It's a tradition in our family that on Christmas Eve, Mum cooks her famous salmon with fennel and pinenuts in a cream sauce. The original recipe - clipped from a magazine - has long since been lost. Never mind, we generally get by by guesswork and a dash of inventiveness. The main advantage of choosing this menu is that it's quick and easy. When all the ingredients are available, that is. Over the years, especially during those Christmases when we lived overseas, there've been some...shall we say 'interesting' variations on a theme. No pinenuts? Will flaked almonds do instead? One year I found myself having to use aniseed to try and reproduce the delicate flavouring of the then elusive fennel. The time we forgot to buy cream and I substituted 'creme fraiche' is best forgotten. I don't think we were ever reduced to having to use tinned salmon instead of fresh but we've come pretty close. At times it's been difficult to tell what the dish was originally meant to taste like or to ensure what ingredients were going to be used this time round.
The same goes for this new blog. The main inspiration for it, as you'll have seen, is the Methodist Church of G.B's 'No New Shoes' Lent initiative which I've decided to join in with. I'll try to keep reader's posted on how I'm coping with this.
But there are a couple more complementary ingredients that I hope will be added from time to time. Firstly, from the course I'm doing. I'll be largely working from Tim Cooper's book 'Sustaining The Earth - A Christian Approach to Caring for The Environment' (St John's Extension Studies, 1997). How as Christians in particular, do we uphold our commitment to the sustaining of the created order? And how, in an age when the Church is often seen as being quaint, old-fashioned and ineffectual at best, dangerously fanatical at worst, do we stand out against society's gimme-gimme-gimme, consumer culture without making ourselves seem even more past our sell-by date?
Mixed in with all this, you may find the odd sprinkling from my ongoing exploration of Franciscan spirituality; in particular The Third Order of St Francis (TSSF) with its emphasis on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. After all, Francis was probably your original ecological saint. And not a birdbath in sight!
So, what the flavour of Green Patches turns out to be is anybody's guess. Happy cooking!