Exultatation and simplicity of heart

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Well, one thing that many women do when we are under this kind of stress is that we cook. Alas, I don't have any place to take the quantities of foods that I want to stir up, and the fridge is getting full. I don't know about you, but I always want to take a covered dish to the wake. I guess that the basics of food and drink remind us that we are human.
I was struck by a line from today's first reading. Acts 2:46
cotidie quoque perdurantes unianimiter in templo et frangentes circa domos panem sumebant cibum cum exultatione et simplicitate cordis (Vulgate)
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart (New American)
They ate their meals with exultation and simplicity of heart.
Sounds like a good idea to me.
Herewith, a couple of recipes for simple foods that you can fix and forget. I use a slow-cooker but you can also cook them on very low at the back of your stove if you don't have a slow cooker.
Soyccotash Soup
1 bag frozen shelled edamame (10 to 16 0z)
1 bag (same size) frozen kernel corn
1 quart vegetable stock (Trader Joes sells a nice roasted vege stock)
one onion, chopped OR 1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper (red preferred, green OK), chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes (15 to 28 oz size, your call)
Herbs to taste (I suggest thyme - about 2 tsp dried or 2 TB fresh)
Throw everything into the crock pot. Cook on low all day. If you want it to cook a little faster, preheat the stock while you are chopping your vegetables. If you have a little more time, saute the chopped fresh veges in a little olive oil before throwing them in the pot.

Black Lentil stew

This recipe came about because I bought some black lentils at Trader Joes and then had to figure out what to do with them! I am sure that it would work also with the green French lentils. Don't know about the red or brown ones, though, since those varieties can get pretty mushy.
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock - Put in slow cooker and start heating on high while you chop the following and add them into the pot.
1 head garlic, peeled and pressed (chopped if you don't have a press).
one onion, chopped OR 1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper (red preferred, green OK), chopped
1 bulb fennel, chopped
Now add in 2 cups black lentils and 1/2 cup pearl barley. Turn cooker down to Low and cook undisturbed at least 6 hours.
1/2 hour or so before serving, add in 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 3 TBs good vinegar. Taste and add in salt and pepper if desired.



Quick! put up your Pope stories! If you met him, read something by him that changed your life or your ideas about God or the Church. We can't let the heathens at CBS or the CBC get hold of the internet forum.

Start blogging your John Paul II stories! It's time for all the people who have the privilege of being able to post onto the internet to tell everyone about their personal encounters with him, how his teaching changed their lives. I know lots of people who read something of his and suddenly changed their minds on some key Catholic teaching. He has led so many of us into the Faith or deeper into it. I'm going around all my usual blogger spots and saying this. Get in there and tell everyone why you think he was a good pope, or even a Great pope.

If I start to cook as a response to stress, then I think of three other dishes that would go with the first one, and the next thing you know, the kitchen is utter bedlam.

While the stress level then goes up like crazy, it always feels quite right, until the dishes need to be done. I hate doing dishes. If I ever (God forbid) become tremendously wealthy, I will not have a house crawling with servants, EXCEPT for a dishwasher and laundress to handle the two chores I hate more than any other (I actually like cleaning windows and scrubbing the range. Call me a lunatic).

However, there is something amazingly comforting with the smell of beef and mushrooms and wine and thyme and all that.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by alicia published on April 3, 2005 7:10 PM.

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