Thursday, March 24, 2011

from Mrs Sarah Emsley

I enjoy, from time to time, perusing Sarah Emsley's site, and came across this the other day. So, I do not take credit for the following. Find it here. She says,

"Have you ever searched the online concordance to Jane Austen’s novels for an apt, pithy quotation to write on a special occasion card?  I’ve tried this a few times, coming away disappointed each time because it’s so difficult to pin Austen down to a line or two of inspiration.  The novels as a whole may be inspiring, but a simple line or two of good wishes can be hard to find.  For example, here are some of the possibilities for a wedding:

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.  (Pride and Prejudice)

She meant to urge him to persevere in the hope of being loved in time, and of having his addresses most kindly received at the end of about ten years’ happy marriage.  (Mansfield Park)

I cannot easily resolve on anything so serious as Marriage; especially as I am not at present in want of money, and might perhaps, till the old Gentleman’s death, be very little benefited by the match.  (Lady Susan)

I’m always pleased, therefore, when I come across a line that is both memorable and inspiring, such as this one, from a letter to Cassandra in 1815, when their brother Henry was unwell and Jane was concerned about the uncertainties of his illness:

We must think the best & hope the best & do the best.  (November 26, 1815)

What more can anyone do?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Don't know who out there is a couponer, but here are some helpful sites.

Sigh No More - Mumford and Sons

The lyrics of this song, Sigh No More, contain some of the best-loved lines from my favorite-est Shakespeare play ever! Enjoy. (This is not the official video.)

Saint Patrick's Breast Plate

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.        
 (Saint Patrick's Breastplate is a Christian hymn whose original Old Irish lyrics were traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Supper of the Lamb

The Supper of the Lamb is the most unique cookbook I have ever read. (You will see the significance of the onion photo after the first chapter.) You know, I wouldn't even call it a cookbook per se, rather a philosophy of food and of life. A man can do worse than be poor. He can miss altogether the sight of the greatness of small things.(25) And, Nourishment is necessary only for a while; what we shall need forever is taste.(40)

There are indeed recipes at the back and throughout the book, but The Supper of the Lamb (written by a priest, Robert Farrar Capon) is much more encompassing than recipes. He delves into being a pathological calorie counter. His body may or may not lose weight; his soul, however, is sure to wither.(112) He discusses types of knives. A woman with a cleaver in mid-swing is no mere woman...A man who has seen women only as gentle arrangers of flowers has not seen all that women have to offer. Unsuspecting majesties await him.(61). The wonders of garlic, commercial stoves, and the many salvific attributes of baking soda. One of them being a Bestower of peaceful sleep after four beers, two heroes, and a sausage pizza...(186)

He freely discusses the views of wine. Each thing, at every moment, becomes the delight of His (God's) hand, the apple of His eye. The bloom of yeast lies upon the grapeskins year after year because He likes it...every September, He says, That was nice; do it again.
Let us pause and drink to that.(85)
My flesh creeps when I hear the legitimate love of the fruit of the vine treated as if it were a longer-winded way of doing what the world does with grain neutral spirits and cheap vermouth...God gave us wine to make us gracious and keep us sane.(91)

He states that we should feed children but not cook for them (i.e. cook to their tastes). No matter what they think, we know: We are the ones who have tasted and seen how gracious it all is.(131) And he even goes into kitchen cleanliness. Woks and iron skillets should be rinsed and wiped, never washed. If someone comes along and tells you cleanliness is next to godliness the proper answer is, "Yes- next. Right now I'm working on godliness."(142)...A sense of proportion is a saving grace.(143) And even differing methods of cooking, peeling or scrubbing is merely high church(30).

My favorite chapter, though, is on entertaining when he gets wound up about the cocktail party. A zealous host and hostess "may work themselves into a fit of omnipresence."(168) But, I find hard liquor and goodies from 5 to 8 p.m. to be inhuman, unmerciful, and frustrating.(168) Saying that the dinner party on the other hand is, an honest attempt to create a company, not a crowd.(170)

He speaks truth, my friend. A piece of cheese, a bottle of beer, and a twenty-minute nap would solve more of the problems of industry, politics, and the church, than all the pretentious martini-logged luncheon meetings in the world.(147)

Let me just leave you with, May you drink well enough to drown the envy of youth in the satisfaction of maturity.(180)

And remember, We were given appetites, not to consume the world and forget it, but to taste its goodness and hunger to make it great.(189)

(The book on the right is the copy I have, and where I stole all of these great quotes.)


Check out this pithy post by my friend, Sarah.