Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Of Popes, Pancakes & Penance

What a whirlwind of a week it has been! After helping three days at Salem Alliance Church for their annual Great Expectations Dinner last week, the cold that has been getting at everyone else decided to visit me. I've been trying to get some rest, but I also thought I'd try some other things to help my "unwelcome visitor" leave as quickly as possible. One of these actually helped my sore throat- a clove of garlic chopped up on a spoon drizzled with honey swallowed a few times a day. I had first heard this from my friend Debbie when she shared how it helped her family to keep even strep throat at bay. Whatever you may think, it works! Next time you feel a sore throat coming on, you may want to give it a try.
Of course my cold wasn't a huge deal compared to other things going on this week!
Looking good, Papa!
Turning on my iPad Monday morning to listen to EWTN, the news about Pope Benedict's resignation announcement came as quite a shock as it did to so many people around the world. There are so many blogs and good news sources- especially Fr. Z and New Advent- that if you need more info, I suggest you go to
Eggs Benedetto!
one of them. Needless to say, after figuring out just what's going on, I spent some time praying and talking with my family. We are all sad that
"Papa Benedetto" is no longer going to be our Holy Father, but we look forward with joyous anticipation as the next pope is chosen! In honor and thanksgiving for all Pope Benedict has meant to us on our journey to the Catholic faith (including his amazing books), we decided to have, what else, Eggs Benedict, for supper.
Served in puff pastry squares, we enjoyed them with pomelo slices. What a nice way to celebrate our Holy Father and all he has done since he has been pope. He will truly be missed by our family, but we are looking forward to seeing who the Holy Spirit- through the conclave- will choose for the next leader of the Catholic Church.
Mary makes yummy "brunner"!
Tuesday found me still not feeling well- stuffy nose, wobbly head and all. I woke up without much voice, sounding more like "batmom" than myself~ seriously, just ask Mary! I was supposed to cover for Emma as she was in Baltimore at Junior Olympics, but Mike and David ended up covering for me. I spent the day feeling pretty bad, but thankfully Mary was home, so she took charge of our second annual Fat Tuesday pancake "brunner"- breakfast served for dinner. She did a terrific job of making delicious buttermilk pancakes, "schmancy" scrambled eggs and sausage too. We had been planning this since the next day would start the season of Lent. I even think it's what helped me start to feel a bit better.
Breakfast- ummm!
With my voice starting to sound a bit back to normal, the kids and I went to the 7a.m. Ash Wednesday Mass in order to get David to his Spanish class on time. As we fasted (two small meals and one regular size meal/no snacks and no meat) on Ash Wednesday, I decided to make cinnamon-scented quinoa. This had mixed reviews in our house. Mary thought it tasted like bird seed, but I really liked it. I thought of telling her it could be counted for penance which wouldn't really work since I did like it so much. We ended up having some leftovers, so I have been enjoying it for a few mornings. As we've got a family member who's given up meat, one that's given up sweets and one that's given up bread, this season of penance should find me experimenting with some new ideas. I plan on also trying to keep up with the blog, if for no other reason, it gives me an opportunity to sit for a while and muse. For those of you who would consider quinoa a treat instead of penance, here's the recipe~

Cinnamon Scented Breakfast Quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used a mix of red & white)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  butter, pure maple syrup, dried cranberries and flaky sea salt (we have some Jacobsen from OR that's amazing!) are my favorites, but you can use what you like
To Prepare: Wash quinoa in several changes of water in a bowl, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water until water is clear, and then to drain washed quinoa well in a large fine-mesh sieve.
Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and keep covered to keep warm. Divide quinoa among bowls and top with butter, maple syrup and sea salt.

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