On the snack menu for Supe Sunday: French Toast laced with lots of vanilla for pre-game. Hummus or salsa, each laced with olives, for the first half. White corn chips and thin-sliced french bread, respectively for the dipping. Ginger beer for me. What’s on your lap for you?
30 November 2012
What’s for dinner? Leftovers.
I had some cooked chicken from the other night. Refried with garlic, corn, and melon seed pasta. Tomato juice and a pat of cream cheese. Simmer till the pasta is done and then sprinkle with basil.
3 July 2012
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I had lunch with a priest friend today. Some nice Indian food seemed a perfect way to accompany a mealtime chat on the feast of the apostle to India
Later tonight, I noticed Jim Martin’s essay on Thomas, plus the commentary there. I liked his reflection on Jesus and where some modern believers part company with him:
The Risen Christ is gentle with doubters, with those who need reconciliation, and with those who are so confused that they cannot see him. Are we? Our church today seems filled with people who, when faced with doubt and sin and confusion, seem to want only to scold, castigate and condemn. But look at the way Jesus deals with doubt. He shows. He forgives. He calls someone’s name. In such gentle ways are people brought to know Jesus.
But Fr Martin is not exactly correct here. According to Saint Mark, there were other doubters. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, but when …
She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. (Mark 16:10-11)
There were the two walking into the country who met Jesus …
And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. (Mark 16:13)
And the whole band of apostles were criticized:
Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.(Mark 16:14)
We should keep all these Resurrection stories in mind–all the more reason to be gentle with doubters. They are family, after all. Brothers to be sure.
Some apostles, the most famous of them, are identified as brothers. James and John, as you know. Peter and Andrew, too. Thomas is the fifth apostle identified as a brother. And closer than a brother–a twin. Who might that twin be? Does that relationship have significance like the disciple whom Jesus loved? Is Thomas just like us? Are we that twin?
Even in the conclusion of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus quickly moves on from apostolic criticism. There is a mission to be engaged. Thomas responded by spreading the Gospel as far afield as any of the Twelve. And today, we’ve surpassed that. Still a lot of work to do, and not just for the institutional successors of the apostles. All believers are called to be not only evangelical, but apostolic as well. No doubt, it’s only what younger sisters and brothers would do to respond to the example of an older sibling. No doubt.
2 June 2012
How much of this food will the patient* be able to consume upon her return home? Let’s see …
- Ground pork grilled with paprika, corander, and cumin. (non-red meats are approved)
- Cherry peppers. (probably not–no seeds allowed)
- Basmati rice mix with corn, garlic, turmeric, pepper, and olive oil. (white rice okay)
For years, I’ve been trying to create meals with more fiber for my family. Now I’m told that a low fiber diet will be needed for awhile.
* A family member slightly alarmed that I’ve facebooked about the operation and recovery (and that people around the world are sending good wishes) doesn’t wish to be splashed all over the internet. Said family member shall go unnamed on this blog.
25 May 2012
The young miss finishes up her last final exams today. Summer vacation beckons. She’ll be getting home in an hour or so. Algebra is hard work, so we have a little chicken korma and fruit-flavored rice prepared to start the decompression from academics.
Over the years, I don’t bother with the fine points of preparing ghee anymore. I might skip or substitute traditional spices too. Saute coriander, cumin, garlic, and ginger in butter. Add a puree of mango (a great tenderizer for chicken), red pepper, shallots (my wife doesn’t like onions), and usually jalapeño. This mix I forgot to add the spicy stuff.
Then I fold in carrots, cauliflower, and white meat chicken pieces. Cook 25 minutes, then add chopped cashews and cilantro. Oops on the last one–we ran out of it.
I save the juice from “light” canned fruits. They say it’s pear juice from concentrate. After grilling basmati rice in olive oil with turmeric and paprika, use the juice of about a half lemon and cook as usual.
The family prefers potatoes to cauliflower, but I had the latter, not the former. The sauce was a little runny, so I threw in some potato flakes. So there: they got it after all. Again, I usually use fresh ingredients, but we’re heading out of town for a few days this weekend, and the larder is a little low on some key items.
