Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches and leftovers

I had set back some of the pork while I was cutting chops on Sunday. I flattened them out and prepped them like the Chicken Milanese recipe. Found some lo cal whole wheat buns and had a nice sandwich for dinner. Brenda had it with a salad. Tasty and easy.

I froze the rest of the tenderloin for Steak pasta when the kids come over. They seem to like it. Perhaps some will finds its way to a Steak Pizza with mushrooms.

Tonight I have some large Portabella caps for burgers or whatever. Marinated and grilled or maybe stuffed?

CWS ended last night with a sure winner, South Carolina. Go Cocks! as my NASCAR buddy Wes would say. Great CWS season. The Blatt? Whatever.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grilling, grilling and more grilling

Grilled veggies, chicken wings and chops tonight.

I generally grill my wings crispy but not dry,  then coat them in my own concoction of butter, hot sauce, honey and chipotle chili powder. I brined the chops in 4 cups of water with a 1/4 cup each of salt and sugar. Makes them juicy beyond belief. To top it off I grilled chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, onions and peppers. I just seasoned with a little Crazy Jane's.

Last night's tenderloin was a big hit. I made a nice Bearnaise sauce like this:

3 egg yolks
1 stick of melted butter (hot)
1 tbl chopped shallot
1 tbl chopped tarragon
2 T tarragon vinegar
4 T white wine

I used a stick blender and beat the eggs and butter. I mixed all the rest in another pan and reduced to 2-3 tablespoons and added to the holandaise to make a Bearnaise, blend well. Delicious.  Will be light and thick. If not, heat carefully in the sauce pan till it thickens a bit, stiring constantly.

We had my favorite Sprouts gratin, roasted asparagus, roasted potatoes and a nice Caesar salad.

Caesar Dresssing

once again I used the stick blender.

2 cloves garlic chopped fine
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
juice of a lemon (about 2 T)
1 T worsteshire
2 t anchovie paste ( a good squeeze)
3 T tarragon vinegar
6 T olive oil
1 coddled egg
1/2 c parmesan

I like to mix this all in a glass 4c measure, use the blending stick and then add the parmesean. Pour over Romaine and fresh croutons. This is an adaptation of Bernie Schimmel's Recipe from the old Blackstone Hotel here in Omaha.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Killer Bread of Mackenzie's favorite things is Killer Bread. This came from a few friends in Cedar Rapids who ran across it in some magazine. I take a whole loaf of crusty bread, cut it halve lengthwise and toast it after a bit of butter. Then I mix a few tablespoons of mayo with 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2  a cup of grated parmesean. Slather the toasted loaves and broil for a few  minutes till hot and bubbly. Killer Bread. Really.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthdays, Prosphora and Tenderloins

Great weekend coming up. Kenzie's BD is Saturday so we are having tenderloin and her favorite dessert, the one with pistachio pudding. Since I generally try to make Holy Bread around every family birthday, I will be making Prosphora Saturday morning for sure.

Other than that there is yard work to accomplish and a thousand other things including finishing 3 or 4 icons.  Now to come with some side dishes for Saturday? Got any ideas?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Dinner at the ball park tonight. Watching CWS game live and in person so that means stadium food! Beer, pizza, nachos, dogs and burgers! I had a twinge of chest pain just writing that...ouch.

Great seats or what? Thanks Ron and Nat!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Things Every Orthodox Should Know...

This is for the birds…..

Symbols of the church include among other things, a 2 headed eagle and a peacock.
Double-headed eagle emblem.  The head on the left (West) symbolizes Rome, the head on the right (East) symbolizes Constantinople. The cross and orb in the claws symbolize, respectively, spiritual and secular authority.
The Peacock is a symbol of Paradise, Resurrection and immortality from ancient times. It frequently appears carved on the iconostasis and in icons of Paradise.
An ordinary egg, for example, is a symbol of the Resurrection of our Lord.  On the Feast of Pascha, we bless baskets of food containing, among other things, eggs. Just as the egg appears to be lifeless, so too did the body of Christ appear to be a mere corpse. But just as the egg can contain life, so does Christ contain the life we receive through His Resurrection!  This is the symbolic meaning behind the use of the egg as a symbol of Resurrection.

