Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Other than my wedding and the occasional funeral, I've never really cried in church - until now. My choir director Paul is Ukrainian, so we're use to singing Rachmaninoff, Gretchaninoff, and other Russian/Eastern European heavies. Although it sounds beautiful, it's like we're in a constant season of Lent. Today, that all changed. Paul chose a piece by Paul Halley, a British composer, who took the words from Song of Solomon and arranged it with a gospel twist. The words were beautiful and I've never heard Karen, our soprano soloist sing like that:

The Rain is Over and Gone

The rain is over and gone,
And the winter is passing by,
The time for singing has come,
And the clouds have parted from the sky.

Arise, my love, and come away,
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone,
Over and gone, my love,
Come away, my fair one, come away.

We will rise and go to the city,
The city without any walls,
Where we can live in freedom,
To the new Jerusalem we're called.

Arise my love, my fair one,
For lo! the winter is gone,
The flowers appear on the earth again,
And the time for singing has come.

Sing of life and love and laughter,
Sing of freedom to live in peace,
And there shall be no more crying,
Only joy that will never cease.

I think half of the congregation was crying after we finished singing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ya'll asked for it - Here it is......

For the fans of my latest dessert, here is the recipe. My mom has to get the credit here - she's made this for our family for as long as I can remember

German Chocolate Pies
2 uncooked pie crusts
11/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter or margerine
2 TBSP flour
1 bar German Chocolate bar
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup angel flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream sugar and butter. Melt chocolate over low heat. Add eggs to first mixture and mix well. Gradually add milk. Stir in remaining ingredients. Divide mixture into 2 uncooked pastry shells. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325. Bake 20 minutes longer. Let cool.
Great with vanilla ice cream or cool whip.


OK, so the rule is, if I give a recipe, you need to leave one. I'll take anything - sweets, savories, etc. Just no broccoli!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Birthday Boy Meets the Girls from Ipanema

I've eaten so much, I can barely type. Chris' birthday dinner combined with Mother's Day Brunch makes me think I'll be eating salad for the rest of the week. For Chris' birthday, he chose Rasika in Penn Quarter. I wasn't a fan of Indian food - until now. WOW! For Mother's Day, we went with our dear friends Kristin, Jamie, and Aida (who Kate loves) to a Brazilian BBQ place called Fogo de Chao downtown. I actually went to the one that's in Sao Paulo, Brazil back in 1999, and it still hasn't lost its appeal. Kate did amazingly well and managed to stay seated for most of the meal. Given the fact that we don't take her out to many restaurants (with the exception of Los Tios, Generous Georges') she did very well with impulse control, etc. I think it may be because of the fact that we bribed her with promises of cookies afterwards, or it could be that she wanted to be sweet as a Mother's Day gift.

Nah, it was the cookies.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How Does Our Garden Grow?

The best part of our house? Hands down - the garden. We moved here in February 2006, and there was nothing in it except for dead-looking roots, stumps, and a weary blue spruce in the corner. I was prepared to implement a scorched earth policy and burn the whole thing down and start over. Thanks to my friend Anne, and Alexandria City (who forbids you from burning your backyard down) I found out that the garden was just "sleeping" - that nestled just below the ground were hibernating flowers. From March - September, something blooms every week, whether it's daffodils, lilacs, irises, azaleas roses, peonies, hydrangeas, black-eyed susans, rosemary, lemonbalm, etc. I was inspired by the butterfly farm Chris & I went to in St. Martin, so I'm starting my own butterfly garden with butterfly bush and milkweek. Additionally, our resident mourning dove, Maisie, has come back to have her babies in our hanging basket beneath the rose trellis. She recently gave birth to Johnny and June and they're just learning how to fly.

My neighbor Paul once told me that his garden is his therapy. I totally agree with him, although, as a therapist, I may lose money with that attitude. Maybe in my second career I'll own a greenhouse/butterfly farm....:)