Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Greasy Mess of the Soul

The first time I heard the phrase "service is our prayer" I must have been about 16.

I was struck because even though I grew up going to a church pretty regularly, there was never a practice or teaching about how to go about living this life with any kind of foundation in faith or belifs. Many people at our little fellowship were very active in service, and truly did practice their faith in their work, volunteering and activism.

But no one said "hey, this is how you live your faith."

Eventually, I figured it out.

Now, well into solid middle-age-hood, I find that service that involves steamy kitchens, or icy construction sites or especially large pots of potatoes to peel gets me more deeply in touch with my soul than any hymn or prayer or sermon can.

Today I'm headed to the low barrier teen homeless shelter. We're making dinner. I am wearing my favorite work t-shirt and bringing cases of soda from a friend and some outgrown jeans from my sons.

With the piles of dust and dirt on my banged up my soul courtesy of this long and hope-sucking job search, I gotta say I hope that we're making the greasiest, splattering, burned-on mess ever. I can use the prayer.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is there such a thing as vegan Velveeta?

The end of the holiday season brought a month long visit by the middlest to an end, and a month of "use it or lose it" vacation for my dear husband to an end. We even had ten whole days with the oldest. It was lovely. Now, it's over.

Life is back to normal.

Or kind of normal.

I have to remember how to cook for just three people, and one of those three people is in a show four nights a week. We're talkin' left-OVERS.

And, well, we live at the 47th parallel. The solstice is a few weeks past, but it is still not light 'til 8 and it's dark at 4 with the clouds and rain and mountains.

So, this week is all about the comfort food. Well, you know--vegan comfort food. Tonight was Victoria Moran's Baked Chee Spaghetti Casserole with harvard beets on top, just like the mac and cheese we had at my mom's daycare center when I was a little girl, except of course tonight we had no Velveeta. Tomorrow is Gardein Chick'n Scallopini and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy. We know how to do this thing with the vegan stuff. Still warms your bones, yes, even though it's been in the 50s here, the wet chill follows you in the house.

The short days and the emptying house and the rain and the job search make cozy food hit the top of the "to-do" list. Sometimes it's good to have a nice, tidy "to-do" list to keep you from watching entire runs of shows on Netflix, or--you know....eating all the left-OVERS!

May the sun return soon. Real soon. Hurry on back, now!