Sunday, November 19, 2017

NOLA- Cooking Class

A great way to experience
 a bit of New Orleans?
Enroll in a cooking class.
We went with Crescent City Cooks.
It was a cooking class, local history lesson,
 and lunch- all in one.
A lovely shop at the entrance.
And a really cool wall of old windows.
We signed up for the 2 hour session 
that includes getting to
 eat the wonderful food.
Our chef and host was Lynn.
 We learned that Creole means- "from New Orleans." 
It is a Haitian, French and Spanish term
 that means- this spot of dirt.
 The wealthy French imported butter and flour.
Cows didn't last long in the swamps and bayous.
They became "trapped" 
and looked like lunch on a platter.
 Locals had to invent ways to cook 
without the expensive flour and butter
 of the wealthy.
 The Cajuns were the salt farmers in 
France who went to Nova Scotia
 and became the Acadians- 150 years ago.
Some later settled in the New Orleans area.
Here is the Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.
British called Okra- lady fingers.
Gumba is West African and means okra,
and was used instead of the scarce flour
 for adding depth, 
and thickening to soups.
When it simmers for a long time.
it cooks the okra sliminess away.
Creole foods will generally have a Red Sauce.
Cajun foods will have a brown sauce.
 The "Holy Trinity" in NOLA cooking
 is onions, peppers and celery. 
Key to this cooking is a good roux
 for gumbo that becomes a peanut butter color.
Don't use light-weight aluminum or Teflon pans. 
You need a heavy bottom pot- cast iron is great/
Save garlic for last.
Add stock a bit at a time. 
                                                                            Pat Maier
We also had Shrimp etoufee.
In French, the word "étouffée
means "smothered".
 Étouffée can be made
 using different shellfish, 
the most popular version of the dish
 being Crawfish Étouffée, 
although shrimp is also used. 
Originally étouffée was a popular dish
 in the Acadian area 
surrounding Breaux Bridge. 
 In the late twentieth century 
a waiter at the popular Bourbon Street
 restaurant Galatoire's
 brought the dish in to his employer to try. 
It is now a New Orleans main stay.
                                                                             Pat Maier
Banana's Foster- 
made famous by Brennan's Restaurant,
and some slow-stirred pralines
 rounded out the day.
A wonderful BIG EASY experience.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NOLA- Highlights-1

 So- what is Iconic on a trip to New Orleans?
Mardi Gras- perhaps. 
A visit at the Mardi Gras Museum 
in Jackson Square at the Respositere.
 And Food?  Bananas Foster at Brennans, 
and grits in all kinds of ways.
And more food.  
Pralines and Gumbo and Beignets.
And Bourbon.
With the signature drink
 at the Bourbon House.
And the Garden District.
With shot-gun houses, 
above-ground cemeteries and 

And gorgeous late fall sunsets
 between buildings.
 A memorable visit to a Cajun, Creole, 
Southern city.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Visual Faith- Prayer Cards

 Praying for some friends 
going through 
challenging times right now.
 Using this small post card size 
set of images and Bible verses.
                                                                   Color and pray.
                                             Pray and color.
                                     However the Holy Spirit

                                         guides my prayers.
                                     Using the printed verse

                                 and as connections are made.
The back has a place for a note, 
an address to send,
 and a spot for a return address.
You can find these in CHOICE book carousels
in gas stations and grocery stores.
They are also in Christian book stores
 and online HERE:

The cards come in a pack of 20.
So, if you can't picture yourself 
hand-drawing or doodling a card to color,
this just might be for you.
The person receiving the card 
will know that you gave a great gift-
your time.
To stop the flow of life, and sit a spell.
The coloring allows me to stay focused, 
and linger a bit over Scripture, 
and hold them up in prayer.
That's a special blessing-
for both the giver 
and the one who opens the mailbox.

Monday, November 13, 2017

1000 Posts

It was on my radar awhile back--  
maybe about 980.
And then it slid by. Right on by.
Yes, the official count is 1008 blog posts.
If you would have suggested that number
six years ago when I first hit publish,
it would have been overwhelming
 to think about the possibility.
So what have I learned in the 1000 posts?

