Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Crochet a Monk Doll

Disclaimer - I didn't write down what I was doing as I went - so this is NOT a pattern. It's more like a trail of crumbs, my friend. Follow if you already know how to crochet and don't mind figuring out quite a bit yourself.... :)

First, follow this pattern using cream colored yarn, but don't make legs or ears: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80095AD.html?noImages=

For the black robe, I just traced a pattern, single-stitch crotched it, dropping and adding stitches to make each row the right length. I made two of those and then sewed them together. Start at the bottom of one side, go up and just past the shoulder, then run the yarn through the back of the neck, sewing the pieces together again at the other shoulder, finishing by sewing down.

Same thing with the hat - shaped it as I went, ripped some out, started over, repeat....

If I make another one, I promise to count stitches and write it all down as I go!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Online Children's Bible Reader

What a great idea: Children's Bible Reader Online. Children can click on which stories they want to have read.

Children's Bible Reader: Greek Orthodox Children's Illustrated Bible Reader - English Version

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In which the baby started speaking like a big girl...

My five year old is starting to say the correct words more often, words that make me realize I'll miss the old phrases. So here are a few, saved in a place for me to remember. Many of these terms have become new whole-family vocabulary.

Hand Sanitizer - Hanitizer
Presvytera Maria - Tezaria, Tezmaria, Prezatezmaria
Back Yardigans - Backward Guardians
Unpack - Repack ("RE" is the preferred prefix for many words)
Terri - Tehwee
Mrs. Maria - Mizariah
Chicken and Dumplings - Chiklin-dumplins

Many years to my five year old girl!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Make Koliva Memorial Wheat

If you've never shared Koliva in memory of a loved one, this is a special treat with symbolic meaning. (Seems like most traditional Church foods have symbolic meanings!) Wheat kernels must fall to the ground and die in order to create new life (Gospel of St. John 12:24), just as our earthly bodies must come to an end in order for our spirits to find new life in eternity.

 2 cups of wheat berries (the "soft" ones cook faster; can usually find these from health food store)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. white raisins (or whatever dried fruits you prefer)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin

1 cup finely ground zweiback toasts (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
dragees or more nuts/ raisens for decoration

Day 1. Cover and soak berries overnight.

Day 2. Drain & rinse. Cover with water in large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1-3 hours, until puffy and tender (keep covered with water and stir occasionally).

Drain in a colander; rinse and drain again. Spread the wheat our on a smooth dish towel to dry overnight.

Day 3. Light a candle and pray. Mix all ingredients. You may decide to bring the mix to church to assemble. One time, when I arrived, another dear sister in Christ added a Lebanese spice and I wish I could tell you what it was - maybe star anise?  In any case, put combined mixture on a tray that has been covered with wax paper.

Heap in a mound toward center and press to make smooth.

To top it: Either just sift on 1 cup of powdered sugar, or first sprinkly with 1 cup of finely ground zweiback toast and then with sugar. (the zweiback keep the sugar from absorbing and disappearing into the wheat).

Make a cross in the center with koufeta, dragees, nuts, raisens, whatever.

                        (This is Carol's Koliva)

May Their Memory Be Eternal!

(from the 2008 archives - I think it's worth sharing again)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Many thanks to Anna for her Magic Kale - I loved it. And here is one that came in my Farmers Market email this morning that I can't wait to try. Substituting pecans for feta might be nice for the fast. The recipe below is a direct quote from the NPR website, which you can visit by clicking on the link. Enjoy!  

Kale, Peach, Corn And Feta Salad by Deena Prichep for NPR
Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Dollop honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
1 bunch kale (red Russian is especially nice), washed and torn into small pieces
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
3 peaches, cut into slim wedges
1/4 cup feta (preferably a moist, mild feta, like French or Israeli), crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, sherry vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion, and let sit for a few minutes to mellow. Add the kale and cilantro, and mix well to coat with the dressing. (Monica"s note: I like Anna's recommendation of "massaging" the dressing in.) Let sit for an hour, refrigerated or at room temperature, for the kale to absorb the dressing and soften. Scatter the corn, peaches and feta over the top and serve (or pack in containers for a picnic).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Asparagus and Gravy over Toast

My mother taught me how to make this old-school treat, and it is so yummy!

For the Nativity Fast this year, my focus is quick and easy, and this fits the bill.

Asparagus and Gravy over Toast


1 can of asparagus spears – drain and reserve liquid
2 TBS oil
3 TBS flour
Asparagus liquid plus enough water to = 1 ¾ cups
2 TBS soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 slices of bread


1. Over medium heat, warm oil and then flour and stir, stir, stir until it browns – about 5-10 minutes.
2. Slowly add liquid, whisking to avoid lumps.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes to thicken.
4. Add the soy sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer another minute while you toast the bread and warm the asparagus in the microwave.
5. To serve, place toast on a plate, top with asparagus spears and then gravy.

This gravy is also good made with any kind of veggie broth and served with any kind of pasta, rice, potatoes, peas, etc.

I adapted the gravy recipe from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.