18 May 2012
… and come away with a chest of Blood. Artist Sebastian Errazuriz suggests that his supply of vino was …
inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist.
Well, no. It doesn’t work that way.
But the making of wine popsicles on a crucifix stick, that’s slightly clever. On the other hand, I prefer my wine chilled and white, not frozen.
30 March 2012
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Archbishop Dolan has been getting poked here and there for political and theological particulars spouted on his recent rightmedia appearances. Here he is at the HuffPo speaking briefly on Holy Week and Easter.
This is good material. No question he’s a natural with an audience. His producer/director needs a little more polish though. The big arm waves are not so bad in the pull-back shots, but hands flailing on the edges of close-ups aren’t optimal. Also on the plus side, the man has lost weight. His face looks leaner and healthier. Good for the cardinal. Keep it up.
23 February 2012
Saint Jerome once said:
When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.
It was a busy day at the parish, bigger than any other Sunday of the year, even Parent’s Weekend. But I did take time to eat my full meal (lunch) at home with my wife: a cheese omelet with a few rye crackers.
With my diet and new food consumption philosophy (six small meals a day) I had to judge the Ash Wednesday fast for the first time. I settled on four meals instead of three or six, and those other three not quite equal to an omelet and crackers. I had a few crackers for breakfast, an apple around dinner time, and a warmed up baked potato when I got home last night at 11.
What made it a very satisfactory day was the huge turnout for liturgy. Our seating capacity is a bit more than 800. We hauled in about a hundred chairs for 5:15 Mass and people were still standing. I credited that to the mens basketball game on campus at 8. Funny enough, we had only seventy shy of the 5:15 attendance at 7pm. So much for the basketball theory. The truth is we’ve never had to use chairs from the basement for Ash Wednesday, at least since I started serving this parish.
Is there a corollary to Saint Jerome?
When the church is empty it is easy to talk of evangelization.
I remarked to a few friends after one of the Masses last night, “We have Ash Wednesday figured out. We have the palms for five, six weeks from now. All we have to do now is to figure out three-hundred sixty-three other giveaways and we’ll pack ‘em in every day.”
16 January 2012
Deacon Greg linked the details of Archbishop Dolan’s diet, and I have some questions.
I know that the Jovial One has been dieting from reading his blog. But is it appropriate, even if the patient has given the thumbs up, for a professional to speak of a client’s progress? I know the Daily News is a gossip organ, but still …
Losing twenty-five pounds is great. Plateauing for six months–I would question that. My diet plan counseled a healthy and rapid weight loss. It was suitable to me, and it probably less expensive than regular consultation with a doctor. I hope the cardinal-to-be is getting good medical service. If he were successful with the plan I used, he would achieve an optimal weight by the end of the calendar year. And he would have the tools he needed to maintain himself at a healthy weight.
I think the best way for me was to take the program, and follow it religiously without cheating. Zero in like a laser on a target.
My coach was inviting me to consider being a coach myself. Coaches get a commission on the diet food their charges order from the company–I believe that’s how it worked. It’s a discernment thought. Maybe the archbishop would come calling–you think?
4 January 2012
Clare, my friend and a parishioner, started an excellent blog several weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to put it up on the sidebar, and I finally accomplished that task. Her last two posts have been on home-made ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Even in the deeps of winter, I would agree: you need such treats to get you through the seasonal drifts of frost and chill.
I will give you fair warning. Clare is an excellent cook. She’s an outstanding writer. And her blog has lots of pictures. Yummy pictures.
A classic cookbook is not going to waste page space on showing you recipes in progress. And I would agree. When I buy a cookbook, I want 600 recipes, not 500 illustrations and 100 dishes. I think the blog is a superior format for giving the best of both worlds: how to cook step by step, and the gift of good writing folded into the preparation of fine eating.
Image credit: Nana Clare’s Kitchen
26 November 2011
Or maybe a few Lents. And it’s not even 2012 yet, let alone February.
