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Beware of Greeks Bearing…Red Eggs?

March 18th, 2013 by stephanie

There is one particular scene in the hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the guests are holding up and “klinking”…their red eggs! Do you remember that? Did you even catch it?
moldov81

Many of us are familiar with colored Easter eggs, but few of us these days are familiar with the RED one.

Apparently, there are multiple versions of the legend:

  • One says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.
  • A different tale boasts that after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to Italy to share the Gospel and was granted a meeting with Tiberias Caesar. She greeted the Emperor of Rome with “Christ has risen,” whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, “Christ has no more risen than that egg is red.” After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.

Anyway, if you ever get the chance to tour a Greek Orthodox Church, as I once did, look for the portrait of Mary Magdalene. You will see her holding that Red Egg!
And there you have it. You’ll never watch that movie, that takes place in Chicago, about the family that owns Dancing Zorba’s , the same — ever again. 🙂

Just my thoughts.
S.

For further research, check out wikipedia.

Fish Is on The Menu!

February 18th, 2013 by stephanie

Have you noticed all of the fast-food FISH commercials and specials lately? They started this past week…

20081210-filetofish-sandwich
It reminded me of an article in TIME magazine I came across and never forgot. Apparently, the Filet-o-Fish sandwich from McDonald’s was a result of a religious tradition. It showed a time line with all of the menu changes over the years. It was the 1960’s section that caught my eye.

People may not be aware that Catholics (and other similar denominations) don’t just give up something for Lent. They used to also only eat fish on Fridays as well. On that day of the week they avoided meat. They “fasted from it”, in a way. The idea was to focus on “giving up”. Sacrificing. In honor, of sorts, for what Christ did for them. His sacrifice on the cross.

This tradition used to be such a part of Western culture, that Fish Fridays became a common option on most, if not all, menus.

But back to McDonald’s. A man by the name of Louis Groen, of Cincinnati, Ohio, owned a McDonald’s franchise. One day, he contacted corporate headquarters with a concern. He told them that he needed help if he was going to keep his Catholic customers–who wouldn’t eat meat on Friday. He was well aware that Catholics (for centuries) only ate Fish on Fridays, and that this tradition was affecting his sales.

The solution? The creation of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich in 1962.

And so, now you know.

Knowing that we’re in the midst of Lent, perhaps you have given up something, not just on Fridays, but during this 40-day fasting period. But for today, it’s all about the fish factor. Something for your water cooler chats this week. Or, perhaps you could plan for sushi this Friday.

Just my thoughts.

S.

#mcdonalds #filetofish #lent #fasting

Have Your Cake, and Eat It Too!

January 9th, 2013 by stephanie

Did you know that the 12 Days of Christmas actually ended this past Sunday? If you did, you might also have known it marked the beginning of…Carnival Season.

If you’re a Mardi Gras fan, this is not news. Carnival officially begins on Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. And, if you have a New Orleans connection, you most likely had a piece of King Cake to kick off the festivities.

Here’s scoop:
1. Epiphany or Twelfth Night (Jan. 6) celebrates the visit of the three Wise Men who journeyed to worship the baby Jesus.
2. On that day a King Cake is made with a tiny baby figurine hidden inside.
3. The cake is decorated in three colors.
3. When the cake is cut, whoever gets the piece with the baby Jesus is “king” for a day.

Supposedly, the Wisemen’s journey lasted 12 days and found them arriving on January 6-Epiphany. Coming together for you a bit?

For me, like any festival, it’s all about the food. And for those in the Deep Southern states, who celebrate Mardi Gras, it’s all about the King Cake or Twelfth Night Cake.

King Cakes are similar to a large cinnamon roll. Usually baked in a ring shape, and, frosted or iced with the three colors of Mardi Gras: gold, green, and purple. And of course, in honor of our three kings.

