Friday, January 21, 2011

Tamale...Ravioli....Pirozhky/Piroshki?!

Believe it or not, it really is not lunch or dinner time as I sit down to write this entry ... and, no I am not hungry either! It just so happens that I had my first experience of making homemade tamales on New Year's Eve ~ we had a Mexican Fiesta in my local house to celebrate the occasion! So, this morning as I was out walking (finally I am getting back into my walking routine after some leg surgery at the end of November), I started thinking about those tamales and some other similar foods I like ...You got it, the Italian ravioli and then a food I have not had for years, the Russian pirozhky or piroshki (I don't know how to spell it, only how we pronounced it as a kid, per-…ôsh-΄ke ??). These foods all come from different cultures and are cooked just a bit different, but all three of these have something in common. They are some kind of dough with a meat mixture wrapped up inside and to my tasting, are delicious! During my walk this morning, my thinking of the foods become a reflection on the beautiful diversity in our world and the varied practices of so many wonderful cultures! We do not need to go very deep in the news to find stories of peoples clashing and fighting and disputing because of race or religion. Wouldn't it be extraordinaire if all people could just see & understand that even if we have different outsides (like the tamale/ravioli/piroshki) and different ways of doing something, inside there is a goodness; we are brothers and sisters in/of the same human family! St. Francis knew that and worked to bring unity, bridge the gap, embrace all.
As we celebrate this
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us also pray for unity among all people (...Christian, Muslim, Jew... as well as clashing nations). It all begins with understanding and respecting the beliefs, practices, traditions of the other. How much better and more enriched our lives could be ...
So, back to the tamale making. I learned something new on New Year's Eve - the beautiful Mexican culinary art of making tamales from my friend in community, Sr. Guadalupe! I got to hear and understand a home tradition of hers, we had fun working together and we enjoyed a delicious din
ner at that, to celebrate and welcome in a new year! I present to you the expert tamale maker at work....

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