People have commented on the difficulty of dieting the past several months. I don’t know what to tell them. While I love certain foods, especially sweets, I can’t say that consumption is a huge thing with me. Being on the diet was easy. Being off it is much harder. I’ve been watchful of my weight, so I was slightly alarmed that I’ve poked back up into the low 170′s after Thanksgiving dinner. Didn’t think I indulged a whole lot. I did skip the dinner roll, the stuffing, and ice cream on the pie. My only second helpings were two small pieces of meat and my sister-in-law’s delicious roasted cauliflower and b-sprouts. I do find I’m hungrier being off the packaged foods. I felt satisfied during my weight loss. I have a new regard for people who lose weight and bounce back from their goal.
An e-mail this morning from a disenchanted parishioner leaving us for sunnier shores. That always stings, especially when, as a minister, you know you’re part of the load of straw in this instance.
We’ve also been fielding repairs on the home we own in Kansas City. There’s a small stack still to be tackled. And then there’s the report that leaves have been allowed to pile up in the front yard, and don’t you know about those nasty oaks. Not a blade of grass left alive underneath. Funny how a tree just wants to propagate itself and not make nice for other plants.
Just out of curiosity, I asked a realtor in the area to give us the lowdown on home values there. From a highwater mark of just below six figures when we purchased in 2002, to $70,000 in 2008 when we moved, we’re now informed we’re even more deeply underwater on a house that might get half that last figure today. I wonder about the best course of action here. The roof, the deck, and probably the interior will need work before too many more years pass. I can’t imagine finding spare funds to pour into one house while letting what’s over and around my own family go wanting. How bad is the alternative of financial armageddon?
Needless to say, the new MR3 is not very high on the happy-list today. Pew cards out and ready to go. Books prepared. Time to get some lunch and head back to the parish center. It’s an especially dark and gloomy gray day in central Iowa, rather fitting for my mood. I think I’ve exhausted the bad news for a weekend. At least I hope I have.
24 September 2011
In my transition to healthier eating, I’ve been researching whole grains. My diet formulators give you no grains during the fat burning stage of your diet. Then they encourage nothing but whole grains as you transition out of it into healthy eating.
What is a pseudocereal? Apparently quinoa, the product of South American origin, is seed and not grain. It cooks nice and puffy (like the close-up from the gluten-free chef, right) like couscous (yum) but in one of those counter-intuitive genetic twists is closely related to spinach and beets.
I need to experiment with more recipes now that I’m in transition off my diet. This morning’s breakfast was cooked quinoa mixed with dates and a bit of orange peel. I’ve always been put off by the slightly bitter tang of this food. Some call it nutty. But that’s a stretch. Bitter is bitter.
This batch of quinoa wasn’t bad. Dates added a nice sweetness that didn’t completely mask the saponin. One foodie I was reading said people get used to quinoa’s bite and even learn to like it. An acquired taste, I suppose. Like a stout ale.
I went to one of my favorite reference books which, alas, doesn’t list quinoa. It does recommend a bunch of things common to spinach and beets. The Page-Dornenburg tome is based on existing popular recipes, and not theoretical affinities for blending flavors, but I can try this starting list: olive oil, citrus fruits, walnuts, tarragon, cilantro, and coriander.
After breakfast, I found this page from the Vegan Coach, which does list some complementary ingredients. Not dates, though.
As a breakfast food, quinoa with dates is a keeper. Mint looks promising. Corn–I would expect that, but I also like contrasting textures in a mixed dish and quinoa is like a bunch of teeny corn kernels. Maybe carrots instead.
23 September 2011
My wife has begun my diet program. She dislikes a wider range of the prepared foods. Vanilla pudding is one. It’s too … vanilla. There’s only 15 calories per tablespoon of cocoa, so I suggested she try adding that chocolate addition.
“When I add it, it’s lumpy. When you fix it for me, it’s smooth.”
It’s a touch of the master, I said.
Actually, cocoa is made for heated blending. When mixed cold, it requires a vigorous and lengthy shaking.
My post-diet transition has been a challenge. I have to curb my tendency to gobble down foods now. Whole grain breakfast cereal with milk. Yum. But I have to eat slowly. Think: proclaiming the Scriptures in a huge reverberant church. Still, I’ve dropped another pound this week; the total is now 64. My BMI stands at a fraction above 22. Good health, here I come.
