Comic Relief, Cranberry Orange Bread and Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa and The Bear

29 11 2007

I tend to take myself way to seriously.  In the midst of learning more about breast cancer, I really need my pets, my grandchildren and some light hearted reading.  Five year old John still won’t eat turkey.  He had so many turkey papers he colored in kindergarten, that he just can’t bring himself to eat turkey. Believe me , he knows what turkey lunch meat is and refuses that, also.  Yet, he dearly loves ham and chicken nuggets.  We don’t want to spoil if for him.  We continue to have our grandsons on the afternoons of the days that Jim doesn’t work.  I go pick them up and we spend time coloring or working on a computer program that teaches them skills.  They like to hide under our desk and pretend that we don’t see them.  I kick them gently while telling Jim:  “I hope we can find John and Alex before their mother comes home.”  They are just laughing and giggling –really believing that we can’t find them. 

Rudy, Tickie, Sammie and Katie keep me hopping, also.  Rudy is just so much trouble.  She instigates trouble all of the time. She and Tickie back Sammy, the cat, up in a corner and bark relentlessly.  On the other hand, the three of them will snuggle together for naps.  Sammy even groomed Rudy yesterday afternoon.  Basically, whatever mischief Rudy gets into–Tickie follows.  They’ve been kind of off kilter since Jim’s work schedule changed.  I was used to getting them out for an early morning walk.  We are all trying  to adjust–even the animals.  They have really acted out more , since our lives have changed.

Poor Katie, the cat, stays on the fridge.  She is terrified of the dogs.  I found her in l997 after a family just abandened her.  She has always been a fearful cat.  She would live in one room only when my other dogs were alive.  Katie seemed to sense when they could no longer torment her–so she gradually increased her living area.  Today, the poor thing spends most of her time on our fridge.  She is 13 now and seems to be going down hill fast. 

I like the light reading of The Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  I read them all many years ago but started re-reading them this fall.  Father Tim seems to solve every heartache and sorrow in Mitford.  Real life could not be this good ever–but it is fun to read.  I also love the  Anne of Green Gable books by L.M. Montgomery.  Anne is forever getting into trouble but grows up to be a wonderful teacher and eventually marries her childhood friend, who becomes a doctor.  None of these books are for deep thinking but sometimes we all need to be a lighter hearted. 

I’m feeling the need to fill my freezer with good things to eat, before I go to have my surgery.  This morning I made four loaves of cranberry-orange bread.  I never turn on the oven to make just one loaf of bread.  This is our Nativity fast–so we can’t use milk or eggs.  Ordinarily, I use bananas in place of eggs.  This time ,I tried a product called Energ. Actually, the g goes under the word.  I found it in the organic section of Kroger.  I just took my bread out of the oven–and it seems to have done a good job.  This is how I made my bread:   I took one can of frozen orange juice, melted and blended it in the blender with 1 lb of cranberries.  Dilute the orange juice to make 6 cups of liguid.  Place this in an extra large mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of the egg substitute with 1/2 cup of warm water.  Add to the mixture.  Add 4 tablespoons of baking powder, 4 teaspoons of vanilla, 4 cups of raw sugar, 1 cup of olive oil and 12 cups of flour.  I use only unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour.  Mix everything together and pour into four greased pans.  Bake on 300 degrees until done.  I always start with a lower temperature and increase if I need to.  My bread turned out wonderful. 

Again, I have a mini saint story.  Actually, Peter of Krutitsa isn’t a  saint, but his story is very interesting.  The time frame for this story is somewhere between l920 and 1930.  Christians were being persecuted terribly in Russia.  Metropolitan Peter was taken prisoner on a train.  The guards treated him awful.  Eventually, they threw him off the moving train.  He fell  into a deep pit of snow and down into an abyss.  Finally, he ended up in a dark forest.  It was terribly cold.  He knew that he would freeze to death.  While saying what he thought were his final prayers–a huge bear came his way.  Instead of attacking the Metropolitan, this bear let Peter know that he was to snuggle with him.  Gladly, Metropolitan Peter curled up in the bear’s embrace all night.  When he woke up, the bear was gone.  Later a rooster led him to a human dwelling, where he was able to take shelter.

God Bless Each of You!




One response

30 11 2007

Mom – Great stories. Sorry that I haven’t read them in a while. Life is so busy, isn’t it? Maria

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