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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New every morning…

New every morning…

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:-22-24(ESV)

I am nearly recovered from my NYD party.  For the last 19 years, my husband and I have hosted a Kwanzaa dinner party on New Year’s Day.  Friends of mine have become friends to one another independent of their relationships with me hanging out at our party.  The blessing of a home full of friends is the first gift I give myself each year, and sets the tone for the year to come.  Sunday night, when we closed the door behind the last guests, I was exhausted, but happy.  I knew that a night’s rest would restore me, so it was all good.  Suddenly, I remembered a portion of Lamentations 3:22, “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning….” That’s what I want…a year full of “new every morning.”

We place so much emphasis on each New Year, its first minutes, its first day.  Just this morning, while dropping the children off at school, I heard a radio commentator grieve over already breaking her New Year’s Resolutions.  We set ourselves up for failure, throwing in the towel the moment things (things generally not well planned, or unrealistic) don’t immediately work out as planned.  What if we could re member to reset, like the sun, like the unending mercies of the Father…“new every morning?”

One of the best things about this (in)famous party is the role I play, part hostess, part observer.  I spend a portion of the day watching it happen.  I do allow myself the pleasure of sitting with, talking with, visiting with my guests, but I also enjoy observing them bond to one another without me…finding attachments, identifying common interests, affirming that I am right in selecting my friends…they are extraordinary people.  I am witness to new relationships in real time.  I pray that when my friends (and their new friends) leave our party, they are full to brimming with new. 

Details about the party?
·         We had more happy guests than chairs (I will remedy THAT next year, somehow)
·         The under 21s had a good time
·         All guests left with homemade Trini pepper sauce and Rosemary Infused Vodka (this year’s hand crafted gifts)
·         I ate lentils, something I’ve never done in 47 years; AND they were good (thanx, TES)
·         One of my guests reminded another about her Valentine’s
·         Everybody had fun!

The menu?
Codfish buljol with pepper sauce, Italian bread
Assorted bagels Nova, sliced tomato, whipped cream and butter
Turkey Bacon
Black-eyed peas with and without smoked turkey
Sautéed Kale with onions and garlic
Buttermilk and pepper fried chicken
Buttermilk Cornbread (my daughter’s contribution)
Mujadara (lentils with rice and spices)
Coconut pecan bars
Sweet Potato Pie
Rosemary Lemonade
Buzzed Fruit Mimosas

This year, I’m going to do a better job of getting it right.  I found a powerful message on the Internet that I posted as my FB status to ring in the New Year.  I’m doing more with it though; I’m going to keep it around, because it speaks profoundly of  new every morning….
I am the New Year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.
All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it but with more determination.
All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have—these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose. I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "Behold, I make all things new."
Now, try substituting the notion of the day for the year….new every morning, see? That is the gift I’m sharing.  Embrace that He makes all things new.  Aren’t you grateful?  Do you require any additional evidence that God is good?

Today’s feast: Buttermilk and Pepper Fried Chicken
Back Story~ This is how my granny taught me to fry chicken, low and slow.  It comes out super crispy, golden, and irresistible. 
Frank’s RedHot sauce
Seasoning (I am so into Ethnic Delight’s Chicken Seasoning)
Canola oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
A deep cast iron pot
Flour, for dredging
A brown paper bag

Wash and pat dry the chicken, and place in a deep container with a lid.  Sprinkle liberally with your favorite seasoning, ensuring each piece is covered.  Cover chicken completely with buttermilk, and add in Frank’s hot sauce until buttermilk turns pink (think cotton candy, not Pepto-Bismol).  Set aside to marinate, at least overnight, but a day or two is really good.

Add oil to a depth of about 3 inches in the pan and heat to medium low.  Dredge chicken pieces in flour to cover; shake off excess.  Gently slide chicken into the oil to avoid splashing.  The oil should bubble gently, not bubble wildly.  This chicken is cooked low and slow.  Set timer for at least 20 minutes.  Check chicken at about 15 minutes, turning if necessary.  Remove chicken to a dish covered with layers of paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Serve hot.

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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