Friday, August 9, 2013

Food for the Body and Soul

Feeling really good about the meal I served to the brothers this evening. This is the first full-course meal I prepared solo for the brothers since postulancy in Brooklyn. I made a quinoa and vegetable pilaf, roasted sweet potatoes with pepper and onion, and roasted cod. For dessert, it was an orange-almond polenta cake dusted with confectioners' sugar. It was an enjoyable afternoon, learning where the cooking utensils were, discovering our appliances and seeing how they work, making the recipes come to life. Even the grocery shopping -- accomplished in spite of pouring rain, lumbering four soggy cloth bags from Stop & Shop to the subway to our house -- was a satisfying experience. The following cookbook is my new best friend, my most trusted kitchen helper:

The Moosewood Collective. Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005.

Way to go, brothers, for bringing a taste of Ithaca, N.Y., to Jamaica Plain!

While we're on the subject of vegetarian meals, this cookbook will also see much use in the years to come:

The Vegetarian Resource Group. Vegan Handbook (Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels, eds.) Baltimore, Md.: The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Moving associationally along from food for the body to food for the soul, the following books, found here at the friary, are on my reading list:

Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. New York: Penguin, 1991.

Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents (trans. and ed. by James Strachey). New York: W.W. Norton, 1961.

It must be the feast of Saint Edith Stein that has me in the mood for readings in philosophy and psychology from the stormy mid-20th century.

Also the following from the friary:

Kennedy, Eugene. The Now and Future Church. Garden City, N.Y.: Image, 1985. This one is subtitled "The Psychology of Being an American Catholic." Tell me more....

Finally, from my own collection of theological texts, arrived this week after one year in storage:

Cone, James. Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1991.

Again, something about the mid-20th century is attracting me, bidding me go back to a time before I was born. Something is telling me to listen and understand, before the hard-won wisdom of those difficult decades is lost and we condemn ourselves to times even harder than our parents and grandparents endured.

So much to read! Then there are the Catholic periodicals which beckon me: America, Commonweal, National Catholic Reporter. When my studies begin, will there be any time for leisure reading, or to follow my own intellectual pursuits outside insurmountable syllabuses?

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