Friday, March 9, 2007

St John's Day ideas

Doing this research about St John's Day - or Midsummer - has filled me with all sorts of ideas. I knew that his day was in the summer, but had never really fully thought about the impact it would have, religiously, spiritually, celebration-ally (is that even a word?). I mean, for one thing, usually saints' days are celebrated on the day of their martyrdom, not their birth into this world (unlike Christmas Day and St. John's Day). And for the days to be celebrated so similarly, has gotten me to thinking of - what else - FOOD! Menu planning for Christmas is always a big deal in our household. A concrete way to focus the celebration. We're enthusiastic about recognizing holidays [Holy Days] and bringing the sacred, noticing the passing of the year, into every day life.

There was a whole sermon on this topic by the Rev. Judith Taw Beck that I loved. About how lots of Celtic Christian Spirituality was centered around household devotionals and how housework could be transformed into a type of meditation/devotion whereby through physical repetition, concentration and prayer, women could connect to the Divine. [I may be slaughtering the ideas she put forth, but that was what I came away with.] That prayer could happen anywhere and anytime, and that it was possible to make even the most mundane actions, like washing dishes, sublime, by finding a way to thank God for the moment and acknowledge God's greatness by acknowledging our frailty and smallness.

Anyway, back to food. Now I'm trying to think of ways to bring St. John's Day "up to the level" of Christmas in my Holy Day planning. So far, I've thought of the "Quail in Rose Petal Sauce" from the movie/novel "Like Water for Chocolate" as the centerpiece. Roses being a central theme in Mid-Summer since this is when they bloom, especially in northern climes. Fire would need to be present. I live in a city and we can't have bonfires, but maybe Tiki torches would do. Salads, cool drinks [or maybe Flaming Drinks??], fresh fruit, oooh - a peach and tomato salad.... cucumber salads, water melon. Mmmmm. I have a plan. This is good. Any menu recommendations are welcome!

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