:

Place water, stock, and garam masala powder into a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add greens mix to liquid and spices and cook until quite tender.
Drop cream cheese into the mixture and keep stirring until it melts into the other ingredients.
Allow mixture to come to a slow bubble and turn off heat.
Add the shredded cheese and mix to rest until melted.

Pour dip into serving bowl and serve with your favorite chips. (I prefer a blue corn chip with this dip, but you can also use it with whatever you find to your liking.) If you like spice, you can always add more Garam Masala, but take it easy when you first try this spice as it has a way of taking over a dish if used too heavily. As far as I have experienced with this recipe, all ingredients are Gluten Free, but please be sure to read labels for your own assurance.

Thanks and happy snacking!

Vicar Tara