Monday, June 27, 2011

My Sistine Ceiling?

I want my last meal on this earth to be homemade, fresh pasta.  I know it's a bold statement.  There's so much more to choose from and so much more food that I don't know exists.  However, given the choice today, I would want pasta...preferably with a tasty rich bolognese sauce.
Two years ago I purchased a pasta maker attachment for my stand mixer.  I had visions of glorious noodles made for evenings dedicated to Italy.  This dream has not quite developed.  The first time I made pasta I found out I was pregnant...since then it's been used sparingly.  Don't worry it's small amounts of usage has not limited my blabbering of how I can make pasta.  My dad called my bluff and for the past year has been asking me to make him ravioli.  
"Sure! Come down to Dallas and I'll whip you up the best ravioli you've ever eaten."  
My dad pasta...
"I promise.  This time you'll get pasta."
We got take-out instead.  Oops!
"Okay, come down to Dallas this time and you'll get your ravioli."
After a year of promises I finally followed through.
I've read two books about Michelangelo.  What an interesting individual of the past.  Inspired and angry this man carved his way into world wonderment.  He believed that his statues lived within the marble and it was his job to release them.  When working on a project he would get so angry with it that he wanted to destroy it or just walk away.  Something that many artists feel.
Well I felt like Michelangelo while making my ravioli.  Over the course of four hours of making the dough, letting it rest, cutting the noodles and making the sauces there were a series of highs and lows  that left me at times wanting to smash the unformed ravioli against the wall and simply walk away. 
I won't go into the details about the chaos that turned into my kitchen while I was making dinner that evening. I knew there was a delicious meal waiting to be produced from the glob of dough that rested on my counter.  All it needed was me and my ability.  I pressed on.
What I made wasn't pretty.  It was quite ugly.  However I was beaming by 8 pm when dinner was served.  I had, for the first time, made homemade ravioli with two fillings served alongside bolognese and fresh fettuccine.  The basil from my garden even made an appearance with mozzarella and tomatoes. 
Art on a plate and I ate it up.
The White House kitchen post dinner

The dinner.  The ravioli is between the salad and the bread...not very pretty.

Dad and mom, two of the four lucky recipients of dinner.
Michelangelo and the Popes Ceiling 

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Feet

Growing up my middle sister, Mindy, would never let me touch her with my feet.  She thought they were gross.  She would inform me on multiple occasions, especially when my feet would find her leg or occasionally her head, she only liked three peoples feet: hers, our mom's and our baby cousin Geoffrey's.  I can only assume that if asked today Geoffrey's feet would no longer be on the list since he is 17 now and runs cross country.
Feet have never really bothered me or grabbed my attention.  The only ones I was very aware of and didn't like would belong to my dad (sorry!) and lets be honest, who of us really like our dad's feet?
Today, while feeding Katherine I found myself just looking at her tiny toes and beautiful feet.  I quickly grabbed my camera because she was doing what she normally does while eating:
My heart flutters every time I see her do this.  It's one of those endearing baby behaviors that just makes your soul swell and heart melt.  I love everything about her, but today is feet and toe day.  I want to kiss every single one of them, tickle them and play "this little piggy" over and over again. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bless this House

For Grampy Max
September 4, 1920 to May 31, 2011

Growing up I saw my grandparents at least once a week.  Their home was the meeting place for our family and where hundreds of memories were formed.  Roses, swing sets, Monopoly and popcorn...the smell of a cooking pot roast and the taste of peppermints wander through my mind.  Their home was the perfect place for a child's imagination to flourish.  From the big linen closet to Grampy Max's office there was somewhere always to play.  Music was also central to Granny and Grampy's house.  Lawrence Welk was the evening entertainment and you frequently heard Grampy playing the organ and singing a tune.  The front door and hallway was an especially important part of their home.  On the back of the front door was a music box that when wound would play "Bless this House".  How we begged Granny to wind up the music box so we could all dance! As a child and adolescent I did not really inquire about the lyrics behind this 20th century hymn.  However over the past 10 years I have become acquainted with the words of this song. 
How fitting that my beloved grandparents had this song at their front door.  What a precious prayer of protection and blessing for all who step through their threshold.  The hymn reflects the heart and prayer of these two precious souls.  Our family, because of them, have received an inheritance of love, peace and joy centered in Christ.  Thank you Granny and Grampy for your heart and prayers.  It is my prayer to pass down to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren the legacy of your home and lives.

Bless this house, O Lord we pray,
Make it safe by night and day . . .
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out . . .
Bless the roof and chimneys tall,
Let thy peace lie overall . . .
Bless this door that it may prove,
Ever open,
To joy and love . . .
Bless these windows shining bright,
Letting in God's Heavenly light,
Bless the hearth, the painting there,
With smoke ascending like a prayer!
Bless the folk who dwell within,
Keep them pure and free from sin . . .
Bless us all that we may be,
Fit O Lord to dwell with thee . . .
Bless us all that one day we may dwell,
O Lord! With Thee!