Search

Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous

Category

Uncategorized

Remembering Sunday Dinners: Goose Pie

One of my favorite childhood memories was when Mother would make Sunday dinners. Sitting down with the family enjoying a Sunday dinner was always one of the highlights of the week. One of my favorite Sunday meals was my mother’s famous Goose Pie. The following is the family recipe:

Cut a fine large young goose into eight pieces, and season it with pepper. Reserve the giblets for gravy. Take a smoked tongue that has been all night in soak, parboil it, peel it, and cut it into thick slices, omitting the root, which you must divide into small pieces, and put into a sauce-pan with the giblets and sufficient water to stew them slowly.

Make a nice paste, allowing a pound and a half of butter to three pounds of flour. Roll it out thick, and line with it the bottom and sides of a deep dish. Fill it with the pieces of goose, and the slices of tongue. Skim the gravy you have drawn from the giblets, thicken it with a little browned flour, and pour it into the pie dish. Then put on the lid or upper crust. Notch and ornament it handsomely with leaves and flowers of paste. Bake the pie about three hours in a brisk oven.

In making a large goose pie you may add a fowl, or a pair of pigeons, or partridges, all cut up.

A duck pie may be made in the same manner.

Small pies are sometimes made of goose giblets only.

 

Miner Commandment No. 10

Thou shalt not commit unsuitable matrimony, nor covet “single blesssedness,” nor forget absent maidens, nor neglect thy first love; but thou shalt consider how faithfully and patiently she waiteth thy return; yea, and covereth each epistle that thou sendeth with kisses of kindly welcome until she hath thyself. Neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor trifle with the affections of his daughter; yet, if thy heart be free, and thou love and covet each other, thou shalt “pop the question” like a man, lest another more manly than thou art should step in before thee, and thou leavest her in vain, and, in the anguish of thy heart’s disappointment, thou shalt quote the language of the great, and say, “sich is life;” and thy future lot be that of a poor, lonely, despised and comfortless bachelor.

Lower Down Your Long Boats

Doctors at the clinic are calling it a modern miracle. The doctors, and even the nurses, simply could not believe the mobility Tammy now had in her good sewing shoulder, considering it was a complete rotator cuff tear. The examining physician, a strict man of science, had to go back and check the MRI twice, having difficulty accepting what he could not explain.

The clinic’s medical staff weren’t the only people dumbfounded by her progress. Upon hearing the happy news about the rotator cuff, I couldn’t believe it either because I had witnessed the carnage on that unforgettable day. She was in a bad way that first night and the days that followed.

It was a day like any other day, except for it being my birthday. I was watching TV, trying hard to be patient as I waited for my birthday dinner. When all the sudden I heard a loud crash and a thunderous boom. Startled by the unexpected sounds, I shouted, “What in the name of creation was that?!” Slippping out of the security and comfort of the recliner and I found Tammy lying at the bottom of the stairs. In one hand, she was still holding on, white knuckled, to her 2-in-1 laptop while using her other hand to rub out the bump on her precious dome.

Full of compassion and good works, I gave 110% as I helped Tammy up off the floor and ever so gently walked her over to her favorite spot on the couch by her Sudoku books. Grimacing with intense pain, she could barely lift her arm. Ceaselessly vigilant, I went to the freezer and grabbed an ice pack and found the bottle of expired Naproxen I had left over from that time I threw out my back. I focused all my energies on comforting Tammy, holding out a small sliver of hope that she’d still make something for my birthday dinner. Nothing special, maybe a quesadilla or two.  

As things calmed down, Tammy recounted to me how she fell down the stairs. It began with some lotioning of her feet with Jergens original scent, followed with putting on a comfortable pair of no-show liner socks. When she decided to come down stairs our feral cat was sitting on the intermediate landing meowing (not in a charming way). Being no stranger to multi-tasking, Tammy reached down and grabbed Ziggy with her free hand. With a laptop in one hand and a wildcat in the other, she short-stepped the next step after the landing and before she could say Jack Robinson she was at the bottom of the stairs writhing in pain. 

I am not going to lie my faith was challenged when Tammy fell and I found myself asking some hard questions. For example, was the fall a result of some flaw in Tammy’s moral character? This I investigated. I watched her face intently as she watched TV, I read her recent journal entries, and I followed her to Hobby Lobby several times (I finally had to stop, I couldn’t keep up). I even called up some of the more gender-neutral names in her phone. And it turned out that Pat, Phil and Blake are not guys. She was clean and I felt ashamed for even entertaining the possibility that she had any serious moral defects.

To ask this question in the first place was just a plain dumb. Of course, she was above suspicion. Furthermore, I don’t believe God, as a matter of course, curses any individual, group, or sports teams. God doesn’t have to curse us. We do a first-rate job at that for ourselves. 

