Last week I sent an email to my granddaughter asking a question. When I didn’t receive an answer I called her and asked if she’d gotten it. Exasperated the child explained she rarely checks her email account, although she reluctantly admitted she still has one. From her tone I assumed I had suddenly become as old as dirt in her estimation and obviously not where I should be to survive in this technically driven world. Is email out-of-date as well I asked? A text was suggested in the future if I needed an immediate response. Ahhhhh, the universal language. Excuse me while I heat up my pterodactyl stew for lunch.
The Pope arriving on U.S. soil was the big news last week. Not being Catholic myself, I admire the man for what he stands for. Certainly not a personal friend but from casual observation he seems to be a kind, humble, and a being who sincerely cares about the flock he presides over as well as those milling around its circumference. In the past I have had some experience with the religion by marriage. My first husband hailed from a large Irish Catholic brood who arrived for mass every Sunday taking up nearly a whole pew towards the front of the church. As with many Irish families members of the immediate family were involved deeply in the church. In my husband’s case it was an uncle, A monsignor, as well as a great-aunt, a nun living in Hawaii. My second stepfather was also from an Irish Catholic family, arriving in the number 10 spot out of 11 children in a New York based family. His group included a priest living in San Francisco, a nun living in Marin County, and a policeman protecting the streets of New York. You really couldn’t write it better than that.
Before marrying a Catholic, if you as the intended are not, you and your prospective spouse are required to attend a series of classes called Pre-Cana. At the time we attended this included three Saturday’s spent in class. The first class, hosted by a married couple, guided perspective marrieds through the pitfalls and highs of wedded bliss. The second was presided over by a very Irish chain smoking priest discussing relationships (is it just me?). On the last Saturday we participated in a discussion on how to properly raise the children created from your union. Once Pre-Cana was complete, showers come and gone, and reception plans in place it was on to the wedding itself. We were to have a mass in the huge Catholic church in our area. It was on the calendar for the 7th day of September, which my luck holding turned out to be the hottest day of that particular year. The air conditioning in the massive building struggled to overwhelm the oppressive heat lurking just beyond its doors. Guests seated in the pews fanned themselves with hymnals or whatever else they could find to move the still air. Tucked into layers of silk and lace I had taken on the appearance of a cube of butter placed under a heat lamp. Mascara drooled down my lower lashes and my hair, perfectly together on leaving the house, clung to my head beneath the large veil sending rivulets of water slithering down my back. Whew. The Society Gazette’s headlines might have read, “The Dennis-Deegan wedding was one of the hottest social events of the year”.
There were two hundred plus people seated on one side of the aisle or the other. Having few relatives not living in Canada, our side definitely fell short of the grooms when it came to attendance. The ceremony involved getting up several times from our kneeling position before the priest and moving around the altar for different rites. For me in a long train and with a history of making a fool of myself every chance I got I felt there was a 9 in 10 chance the bride would end up on the floor, in the pulpit, or lighting the table on fire when lighting the candles. Thankfully the universe gave me a pass for the day and other than resisting an impending urge to rip off my clothes and take a bath in the water by the door, we made it through the hour and exchanged rings.
I have always felt one’s religion to be a personal pursuit, encouraging people during a party who embark on a conversation about the subject to do so at their own risk. Few things can create such passion or ignite such heated debates. Over history wars have been won and lost in the name of religion and no matter where you sit on the matter you cannot deny those who believe, do so vigorously.
As humans we tend to want to believe we are right in our opinions. Perhaps we should agree to disagree. In the end our goal is united in the end.
At any rate, I shall step down from my pulpit and introduce you to this delicious grilled shrimp. It never fails to make you a believer.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 lbs. large shrimp, tails on
Combine marinade ingredients and pour into resealable plastic bag. Add shrimp and mush together. Marinate for 8 hrs. Remove shrimp and place skewer (about 8 skewers) inserting The skewer twice through each shrimp as you thread them on. If using bamboo skewers be sure to soak in warm water for 30 mins. prior to grilling.
Cook on high heat on preheated grill for 3-4 mins. on each side. Serve with sauce.
1 cup catsup
1/8 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 Tbsp. horseradish
1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper