Food & Dining

Two Concurrent Celebrations

Our Astronomical and Cultural Calendars show that today, May 05, 2023, we recognize two different, but concurrent, celebrations: Cinco de Mayo and Beltane.

Cinco de Mayo is a yearly celebration held on May 5 of Mexico’s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza. The victory over the French army was a morale boost for the Mexicans.

Beltane is the Gaelic May Day festival. It is traditionally held on 1 May, or about midway between the spring equinox and summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. The festival name is synonymous with the month marking the start of summer in Gaelic Ireland.

Since both events are virtual invitations for feasting, that’s what we’re intending to do. Either occasion can be an excuse for enjoying some of Damsel’s kitchen prowess.

Today, we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Carnitas Burritos prepared according to the traditional (but Keto adapted) Mexican fashion. Along with dinner, we will be enjoying a sugar-free Margarita cocktail. ¡Salud! ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Tomorrow, we plan to celebrate the Beltane cross-quarter event. We found a recipe called “Irish Stout Braised Chicken” which calls for a number of traditional (to Celtic culture) vegetables in addition to chicken. We are looking forward to that feast as well and will celebrate with an Irish Coffee. Slàinte! Beltane Sona!

Easter Sunday

Today is the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox — those are the criteria establishing the day upon which Jesus’ Resurrection is celebrated. Since the date bounces around from year-to-year, it can never be determined when the actual anniversary of the rising of Christ from the tomb occurs. Regardless, we recognize the event on the above defined date annually since it is the spirit of the Holy Day we celebrate.

Luke 24:1-7 (KJV) —

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Happy Easter Sunday to all. Damsel and I will start the day with our Resurrection devotional service and Communion. Later, we will celebrate with an Easter Dinner here at home. He is Risen!


Unrelated to all above, our Desert Cacti have been blooming and yesterday one of the Hedgehog cactus flowers opened in all its glory. Click on the image to enlarge.

Palm Sunday 2023

As the spring season is now upon us and Easter week approaches, we take the time and notion to observe Palm Sunday, the day of Jesus’ last Earthly triumph before fulfilling God’s ultimate destiny as Christ the Savior.

From The Christian Post:

Palm Sunday celebrates the significance of Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem before His crucifixion and resurrection.

The Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, which is April 2 this year, and the period lasts until Holy Saturday, April 8, which is the day before Easter Sunday, April 9.

We celebrated Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week this morning with a simple in-home Bible scripture reading and Communion. We pray that we may have peace in the Nation and the World during the Passover and Easter celebrations.

Later in the day, we will have a Palm Sunday feast consisting of a nice Casserole made in part from a recently smoked pork shoulder roast. We had this meal last Summer and it got rave reviews from the two of us and our dogs.

Enjoy your Palm Sunday and the week ahead.

UPDATE:

This Argentine Giant Cactus Flower opened up on Palm Sunday evening. Image courtesy of Damsel. Click to enlarge.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2023

Our annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day will consist of a weekend of feasting. Tomorrow, on St. Patrick’s Day proper (Friday), we will be having Irish-American traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner. On Saturday, the plan is for Irish Pork Stew and on Sunday, Shepherd’s Pie. All of the meals will be prepared in accordance with our current dietary restrictions, i.e. low-sodium and low-carb. (OK — we cheat a teensy bit with some of the faire, but not blatantly.)

Tonight, the corned beef brisket is already in the crock pot and (not connected with the weekend feasting) there is a nine-pound pork shoulder roast in the smoker. The latter is to be shredded and put away in the freezer for future smoked pork delights such as pulled-pork sandwiches, pork enchiladas, etc. The roast was on sale at under a dollar a pound, so we invested in it.

Back to St. Patrick: we have taken to celebrating Irish festivals due to our DNA-certified western European heritage that includes Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and other north-western Europe roots. The Irish shows up in both of our DNA analyses as well as both of our family tree genealogy traces. So, Irish we are, especially on days like March 17th.

From Biography dot com:

Saint Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint, known for spreading Christianity throughout the country as a missionary during the 5th century.

The man who would come to be known as Saint Patrick was a missionary that helped spread Christianity throughout Ireland during the 5th century. Much remains unknown about his life, including his birth name, but British-born Patrick became a devout Christian during his six-year enslavement in Ireland. He escaped only to return to Ireland later in life as a missionary, combining Irish pagan beliefs with Christian sacrament in his teachings. A religious figure within the Christian and Catholic faiths, he died around 461 AD and later became the patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick is annually honored throughout the world on his feast day, March 17.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Lemon Harvesting Still Underway

Third Harvest Yield — About 150 Lemons — click to enlarge

Here it is almost late January and we’re still getting lemons off of our Lisbon Tree. Damsel and I picked those shown above a couple of days ago and scores more remain to be picked. We will probably get to the remaining fruit early next week.

We have had this tree since about the middle of 2010, and each year, the tree seems to have more yield than the years prior. The first crop consisted of about 40 lemons while this year we’re at an unknown number since we asked our landscape crew to help themselves — they took what I’m sure amounts to two hundred or more. This year, the tree had a truly overwhelming crop. In addition the landscape crew’s haul, we have picked lemons since mid December three times now.

We will finish the job sometime next week and will be pruning back the tree at the same time. The lemons will be distributed as usual to friends, neighbors, charities and our own Limoncello production. According the sales flyers, lemon prices are “on sale” at $0.50 each. Our lemons are slightly larger than those we see in the produce section of the Supermarket. Believe it or not, we do not put any fertilizer or anything in the “orchard” other than daily watering via timed irrigation.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody! We’re a bit late posting this since Damsel and I were celebrating with a prime rib dinner this Christmas. This is the first time (in my recollection) that we had a prime and not just a choice rib roast. I cooked the roast on the outdoor grill today (our temperature was about 72° F. today) and had to regulate the temperature so as not to cook the roast unevenly throughout. It was a five pound roast which we bought in November and has been in the freezer until we took it out to thaw yesterday.

The (clickable) image above is of the dinner plate and a “Christmas Cocktail” on our holiday table. The sides were a lettuce wedge with Green Goddess dressing and Brussels Sprouts. All in all, it was delicious and we needed to take a long walk after eating.

We hope that your Christmas Feasting went well and was as enjoyable as ours. Merry Christmas!

From Luke 2:8-11

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Thanksgiving Day 2022

The Holiday Season is upon us again and we are rapidly getting in the mood to celebrate with all the accompanying festivities. The first order of our holiday festiveness is to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with all the appropriate feasting and borderline gluttony. We are currently preparing the Smoked Breast of Turkey entrée and several side dishes for today’s dinner.

We are thankful on this day for our feast and for the hands that prepared it. We are thankful for those who serve and are on duty on this day. We are thankful for our neighbors, our family and our friends. We are thankful for those who read these words. May the Lord bless and keep them all in His grace.

So, if you’re celebrating and feasting, enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

UPDATE: Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner comprised of Smoked Turkey Breast, Dressing, Mashed Fauxtatoes, Gravy, Green Beans and Baked Squash. Ice Cream over a Pumpkin Muffin for Dessert.