It was childish for me to be asking silly existential questions over something so minor as Tammy’s fall. Neither her moral flaws, nor mine were the cause of her fall. Even if morality and misfortune are somehow entwined, my mortal eyes would never be able to pick out where one ends and the other one starts. Plus, my job is not to make those judgements.

The existential exercise, however, was not all in vain. The questioning did make it crystal clear to everyone and their mother’s brother that the cat was 100% to blame for Tammy’s fall as I had suspected from the beginning. But, I have been told to let this because after all I should be over the moon about her progress so far. It could have been worse, so much worse.

 

That’s What Family Means to Me

Red Clover, Goldenrod and Prairie Mimosa

Man, George could never catch a break. The morning of October 28th, 1855 started out like any other day. George Elisha King, a young 27-year-old father, who had already seen a lot of heartache in his short life, was enjoying a peaceful autumn morning surveying his new homestead along the White River, south of present-day Seattle.

In a short span of time, the star-crossed George had been married twice, divorced once, buried two children and three younger siblings while trekking the Oregon-California Trail to Utah twice. His final trek had begun in Iowa mid-May 1854. George, Mary Susan Kinsley King and their little family arrived in Utah sometime in 1855. But soon after, the restless George bid farewell to his parents and headed off for Fort Hall in hopes of settling down in the northwestern coastal region of Washington Territory. George and Mary arrived in July and quickly purchased land. It appeared things were calming down in George’s life.

George came in from the brisk morning air with an armful of wood, as Mary prepared corn bread and cracked some boiled eggs. George, Mary, five-year old George Alma, and their baby Mary Susan sat down to their breakfast with little George praying over the food. No sooner had they begun to eat when they heard shots fired and a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ outside of their little cabin. Surrounded by White River Native Americans (most likely belonging to the Duwamish tribe), the Kings were trapped. What happened next is unclear, but it didn’t end well for the King family. Mrs. King’s body was found cut open with one breast cut off, and Mr. King was found burned to death. Their two children were kidnapped during the raid.

The youngest child, Mary Susan, was never found, but George Alma King was brought to Fort Steilacoom the following Spring. Reportedly, he had been well cared for by an older Indian named “Spoon Bill” — a nickname he never cared much for. Under the guardianship of family, George Alma returned to life on the east coast, but lived a short life, dying single at the young age of 25 on January 1, 1875 in the New Haven area of Connecticut.

Hell on Earth

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven, yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell on earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be cured against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reach the age of reason or those who never will: to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” —C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock.

 Three Gates

If you are tempted to reveal
A tale to you someone has told
About another, make it pass,
Before you speak, three gates of gold.
These narrow gates: First, “Is it true?”
Then, “Is it needful?” In your mind
Give truthful answer. And the next
Is last and narrowest, “Is it kind?”
And if to reach your lips at last
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, nor fear
What the result of speech may be.
—Arabian Saying

All My Ships Are Out At Sea

I’ve learned over time that one of the worst things you can do as a manager is compare supervising your co-workers to raising kids. They go ape over the comparison, even though, truth be told, there are a lot of similarities.

 

When I made this observation during a recent meeting, Brenda in Accounting was one of those who took offence to the comparison. Not quite understanding where she was coming from, I tried to calm her down by telling her not to worry she’s in good hands because my kids turned out just fine. That seemed to only make the situation worse. After some mediation and a thousand pardons, we did in fact get past the incident and I now know that deep-down inside Brenda’s a good kid.

A Baker’s Dozen

In the year 1655 on December’s last day, a Dutch baker was working late selling New Year’s cookies. As he was about to shut up shop an uncommonly ugly old woman thrust her way in, demanding a dozen of the special cookies bearing an effigy of Saint Nick.

As the baker handed her the bag of cookies, she said crossly: “One more cookie: I said a dozen.” “You have a dozen,” said the baker. “One more cookie said the ugly old woman, “One more than 12 makes a dozen.”

The baker grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her to the door. “You may go to the Devil for another cookie!” he shouted. “You won’t get it here.”

In the days and months that followed, mysterious bad luck came to the little bakery in Beverwyck. Bread rose to the ceiling or fell flat like a pancake. Cookies and money seem to be snatched up by invisible hands. Even the handsome brick oven collapsed. The stubborn Dutchman began to wonder whether supernatural powers were not at work.

“Holy Saint Nicholas, what shall I do?” As he spoke these words, Saint Nicholas appeared and told the baker that his troubles could be resolved if had the spirit that the holidays demand.  No sooner had the figure of the saint vanished than the uncommonly ugly old woman appeared demanding a dozen cookies. Posthaste, the baker counted 13 cookies, presenting the bag to her with a bow and a “Happy New Year!”