19 September 2011
As people feel free to inquire about my weight loss (diet, disease, or what?) I’ve had some opportunities to share my own motivations for losing weight. I’ve also heard other people who have spoken with me about the possibility of dieting. I was reflecting on that after I got home from the parish last night. Aside from one thing I hear repeatedly–it’s easier for men to lose weight than women–a few thoughts:
I don’t know about women losing weight. I’m not female, nor do I care to be one. I had multiple motivations for losing weight. That helped me a lot. When I was thinking one reason might not have been so great, I had other reasons to which to turn. In short:
- I was getting tired of the ache in my calves and feet after the 27-minute walk between home and the parish.
- I was alarmed at how heavy my footsteps were in the parish’s east balcony.
- I couldn’t do the deep yoga bends any more.
- I had to hold my breath to tie my shoelaces.
- My pants looked really big when I wasn’t wearing them.
- I confess I had strayed two pounds over the line from “overweight” into “obese.” Enough already!
- I really objected to taking cholesterol medication. Hypertension–I’m okay with that. But not cholesterol. Too many &#%@ pills!
- Every afternoon it seemed I was dying for a nap.
- My late brother lost a lot of weight heading into knee surgery earlier this year. I decided to “dedicate” my diet to him and began the day after his funeral.
- I want to be more active in my life and less tired and fatigued.
- Do I really need to carry three bowling balls around with me wherever I go?
- I start a lot of projects in mylife, but I don’t always follow through in good time. It’s time for something at which I can succeed.
As the weight came off, I liked watching the number on the scale go down. I liked dropping one, two, then three belt notches. I liked bagging up old clothes and donating them. I liked the feeling of floating one night when I walked home and I was barely winded, despite a pretty fast pace. I thought I noticed a single parishioner looking me over last month. That was slightly creepy, but when I told my wife and sister-in-law, they both laughed. Long and loud. Okay, that’s motivational, too.
16 September 2011
When we were sharing the bathroom yesterday, my wife said, “Please stop your diet. I can see your ribs.”
I was showering and I had my arms over my head scrubbing. Naturally, bones will show through the skin when the arms are in that position. I replied to the next question that no, I’m not planning on being anorexic. I still love food way too much for that.
I am in the transition period of my diet, but I’m still losing weight. As of this morning, I’ve dropped a few more pounds–now down to minus-61. That’s six pounds after adding fruits two weeks ago. I think my coach will probably put me back on the full vegetable plate in a few days, adding potatoes and carrots. Yum.
I think I will miss the diet when I’m off it. Many of the prepared foods have been good companions the last few months. I’ll need to be more attentive to preparing healthy foods, and making sure I eat properly to maintain my weight and good health. No doubt I’ll be buying more quality ingredients–I expect that tempering my overeating will be balanced out by paying a bit more for whole-grain products. It’s really amazing that most bad food is cheaper than good food. It will probably help that I enjoy preparing food. I find it a real blessing after a long day at the parish to come home, work a bit with my hands, and throw ingredients together in a thoughtful or even improvised way.
A staff colleague carefully prefaced a few curious questions the other day. I told her I don’t mind talking about my weight loss. Same goes for you commenters. I’m happy to respond to any questions you may have.
My sister is suggesting I post before and after photos on Facebook. I’m not into that. Plus I don’t really have a good before-picture than shows my whole body. Certainly, I’m happy about being able to gain three belt notches and fit into pants I would have worn in college. (My wedding band is alarmingly loose, though–need to get something for that.) But I’m far more concerned about good health and a good attitude than I am with how I look. My friends see me and notice. Many have been very encouraging through the process.
I will admit that when I saw my face shot on the parish web site, I really noticed the change from last year’s picture. That’s when I thought it was probably a good time to transition off the diet and get into a full set of good eating habits.
My coach has suggested I bring my experiences, attitude, and knowledge to the program and coach others in turn. A little extra money might be helpful in the household these days, but I think I’m going to wait on that opportunity. I’m happy to share my story with those who ask. I know I would be a good supporter of a person who was on this or another diet. Believe me: if there was a temptation to experience, it flashed through my head at least once since the end of May.