Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Branches and Musical Bears

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!’            John 12:13

Today we were going to fry shrimp.  It was going to be the topic of tomorrow’s blog.  Now I’ll have to find something else to write about because we went to Bear on the Square in Dahlonega instead.  I love festivals of all kinds, but Bear on the Square is one of the best because of the street jams.  In downtown Dahlonega during the festival, groups of musicians playing Bluegrass will appear on every corner, and some spaces in between.  It’s great to stop and listen, and amazing to have so many talented people in one small town.

Our day had plenty of food, however.  The entire day it seemed like we were continually ingesting something, from candy store delicacies to fried apple pie to wine tasting.  Being Sunday afternoon, I had expected a small crowd.  I had thought things would be winding down.  The crowds showed up, however, ready for the kettle corn and banjo.  It was a fun day.

While listening to banjo and fiddle doesn’t often bring the Gospel story to mind, today’s festivities seemed to perfectly fit with the excitement of Palm Sunday.  We celebrated in church this morning with the children as they paraded through the sanctuary with their palm branches.  Through the Palm Sunday celebration, we remember the excitement felt by the ancient Israelites as Jesus made his way into Jerusalem.  This was their moment, they thought.  All was about to be made right.  They were about to witness the kingdom of God ushered into their nation and their world.  I can only imagine that they were going through the roof!

As we look on this story today, with a perspective across many centuries, we know that the revelry was short lived.  It was followed almost immediately by crushing disappointment.  Even the victory of Resurrection wouldn’t erase and the horror of the days that followed Jesus’ entrance into the holy city.  But the party was worth having, as most parties are.  The pain that we will endure in our lives will not remove God’s gracious presence among us, or make our lives any less blessed.  There is always reason to celebrate.

Every party is worth having.  Our small family party last night included Chicken Pot Pie and Sweet Potato Casserole.  The casserole was very much like the recipe I printed on a recent blog, so I won’t print it again. When I printed this earlier improvised recipe, it didn’t occur to me to call it sweet potato casserole.  The rule in my head, that I didn’t know I had, was that sweet potato casserole had to have marshmallows.  This experience has broadened my understanding.  One of the few differences was that this recipe called for a cup of sugar in the sweet potato mixture.  I used far less sugar and it was fine.  I think it might have been just as good with none! 

The chicken pot pie was very good, which came as a surprise to me because I am not usually a fan of the stuff.  The cream cheese makes it.  I added some tomato because I had some, left out the eggs because I didn’t.  Finally, I sprinkled some dill over the top.  It was delicious.

May your Holy Week be filled with celebration and remembering.

Blessed eating!

Chicken Pot Pie
1 whole chicken (cooked and deboned)      1 can Veg-all, drained
1 can cr. Chicken soup                                   2 boiled eggs, chopped fine
1 8 oz. cream cheese                                      1 ½ c. chicken broth
Mix together well.

1 c. milk                                                                1 c. flour
1 stick butter
Mix and pour over the chicken mixture.  Mix up and bake until light brown. – Lonna Russell

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