Thursday, February 23, 2012

Delighted to Prepare a Meal

I was inspired by reading Peter’s book to make a beautiful and nourishing meal for Sunday morning.

Saturday morning I washed some soybeans and put them in water to soak. That evening I made soymilk using a soymilk machine[1], which produces both soymilk and okara (fiber fraction) that is captured in a sieve. I put the soymilk in two glass canning jars, covered and cooled along with the okara on a covered plate. The rest of the soaked soybeans were combined with steel cut oats and buckwheat groats in a pan, washed, combined with pumpkin spice blend, extra cinnamon, licorice extract, and enough water to be about an inch higher than the grain in the pan. The burner was put on high until the mixture was boiling, then the heat was reduced to a medium level until the grain started to absorb a significant part of the water. The mixture was stirred and the heat was put on the lowest setting and the pan was covered. When all of the water was taken up by the grain, the oatmeal was cooled (outside) and placed in the refrigerator.

Sunday morning I rose early and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise, bringing to mind Psalm 65:5, 8b,
"By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation … You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy."

I started to pull together items for the breakfast. I got out a mixing bowl and put in two eggs that we gathered from our chickens – one brown from a Buff Orpington chicken and another with a bluish green shell from an Araucana chicken. The yolks were a rich yellowish-orange color which I combined with a little virgin olive oil. Then I added some of the oatmeal and okara from the refrigerator, some whole grain buttermilk pancake mix and buckwheat pancake mix. Water was added while stirring with a whisk until the consistency was right. I let the mix sit for about an hour. I asked my daughter, Gloria, to help me set the table and put a Baroque music CD in the stereo. A rose that I gave on Valentine’s Day to my wife, Lida, was drooping a bit, so I took some of the pedals and spread them on the table, recut the stem and wired below the bud so it would stand up straight. We lit some candles and placed vanilla soy yogurt, maple syrup, and a bowl of frozen wild blueberries on the table that could be put on the pancakes later. Bananas were sliced, and a block of dark chocolate was cut into pieces. Whole frozen cranberries were washed and allowed to thaw (we purchased many bags on sale after thanksgiving and stored in freezer). Bowls of walnuts, sunflower seeds and almonds and small date pieces were put near the stove. As family members were gathering, I started to cook. Some batter was added to a hot frying pan and various items were added depending on the member who was to receive it. Some like their pancake with the works, others with only the chocolate and walnuts, topped with banana slices. The chocolate chunks, cranberries, and dates were placed on the pancake and poked into it and covered with batter. Nuts and seeds were placed on top. Then the pancake was flipped and banana slices were arranged in a pattern on the surface. Soy yogurt, blueberries, and syrup were added at the table. I love the pancake with the works and put extra cranberries on top of mine because they are so beautiful. Furthermore, the cranberries came from a farm in Tomah, WI, the town where my mother grew up[2]. All were pleased with the meal and we were thankful to God for his rich blessings of food, music, flowers, sunrises, and family.


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