Peacock Theories

  • There was an ancient Greek tradition that a peacock's flesh did not decay; hence it was a particularly potent symbol of eternal life.
  • Over the life of a peacock, its grows new feathers each year; and each year these are more brighter than those of the past. As such, there is an image in this of newness of life and lustre.
  • The 'eye' patterns in the peacock's tail feathers, when the tail is spread open, have often been taken to represent the vault of heaven bespeckled with the sun, moon, and stars, giving the bird the symbolic significance of the cosmos.
  • More commonly, the 'many eyes' of the peacock's tail are taken to symbolise the all-seeing vision of God.
  • Following an old Persian and Babylonian custom, the peacock was associated with Paradise and the Tree of Life (which is why it is so often seen next to the Tree of Life in religious depictions, as in those from the catacombs, above), and hence associated with immortality.

Things Every Orthodox Should Know...

The Little Entrance…
Originally, the Little Entrance marked the beginning of the service, but it is now preceded by various Litanies and Psalms. It was a way of bringing the Gospel Book from where it was kept to the service.  It represents the Christ (as the priest) leading us to the Kingdom of Heaven (the altar).

The Great Entrance….
During the Matins part of the service, the priest prepares the prosphora for communion to the people at the prosthesis (Table of Oblation,  oblation means  the act of offering the Eucharistic elements to God).  In preparation, he has taken a loaf of prosphora and divided it according to the seal into parts for communion. These are placed on the paten or diskos (a plate on a pedestal) and covered with a asterisk (a folding metal cross that represents the Star of Bethlehem at the birth of the Lord)  The Chalice is filled with sacramental wine. All the elements are then covered with a veil.  Moving the chalice and paten to the altar is accomplished at the Great Entrance with the candles and cross in a procession.   The gifts are censed constantly while in motion.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Milanese

Tonight, a light supper of fried chicken cutlets and a tossed marinated salad. So good and light for a warm summer evening.

I cut boneless breasts in half, pound them thin and dredge in flour, egg and panko. Fry in a bit of oil till golden and serve with a topping greens and shaved romano with a light vingarette.

Things You Should Know....

   The Fringe Element
Fringe (tzitzit) is abundant in the Orthodox church. From Mary’s outer robe to our priest’s vestments, fringe has a subtle but important role in the church.
The Torah states in Numbers 15:38: "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, that they shall make themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and they shall put on the corner fringe a blue (tekhelet) thread. ….so that you may remember and fulfill all My commandments and be holy to your God...”
Wearing the tzitzit is also commanded in Deuteronomy 22:12, which says: "You shall make yourself twisted threads, on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself."
Originally a Jewish tradition, the fringe on Orthodox garments serves the same purpose of long ago.


Some popssibilities for dinner tonight. I fondly rememebr this dish from our Palestinian friends when they lived in Omaha. I've got chicken and will drive by a Penzy's on the way home....whadya think? Should I try it? You betcha.....

Serves 4 as a meal, 8 as a snack

A Palestinian country dish, musakhan is popular in Jordan, where a large proportion of the population is Palestinian. The chicken, flavored with sumac and other spices, is traditionally baked on thick, spongy tabun bread, which is similar to Turkish pide; ordinary pita bread is often used as a substitute.

3 tablespoons olive oil and a little butter
3 to 4 onions, chopped (about a pound)
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons ground sumac
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and ground black pepper
4 pita breads, halved to form 8 pockets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil and butter in a heavy pan and stir in onions. Cook until they just begin to color, then add chicken and sumac. Cook for a few minutes to sear the chicken, then reduce heat and stir in spices and lime juice. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until chicken is tender.

Season to taste, then fill pita pockets with chicken mixture. Arrange on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Serve with a salad and strained yogurt either spooned into the pocket or on top.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


NY Strips and fresh bi-color corn on the grill. So tasty.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eating Out....a lot

Busy weekend with lots to do so we seemed to find ourselves in a lot of restaurants.

