Saturday, November 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Our Week & Recipes in Review

--- 1 ---
My kids and my husband have made me into a bigger Star Wars fan than I'd ever been in my own youth.  (Granted, I had been on the nostalgia bandwagon when the original films were re-released  to the theaters.  Emre & I even had Star Wars parties to celebrate.  It was a good excuse to get grade school & college friends back together.)

This is something else again.  My children are eating and breathing Star Wars.  We now have two light sabers glowing about the house, and the quest to accumulate action figures has begun.  I bought Scholastics' Star Wars phonics for school-time use, and it was the only thing my loathe-to-read son would jump to read. 

I found this song on the Essential Weird Al Yankovich album my husband just downloaded.  Given how my kids have had to endure Don McLean's American Pie since infancy, they found this version quite entertaining. The video is an example of Weird Al's absolute brilliance:

--- 2 ---
Our Thanksgiving meal was awesome.  I am thirty-eight years old, and have only just made mashed potatoes on my own from scratch for the very first time, in honor of this year's feast.  (My husband loves to cook, and chases me out of the kitchen for all major holidays.  This year, however, he fell asleep-with his shoes on!- before he could start prepping the sides.)   My potatoes were delicious; they included 8 oz of sour cream and 8 oz of Philadelphia Cream cheese, plus onion powder, salt, pepper, evaporated milk and yes, butter.

I also pre-prepped sweet potato wedges, marinated in maple syrup, olive oil, honey and brown sugar, and seasoned with thyme.  That may have been the only part of our meal to not include butter as an ingredient.

In total, our Thanksgiving meal preparations used up 8 sticks of butter.  I think that was my daily butter allotment for the entire year.

P.S.- I forgot to heat the steamed green beans.  No one missed them.

--- 3 ---
My husband made the most amazing stuffing I 'd ever had, out of Pepperidge Farms breadcrumbs, venison and Carolina Hog sausage.  I had to freeze the leftovers to prevent us from devouring all of it in 48 hours, thus becoming large as blimps.

Several folks present for our feast passed on the stuffing once they'd learned what meat it contained.  I admit there was a time I might have been turned off to trying hunted food as well.  Such reluctance now causes me to reflect on how truly removed from our food supply we are in our post-modern age.

Polite society finds it socially acceptable to eat cows and chickens if they live locked up in huge warehouses, slotted for slaughter, and butchered there; none of us see the animals' crowded living conditions, or the carnage of their warehouse-style deaths.  Yet so many people frown upon hunting, because we see deer in our parks and backyards and we think they are pretty?!  As I said to my sister's "poor deer" pooh-poohing, "This has nothing to do with the animal.  It has everything to do with your feelings toward that animal.  How is a deer different from a cow?"

--- 4 ---
Don't get me wrong!  I understand and respect people's decision to live as a vegetarian or a vegan; I have even considered that lifestyle for myself from time to time.  (All I have ever managed to eliminate is veal, formerly a favorite of mine.)  Yet if someone eats meat and frowns on hunting (which is harvesting meat from a wild animal instead of one that has been confined to an unnatural setting) well... I find that distinction to be oddly incongruous with the larger reality of how all meat gets on our plates in the first place.

Then again, maybe its just that I'd never watched Bambi as a child.

--- 5 ---
Thanks to inspiration from Lacy at Catholic Icing, our children participated in Operation Christmas Child for the first time this year.  In case you aren't familiar with this Christian initiative, it involves packing a shoebox with toys, school supplies, and toiletries for a child in an impoverished country.  The gift is meant to show these children that God knows and truly loves them.   I was often teary- eyed in the process of shopping, packing, and discussing with my own kids what life might be like for the children on the receiving end of these gifts.

This was a wonderfully concrete way for our kids to experience what "Love Your Neighbor"means,  an opportunity for them to learn how much harder life is for other people around the globe, and a chance to put the Corporal Works of Mercy in action.   We shopped for these gifts as a family, with daddy helping, after Mass last week.  I can honestly say that shopping trip was a spiritual experience.

One of the best moments arising from Operation Christmas Child was tucking six-year-old, always-silly, Gianna into bed and hearing her, unprompted, pray for the children who would be receiving the gifts she packed and dropped off.
--- 6 ---
That "Boyfriend's Guide to Downtown Abbey" video I shared last week totally worked!  My husband and I have almost finished watching the Second Season.  Although he wasn't impressed by the brief plot twist involving P. Gordon, at one point this week he really did turn to me and say, "This is the best show on television!"  

Sorry to ruin your image, dearest...

--- 7 ---
Whereas most people post-Thanksgiving are psyched to indulge in Christmas music, trees and lights, I remain here under my Catholic rock, chomping at the bit for Advent to start.   I long to drape the house with my favorite color (purple).  Our family has a ritual of lighting the Advent wreath each night, then praying and singing together by candlelight.   This tradition and togetherness is so lovely, I literally long for it all year.  Anna hopes to play "O Come Emmanual" on piano this year so that we don't need to sing along with it on iTunes.   

I plan to venture out to buy new Advent candles today.  While it is nice for a procrastinator like me to have a week to prepare, I am still bummed that Advent doesn't begin until next Sunday!   

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Weird Al is awesome. Sounds like your Thanksgiving rocked :)

  2. My kids are Star Wars fans, too, and requested a Co-op class on Star Wars. When I get all my notes together, I will post at my blog the unit I led comparing Star Wars galaxy to God's. I will try to remember to give you a heads up when I do. :)