Thursday, 5 March 2015

Lamb and Mint

I got some Australian Lamb this week at my local supermarket.  I cannot do so often 'cause lamb (which I like very much) is usually very expensive.

The lamb I bought was labelled as hormone and antibiotic free (probably true for most lamb, which as far as I know cannot be "factory farmed").

What I bought was labeled as "Lamb for Stew", and it was "on sale".  The package weighed about twenty four ounces, and was sold for the princely sum of five bucks ($5), a bargain these days.

I prepared it in my slow cooker, and there was enough for three meals.  On Tuesday and Wednesday I ate it with sweet potatoes, corn,  and cannellini beans;  today with sweet potato and haricot verts.

A  "Feast fit for a King" indeed, or at least for a Povey.

The crowning joy of these meals was the mint sauce which I made from scratch.

Not for me the sickly sweet American product known as "mint jelly".

No siree! I made, from scratch,  the far superior British "mint sauce" :  Fresh mint finely chopped, malt vinegar (sufficient to moisten, but not to  drown the mint), and a teaspoonful of sugar.

Mint Jelly overwhelms the flavour of lamb.

Mint Sauce brings out the best in lamb.

Here is a fairly complicated recipe for Mint Sauce.


From one who is happy that he was born in England,

and who is more than glad that he became an American citizen,

and who is often irked when Americans criticize English/British cuisine,

and is weary of popular American dishes which require "cheese on everything"; deep fried if possible"!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A convocation of crows in my neighbourhood, (and when Bishops get together).

(1) So I know that the collective noun for Crows is a "murder", not a "convocation".
(2) And I know the difference between Crows and Jackdaws.
Nevertheless we had what I choose to call a "Convocation of Crows" this morning,  on and around a leafless tree in my neighbourhood. The noise was all but deafening.
Their gathering reminded me of some words by a Fourth Century (A.D.)Christian Bishop, one Gregory of Nazianzus. (Nazianzus was a small town in what is modern-day Turkey). He, (referring to a gathering of Bishops in Constantinople) speaks of Jackdaws -  but they might as well have been Crows.
A meeting of Bishops described
"they squawked in very direction. a flock of jackdaws combining together, a rabble of adolescents, a gang of youth, a whirlwind raising dust under the pressure of air currents,

people whom nobody who was mature enough either in the fear of God or in years would pay any attention,

they splutter confused stuff or like wasps rush directly at what is in front of their heads".

Gregory of Nazianzus ( A.D. 329 - 390 )

as quoted in Charles Freeman's "The Closing of the Western Mind" (Knopf 2003)
And here (gratuitously) is a video of a "Murmur (Convocation?) of Crows, not my video, but taken from the net.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Early morning in SRQ

Spider threads on a misty morning 1

Spider threads on a misty morning 2

Spider threads on a misty morning 3

Spider threads on a misty morning 4

Spider threads on a misty morning 5

A flotilla of ducks (Wood ducks?) 1

A flotilla of ducks (Wood ducks?) 2

Monday, 2 March 2015

From the 1990's to 2015

Back in the 1990's when I was the Rector at St. Stephen's Parish in Pittsfield, MA  I got to know Liz . Coscia and her daughters Sara and Katie.  They were good people who enjoyed our life in Christ at St. Stephen's.
Now, in 2015, I was lucky enough to hook up again with Liz (now Contenta) .  Thanks be to God she has married another Pittsfielder, one Frank Contenta (a man I knew and respected).
Last  month Liz C was visiting her Mum just down the road from SRQ, in Englewood, FL
They came up to SRQ and attended the 11:15 Eucharist at St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key, FL.
I was blessed enough to preside at that Eucharist (and my beloved the Revd.  Andi Taylor was the preacher).  What a blast!
Here are some "snaps" from that day.
jmp at the Altar with his good colleagues Andi T (l) and Ralph M (r)
Andi T and I minister the Holy Communion
Liz C and I after our post communion lunch at Panera Bread.