Sunday, December 27, 2009

Technical Difficulties - Check back in 2010

Our driver crashed, so I haven't been able to post for a while.

But posts are playing in my mind. Here's what you'll find if you check back in a week:

Recipe for the St. Herman Salmon Potato Pie

Review of the much anticipated The Woman and the Wheat

Report on Gifts from God

In the mean time, may you enjoy your families as much as I've been enjoying mine!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Remembering St. Herman

With dear friends,

and a book,

and an Alaskan-themed meal.

After last year's plans for Salmon Patties failed, I was grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate the life of St. Herman this past weekend.

We sang the lovely troparion of the feast, then we enjoyed Alaskan Salmon & Potato Pie, Sweet Peas, Sweet Pretzels, and Spruce Island Sugar Cookies. We also read St. Herman of Alaska by S.A. Smith.

The children made the sweet pretzels. Probably these are nothing like the treat St. Herman is said to have served the orphans. If you have a more authentic recipe - please let me know!

Here's the cookie recipe for "Spruce Island Cookies" from our Presvytera, who got it from "When You Fast..." by Catherine Mandell, SVS Press, which you can order here.

1 c. confectioner's sugar
1c. lenten margarine, softened
1 T white vinegar
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cream together confectioner's sugar, margarine and vinegar. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Add to the margarine mixture and stir until blended. If the dough seems dry, add a little liquid (soy milk, water, etc.) to correct consistency.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes (like a tree!) Place cookies carefully onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle cookies liberally with green sugar or leave plan to frost after baking. Bake 6-8 minutes (I'd check at 5 minutes) or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on the pans, loosen cookies with a spatula, and let sit on the baking sheets one minute more. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 3-4 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter!

Here's the frosting recipe, although she's never tried it!

2c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or orange extract
2 T water or soy milk
green food coloring

Beat all ingredients together until a smooth and spreadable consistency results, adding food coloring as needed for desired tint. Frost cookies, leaving trunks plain. Can also sprinkle wet frosting with green sprinkles. Place on wire rack to allow the frosting to set.

Recipes from "When You Fast..." by Catherine Mandell, SVS Press, which you can order here.

St. Herman, pray for us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Woman and the Wheat - I can't wait!

Ever since we read The Man and the Vine, I've been waiting for this book to come out. Order it here!

Anna has a lovely review of this new book by Jane G. Meyer here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Preparing for St. Nicholas Day

On Sunday we will have a St. Nicholas Day Creative Arts Festival.
This boat was Little Builder's entry last year. He wanted something he could hammer.

This year's theme comes from the troparion:

Because of your humble life heaven was open to you,
Because of your poverty spiritual riches were granted to you.

Little Builder has been enjoying his hand-me-down digital camera, and wanted to use it for his festival project. He took all the pictures except the one I took of him offering to share his train track.

If you were thinking that sharing a train track isn't all that special, you missed the screams and fights at our house between the kids over the train tracks.

Offering them up willingly is the type of other-centered, selfless giving that can only be spiritual riches.