Saturday we had church early, a shopping adventure and then dinner at El Basha (, a Mediterranean bistro with the best baba ganoush I have had. So tasty. Everything was fantastic and you could totally go vegetarian if need be but they also had plenty of beef and chicken. No lamb to speak of though so that was a bit of a disappointment. Later we went to X-Men First Class with the kids. So much fun hanging with them.

On Sunday we had yet more church, a church dinner (lamb was plentiful this time!) and souvlaki. Delicious,  then on to the local community playhouse for a dose of Guys and Dolls. Long show followed by a trip to Pitch pizzeria ( Yum O!

Last night we hit Ryan's Bistro and they had some nice specials for a Monday. Free bottle of wine with 2 entrees and slabs of ribs were discounted. Is this Nebraska or am I in heaven?  Gonna have to take it easy the rest of the week to get back on track. No fasting this week so we'll be having a meat fest of some sort.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The All Holy Spirit

We changed the name of The  Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Omaha this weekend to The All Holy Spirit Greek Church.


Giver of Life: The Holy Spirit In Our Daily Experience

By Bishop Kallistos Ware

My grandmother long ago once wondered, “Why is the Holy Spirit never mentioned in sermons? Hearing of Him is like hearing news of an old friend one hasn’t heard of in a long time.” We will hear of news of this old friend today. St Symeon the New Theologian wrote this invocation to the Holy Spirit:

Come, true light.

Come, life eternal.

Come, hidden mystery.

Come, treasure without name.

Come, reality beyond all words.

Come, person beyond all understanding.

Come, rejoicing without end.

Come, light that knows no evening.

Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.

Come, raising of the fallen.

Come, resurrection of the dead.

Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly you create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.

Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.

Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement; you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.

Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips; yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know.

Come, Alone to the alone.

Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.

Come, my breath and my life.

Come, the consolation of my humble soul.

Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

Notice three things (keeping to my archbishop’s advice that every sermon have three points!) that St Symeon says regarding the Holy Spirit:

1.) Symeon speaks of the Spirit as light, joy, glory, endless delight, rejoicing without end, and so on. Saint Seraphim of Sarov said that the Holy Spirit fills with joy whatever he touches.

2.) The Spirit is also full of hope, for he looks forward to the age to come.

3.) There is also the nearness yet otherness of the Spirit. He is “everywhere present” [from the prayer, O Heavenly King] yet mysterious and elusive.

Symeon calls him “my breath and my life,” “hidden mystery,” “beyond all words,” “beyond all understanding.” We know him, but we do not see his face, for he always shows us the face of Christ. Like the air around us, which enables us to see and be seen, he is transparent and enables us to see and hear Christ. He is not to be classified, baffling our computers and filing cabinets. As the Lord said, “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes” [Jn 3:8]. As C. S. Lewis wrote in the first of his Narnia Chronicles books, Aslan “is not a tame lion.” The Holy Spirit is not a tame spirit, either. The Spirit makes Christ close to us, establishing that relationship. The Sistine Chapel image of creation depicts Adam just after his creation, with the finger of God and that of Adam just touching — an accurate depiction of the Holy Spirit who puts us in touch with God and with one another. The writer J. V. Taylor called the Holy Spirit “the go-between God.” The current Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius IV, wrote, “Without the Holy Spirit God is far away. Christ stays in the past. The Gospel is simply an organisation. Authority is a matter of propaganda. The Liturgy is no more than an evocation. Christian loving is a slave mentality. But in the Holy Spirit, the cosmos is resurrected and grows with the birth pangs of the kingdom. The Risen Christ is there. The Gospel is the power of life. The Church shows forth the life of the Trinity. Authority is a liberating service. Mission is a Pentecost. The Liturgy is both renewal and anticipation. Human action is deified.”

The Spirit makes what is far to be near, the past present. Christ without the Holy Spirit is merely an historical figure in the distant past; with the Spirit, he is present. Without the Spirit, the Gospel is only words; with the Spirit, they have life-giving power. Without the Spirit, the Church is only an organization; with the Spirit, it is Communion. Without the Spirit, authority is slavish rule-following; with the Spirit, it is sharing in divine life, divinization. Without the Spirit, mission is propaganda; with the Spirit, it is Pentecostal tongues of fire. Without the Spirit, liturgy is merely recollection; with the Spirit, it is present reality. Through the Spirit, clock and calendar time is turned to sacred time: once upon a time becomes today. Note in our services in Holy Week approaching Pascha, how often “today” is used. “Today, I rise in your resurrection.” The devil says “yesterday,” and wants us to feel regret or nostalgia; and “future,” so that we might feel anxiety. But the Spirit says “today.” The Patriarch’s speech can be summed up in one word: Zoōpoion — the Life-giver who makes things alive for us.

