Orthodox Africa: Creating Synergy in missions one partnership at a time

This is a wonderful non-profit that I think many of you, dear readers, will appreciate.  Please read about them here.

Periodically, I will be sharing news about the various missions they support.  The latest is about an orphanage that has the opportunity to purchase land where they can have a permanent location instead of renting space and double the number of children they house and provide for.  Read about it here.

If you find it in your heart to donate, you can do so here.

If you find it in your heart, please share on your personal blog or other social media platforms.

 

 

Yum!

What does one turn to when one cannot eat fruit?

Brachs Candy Corn(R)!!!!

YAY!!

Sundays

I love Sundays.  I always have.  I don’t know why.

Growing up the Sunday routine was always as follows:  get up, go to church, come home and get changed.  We always had our main meal at noon on Sunday, prepared by Grandmom.  It always was (at least as far as I can remember) some kind of pasta and I think salad.  She made the best Pasta Fagioli in the world, as well as homemade Ravioli.  Sigh.  I cannot find another replacement for them.

Sunday afternoon’s were spent either finishing homework; which was rare since I usually did homework Friday right after school so I had the weekend to myself; or reading.  I would curl up on the sofa in the den.  Dad inevitably had football, baseball or golf on TV and was shouting his coaching directions to “his team.”  Or telling the ref how blind he was.  You guys know the drill!

I can’t tell you how many times when there was a good putt or a touchdown, he would yell in great joy throwing his hands in the air in glee and I would jump 20 feet in the air, not noticing what was going on around me since I had been transported to other worlds through my book.

I honest can’t remember what we did for “dinner” during the traditional five o’clock hour.  Perhaps when Mother reads this blog she can fill us in via the comment box.  Mother, you’re turn!

I have maintained that Sunday tradition through out my life.  I generally do not cook a big family meal on Sunday’s, claiming it as my “day off from work” especially when I was a SAHM.  We eat heavily at the lunch hour and nibble our way till bed time.  Alas, now I do homework on Sunday afternoons since my Friday’s are taken up with another writing project and other days with cleaning, food shopping, work, etc.  But that’s okay.  I still manage to enjoy reading something even if it is only the comics in the newspaper.

The last few months, though, I have found myself very sleepy by mid-afternoon.  Frankly, by the time I get home from church, usually around noon, I am absolutely exhausted.  Thus sitting down to do homework, which generally requires a lot of reading, finds me drifting off to sleep in a short amount of time.   And those naps are not just “little” ones.  I drop off to sleep and I am down for the count! I’m finding that I kind of like the napping “thing.”  I may have to keep that as a permanent fixture!

What are your favorite memories of Sunday afternoons?  Have you carried any of those favorites into your current Sunday afternoons?

A good week to you all dear readers!

No-Knead Bread

This bread recipe is unbelievably easy…and even more delicious than any other bread I’ve ever made. The crust is very crusty and crunchy. The inside is soft and moist. It is a traditional tasting Italian bread like I haven’t had in years. This is definitely a keeper.

Just in case you can’t hear him well, it is 1/4 tsp. of yeast.  I baked it at 450 degrees F not 500 degrees F.  Make sure you coat the bottom of the dutch oven with flour or cornmeal so the bread doesn’t stick.  I used cornmeal and it worked fine.

Try it! You’ll like it!

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”

Dear Readers, I commend to you a book entitled The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals written by Michael Pollan.  It was listed as one of the 10 best book of the year in The New York Times Book Review.

On the back cover, the small taste tester says the following:

“Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder.  Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic?  Or perhaps something we grew ourselves?  The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire.  But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species.  Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivores Dilemma is changing the ay Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

Pollan writes about his experiences of following food from the point of birth (beef or chicken) or growth (veggie or fungi) to the point of serving it to dinner guests.  He purchases a steer and follows it from its birth to the slaughter house.  The same with corn.  He goes so far as to forage for food (hunting wild pig, digging up wild mushrooms, and capturing ‘yeast’ from the San Francisco air to make bread) to prepare a meal for 10 dinner guests.  Pollan writes, “…what I was really after in taking up hunting and gathering:  to see what it’d be like to prepare and eat a meal in full consciousness of what was involved” (p 281).  

