Christ is in our midst!
Springtime, alongside summer, is when I really enjoy having artichokes. Spring to me is defined by different things. One, helios me thondia, which translates to sun with teeth. It is bright and sunny but when you. Step out, there’s a “bite” in the air. Secondly, tender and delicate qualities of food are another thing that comes to me about spring. Thirdly, Pascha, my favorite feast day of all. A time for spiritual renewal and joy.
I came across something from a book that reminded about not only the important of saying mealtimes prayer before meals but also afterwards. “Food, Faith, and Fasting” by Rita Madden, an Orthodox Christian dietician, talks about food and faith but this particular section was about pausing before and after our meals. Many cultures do it. I have been practicing it myself for many years. It is striking that we often do not pause and be grateful after eating a meal, which Madden goes into. We should be grateful for the meals God presents before us. It is a gift. Reading the passage also sparked an artistic idea. I plan to write, in a calligraphic style, on business card-shaped paper both for myself but also for others so that we may be reminded daily to say the prayers before and after mealtimes; small enough size paper that we can all carry with us wherever we may go.
In addition, I am watching the movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ” while I am working on my Pascha dishes and cards for my loved ones. If you may allow me to indulge and share something, my beloveds. A food for thought.
“Paul, Apostle of Christ”. Movie.
I knew revenge. I once wanted vengeance. I know this path of destruction more then anyone. I want people to understand that Gods kingdom is open to us all, that His mercy is for everyone. We can never forget what it was like to be lost. And to be found. Where sin abounds, grace abounds more.
I share this because as I am writing this, it is our Holy Thursday. In addition to this beautiful wisdom spoken by St Paul, in the movie, has also said:
So you would give up on the world when Christ did not give up on us? Love is the only way. Love that suffers long. Love that is kind, that does not envy, that is not proud. Love that does not dishonor, that does not seek for itself. Love that is not easily angered. Love that rejoices in truth. Love that never delights in evil. Love that protects, trusts, hopes, endures all things. That kind of love.
At times I ponder what this blog is for. I have so little readers. Doubt and fear comes over me. What is the point? I want to give up sometimes. Hope kicks in and I am reminded Christ did not and does not give up on us. Christ has already triumphed over every enemy by the Cross. This is what fuels me to cook. To help those in need. God is my strength. He gives me the strength when I feel tired and lonely in my humble kitchen. When I was lost, I did not have the strength. I thought the strength would come within but it is from God that I get the strength. I believe someone out there benefits from recipes I have tested. Love for everyone fuels me. I rejoice in this love. When I repose, I would so dearly enjoy being in God’s kitchen and be amongst the natural wonders in heaven, if it is God’s providence.
So back to the kitchen I go… and pray as I cook.
I think many will enjoy this recipe. It is very simple but indulgent. You may even use frozen, if you do not have the energy to prep fresh artichokes. I found that it is important to roast the artichokes by themselves so that they can nice and crispy. When I tested them with all the herbs and spices together, it took the attention away from the artichokes.
Feel free to try with other spices, such oregano and thyme. I love using Greek oregano because it has a stronger flavor and does not have the sweetness that Italian oregano has. However, if you are cooking Italian, use the Italian version. Naturally, if you are making Greek dishes, use the Greek version. Basil and lemon are always good but you can also try with rosemary as well; either add it in or try it separately with lemon alone if you like.
21 oz ounces Barba Stathis frozen artichokes, thawed, excess water removed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
6 tbsp lemon juice, according to taste
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, adjust according to taste
- Adjust oven rack to middle position. Prepare your baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss artichokes and garlic with 2 tbsp oil, salt, and pepper in bowl. Spread the artichokes evenly over baking sheet and roast until browned around edges, 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy.
- Remove the artichokes from the oven, allowing them to cool slightly before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the artichokes into a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Season to taste and serve.
Something else that St Paul has written. The famous letter on love that many of us adore.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8 (NEW KING JAMES VERSION)
I love you all my beloveds. May you enjoy this recipe and may God bless you.
One Comment Add yours
Beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you!