Comments, criticisms, or (one can hope) compliments are more than welcome! Please let me know what you think, tell me I'm crazy (I suspect this) or what you'd like to hear about. Comments are screened before publication, so if you want to share something with me only, just put that in the comment and I'll keep it to myself.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Blues (and the latest episode of Hide the Chicken)

Clement - Bishop of Rome (100)
The hoopla about the comparative morality of shopping on Black Friday is largely a rhetorical debate for us.  I have long tried to make gift purchases as the opportunity presented itself, complicated in recent years by the fiscally prudent decision by both my family and the Archwarden's to adopt a "secret Santa" scheme among the adults so one is only shopping for a single person (however one must know for whom one is shopping before any purchases take place and Thanksgiving was -- until this year -- the occasion on which the names were drawn.  I'm working on easing that puppy back to Labor Day.

That said, not much retailing going on today in our house.  We came home with an assortment of left-over goodies but -- paradoxically -- no turkey, so I concocted the following recipe for chicken, which the Archwarden complains I cook too much, so I am constantly challenged to disguise it in new ways:
  • Take out three cereal- or soup-sized bowls
  • In the first, put flour
  • In the second, mix up eggs, a little milk, and a few tablespoons of mustard (we experimented with a raspberry wasabi flavor this time, but you can use any kind)
  • In the third, a combination of cashews or almonds, crackers, pita chips (whatever you have open), and bread crumbs, bashed up in the food processor.  For those who can't have what, ground-up nuts make a good substitute coating with some texture... unless you can't have nuts either.
Dip the chicken in each dish in the order above, making sure they are good and coated.  Brush the remaining egg on any "bald spots" then sprinkle on the contents of bowl #3. Bake in an olive-oiled glass pan at 350° until the center of the meat is at least 165°.  I usually make a pound of chicken and this takes about 45 minutes in my oven.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

All Good Gifts

"No gifts have we to offer
For all Thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest
Our humble, grateful hearts"


Hmmm, what am I grateful for:

1. My long-suffering partner: His Considerable Disapproval, the Archwarden Emeritus. God grant him patience and wisdom to endure life with the Chaos Muppet.

2. Family and friends of all stripes to celebrate with, grieve with, share food, drinks and stories with

3. Gainful employment, though I grouse about it. Often.

4. A church that is evolving into full inclusion and celebration of all its people, and the guidance and direction of various folks therein which have been a great comfort of late.

5. A home that kept us safe in the crazy weather, and the fact that the hot water heater magically keeps working without electricity. Don't ask questions.

6. Living close enough to an epicenter of culture, music and food to be able to enjoy it, but also being able to hit the beach or the woods within an hour or so.

7. Things like e-books, iFruit, on-line bill pay, calendar-in-the-cloud, and dialing 5-1-1 for instant traffic information, which were the stuff of science fiction when I was a kid. The rate at which technology makes life easier almost keeps up with the rate at which I become more befuddled.

8. Coffee, chocolate, vodka and raspberries, sometimes in combination.
What are you thankful for?
 The lyrics above may be familiar to you from the cast album of the rock opera Godspell but I discovered from my adopted church that they were in fact purloined almost verbatim from the 18th-century German hymn "Wir pflügen und wir streuen" by Matthius Claudius, as translated by Jane Montgomery Camp­bell in 1861.

Here are the good people of St. John's Detroit, an Anglo-Catholic parish, celebrating Rogation (harvest) Sunday by singing this hymn.