Deb, at RevGalBlogPals, posed the following questions on the cusp of the New Year. Though I’m not one for seasonal reflections or New Year’s Resolutions, I thought I’d give them a try. Who knows what the answers might inspire me to do!
1. What is some “old news” this year that you’d like to repeat for 2013?
*Long and short bike trips with my husband including a ride through the Mosel Valley in Germany.
*Continuing our “errand days”. Years ago, when my husband and I lived in San Francisco, we spent Saturdays doing errands together. We had so much fun driving from place to place, talking as we drove, stopping for coffee, and getting done what needed to get done. We’ve resumed that practice and find that we still quite delight in it.
* Quilting with my old friend and new neighbor. She taught me to quilt almost 20 years ago. Then we moved away. When we moved back, we moved into her neighborhood. What a boon! Not only does she tell great stories and have a fabulous stash of everything one would need to get a project going, but she also has a long-arm quilting machine which she generously shares. What I quilt in four months by hand, she quilts in a few hours on that marvelous machine.
2. What “new thing” have you started that you want to keep going in 2013?
My twice-monthly coffees with my friend who is a retired Episcopal priest. Though we have known each other for over 15 years, it is just in the last year that we have begun to share coffee, gossip, fears, dreads and dreams, and books to read. We aren’t really soul friends or spiritual friends or companions; we’re just two old codgers who share an outlook on life and on the church. I want to keep this going as long as we both can drive to the coffee shop.
3. What event, experience or gift would you just as soon “Return to Sender”? Maybe it was a disastrous sermon, a congregational kerfuffle, a vacation nightmare, or your own mis-step. It can be funny or sad.
No doubt about it. I want to send back August 4—the day my twenty-five year-old nephew died in a car accident. He was so full of life and so complicated and challenging and sparklingly beautiful. And while I’m sending back days, I’d like to send back August 11—the day one of my longest and closest friends learned, as she puts it, that “her days on this earth are limited.” Meeting mortality face-to-face has surely shaped my outlook and behaviors and probably explains many of my other answers.
4. Share the brightest bit of joy that was a part of your year.
A few months ago, one of the regulars at the service I lead in a homeless shelter came up to me and said, “Folks tithe to their church, don’t they?”
I replied, “Some do.”
He then said, “I made fifteen dollars last night singing on the corner of 3rd and Central. I’d like to tithe to my church.” He then handed me two bucks.
The next week, the congregation voted to begin taking a collection every Sunday. We now pay a part of what it costs to rent the facility. The bonus—our counters are two members of the congregation—homeless folk who aren’t usually trusted with money.
5. Share a picture that says far more than words. (You can use it to illustrate one of the above.)
When this recipe first appeared in Gourmet, I went to my local Whole Foods and found two other people loading up on avacados and corn. It is a delicious salad. Not sure how healthy it is.
SMOKEY CORN SALAD WITH CHIPOTLE CESAR DRESSING
yield: Makes 4 (main course) or 6 (side dish) servings
active time: 30 min
total time: 40 min
Grilled avocado is one of those things that sound faintly ridiculous until you try it—then you wonder why you never had it before.
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ears of corn, shucked
2 firm-ripe 6-to 8-ounces avocados, halved and pitted but not peeled
1 head romaine (1 pound), tough outer leaves discarded and head quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure .
Put parmesan in a medium bowl and add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in lime juice, garlic, chipotles, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Rub vegetable oil on corn and cut sides of avocados, then season with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Grill avocados, cut sides down, and corn, covered only if using a gas grill, turning corn occasionally, until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Peel avocados and thinly slice. Cut corn kernels from cobs.
Toss romaine with dressing and serve topped with avocado and corn.
Corn and avocados can be grilled, in batches if necessary, in a lightly oiled hot grill pan over medium-high heat.