The baker of the King Cake hides a surprise in the cake (a dried red bean or a figurine of a baby representing the Christ child). When the cake is cut whoever gets the piece with the hidden treasure is said to enjoy good luck for the coming year. Tradition used to be that you were king for a day. Nowadays, you have to bake the King Cake or throw the Mardi Gras party next year.

I am always amazed. If you look deep enough into most holidays or festivals (at least those created prior to the 1900s) many seem to have a religious connection or symbolism. Interesting, yes?

Just my thoughts,
S.

The Skinny on Fat Tuesday.

February 15th, 2012 by stephanie

Pancake Day. King Cake. Worrying about what you’ll give up for Lent? If any of these are on your mind, it’s probably because they’re all going down TODAY! For those of you wondering what this blog post has to do with anything, these traditions/holidays have been around for centuries. And, holidays mean food…and I am alllll about the food.

So what do Pancakes, King Cakes and giving up something for Lent have to do with each other? Well, you may have heard of it. It’s called…

MARDI GRAS – AKA Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday. Also known as Pancake Day.

Basically, the last chance to party hearty before the Season of Fasting (Lent) begins. Which is tomorrow. Wednesday – ASH WEDNESDAY:

Just what is Lent?: A time to reflect on and prepare hearts for the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It’s when people give up something, like chocolate or ____ (fill in the blank).

When does Lent end? In a massive celebration, called EASTER (the day Christ rose from the grave.)

Now, in all honesty, you won’t find any of the above “celebrations” or “traditions” (or any of their specific names or days) in the Bible, but that’s for another conversation.

We’ll dish a bit about these feast and fast days as we begin our journey into Holy Week! Hey, if you’re smart, you’ll find a way to ask time off for one of these “religious” holidays. If you’re an atheist, however, it might be a bit tricky to pull off. (wink)
Just my thoughts,
S.

It’s Carnival Season. Know Much about It?

January 9th, 2012 by stephanie

For those of you that have been following with us, we talked about how Carnival Season began this past Friday. If you want to know more, you can check out my last blog update.

Carnival period, as it is known, begins around Epiphany (or Twelfth Night/January 6) and ends on Ash Wednesday (the day before Lent begins.) This year, Lent begins on February 23.

The most famous holiday, however, that  is best known and associated with this season is, drum roll please.…Mardi Gras.  And it is played out mostly in two very famous cities: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and New Orleans, Louisiana.

What you may not know is that Venice, Italy is actually home to one of the most famous Carnival celebrations in the world.  Carnival of Venice ring a bell?

What is so cool, is that records of festivities can be found dating back to the year 1268! For example, in 1294 A.D., Comte de Provence Charles II, Duc d’Anjou attended Carnival festivities in Nice, France. Carnival even back then included balls, masquerades, bonfires, jugglers, mimes, and more. There was a catch however, if you wanted to take part you had to show up in costume with a mask!

And there you have it. Some interesting tid bits of trivia for that hallway conversation or meeting ice breaker.

Happy Carnival!

Just my thoughts…

S.

Let ’em Eat Cake!

January 6th, 2012 by stephanie

Just so you know, the 12 Days of Christmas ended today. But don’t be sad, today starts something else. I might be the first person to wish you HAPPY CARNIVAL SEASON.

Most of you may be thinking, “But it’s too cold for a fair.” Nope. Not that kind of amusement, but the kind of carnival season that leads up to Mardi Gras. And believe it or not, it’s already in full swing.

In case you didn’t know, Carnival Season officially kicks off today, January 6. The day known as EPIPHANY, or Twelfth Night. And, if you have a New Orleans connection, you most likely had a piece of King Cake to kick off the festivities.

What I find fascinating is that this celebration occurs every year but few know what’s really being celebrated. Here’s the break down:
1. Epiphany (Twelfth Night) celebrates the visit of the three Wise Men who journeyed to worship the baby Jesus.
2. On that day a King Cake is made with a tiny baby figurine hidden inside.
3. The cake is decorated in three colors.
3. When the cake is cut, whoever gets the piece with the baby Jesus is “king” for a day.

