Wordy Wednesday: Festive Gifts and Meal
Each year, my children refashion old boxes and papers, painting them, adding sparkle, so we can use them to wrap or fill. Two of the boxes here came from old pizza boxes. Another from a shirt box.
How to do it? Origami books often have patterns to follow, and that's what we did. The end result is not just a sweet bread or a book all wrapped up, but a piece of art lovingly crafted.
When Christmas Eve finally arrives, the foot of the tree will be graced with their artful creations. Then, it's on to a festive meal. This year, we'll do a shepherd's meal (loosely). Lentils, olives, feta cheese and bread.
Later, we'll celebrate Jesus by dipping challah bread in honey (based on a Jewish Sukkot practice, which is usually done in a tent of sorts. Jesus, of course, came and "pitched his tent among us" according to the original language of John's gospel, so we'll eat our challah under a canopy my eldest daughter is going to rig up in the foyer.)
If you prefer something richer than shepherd's fare, there's always the roasted vegetable dish below. In any case, I wish you a very merry Christmas, filled with love, creativity, and the joy of Jesus who invites you into his tent for the riches of his grace.
Greek Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas
Add all to a large rectangular casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast at 400 degrees for about 2 hours or until very tender. Remove foil, lower heat to 350 and roast for another 15 minutes or until nicely browned...
• assorted vegetables chopped chunky, such as turnip, carrot, potato, celery, red onion
• 1 can or 1 1/2 cups dry and pre-cooked chickpeas
• 1 TB balsamic vinegar
• 1 TB worcestershire sauce
• 4 large garlic, minced
• 1/2 jar Muir Glen Sauce
• 1 TB Muir Glen tomato paste
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp. allspice
• 1/2 tsp. ground clove
• 1/4 cup red wine
• a few pours olive oil
• 2 cups water (add more as needed throughout, for desired sauce consistency)
Add salt and pepper to taste and a few pours of olive oil. Mix in a handful or two of raisins.
Serve over any kind of flat noodle, with salad or other green vegetable. The rich spices are an excellent complement to the mild flavor of chickpeas.
About chickpeas...About 15 grams protein in 1 cup. High in potassium, calcium and vitamin A. Among other legumes, this golden, nut-shaped legume stands tallest in iron. Some research has shown cholesterol reduction with increase in chickpea consumption.
Handmade Gift Boxes and Wrapping Paper by Sara and Sonia. All photos, by L.L. Barkat.