Friday, March 21, 2008


The books all say you're not supposed to prune your camellias until after they've bloomed, but mine are so spectacularly loaded this year that the branches have begun to split. So I went out with the pruning shears and tried to mitigate some of the damage. Branch after branch of lovely flowers fell to the ground, and the bush is still full (although looking kind of scalped).

The service on Good Friday in my congregation is an Adoration of the Cross. Instead of the standard bulletin, everyone is given a rose, and during worship, we place our roses on a rough-hewn cross in the middle of the sanctuary, where the altar table usually stands. In the old Roman Catholic mass, "Prosternimur corpore ante crucem, mente ante Dominium" (While we bend down in body before the cross we bend down in spirit before God).

I wish I could bring my camellias.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A healthy planet for all

While this blog is on hiatus due to a herniated disk (mine, not the blog's), I'd like to direct you to an article in the always-thought-provoking magazine The Sun. In it, David Kupfer interviews human rights advocate Van Jones, who limns the links between environmentalism and social justice much better than I ever could.

Once again, a hat tip to Colin Beavan.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Find of the Week

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, 2005--I was looking for something on my favorite online independent bookseller recently, and saw this on their top 10 sellers list, half price. Like many people of my age and station, I have a 20 year-old crock pot in the cupboard that I use primarily for soaking and cooking dry beans, because I can't be bothered to babysit them on the stove. Since I am making a concerted effort this year to eat less insta-food (i.e., shells and cheese three times a week), I decided to take a chance on this book for inspiration and convenience.

Reader, I am inspired. This is not the cream of mushroom soup casserole slow cooker of yore. The authors give recipes for breakfast foods, rice dishes, side dishes, meat dishes (if you're into that sort of thing), desserts (mostly combinations of stewed fruits--yum!), and of course, the old standby bean pot. So far Progeny and I have made homemade applesauce, overnight oatmeal with last year's frozen blueberries, and roasted root vegetables. It's not that we couldn't make these things without a slow cooker, and if I didn't have one I wouldn't rush right out to buy one, but the fact that they're so much easier to make encourages me to make better use of this resource that was otherwise gathering dust behind the toaster. I don't want to betray copyright, so I won't reproduce it here, but I'm excited to try "Your Own Blend Overnight Porridge." See if your library has this gem.