Sunday, January 9, 2011

Comfort food . Historical Perspective. Prayer.

The news yesterday was stunning. Arizona Congresswoman Gabriella Giffords shot at a district open event.

Heroes deserve their names to be known. Not criminals and misfits. The idiot who shot her- now that his name has been announced- the mute button is made for when it is about to be restated. The perpetrator's name ought to be replaced by a descriptive, perhaps "the devil who shot up a gathering at a local shopping center." Or a big "bleep" played as his actions have changed his name into an expletive.

Puerto Rican flag over island
This is not the first time shots have been taken at Congressmen. In 1954 the matriarchal side of "my people"- Puerto Ricans- unfurled the island's flag  and started shooting in the Washington DC Halls of Congress.  5 Congressmen were shot.

 That was the year before I was born. Still, as a child I understood that when some with shared genetic code do something wrong- it is your duty to make it clear - in words and actions- you will have no compassion for those who violently go over the brink. Further, you have to develop some empathy for disapproval sent your way based on the actions of others. Wise words and good behavior are the only slow weapons available to win them over.

Fidel in 1974
For those who do not understand the intensity of feeling against the rein of Fidel Castro: Fidel's release of several American CIA agents being held in Cuba on espionage charges was concurrent with President Jimmy Carter's freeing the assailants still in prison. Coincidence? Does that exist in foreign relations?

The air is heavy with grief. It bares down on all Americans of every political assignation. It is a good time to make food which requires minimal attention and is filling. The air outside is gloomy- a perfect backdrop for split pea soup. In the style of Nigella Lawson- this is a basic "road map recipe."

Soak in water to cover plus an inch or so in deep pot. At least 1 hour will give you creamiest result
  •  Dried package of split peas- ( for the 2 of us, half the package will keep us full)
Drain off the soak. To peas in fresh water add
  • smoked ham hock
  •  celery stalk or 2 sliced
  • a small sweet onion, diced
  • a handful of carrot slices
Spice it up to taste with
  • a bay leaf
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • Tabasco sauce
Simmer until the meat is fall off the bone tender and the peas are mushy. If more liquid is needed ,  stir in water of chicken broth.  Pull marrow from the bones, discarding the hock. The bay leaf should likewise to in the trash.

Ladle by ladle, steam rising from bowls of homemade split pea soup warm the coldest of circumstances. A calm mind sees more clearly what it can do- and what it must let go.  

Dear Father in Heaven,  Bless this Nation, comfort us one and all. As we go forward, may we remember the responsibility is ultimately the gunman's and any accomplice. May we be circumspect to keep our words and actions out of the realm of encouraging wrong-doing. We give our pain to you and ask we be granted wisdom to avoid the ugliness of yesterday.

As this is the custom of my faith, I ask this in the name of my Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Lydia!

I am not watching the TV but I am reading on the net. I am so sick of the blame game for everyone BUT the perp! It is another tragedy when everyone can't come together to mourn but have to make it into a political blood bath.

Prayers go up for the victims and for our nation.

Hugs, Trisha
p.s. LOVE the sound of the split pea soup. Since I have made soup several times since the first of the year, John may leave home if I serve soup to him again any time soon! lol

Oregon Sue said...

Amen, L. A sad day for our country and all those involved. My prayers going to them also.

LOVE split pea soup. The only thing I do differently is instead of Tabasco I use red chili flakes.

HUGS from the frozen north! xo

Anonymous said...

Blessings to you for posting such a kind and honest post. We need to all pray for peace and realize that this was the act of a very sick person.

Lydia said...

Greetings to all who wrote in.
Grief involves many emotions.Including anger.

We would be better served if the media was more careful about the state of mind of the microphones is recording. Choosing the most divisive in the name of "honesty" is dishonest when it is done in the name of numbers or driving a predetermined agenda.

Grief deserves to be handled with respect.