For me, like any festival, it’s all about the food. And for those in the Deep Southern states, who do the Mardi Gras thing, it’s all about the King Cake or Twelfth Night Cake. Supposedly, the Wisemen’s journey lasted 12 days and found them arriving on January 6-Epiphany. Coming together for you a bit?

This cake is similar to the All-American cinnamon roll, topped with icing or sugar, usually baked in a ring shape, and, frosted or iced with the three colors of Mardi Gras: gold, green, and purple (symbolic of power, faith, and justice). And of course, in honor of our three kings.

The baker of the King Cake hides a surprise in the cake, usually a dried red bean or a figurine of a baby representing the Christ child. When the cake is cut whoever gets the piece with the hidden treasure is said to enjoy good luck for the coming year. Tradition used to be that you were king for a day. Nowadays, you have to bake the King Cake or throw the Mardi Gras party next year.

Whatever the case, I am always amazed, that if you look deep enough into most holidays or festivals (at least those created prior to the 1900s) you will find a religious connection or symbolism.

And now you know. I’ll share more on Carnival itself later.
Just my thoughts,
S.

Where does Fish Friday come from?

March 25th, 2011 by stephanie

While in McDonald’s grabbing what I thought would be a quick lunch, I couldn’t help noticing the exhausted police officer standing to my left patiently waiting for his lunch. When the tray finally slid out, there were two Filet of Fish sandwiches and the usual combo that goes with them. Fries and drink.
20081210-filetofish-sandwich
It reminded me of an article I came across and never forgot. Apparently, the Filet o Fish sandwich from McDonald’s was a result of a religious tradition. I’d been flipping through TIME magazine when my eyes fell on a time line showing the menu transformation of the fast food chain over the years. It was the 1960’s section that caught my attention most.

The general public these days may not remember that those of the Catholic faith (and other similar denominations) don’t just give up something for Lent. They used to strongly adhere to the eating of only fish on Fridays as well. On that day of the week they abstained from other meat. They fasted it, in a way. During the day, their focus was apparently to focus on “giving up”. Sacrificing. In honor, of sorts, for what Christ did for them via His sacrifice on the cross.

That tradition of the faith was such a part of Western culture, that Fish Fridays became a common option on most, if not all, menus of eateries.

But back to McDonald’s. A man by the name of Louis Groen, of Cincinnati, Ohio, owned a Mickie D’s (vernacular for McDonald’s) franchise. One day, he contacted corporate headquarters with a concern. He told them that he needed help if he was going to keep his Catholic customers–who wouldn’t eat meat on Friday. He was well aware that Catholics, for centuries, only ate Fish on Fridays, and that tradition was affecting his sales.

The answer to his dilemma? The creation of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich in 1962.

And so, now you know.

Knowing that we’re in the midst of Lent, perhaps you have given up something, not just on Fridays, but during this 40-day fasting period. But for today, it’s all about the fish factor. Something for your water cooler chats this week. I, personally, will be enjoying Sushi with friends this evening. You?

Just my thoughts.

S.

Those Buns with the Cross that were Outlawed…

March 21st, 2011 by stephanie

If you’re a musician, have been a music student, or had music classes in school, you may remember humming or singing, “Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns…” or better yet, you were doing the number system as you sang, “3,2,1….3,2,1” (the numbers used instead of the notes!)

But for some of you, I bet, your mind went right to the food option. Yep. Sticky gooey Hot Cross Buns! It’s Eastertime folks! Bring on the food!

Believe it or not, Resurrection Season has begun. Mardi Gras is past (the night of feasting and frantic festivity), along with Ash Wednesday (the day to repent for what you did on Tuesday) and Lent is in full swing.

But back to the food. In case you didn’t know, Easter, as with any other holiday, has its own special culinary delectables. At Easter you have Lamb (symbolic of the Lamb of God, Jesus, who was sacrificed for our sins), and then there are those yummy, historic, hot cross buns!

But do you know the scoop on the buns?

