Wednesday, February 20, 2013

StoryBook Club meets Rumplestiltskin

Rumplestiltskin. Well, that IS quite a name. Not one that would be easily guessed! It's a throw back to the German Rumpelstilzchen with literally means "little rattle stilt" which is a pole. A rumpelstilz was also the name of a type of goblin that made noises by rattling posts or rapping on planks. A mischievous spirit or poltergeist.

This complicated story is also a throw back to the way society was structured.

Themes included:
Status, Hierarchy (King/Peasantry) 

Greed (Gold and items of worth were traded as currency)

Women as objects of little worth (slaves/objects to be bargained for/baby producers) Hell, the female main character didn't even have a NAME. She was always referred to as "The Miller's Daughter" or "The Queen" (i.e "The King's wife")

Power (Miller over his daughter/King over the girl/Rumplestiltskin over the girl/Queen over Rumplestiltskin)

Value and Worth (girl of little value till King hears she can spin straw into gold/ Gold is of equal worth as the things the girl cherishes: her mothers' necklace and ring/her child)

The Power of a Name (reputation "King"/ evil unnamed is more powerful than evil that has a name- i.e. "He who shall not be named" is more of a threat because when something has a name you can have power over it. This is like Voldemort (eeek! I spelled it!) and also in Homer's "The Odyssey" when Odysseus tells the Cyclops "my name is Nobody" which protects him later on).

Alchemy (straw into gold/ girl into Queen/ Rumplestiltskin into 2)

Oh so much to talk about in this story!!

The female in this story was a survivor as most women had to be without a dowry back then. She did what she could with what she had. It's what women still do to this day. She was traded for power, she gave up her family to appease her King, gave up her mother's inheritance for her lover, gave up her virginity to satisfy the marriage deal for survival. She even had to agree to give up her children to be raised in a suspect manner in order to live. How'ere, thankfully, the truth (altho' treacherously hidden) in this Grimm story DOTH WIN OUT in the end!
She gets to keep her own child and her new identity by her own cunning.


We met at Rob & Korinna's house and they made us all feel quite comfy!

We also had a lot of fun playing with a Mad Lib that Christine helped us all put together. We played a round the room guessing game of the possible names for Rumplestiltskin which was also a lot of fun! Such good folks that come together and chat about many things...from mundane to scientific. And bonus? We can swear :)

And of course....

The FOOD!! It was a "GOLDEN Night!" in honor of Rumplestiltskin's Power!

Golden Hummus and crusty golden bruschetta bread, Golden Onion Soup with Saffron, Golden Straw (whole wheat pasta and cheese sauce/with fresh parsley), Golden Eggs, and Golden Pound Cake with Pineapple and Whip Cream. To drink there was some fabulous white wine and also Galliano- a wonderful herbal anise liqueur! As ALWAYS...the menu came together and was just fabulous! Especially delightful was Ed's Soup (a medieval recipe) and Rob's Hummus (will post recipe on the end of this note). The liqueur was 43% alcohol. No wonder I was tipsy with that after the wine! :)

We watched a couple of short videos about the subject matter: From Faery Tale Theatre the story of Rumplestiltskin with Shelly Duval and also from Once Upon a Time, the story "Skin Deep" with Mr. Gold.

It was indeed a Golden Night and we thank Rob and Korinna for hosting!

Next Month we shall visit an Animalistic tale!

Beauty & The Beast!
Lemony Chickpea Bruschetta

 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight and drained
1 small carrot
1 celery rib
1 small onion, halved
1 small fennel bulb, halved
5 garlic cloves
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 preserved lemon—pulp discarded and peel finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a saucepan, cover the chickpeas with water. Add the carrot, celery, onion, fennel, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Let the chickpeas cool in the liquid to room temperature, then drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the vegetables and herbs.
Set aside 1/2 cup of the chickpeas. In a food processor, puree the remaining chickpeas with the reserved 3/4 cup of cooking liquid and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the puree into a large bowl, stir in the parsley, preserved lemon peel, lemon juice and the reserved 1/2 cup of chickpeas and serve.
NOTES One Serving 241 cal, 11 gm fat, 1.2 gm sat fat, 28 gm carb, 8 gm fiber. SERVE WITH Ciabatta toasts.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cathedral Day...Part 2

Inside we found a most amazing church. I have been to this Bascilica before with my friend Lorie.

If you would like a Virtual Tour....

click this link for a PANORAMA VIEW!!

Some pics follow of a gorgeous structure and the artwork, sculpture and stained glass!

 It is lovely to sit and relax, in thought and matter where you are.
But even more so, in a space dedicated to great matters of Spirit....

Well....all this made us VERY hungry and thirsty....

SO we thought that lunch at "The Mission" would be the perfect stop next. It is an old church converted to a restaurant on Montgomery St. in Syracuse. Excellent food! Homemade tortilla chips and a variety of salsas and Mexican food. And the decor was lovely too!

 The company was fun, the conversations both deep and lively...
the food delish...

 and the weather stayed nice right up until we parted ways...
The winter storm Nemo is on its way...and so are we!

Till next time!
Be safe out there and find beauty in your every day life!

Cathedral Day ...Nemo Storm Approacheth...

So a Catholic, a Jew and a Pagan go into a Church.....

No really. :)

Today as the big winter storm Nemo approaches us, we set off on a VERY cold and wintry day for adventure!

I LOVE Church architecture. Bascillicas. Cathedrals. Temples. And I have found several friends who share my addiction. In an advance planning mode, my friend Brian said he knew of a few churches we could go see. But he wouldn't tell me WHICH ones :) It was a surprise. So we met him this morning at Holy Family Church in Syracuse. I had no clue there was a beautiful stone Shrine there out back of the church!

Here it is:

Korinna and Brian make good friends right off :)

And an Angel....

A Goddess a Grotto....

 ok, maybe more than one :)

Then we went inside to the "Adoration Chapel" there...
a small and sweet space for reflection.

There was a parishoner there deep in prayer and we tried to be very quiet whilst he prostrated himself to heaven in a deep and reverent prayer....

Went outside and over to the Church looks very modern on the outside...
didn't know what to expect on the inside....
But there was some really lovely sculptures and stained glass within....

A most beautiful collection of  Madonna art and stained glass...

 Then we went to Basicilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus....Syracuse NY

 Big beautiful amazing Bascillica...
Gorgeous doors...

 I am gonna make this a two parter.....

Join me INSIDE the Bascillica in the next blog.....