There are two fundamental things about the Holy Spirit:

1.) He is understood in Scripture and Tradition as a Person, not just an impersonal force. Christ is obviously a person. It is not as obvious with the Holy Spirit, but he is a person in the experience of the Church. Note Ephesians 4.30: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God." Impersonal forces do not feel grief, do not feel love. You may love your computer, but your computer does not love you. Our sins, selfishness, and lack of love cause the Holy Spirit grief. He weeps over it.

2.) The Holy Spirit is equal to the other two Persons of the Trinity. From the Creed: “Worshipped and glorified together with the Father and the Son.” Together, not below. Also, “Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” all on the same level.

Gregory of Nyssa said, “Never think of Christ without the Holy Spirit.” We could reverse that too: never think of the Holy Spirit without Christ. Irenaeus described the Son and the Spirit as the two hands of the Father, who always uses both hands together. To better understand the Holy Spirit’s work, look at the cooperation of the Holy Spirit and the Son. In the Creed: “Incarnate by the Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary.” In the Incarnation, the Holy Spirit descends upon the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit sends Christ into the world. The Troparion for Theophany: “When you, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness unto you, calling you the beloved Son, and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed His word as sure and true.” The Spirit descends from the Father and rests on the Son, the same relationship as in the Incarnation. The Holy Spirit sends the Son into public ministry. In the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, the Holy Spirit descends upon Christ as a cloud of light, as understood by the Fathers. In the Resurrection, Christ is raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul in Romans [1:4] calls Christ “the Son of God in power according to the Spirit.” In the Incarnation and Baptism, the Holy Spirit sends Christ into the world. In Pentecost, Christ sends the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and thence into the world. In the First Gospel reading on Holy Thursday evening [Jn 13:31-38; 14:1-31; 15:1-27; 16:1-33; 17:1-26; 18:1] we hear “The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. He will bear witness to me. He will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you" [Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-14]. The Holy Spirit testifies not to himself but to Christ, in a natural diakonia. Christology and Pneumatology are inseparable. The Holy Spirit, the "go-between" God, establishes the relationship between us and Christ. He shows us not his own face, but the face of Christ.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Roasted Shrimps and broccoli

Nothing much going on tonight and we are going out for drinks later.

I found some shrimps at the market during lent. 8-10 to the pound for $6.00. I love to peel them, soak them in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper. I roasted them in ahot oven for 15 minutes and steamed some broccoli. Delicious.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Things Every Orthodox Should Know

       The sign of the cross
a.       The Cross has been used by Christians from the early centuries as the most sacred emblem of the Christian Church, because it was made holy by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died on the Cross to save us all from sin and death.  That is why we venerate the Cross, kiss it, place it in our churches and homes, and wear it around our necks – so that we should never forget Jesus' love and death for us.
b.       A person looking around on a Sunday morning may notice that different people cross themselves at different times. To a certain extent, when to cross oneself is a matter of personal piety and not of dogma. However, there are times in the service when crossing oneself is called for.

To cross: when you hear one of the variations of the phrase "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"; before venerating an icon, Gospel, or Cross; when blessed with an icon, Cross, Gospel, or Chalice; entering and exiting the temple; when passing before the Altar