Pollan writes, “My wager in undertaking this experiment is that hunting and gathering (and growing) a meal would perforce teach me things about the ecology and ethics of eating that I could not get in a supermarket or fast-food chain or even on a farm.  Some very basic things:  about the ties between us and the species (and natural systems) we depend upon; about how we decide what in nature is good to eat and what is not; and about how the human body fits into the food chain, not only as an eater but as a hunter and, yes, a killer of other creatures” (p 281).

What I found most informative was learning how much crap (literally and figuratively) is in the beef we eat.  The machinations that the beef producer goes through to ensure that the steer is kept healthy in its unnatural habitat, eating its unnatural corn based meal are beyond imagination.  We eat more antibiotics than we realize when we slice into that mouth watering grilled sirloin. 

I also learned why soy and corn is in every blessed thing we eat and how it contributes to the epidemic of obesity in our nation.  It really was a fascinating book, which I did not anticipate.  Read it.  You’ll see why.

This is my life

Carmen over at MTTSM has a child who is food allergic to peanuts.  The post linked is my life.  Not because I have a child with food allergies, but because it is I who has the food allergies. 

Last night the hubster took me out to dinner to celebrate the good ending of my fall semester with great grades (two A’s).  We went to Carraba’s a “safe” food restaurant for me because they use only olive oil for cooking.  I must have been wrong in that assumption because I had some food that was deep fried and was sick the rest of the night.  It was probably fried in vegetable oil which usually contains soybean oil…a no-no.

I think I will have to stick to eating at home and forgo the restaurants.

Positive:  My cholesterol is down to 130 because I am eating home cooked foods.

Spaghetti & Crabs

At the request of my blog-friend Matthew, I post my Grandmother’s recipe for Spaghetti and Crabs.  Matthew, this is one of those recipes that has no measurements.  I will do my best to approximate the amounts.  Since you are an excellent chef, I doubt you’ll have many problems recreating it and enhancing it!

Tomato Gravy

In a large pot, cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil.  On a low medium heat, let it get hot.  Toss in minced garlic to personal taste (for me 1 TBSP.) .  Let cook for a minute.  Take 2 large cans of Italian plum tomatoes and run them through the blender to puree them.  Toss in the large pot with the garlic and oil.  Add1 large can of Italian crushed tomatoes.  Add one can of water, 1/3 cup of sweet basil, 1 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning  (or to taste, my Mother had a heavier hand which I thought was too much) and 8 bay leafs.  Add oregano to taste (I love oregano, so put a lot in).  Let it come to a gentle bubble, turn the heat down to simmer.  Let simmer.

While the tomato gravy is cooking, start working on the crabs.

Purchase 1 dozen fresh, live crabs.  Dump them in the sink.  Carefully, grab one crab and break off the two front pincer claws at the body.  Set aside the claws to clean later.  Remove the back of the crab.  Throw away.  With scissors, under cold water running from faucet, cut off the ‘feathers’ where they attach to the body.  If male crabs, flip over to the belly and remove ‘his organ.’  Then cut the crab body in half down the center ‘seam.’  Wash out the guts and organs.  Clip off the side legs half way up the leg.  Follow this procedure for all 12 crabs.  Scrub the body and the pincer claws with a brush to get off any residual dirt and sand.

When you get to crab # 6, which should be about 30 minutes into the tomato gravy cooking, add approximately 1/2 cup of romano/parmesan cheese to the gravy.  Stir well.

When you finish with cleaning the crabs, throw them ALL into the bubbling hot tomato gravy.  Stir them in so they are covered with the gravy.  Put a lid on the pot.  Let them cook approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

In the meantime, start a pot of water for the spaghetti of your taste.  Grandmother and Mother liked #9.  I prefer vermicelli.  Cook spaghetti.  When done, drain, toss in a bowl, cover with gravy.

Serve crabs in a side dish.  Enjoy!

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