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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunday Service & Supper

I got a little behind on my posting in mid-December, so here's a holiday adventure I meant to share.

During Advent, I wanted to get a little churchin' in but didn't want to get up too early. (I ended up sleeping until 11:30. Jeez, am I 15 again?? Between the trip to Philly, Leigh Ann's visit and the holiday party, it had been a long week.)

Anyway, at the holiday party, I asked Kurt's friends who live in Harlem if they'd recommend any churches in their neighborhood (thinking of hitting a gospel service sometime), and they said I had to visit St. John the Divine.
Holy cow -- it's gorgeous!

It's a landmark that towers over the neighborhood...which is a very good thing, as I took the wrong train and ended up on Malcolm X. Boulevard instead of Broadway. Oopsie. I had a solo walk down a deserted 112th street in Harlem, thinking all the way, "Gosh, I'm surprised the guys didn't warn me about this..." Other than one unsolcited, "Hey, baby! What's your name?" it was an uneventful stroll, and I could see the back of the cathedral the whole way, so I knew I was on the right path.

Lesson learned: the 1 and the 2/3 trains diverge north of 96th Street. This little tidbit will not be forgotten!

Anyway, I was attending a 2 p.m. Fools Mass performance by a theater group called Dzieci.
Here's how they describe it on their website: Fools Mass is set during the plague years, somewhere in medieval Europe. A group of village idiots are forced to enact their own mass due to the sudden death of their beloved pastor, an extraordinary man who had given them shelter and trained them to sing. The piece is full of buffoonery and comic audience participation, as well as choral singing of sacred hymns and chants from the 8th through the 17th centuries, producing a vigorous example of Sacred Theatre.

It was extraordinary! Poignant, funny, sad and provocative. I wish I'd gotten someone to go with me because it was such an unusual experience, and I was dying to discuss it afterwards. It reminded me of a class I took in college that looked at mass as one of the oldest forms of theater -- complete with props, costumes and characters.

I took the correct route back to the subway and popped into a market to buy some challah bread for the dinner I'd dreamed up: monte cristo sandwiches.
I spread a generous bit of the cheese spread I'd made for Friday's party onto a thick wedge of challah bread. Chese spread recipe courtesy of my friend Ranie:

16 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
One 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small onion, minced
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or powder (or 1 or 2 pressed cloves of fresh garlic)
Cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, press into a mold or ring, and refrigerate several hours until firm. Serve with raspberry preserves.

Once I made my challah sandwiches with the leftover spread, I dipped them into some egg and milk and grilled them until brown... then topped with powdered sugar and raspberry preserves.
The filling was not quite as hot as I wanted, so when I made Kurt's sandwich, I grilled it in a pan (instead of on the George Forman) for better heat control.

That cheese spread was so wonderful, I ate it on crackers for supper for two more days!  

1 comment:

Dee Stephens said...

OMG! I don't know how you stay thin!!!!
This making me hungry and I'm trying to steer away from carbs and cheese!