“The spell is broken”, the witch told the baker, “Now swear to me on the likeness of Saint Nicholas that hereafter in Beverwyck and all the patroonship of Van Rensselaer that 13 will make a baker’s dozen. The baker took the oath and from that day on even down to this day when you say a baker’s dozen you mean 13.

Music Picks

  1. Cousin Dupree–Steely Dan
  2. Pines of Rome (Pini Di Romo)—Respighi
  3. If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)—George Jones
  4. In the Blood—John Mayer
  5. Forearm Shiver—Sam Spence

Putting a Ha’ Penny in A Poor Man’s Hat

“…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace—Isaiah 9:6

12-11-16-main-street-stockbridge-by-norman-rockwell-660x350-1474435737

I had a dream the other night I was a salmon and I swam free towards the sea…then I reluctantly ceased to swim and slowly woke out of my dream. Awake. it didn’t take me long to realize that today was election day! With purpose, I vigorously put on my beige Dockers, my casual business shirt, took my One-A-Day man vitamin and headed off to vote with some pep in my step.

Surprisingly, there were no long lines, as predicted by the talking heads. It only took me about 10 minutes to get in and out of the community center—easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.

Feeling pretty darn good, I drove home for a quick pit stop at the house before going in to work. I parked the Mini in the driveway and ran into the house. After grabbing a mouth full of chocolate chips, I ran back outside only to find my car missing. However, it didn’t take too long to find my car. It was halfway down the cul-de-sac, having come to a rest atop my neighbor’s mailbox. Apparently, when you place a car in neutral its gets the itch to move.

My first instinct was to grab the car and drive off, but my conscience got the best of me and I chose not to flee the scene. Although this good decision-making was encouraged by a neighbor watching me like a hawk. So, I went back into the house, grabbed some more chocolate chips (to steady my nerves), and proceeded to write a note documenting my negligence. I dutifully placed the note on my neighbor’s door and took some pictures of the “crime scene” and then tore out of the neighborhood like a bat out of hell.

12-11-16-mercy

I figured at the most it would be a couple of hundred dollars to fix the mailbox, so I reconciled myself once more that I would just have to suck it up and take my medicine.

Regretfully, I didn’t know anything about this neighbor. Other than they had big red truck and there was a woman at the house who curiously stared at us sometimes when we were driving to and from the house. So, I did not know what to expect when I got home from work that night.

After mansplaining to my wife about the car, insurance, and the cost to repair the mailbox, I went over to the house to just get it over with. But nobody was there except a teenage girl who told me through the door that her parents weren’t home. About an hour later, I willed myself over to the house again and introduced myself as the guilty party, in my best Eeyore voice.

To my surprise my neighbor calmly told me that “sh** happens” and told me he appreciated my honesty. All he was going to ask is that I go and buy the post ($11) and from there he’d do the rest. We shook hands firmly and stoically parted ways. A win-win for both sides. A win for honesty and win for mercy.  To think the Mini being put in neutral would actually be a blessing in disguise.

Miniature houseBless the four corners of this house,
And be the lintel blest;
And bless the hearth, and bless the board,
And bless each place of rest;

And bless the door that opens wide
To stranger, as to kin;
And bless each crystal windowpane
That lets the starlight in;

And bless the roof overhead
And every sturdy wall
The peace of man, the peace of God,
The peace of love on all

-Arthur Guiterman

Blind Willie Johnson: The Soul of a Man

blind_willie_johnson

Won’t somebody tell me, answer if you can!
Want somebody tell me, what is the soul of a man
I’m going to ask the question, answer if you can

If anybody here can tell me, what is the soul of a man?
I’ve traveled in different countries, I’ve traveled foreign lands
I’ve found nobody to tell me, what is the soul of a man

I saw a crowd stand talking, I came up right on time
Were hearing the doctor and the lawyer, say a man ain’t nothing but his mind
I read the bible often, I tries to read it right

As far as I can understand, a man is more than his mind
When Christ stood in the temple, the people stood amazed
Was showing the doctors and the lawyers, how to raise a body from the grave

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

liampitts

male fashion blogger

Envisioning The American Dream

A visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid Century Media

Pew Theology

Faith | Life | Society

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

Eyes Wide Open

Looking Up and Living in God's Truth and Love

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Susan Irene Fox

Jesus follower, peacemaker, unfinished human

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

inspirationenergy

be inspired to greatness

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

A Mirror Obscura,

Poetry, musings and sightings from where the country changes

belsbror

Simple Living

3 Moon Homestead

Gardening, Schooling, and Back to Basics Skills with a Gypsy Heart and Muddy Fingers

Marian the Seminarian

Christian reflections on the cusp of conventionality