Sunday, October 28, 2012

Catholics, Politics, Memories, and Dinner

It was Priest Appreciation Sunday, so we took the chance to tell Father Matt Benjamin of our admiration and support. Over a good dinner. Lasagna, red wine, homemade French bread, lavender butter, my famous sweet green beans, and a salad made from butter lettuce and English cucumbers. My blogging fingers can barely keep up with all the paths this story entails.
First, Megan and I love the lavender butter at Cafe des Amis, but always forget to make it at home. I even have lavender saved for the occasion! Hooray! So I softened some butter and stirred in a small amount of buds, which look like dead ants but taste lightly floral and thus heavenly on crusty bread fresh from the oven. So proud that I remembered. But then all the men at my dinner table chose the plain butter with lots of jam instead. Isn't that typical? I'll save the rest for when another female is in the house.
The salad was also a treat because I decided to join the modern world Costco this week. It is better than my grocery store for fresh produce. I won't say anything else bad about HyVee. Plus Costco is right next to the rink in Independence where I spend three hours every Wednesday. Plus Costco has organic items that I can no longer get from the monthly co-op truck. I am still solidly adhering to the organics, especially in light of the genetically modified foods on the shelves in modern grocery stores. Don't you wonder at the increase in gluten allergy? Needless to say, the cost is only slightly higher to buy real food that tastes delicious.
Thirdly, the lasagna is from a Pi Phi friend when I was first engaged. So rich. Makes enough for an army. So I made a large pan for our family and guest. Then I made a small pan to take to a new mom. And I sent a big piece home with Father, and froze a portion for our college daughter to have as leftovers. The new mom is one of our former babysitters. Stefanie had her first baby--and it was a girl! Captain and I spent time holding the baby and reminiscing about the escapdes of our 2-year-old-twins when they were under Stefanie's charge.
Lastly, the discussion of politics and the Catholic Church was carried over from the homily. Father does an excellent job of preaching with the right mix of morality and practicality. The election has him concerned. His former career as a Marine has him very upset about the Fox News inside reports about Benghazi. I try not to blog all the political turmoil in my own head and circle of influence. But Captain keeps me updated daily on the world news, and I pray daily for the right outcomes.
Junior-League-Style Lasagna
Meat portion: simmer together
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T. basil
1-1/2 t. salt
1# can tomatoes
26 oz. tomato paste
Filling portion: beat together
3 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 T. parsley
2 eggs
2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly-cracked black pepper
Noodles: one pound preboiled
Mozzarella Cheeseone pound sliced or shredded
In 9 x 13 pan, make three layers of Noodles, Filling, Meat, Mozzarella. Bake at 375' F for 30 minutees until bubbly. Let set 10 minutes before serving.

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