"It died a slow and painful death when those bats came out of the rafters."
~ Doctor Who: The Chase
Oremus pro invicem,
dreadful is the check--intense the agony--
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again;
The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.
Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to be involved with them.
Love is not a bandage to cover wounds.
~ Hugh Elliott, Standing Room Only
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves
alone ~ we find it with another. ~ Thomas Merton
Fresh Sea Scallops from the Coast of New England – served on a pillow of spinach pesto
Autumn Spinach Salad – with Walnuts, Apples and Cranberries sprinkled
with a Balsamic Vinaigrette
Pumpkin-Butternut Squash Bisque with Cider Cream
Grass Fed Filet Mignon with Port Glazed Cranberries and Gorgonzola Cheese – served with Bacon and Red Bell Pepper Green Beans and Orzo
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis
There was only one slight hiccup ~ again, it would not be worth the telling without something going wrong! The original menu consisted of a potato-turnip puree for the starch portion of the main course. The recipe I used and which I will not be using again, turned my beautiful red potatoes and turnip into glue. I kid you not ~ I seriously could have hung wallpaper with it. I grabbed a wine cooler, almost fainted and then quickly substituted an orzo dish and chucked the potato glue into the oven to finish off the monstrous recipe. And there it turned to soup and was acclaimed by all the kitchen staff! Will wonders never cease!
I served four different wines with dinner: two bottles of 2006 Viognier from Horton Vineyards and one bottle of 2007 Chardonnay from Rappahannock Cellars with the first three courses; a beautifully plumy bottle of North Mountain Vineyard’s Cabernet Franc Reserve 2006 with the main course and a Raspberry Merlot with dessert, also from North Mountain Vineyards. All the wines were from local Virginia wineries and all were quite good. I must however, give special mention to the North Mountain wines ~ and not just because I met them at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday and they were super friendly and nice to me! ;-)
I had never tasted a Franc Reserve before and after one sip, I knew I had to serve it with the filet. I was not able to taste the Raspberry Merlot on the spot, but I figured that with dessert, it would be fine. Alas! If only I had been able to taste it there, I would have bought a whole case of it! It was definitely the hit of the evening! And not just among the guests, but my friends who were playing kitchen and wait staff for the night. Thank goodness no one was there to see me swig down the last few drops after everyone had toddled home or off to bed. It was decidedly barbaric of me! But oh so worth it!!
Which sums up the whole evening, actually. Exhausting, overwhelming, insane, with some hysterically funny moments thrown in. And totally worth it.
I can’t wait to do this again. ;-)
Oremus pro invicem,
Special Thanks goes to the lovely and talented: Annie F., Jeannette P. & Marlena L. for chopping, smashing and arranging things so beautifully; Tika, the baker extraordinaire who donated the flourless chocolate cake. Also to Roshan, our tireless waiter in training; Sergio, whose haunting piano music was the icing on the cake and my long suffering housemates who helped turn our home into a peaceful café for the evening. I could not have done it without any of you!
Prince Vladimir Paley, member of the Russian Imperial family and cousin to the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, spiritually inherited the divine gift of poetry from another royal poet – the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov – known under the initials “K.R.” On July 5/18, 1917, together with the latter’s sons – Ioann, Igor and Konstantin Konstantinovichi, and the Grand Duchess Elizabeth and nun Barbara, Prince Vladimir Paley was thrown by the godless into the mine at Alapayevsk, thus earning for himself the crown of a New Martyr.
Ashmut tried to mock my new found infatuation, but since he happens to have a thing for Ella, (the Grand Duchess Elizabeth), he really should not be throwing stones from his glass house. (Ahem!) My favorite poem is God in Every Place and Thing:
God is in every place and thing,
Not only in our lucky star,
Not only in the fragrant flower,
Not just in joys sweet dreamings bring,
But also in the dark of poverty,
The sightless terror of our vanity,
In hurtful things, where light is not,
In things to bear which is our lot…
God’s in the tears of our pain,
The wordless sorrow of goodbyes,
The faithless seekings of our brain,
In suffering itself is God.
It is through life upon this sod
That we must reach the unknown land,
Where with the crimson trail of nails
Lord Christ will touch the wounds of man.
And that is why all flesh must die,
And why God is in all that is.
Translated by Kosara Gavrilovic
A close friend of mine who is a professional contralto near New York City recently had to sing an Agnus Dei from a ghastly contemporary Mass: the Missa Gaia by Paul Winter (which was recorded I believe at St. John the Divine). No, dear readers, that was not a typo: Missa Gaia.
I felt her pain ~ when you sing for a living sometimes you have to sing pieces that should never have seen the light of day but for which ignorant and tasteless people will pay money to hear. Well, it could be worse I suppose. Although I cannot think of anything worse than a Kyrie composed of whale song and vocal moanings. And I love whale song! But here it is very creepy. Great for Halloween, mind you, but a Mass?
Although he was not talking about music, I think a quote from Mark Shea sums it up best: Episcopalians: Making Catholics Feel Better About Themselves for Over 40 Years.
Suffice it to say, at St. John the Beloved in McLean, you will not hear such a monstrosity. The music schedule for October listed below will be updated periodically. Please note, the first Sunday of the month will always be a plain chant Sunday, unless otherwise noted. In October, it will the ladies schola singing.
Hope to see y'all there!
October 5, 2008 - XXI Sunday after Pentecost
Opening Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
Salve Mater – Chant / Introitus
Offertorium / Motet: Vir Erat – R. Rice
Communio / Maria, Mater, Gratiae – G. Faure
Mass: Missa Cum Jubilo – Mass IX
October 12, 2008 - XXII Sunday after Pentecost
Opening Alleluia, Sing to Jesus
Offertorium / Motet: Exsultate Justi – L. Viadana
Communio / Motet: Mass: Missa Beata Virgine – G. Aichinger
October 19, 2008 - XXIII Sunday after Pentecost
Opening Jesus Shall Reign
Off: / Motet: Ave Maria – E. Elgar
Communio / Motet:
Mass: Mass in F – C. Wood
October 26, 2008 - Christ the King
Opening For the Beauty of the Earth
Offertorium / Motet:
Communio / Motet: Ave Maria – F. Liszt
Mass: Mass of Saint Lawrence the Martyr – Fr. S. Haynes
September 14, 2008 - Exaltation of the Cross
Opening: Lift High the Cross
Offertorium: Christe, Adoramus te – C. Monteverdi
Missa Nos Autem Gloriari Oportet - Francesco Suriano
September 21, 2008 - XIX Sunday after Pentecost
Opening: Praise To the Lord
Offertorium: Cantate Domino – Hassler
Missa Brevis in G (KV 49) – W. A. Mozart
September 28, 2008 - XX Sunday after Pentecost
Opening: Immortal, Invisible
Offertorium: Super flumina Babylonis – G. P. da Palestrina
Mass in G – Giovanni Battista Casali