Thursday, December 25, 2008

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

This Christmas carol is probably the oldest one we have on record. We know that it at least dates back to the 5th century and is taken from the Liturgy of St. James. I don't know who wrote it, or what it sounded like in the original Greek, but it certainly expresses the awe I feel at Christmas.

King of Heaven.
Came to Earth
To restore our hearts to Heaven.


Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand.

2. King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
in the body and the blood;
he will give to all the faithful
his own self for heavenly food.

3. Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of light descendeth
from the realms of endless day,
that the powers of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away.

4. At his feet the six-winged seraph,
cherubim, with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the presence,
as with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Graham Cracker Cream Coconut Confections

Are you one of those kinds of people who buy the jello cheesecake instant mixes and add your own cherry pie topping but use the already made graham cracker crusts that have the neat little turn over and crimp tops and then wonder what to do with the sacks of pulverized graham crackers that come with the box of cheese cake mix? If you are not, then stop reading this. Now. (because that means you probably make your own "from scratch" cheese cakes which take skill, patience, and hours of work and taste heavenly). So go read the news or something; you can read this blog another day when you can relate better.

All right.

I should just have my type of cook reading this blog now. Let's see. Where were we?
Ah yes. The left over little bags of crumbs (which, by the way are terribly hard to shape into a perfectly shaped pie crust the way the back of the box says...hence the already made crusts). I cannot bear to throw those sacks away, so usually they languish in the top drawer of my pantry hoping for an inspiration...sometimes I remember to throw them out after a few months. Today, I ventured upon a new plan: make something with them while they are fresh!

So I made them into cookies. I took two sacks of crumbs, added a half stick of soft butter, a cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of cream. Then I finished off the vanilla and sprinkled them with cinnamon. To about half the batch, I added the rest of the coconut (from last night's venture into fudgery).
This should give me two kinds of cookies. They are in the oven right now...baking at 375 for I'm not sure how many minutes. I'll keep checking them and let you know how they turn out. Should be interesting.

Ok. This is what I found out so far. Twelve minutes is too long. Try ten. They are golden brown with a great tan on top of that. The good news is...they taste least the coconut ones do. The others are flat and very mushy looking. I haven't had the heart to try them yet. I'm letting them cool and seeing if they harden.

I turned down the oven to 300 and threw in the rest of the dough--coconut included--but this time I didn't form them into balls first--why, when they all run together like that. I plan to cut this one into strips and call it "bars". I set the timer for ten minutes and I'll let you know sometime later how they turn out. Ah, cooking is such an adventure for the fearless.


The graham cracker crumb coconut bars were great--It took 20 minutes at 300 degrees. The hopeless looking little piles of cookie goo that didn't have coconut in them look the worst...but taste so good I had to hide them from myself. (That wouldn't work if my memory weren't failing). They would be like ambrosia if you ate them while drinking a glass of cold milk.

Next time I'll do the same thing, but cut back on the butter. They seemed too greasy. I'm thinking only 1/4 stick or maybe none at all. The heavy whipping cream probably has enough oil in it. That's my guess.

Three Kinds of Fudge

Well I went on a fudge cooking marathon last night to fill some little tubs and distribute them among the church people who are still home and haven't run off to visit grandchildren. If any of you know me, you realized long ago that I'm not a very good cook...but I try with intrepidity:
So the conclusion of the matter is this: I have three kinds of fudge in the tubs: thin, soft, chocolate pecan slabs, little balls of vanilla, coconut "spoon" fudge (It didn't set up...but it's still the best tasting of the lot); and tall, stiff--very stiff cut it with a jack hammer if you dare--chocolate, peanut butter, pecan, whole bunch of marshmallows, marble fudge. There!
Who says I can't cook.