Not necessary to Cross: (only bowing of the head): when blessed with hand (as in "Peace be unto all"), or censed. In receiving a blessing from a bishop or priest one does not make the sign of the Cross beforehand. "In this way ought we to distinguish between reverence toward holy things and toward persons"
c.       We make the sign of the cross when we pray.  In order to make the sign of the Holy and Life-giving Cross, the Orthodox Christian must join the tips of the thumb and two first fingers of the right hand, in memory of and to form the Holy Trinity.  The union of the tips of these three fingers signify the equality and union of the Holy Trinity, at the same time, unmixed and unconfused.  We bend the remaining fingers into our palm, in order to represent the two natures of Jesus Christ – True God and True Man.  We raise our fingers to our forehead to respect the Holy Trinity ("Father, Son and Word of God, without beginning, and the Holy and Life-giving Spirit, Who together with the Father is worshiped and glorified") and make holy our minds and thoughts.  We touch our abdomen signifying that the same Son of God descended from the heavens down to earth and was incarnated by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, becoming Man for our salvation.  We touch our right shoulder (representing the right hand of God), then left, signifying that our Savior Jesus Christ stretched His spotless hands upon the cross for our sins and iniquities.  He descended into Hades, then ascended into the heavens and sat at the right hand of the Father. 
d.      With this sign, we give our mind, our heart and our strength to the service of God.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steak Pasta with blue cheese and tomatoes

I have a bit of the very rare flat iron left over from Sunday. Time for my personnal favortite pasta dish from Ryan's Bistro

1 pound rare steak bite sized pieces
1 pound of cremini mushrooms quartered
1/2 c blue cheese crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 cup cream
S and P to taste
cooked pasta

Generally I already have a cooked steak on hand or I would grill the steak to rare and hold it till I am ready to add it to the sauce.

Sautee the mushrooms in butter till golden, add the cream in a large skillet. Cook till hot  and add the tomatoes, cheese and then finally the prepared steak. Throw in your cooked pasta and get ready to pass the peppermill. So tasty.

The Symphony, bowties and Oscar's

Last night, Brenda's folks arrived for the Customer Appreciation event with our investment group ( We had a nice fish and chips dinner at Oscar's and then off to the Omaha Symphony at the Holland Center. It was a nice evening and we saw quite a few friends and family. Meanwhile....back at the ranch...

I learned tie a real bowtie for the upcoming nuptials black tie event. Very cool and so easy...who da thunk? Too bad bowties are so expensive or I would actually wear one on occasion.  Thanks be to God for YouTube, right?

Great fish and chips by the way. One order is usually enough for 3 of us.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pizza Pizza

A new crust recipe...too much hydration (for the crust) and a new flour. Perhaps too much new for on meal. The dough was made Monday evening in anticipation of a Tuesday meal. It rose a LOT in the fridge. Shoulda been the first clue. I could not get it to flatten out well. One of the crusts had its share of holes.  Topped with burger on one and chicken pesto on the other, both made relatively good pizzas but....not great. 

I found a whole wheat, cooks like white,  flour with a high fiber content at WalMart. I used the bulk of that flour. Perhaps it was too much and should have been mixed 50/50 with regular flour? I don't know but my family will suffer though many experiments now!  Also I added too much water and the dough was more like a very thick batter than a dough. I have been experimenting with hydrated doughs so wet that they can't be kneaded in a conventional fashion. The Prosphora I made for church on the 30th was like this and it came out rather well so I pushed the envelope a bit. I like my breads dense and a little moist (apparently so does everyone else at church judging from the comments) rather than dry or dry and fluffy. The loaves are a little on the heavy side ( not rocks,  but they have weight to them) so I can tell there is still a fair amount of water. As always, I use a thermometer to get to over 200 degrees less it be gummy in the center (an altar server's nightmare).

Brenda ordered me a new toy for Father's day. A Lodge Cast Iron Pizza pan. Can't wait to try it out. It can be used on the grill or replace one of my faithful oven stones (by now looking very dark from oil and spills).  Speaking of stones, mine have never cracked even though I left them in the oven during the cleaning cycle once (a LOT of smoke) and they reverted to their original selves, clean and sparkly. (I don't recommend this as I mean a LOT of smoke) It did not take them long to regain their crusty appearance but I never take them out of the oven.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Things Every Orthodox Should Know

       There are nine orders of Angels
The Angelic Ranks are divided into three Hierarchies: highest, middle, and lowest.

The Highest Hierarchy includes: the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.
The six-winged SERAPHIM (Flaming, Fiery) (Is 6:12) stand closest of all to the Most Holy Trinity. They blaze with love for God and kindle such love in others.