1.    I work out, sort out, mark my life in these posts.
2.    I notice things I'd probably miss-
       with a growing eye for photo taking. 
3.    I started writing these posts for the sake of my family
       having the information, and I still write with that purpose.
4.    Now I know that you can turn your blog posts into a
       published book, so they are also in "hardcopy" form.
5.    There is an amazing online community of bloggers.
6.    It is possible to just keep on writing, and writing,
       without the tug to monetize.
7.    Sometimes the least likely topic will have many, many hits.
8.    Once in awhile, 
       I might be the only person who has read a post.
9.    Words of affirmation and relevancy do matter.
10.  Writing has really helped me to become more articulate.
11.   I didn't expect it to actually be FUN.
12.   I started without any set rules of "must post this often"
        and that is still working out just fine.
13.   My husband has read maybe 10 posts, so he really hasn't 
        edited much of our life in writing. smile.....
14.   I love having the addition of Grandwonders to write about     
        now too.  (stealing that term from my friend Hadassah)
15. The spiritual discipline of writing these posts has blessed
       me in more ways than I can count.
16.   And most of all?  It has been His grace and faithfulness.
                    And so just another post..........

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Bible Marginalia- Be Merciful

Bible Marginalia Series- #270

Luke 18:13
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Sometimes it is easy to fall in
  line thinking I am somehow better
 than the next person.
Either by birth, education, 
or accomplishments. 
The story of the Pharisee 
and the tax collector 
sets it out pretty plainly.
A prideful heart does not
 bode well with the Lord.
 I fall so far from the mark.
I cannot meet the demands
 of perfection in any way at all.
I give thanks for such great Good News-
of Gospel grace. 

be merciful to me a sinner.
Give me a humble heart in all things.
Let your kindness and mercy 
gently pull me back 
when I move in anyway to exalt myself.
Give me the grace to fall before you as 
you bend my Spirit to your will." Amen.

NIV Noteworthy New Testament
Pat Maier margin
Colored pencils 
Washi tape 
printed doodle card

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spiritual Hymns- from 1829

 I picked up this very tiny hymn book 
in Raleigh, North Carolina this past weekend.
Most of the hymns and songs
 I am not familiar with-
except -Amazing Grace.
It was published in Caroline, Virginia on 
May 2, 1829.
One hundred and eighty eight years ago.
BEFORE the Civil War.
It must have been Caroline County
 as there is no city by this name.
Caroline County
 is 30 miles north of the capitol
 of Richmond and 32 miles  
south of Fredericksburg.
It is the book on the left-
Dover Selection.
It is smaller than any other small books
 that I have on my shelves.
Only the back still
 has the leather cover.
The front opens to the preface.
As I have held this small hymn book 
and paged through the songs,
 I cannot help but wonder 
who owned it and who sang from it.
Who held it as a dear treasure of words to praise
their Heavenly Father?
What pocket or purse gave it shelter?
What strength did it bring to a person of faith?
I won't ever know the answers to those questions,
 but I hope that in gentle care taking, 
it might give testimony 
in another hundred years. 
That a life of worship and praise 
may be connected to another generation
 that stills sings His goodness and love.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

That Will Be My Life

Not long ago I spotted this in a store. 
It came home with me.
 A friend said,"This is what you do."
 It has taken me awhile to look up
 just who Elsie de Wolfe was.

Elsie de Wolfe
also known as Lady Mendi
(December 20, 1859– July 12, 1950) 
was an American actress, 
interior decorator,
 nominal author of the influential 1913 book-
 The House in Good Taste, 
and a prominent figure
 in New York, Paris, and London society. 
According to The New Yorker,
 "Interior design as a profession 
was invented by Elsie de Wolfe," 
although the praise is not strictly true. 
De Wolfe was certainly the most famous name
 in the field until the 1930s, 
but the profession of interior decorator/designer 
was recognized as a promising one
 as early as 1900,
 five years before she received 
her first official commission, 
The Colony Club in New York. 
During her married life 
(from 1926 until her death in 1950)
 the press often referred to her as Lady Mendl. 
She was born in New York City 
and died at
Versailles, France. 
Once I started checking around-- 
this quote was everywhere.

I DO love creating beauty 
within the sacred space of home.
The change of seasons, 
the flow of the liturgical year,
special celebrations.
But, more than that-
I LOVE creating markers 
that celebrate the gift 
of a faith walk life.
For that is beauty that transcends-
 days, years and even centuries.
It crosses into eternity-
and THAT is truly beautiful.