Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Perfect Prayer

My own "rule" of prayer has grown from the prayers provided in the Red Prayer Book published by the Antiochian Archdiocese. Since these prayers can get a bit lengthy as a group event (especially if one of your group is a two-year-old), we typically just say the Trisagion and Lord's Prayer with Noah on the way to school and before bed.

After Pascha, we added the Paschal Troparia to our prayers (with Noah enthusiastically singing along). More recently we've added "Jesus Loves Me." Noah asks to sing these songs as "Trampling" and "Jesus."

The most recent addition to our family "rule" has been the addition of personal commemorations. This started, I feel certain, as a made up song while driving (probably home from church). Noah probably asked me to sing a song about mommy. I responded by singing "I love mommy" three times in the same way that we sing "Lord have mercy" in triplicate as a response in the litanies. At prayer time, this has evolved to be a series of short songs about everyone in our family, as well as their dogs, and sometimes Noah's shoes. It goes something like this:

Noah: Sing mommy

All: I love mommy, I love mommy, I love mommy

Noah: Sing daddy

All: I love daddy, I love daddy, I love daddy

Noah: Sing baby

All: I love Samuel, I love Samuel, I love Samuel

Noah continues racking his brain to remember all of his aunts and grandparents and our dogs. At times he pauses, obviously deep in thought, to try to remember who he has left out.

Noah: Sing Granddad

All: I love granddad...

After he can think of no one else, Noah smiles, very pleased. "Everybody," he exclaims.

All: I love everybody, I love everybody, I love everybody.

I can't think of a more perfect prayer. From the mouth of babes, indeed.

Pork Loin with Mint Cherry Reduction

Monday night we had Samuel's godparents over for dinner. I had planned to cook steak pinwheels (stuffed with Parmesan and spinach), but when I pulled the meat out of the refrigerator, it had turned a greenish-grey and smelled dead. This was at about 6:00 PM, and we were expecting our dinner guests any minute. I rushed off to HEB (where I had purchased our just-discarded dinner the previous Friday) to try to salvage dinner.

HEB didn't have any more steak pinwheels, so I opted for some fresh pork loin and hurried home. As I was throwing together some ensalata caprese as an appetizer and talking with our guests it occurred to me that my friend Lisa Moorman of A Cupcake in Paris would appreciate the story, so I broke out the camera and resolved to make a blog post out of dinner.

Roasted Pork Loin

6 fresh pork loin chops

Worcestershire sauce

sea salt


Mint Cherry Sauce

1 Can Bing Cherry pie filling

6-8 mint leaves, chopped

Preheat oven on the Low Broil setting. Lay your pork loin chops out in a roasting pan. Using a fork, pierce the chop all over to allow your salt, pepper, and Worcestershire to soak in. Grind generous amounts of sea salt and black pepper over your chops. Soak each chop in 1-2 Tbs of Worcestershire sauce. Place roasting pan on middle rack and broil approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit for medium well chops.

Put cherries and mint into a small skillet. Cook on medium-high heat until juices boil. Using the back side of a spoon, smash cherries and stir. Continue to reduce cherries until the sauce doesn't run in when you stir through with your spoon.

I served my chops with a fresh herb salad tossed with halved cherry tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese and a rice pilaf of white, brown and red Texmati rice with lentils. The meal paired nicely with the Savioun Rose de Anjou graciously provided by our guests.

How's that for "off-the-cuff"? Besides the pork loin, the rest of these ingredients were literally in the pantry. Necessity, again, proves to be a wonderful inspiration.

Samuel Isaac

Turns out that Baby K #2 is a boy as well! Samuel Isaac was born Wednesday, July 1. He was 20 inches long and 8 lbs 13 ozs at birth.

If you're paying attention to details, you'll notice that as I'm writing this, Samuel has turned one week old. His was an uncomplicated, if super quick, delivery. We were able to leave the hospital late last Thursday evening, so I didn't have much in the way of downtime at the hospital to blog. This is a good thing.

Adjusting to life with child number two is vastly different because there are already daily rhythms that need to remain as constant as possible (e.g. dropping off and picking up from school, dinner, bath & bedtime). Instead of us reshaping our world to the new child as we did with Noah, this is more of a collaborative effort. I expect that Samuel will learn to sleep in his own bed much earlier than did Noah.

I'm doing my level best to keep pictures updated on the Picasa site.