Faithful Food: The King Triumphant Comes

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By: Kim Long

I have always enjoyed Christmas music. “Christmas Times A-Coming” is one of the few bluegrass songs of the season. I love the words, the music, the happiness and security it evokes in me. Just as liturgical seasons have music reserved for that time alone, so it is in the kitchen when I am cooking for different occasions. When I make dressing for Christmas Day or gumbo for Christmas Eve I listen to bluegrass and this song is as much a part of the preparations as any of the other ingredients.

The song functions as a vehicle and I am transported to a happy time filled with family, food, and faith. Holiday seasons have as much ritual as anything else. If you doubt it just imagine a big Christmas dinner without a particular dish prepared by a loved one or the ceremonious retrieving of a platter that is used on that day or season alone.

In this crazy year 2020 has revealed itself to be, many of us long for the security and comfort of tradition – of something that does not change.

In the past few years since my own children are all “grown and gone” I have worked to minimize my “Christmas” footprint bringing out fewer decorations, watching my holiday menu becoming smaller, and generally attempting a simple version of the Christmases I have known. 2020 calls for more, not less.  I have always had a rebellious streak and I have tried to subdue, suppress, and subvert it. Not. This. Year. I plan to go whole “hawg”and fly  in the face of the isolation and loneliness this pandemic has brought me (and many others), as well as other changes we could never have imagined, most unwelcome and ill fitting gifts.  And while I may be unable to “return” it, I can work to transform it.

For an antidote I have made plans, lists, shopped for weeks-a little at a time, marshalled my recipes, gathered all my Advent and Christmas prayers and novenas. I am leaving no holly unpicked,  all seasonal and heartfelt prayers invoked, every package beribboned, and yes I may even wear, gulp, a Christmas sweater. And while I am doing all this I will not have a begrudged attitude, I will attempt joy and humor as I deck my own halls in an effort for not only normalcy but triumph! Although this is not a verse usually associated with Christmas I am adopting it as my motto-“this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.”

So friends, let our spirits soar. We  are assured by scripture, that nothing, not even a pandemic and its ensuing restrictions, necessary though they may be, can ever separate us from the love of God! Rejoice and be glad!

 

Maedy Spruill’s Peanut Butter Stix

Trim crusts from slices of bread. Cut bread into sticks or fingers and place on a cookie sheet to dry out in a 250 degree oven. You want them crisp but not brittle.

Over low heat, mix together 1 cup peanut butter (smooth not crunchy variety) with ½ c. cooking oil.

Dip dried bread sticks into mixture and drop in paper bag filled with graham cracker crumbs. Shake to coat and place on wax paper to dry.

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