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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Immaculate Conception

I somehow found my way back to being a cantor at our church after two years of this triplets hiatus, and our choir director threw me right into the swing of it. Last night, I sang Caccini/Vavilov's "Ave Maria" for the meditation song. It was a beautiful blessing to sing for Our Lady on this Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. In the words of St. Louis de Montfort: "Everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary, in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus."

After Mass, my wonderful friend Caterina and her daughter and parents came to our home and blessed us with their JOY and LOVE and HUMOR. There is nothing more wonderful than Italian friends! Everything was "belle" this and "bambini" that and funny attempts to translate through the Italian-English language barrier. To share Mass (and fellowship afterwards) with good friends, beautiful music, and pure devotion is a blessing from God! Amen!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Pie Update

Crust Improvements! I like to use a whole egg and a tablespoon of water for my egg wash, finished with raw sprinkled sugar. This one is a cherry which is always my favorite. When I was a kid, my Grandma Ihrke would bake all the grandkids an angel food cake on their birthdays (with white frosting and M&Ms), and, because I always loved cherry pie so much, she would also bake two cherry pies on the occasion of my special day. Now, whenever I bake cherry pies I think of my Grandma....and how I need to master the cinnamon roll, and the chocolate chip cookie, and her amazing roast beef and mashed potatoes...

Claire's Violin

The Curé of Ars

St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney's severe teachings differ greatly from the "religion of nice" that is  a central part of our c21 American discourse. The Afterword of The Sermons of the Curé of Ars reads, "M. Vianney, wishing to impress souls vigorously, had surely the need to 'exaggerate' certain details of morality in order to make them more understandable to the least instructed portion of his audience. In addition, his austere temperament inclined him to preach the terrible truths: he returned, in almost every sermon, to the last end, to death, to judgment, to Hell" (243). Although his teachings deal harshly with the sinner and the unrepentant, he always includes divine mercy as a central tenet of his priesthood, but it is a mercy earned through prayer, obedience, repentance, and purgation. Below, I've included screen shots of my favorite parts of St. Vianney's sermons translated from French into English:

St. Vianney's sermons highlight how casual and lackadaisical our modern culture approaches religion, work, school, life. Today, discipline is a lukewarm concept both when it comes to a work ethic and to a form of correction; and yet, for St. Vianney and his nineteenth-century milieu, the rigorous discipline of religious practice is one of the defining aspects of an authentic Catholic life.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pumpkin Waffles

So I don't usually look to the HyVee grocery ads for awesome recipes, but this one has earned its place in my fall repeat cooking lineup. The kids and adults liked this one. I modified it from the original version for our family:

1-3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can of pumpkin
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup to 1 cup sliced deli ham, chopped
1/3 cup to 1 cup Gouda cheese, grated
sour cream
dijon mustard
maple syrup

1. Start waffle iron to high heat.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt.
3. Stir in  pumpkin, vegetable oil, water.
4. Fold in ham and cheese.
5. Add about 1/2 cup of pumpkin mixture into the waffle iron at a time---heat through.
6. Serve with sour cream, dijon mustard, and maple syrup. So creative and so good!