The many-eyed CHERUBIM (outpouring of wisdom, enlightenment) (Gen 3:24) stand before the Lord after the Seraphim. They are radiant with the light of knowledge of God, and knowledge of the mysteries of God. Through them wisdom is poured forth, and people's minds are enlightened so they may know God and behold His glory.

The THRONES (Col 1:16) stand after the Cherubim, mysteriously and incomprehensibly bearing God through the grace given them for their service. They are ministers of God's justice, giving to tribunals, kings, etc. the capacity for righteous judgment.
The Middle Angelic Hierarchy consists of three Ranks: Dominions, Powers, and Authorities:
DOMINIONS (Col 1:16) hold dominion over the angels subject to them. They instruct the earthly authorities, established by God, to rule wisely, and to govern their lands well. The Dominions teach us to subdue sinful impulses, to subject the flesh to the spirit, to master our will, and to conquer temptation.

POWERS (1 Pet 3:22) fulfill the will of God without hesitation. They work great miracles and give the grace of wonderworking and clairvoyance to saints pleasing to God. The Powers assist people in fulfilling obediences. They also encourage them to be patient, and give them spiritual strength and fortitude.

AUTHORITIES (1 Pet 3:22, Col 1:16) have authority over the devil. They protect people from demonic temptations, and prevent demons from harming people as they would wish. They also uphold ascetics and guard them, helping people in the struggle with evil thoughts.
The Lowest Hierarchy includes the three Ranks: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels:
PRINIPALITIES (Col 1:16) have command over the lower angels, instructing them in the fulfilling of God's commands. They watch over the world and protect lands, nations and peoples. Principalities instruct people to render proper honor to those in authority, as befits their station. They teach those in authority to use their position, not for personal glory and gain, but to honor God, and to spread word of Him, for the benefit of those under them.

ARCHANGELS (1 Thess 4:16) are messengers of great and wondrous tidings. They reveal prophecies and the mysteries of the faith. They enlighten people to know and understand the will of God, they spread faith in God among the people, illuminating their minds with the light of the Holy Gospel.

ANGELS (1 Pet 3:22) are in the lowest rank of the heavenly hierarchy, and closest to people. They reveal the lesser mysteries of God and His intentions, guiding people to virtuous and holy life. They support those who remain steadfast, and they raise up the fallen. They never abandon us and they are always prepared to help us, if we desire it.

The nine lines in Christ’s Halo represent the 9 orders of angels.
The ribbons that are painted at the angel’s ear represent the attention to Holy Orders.

On icons the 7 Archangels are depicted in according to the character of their service:
Michael tramples the devil underfoot, and in his left hand holds a green date-tree branch, and in his right hand a spear with a white banner (or sometimes a fiery sword), on which is outlined a scarlet cross.

Gabriel with a branch from Paradise, presented by him to the Most Holy Virgin, or with a shining lantern in his right hand and with a mirror made of jasper in his left.

Raphael holds a vessel with healing medications in his left hand, and with his right hand leads Tobias, carrying a fish for healing (Tobit 5-8).

Uriel in his raised right hand holds a naked sword at the level of his chest, and in his lowered left hand "a fiery flame."

Selaphiel in a prayerful posture, gazing downwards, hands folded on the chest.

Jehudiel holds a golden crown in his right hand, in his left, a whip of three red (or black) thongs.

Barachiel is shown with a white rose on his breast.

Jeremiel holds balance-scales in his hand

The Feast Day of the Bodiless Powers is November 8th.

(This article is from the OCA website)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Dinner Flat Iron Steaks

Today was a lazy day. Flat iron steaks on the grill after marinateing all afternoon. Chicken wings for good measure and some chicken breasts since it was all hot and ready anyway. A nice fresh salad with lots of blue cheese....hmmmm so tasty.

Things Every Orthodox Should Know

I wrote a lengthy article months ago and kept submitting to the church newsletter for inclusion but it was always "lost" or forgotten. After so long,  I got the message I guess. So....I decided to share the information in pieces here, on my own blog.   I still think the information is relevant to the church.  

Why do icons look like they do? 

