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September 25, 2009
Vol. IX, No. 15

"A Morning Walk Leads to the Country"
Last weekend I found myself walking down a side street in the city. As I passed the Church of St. Francis Xavier, the sound of the choir singing an anthem wafted through the open doors and out onto the pleasant morning air. It was a beautiful moment, and one that may be unique to a walking city. I don't know if they have an organist or if the organ is currently working, nothing on the website, but it's a lovely church:
Having church with the doors open is the next best thing to having a service outside, which we would do occasionally when I was growing up in the little country church my family attended. The only time we heard the choir through the open doors was if we were late for church! Thinking about that little church reminds me that I wanted to recommend an author that I have been enjoying this year. His name is Joe Bageant and he has an essay that recounts a visit by him to his childhood church.

"On Native Ground: The art of abidance and staying home"
"Driving Shanghai Road on the way to visit my childhood church in Unger Store, Morgan County, West Virginia, I crest the hill just above our old family farm. And spot something that makes me stop and turn off the truck motor, lest the moment be interrupted. Ahead of me in the Sunday morning sun stands an old farmer I've known all my life, Ray Luttrell, meditating on his hayfield. Standing on the very spot by the road where I've seen his late father Harry stand countless times, he is just looking at that hay field, motionless for many minutes."

I especially enjoyed Bageant's book "Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War." He is really tuned into the political, social and economic climate in America today and relates what he witnesses in an engaging and surprisingly humorous writing style, given the subject matter.
"Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War"

Finally, I have yet another recipe for you. It's sometimes nice to have a change from tomato sauce over pasta so I occasionally cook up some veggies to toss with the pasta. I had some odd leftovers one day so I hacked together a few different recipes to come up with the following tasty dish. It tastes much better than it sounds, believe me!

2 medium onions, chopped coarsely and sauté in olive oil
While the onions are cooking, add 3 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 can artichoke hearts
Next add some pitted Kalamata olives
Transfer this veggie mixture to a serving bowl
While the mixture is still warm, add one chopped avocado
Sprinkle with juice of 1/2 lemon
Drizzle with olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Top with grated parmesan cheese
To serve, prepare each plate, 1/2 with Baby Romaine lettuce and 1/2 with whole wheat pasta
Spoon veggie mixture over both
Top with more grated cheese if desired
Add small scoop of ricotta cheese on the side
I also heated a can of crushed tomatoes and put a small scoop on the side next to the ricotta

Have a great week!

Dan Long

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