Apparently, they’ve been documented as early as 40 years after Christ’s death. When archaeolgists excavated the ancient city of Herculaneum (Southwest Italy) which had been buried under volcanic ask and lava since 79 A.D., they found two small loaves, each with a cross on it, among the ruins.

In England, hot cross buns are served at breakfast on Good Friday morning. They’re small, usually spiced buns, marked with a white sugary cross on top. For a long time English bakers, by law, were only allowed to bake and sell the buns at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. There was actually a decree issued in 1592 (Elizabeth I) that shows the exact ruling.

It’s hard for those of us in Western cultures to imagine, that religion and faith used to be so much a part of people’s everyday lives. To think that there were laws actually created that dictated the protection of remembering Christ via a bun!? But alas, ’tis true.

With that, why not build some Hot Cross Buns into your upcoming Easter plans. If anything, to relive the tradition, and to spread the good news. That Christ be remembered, no matter how creative the method, is always a good thing.

Just my thoughts.

S.

And our series comes to a close: 100-110!

November 6th, 2010 by stephanie

For those of you who have been tagging along, bravo! Today we will wrap up our journey through George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Behaviour in Conversation.

I have to admit, I absolutely love this last grouping. Even on the first one, I actually knew someone who used to polish their teeth with their napkin regardless of where they were or who they were with, after every meal!

You know what to do! Pick one, work on it this week, and report back how it went. Let us know. Would love to hear!

Here goes:

100t Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done without a peep to them.
101st Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others.
102nd It is out of use to call upon the company often to eat; nor need you drink to others every time you drink.
103rd In the company of your betters, be not longer in eating than they are; lay not your arm but only your hand upon the table.
104th It belongs to the chiefest in company to unfold his napkin and fall to meat first, but he ought then to begin in time & to dispatch with dexterity that the slowest may have time allowed him.
105th Be not angry at the table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, show it not; put on a cheerful countenance especially if there be strangers, for good humor makes one dish of meat a feast.
106th Set not yourself at the upper of the table; but if it be your due or that the master of the house will have it so, contend not, least you should trouble the company.
Show interest in others conversation, but don’t talk with your mouth full. 107th If others talk at the table, be attentive but talk not with meat in your mouth.
108th When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.
109th Let your recreations be manful not sinful.
Don’t allow yourself to become jaded, cynical or calloused. 110th Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

And there you have it.

Enjoy,

S.

We’re in the home stretch…#90-99. Table manners.

October 26th, 2010 by stephanie

If you’ve been checking in and keeping up with our Civil Rules challenge, you need to know, we are in the final rounds. With 110 of George Washington’s Rules of Civility, it’s hard to believe it, but we’re almost home!

Here’s your next to last group. This set focuses on table manners! You know the drill. And if you’re new, here’s the deal: Pick one of the below. Work on it this week. And hey, why not email me and let me know how you did?

info@stephaniehuffman.org

So here goes:

90. Being set at meat scratch not neither spit cough or blow your nose except

there’s a necessity for it.

 

91. Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals, feed not with

greediness; cut your bread with a knife, lean not on the table neither find fault

with what you eat.

 

92. Take no salt or cut bread with your knife greasy.

 

93. Entertaining any one at table it is decent to present him with meat, undertake

not to help others undesired by the master.

 

94. If you soak bread in the sauce let it be no more than what you put in your

mouth at a time and blow not your broth at table but stay till cools of it self.

 

95. Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand neither spit

forth the stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.

 

96. It’s unbecoming to stoop much to ones meat keep your fingers clean & when

foul wipe them on a corner of your table napkin.

 

97. Put not another bit into your mouth ’til the former be swallowed let not your

morsels be too big for the jowls.

 

98. Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither gaze about you while you are

a drinking.

 

99. Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. before and after drinking wipe your

lips breath not then or ever with too great a noise, for its uncivil.

 

And there you have it. In a world where things change at a rapid pace, table manners never go out of style.

 

Just my thoughts.

S.

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