Icons represent the spiritual perfection of the person they portray. They are purposely unnatural looking and austere. They do not smile and have exaggerated features while the colors are specifically chosen and look the same from painter to painter. The Theotokos usually wears a red maphorian with 3 stars ( virgin before, during and after birth) over  a blue tunic. Blue represents humanity and red, divinity. She has had divinity put upon her by being the vessel chosen by God to carry the Word. Christ is the opposite, wearing a blue robe over a red tunic. His humanity was  put upon him by being born human.  Christ’s right hand is in a blessing that represents his name in Greek IC XC formed by his fingers. 


   What do all those letters mean?
On all icons there are inscriptions in the language of origin usually in abbreviated formats. Some iconographers use their “artistic” license to make the abbreviations and make it difficult for even the most seasoned linguist to interpret.  IC XC meaning Jesus Christ in Greek. IHCOYC XPICTOC   the letter “C” in this case is the letter Sigma in Greek.  The first and last letter is used, usually with a line or squiggle across the top to show it is an abbreviation.
On icons of the Mother Of God the letters MP OV ( Mu Rho Theta Upsilon) means  Mētēr Theou or Mother of God.
In the Halo of the Savior you will see:  “omicron”,  “omega”, and “ nu”. These letters mean “I Am” or “I Exist”.  
Ichthys can be read as an acrostic, a word formed from the first letters of several words. It compiles to "Jesus Christ, God's son, savior," in ancient Greek "ησος Χριστός, Θεο ͑Υιός, Σωτήρ", Iēsous Christos, Theou Huios, Sōtēr.
·         Iota (i) is the first letter of Iēsous (ησος), Greek for "Jesus".
·         Chi (ch) is the first letter of Christos (Χριστς), Greek for "anointed".
·         Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (Θεο), Greek for "God's", the genitive case of Θεóς, Theos, Greek for "God".
·         Upsilon (u) is the first letter of uiosἱὸς), Greek for "Son".
·         Sigma (s) is the first letter of sōtēr (Σωτήρ), Greek for "Savior".
Historians say the 20th-century use of the ichthys motif is an adaptation based on an Early Christian symbol which included a small cross for the eye or the Greek letters "ΙΧΘΥΣ".

A Day of Celebrations, mourning and feasting

Saturday was a day of graduation parties, a couples shower and a funeral.

We started the day with a bit of shopping for Brenda and then a marathon session of grad parties, funeral obligations and ended with a couples shower. Brenda attened the funeral alone. Benjamin was kind enough to help some friends sandbag agaist the rising flood waters with Mackenzie's boyfriend, Paul.  Then is was off to 2 grad parties with great food (mostly Greek) and a evening Mardi Gras themed celebration with some Cajun adjacent food at a lovely mansion home in West Omaha. Great couple of kids getting married and even greater parents. Bumping elbows with some of Omaha's finest citizens. Nice way to spend an evening.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pasta with Sausage and Cream

Bow Ties w/Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream

One of my most missed easy recipes since our low carb excursion is this:

Pasta with sausage and cream (measurments are approx)

6 Italian sausages cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
2 T flour
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c Parmesan
S and P to taste
Cooked bow ties or rigatoni

I have never really made this with cream. I sub skim milk for the cream and use flour to thicken. I start by frying the sausage till cooked thru and browned. I like the casing on it but you can remove it if you don't. Once brown and tasty I add 2T flour and stir to coat the sausage. I add a can of diced tomatoes followed by the milk. (we use skim). The mixture should thicken nicely and have a nice pink color. Add the Parmesan and season to taste. We ladle this over cooked bow ties or rigatoni. Great, easy dinner for a weekday.

Now...I know. I never measure stuff so everything is approximations. My bad,  but I have always been a pinch and dash kind of cook. Hits and misses but I am trying to be better about writing things down.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Leftovers from Memorial Day

As you can imagine we have plenty of food in the house all leftover from Memorial Day. I foolishly thought I might have to freeze some but most of the good stuff is gone or dwindling. Tomorrow will be the last day for all of it I am sure. Seems like I cooked a lot more but we had many eaters on Monday and lots of take home for the kids. The barbeque sauce recipe I shared was especially tasty. I will have to make more.


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