Saturday, January 1, 2011

The World Needs More Potlucks

     So as we usher out 2010, and welcome in 2011, what is everyone resolved to do different? Me, I am going to say what the hell? It was just like 2000! Here we are 11 years later, and they haven't invented the "turn back timenator". I for one would kiss support a little machine like that. I am not into surgery "on purpose", to diminish those little laugh lines. They are laugh lines, reminders that I found life and the people in it, funny on more than one occasion. They stay!

     Wow, time flies. My oldest son is going for his learner's permit in March, that means that 15 years have elapsed. Not 5 months or even 5 years, nope not ten, 15 years!!! Was I asleep? I am speechless, on how quick time passes. I remember when the Twin Towers were hit in 2001. I was pregnant with my youngest son Kerry. I was working and the waitresses kept coming in and saying we were under attack. People were confused and in Vermont we could only rely on what the news channels were reporting. Living within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant there was a lot of praying. There have been only two times in my life that I was brought to my knees with grief. One was September 11, 2001, and the other Hurricane Katrina. It reminds you how grateful you should be. That's it.

     When I think of gratitude, healing and bonding of a community. I think of church suppers. Sharing a meal with your neighbors, friends and family is very cathartic. These people have your back no matter what, and they don't want anything in return, BUT for you to be you. It bonds communities, and strengthens relationships. I have always said, warring nations should gather together and eat before they talk business. Food is our common ground.

     The unique thing about Church suppers is that every dish has a history, and thus a story attached to it. Those desserts in the late spring that have fat strawberries, remind me of berry picking with my mother-in-law, where there were strawberries as far as the eye could see. The little ones, just sat down and ate their fill, faces stained red. Or a Church member's prized chili, that all the rest waited in anticipation for. Talking about food, sharing recipes, connecting, giving out gratitude and receiving gratitude. Life's most perfect moments.

     Potlucks or Church suppers can turn a room full of strangers into a chatty bunch, sharing their favorite recipes. While the aroma of lasagna hovers over their heads, waiting patiently for their turn. Funny, how I can be so patient during potluck, but applied to life, I fall short. Just read my previous posts. During a potluck everyone belongs, no one is excluded, all is shared, and no two Church suppers are the same, each time a new and different experience. It is a perfect harmony of synergy and abundance.

     I am going to share a recipe that was given to me by my friend Barbara,  I twisted it a little, and I brought it to my Church supper. That was a very happy moment. We all get them, when we know we are right where we are supposed to be. I liken it to an epiphany.

Spanish Chicken Casserole

1 bag of good quality tortilla chips
4 16oz jars of salsa
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package Taco Bell taco seasoning
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 16oz container of sour cream
1 2cup bag of mozzarella
1 2cup bag of cheddar

In a skillet heat olive oil and saute diced onion and garlic and add green peppers and ground chicken. Cook until chicken is done, add the taco seasoning mix and cook according to the package directions. Spray a deep 13x9 pan with pan spray. Layer starting with salsa. Crunch chips and layer some of the ground chicken, dot with sour cream, and sprinkle with both cheeses and add more salsa. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, with the cheese on the top. Bake in 350F until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with guacamole, fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce. My favorite burritos without all the work.

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. ~Bill Vaughn


Alida said...

that sounds really tasty and looks easy to make... gonna have to give this one a try!

Happy New Year!

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