"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Friday, April 3, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

Bless the Lord, O my soul…You appointed the moon to mark the seasons… Psalm 104.  According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, the moon is right today, April 3, to lay shingles or wean children.  Been there, done that! Also a good day to travel for pleasure or entertain.  Not today! With the reality of many activities being off limits this spring, the fact remains that we still need to eat. Acknowledging that some within our community struggle with ‘food scarcity’, and the Food Banks and Community Ministries require our support to continue meet the need, many of us have the resources for a sufficient food supply.  While most people are limiting their grocery shopping to basics, there is also a challenge to explore what we have at home, in the freezer or ‘pantry’ and incorporate those treasures into healthy meals.  It’s where frugality and imagination come together.

I reread an old cookbook out of my collection, Good, Cheap Food by Miriam Ungerer. There were some great new/old ideas but I was struck by how many of the ingredients are no longer considered inexpensive.  Veal shanks(for osso buco) are not  economical anymore. Fish heads, for stock, not a gift.  And as for rye bread soup…I think not! But culinary resourcefulness is a legacy from the generations before us, most of whom flourished with much less than we have now, whatever one’s cultural background. 

And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance…he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will…increase the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:8

When we praise the Lord for the abundance with which our lives are showered, there is a tendency to focus on material things.  Have we learned, during this ‘Lentiest Lent ever’, that there are more important ‘things’?  Have we recognized that our faith carries us through these days, even as our Lord Jesus journeys with us, that the people we love are of more value that all the riches of the world?   Hold that thought!

Culinary Musings: Do you have weird and wonderful things in your ‘pantry’?  Spices, oils, ingredients which could enliven self-isolated, winter weary tastebuds?  I have truffle oil, sumac, rose water…  You?

Moroccan Carrot and Rosewater Salad Peel and grate 4 carrots; add a handful of raisins or currents(or perhaps dried cranberries, or diced dried apricots); add 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1-2 Tablespoons rosewater, 1 Tablespoon olive oil.  Refrigerate for a few hours or even overnight.  You might add toasted walnuts or pecans if you are looking for crunch or a bit of parsley if a touch of green is desired. Don’t be tempted to add more rosewater; the perfume is quite intense as it is.