Some of you might have noticed that I got ahead of myself. I was working on the Politics post, which was supposed to come AFTER this one and apparently hit "publish" instead of "save" so it's went up first and politics went up second. Oh well...I also owe you the Caramel (Best) Pecan Pie (in the world) recipe. It's coming as soon as I get these posts back in order....
Post #2 (now #3 instead)... Answering Your Questions
Lisa at akawest asked about my views on religion and politics. If you've been reading for awhile, you know that I don't talk much about either. Not because I don't care...I care...A LOT. I was just taught that politics and religion were topics best NOT discussed. Politics, religion and MONEY. I never did listen to my parents, so I'll tackle religion today. (I did politics the other day out of order.) Money, never.
I was raised Methodist and, at the age of 14, became a church organist. Over the next 25 years, I served as organist and choir director in a number of churches...Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran. If I'm honest, I ended up being the most comfortable in the Baptist church; however, the church we attended went through a lot of upheaval, and while we weren't involved in any of it, and be it right or wrong, our ability to have a peaceful worship experience was limited. It broke my heart. SO...about six years ago, we joined the Presbyterian Church here in town and eventually, the Baptist church split. I'm very traditional in my Sunday morning worship service preferences. I love grand organ music and traditional hymns. First Presbyterian is a wonderful and loving church community, but I'm not as involved as I should be. I was so used to being "in charge" of something all the years of my music ministry that I can't seem to find my niche. I'm working on it...
My faith is SO very important to me...I try my best to be a person of STRONG faith, but as with everybody, my faith is often tested. Like I said, I have a thing about being in charge...all the time. God knows that's a problem for me, and we work on it. I talk a lot and He listens, and when He speaks....HE SPEAKS!
Our family has been blessed beyond measure. We've had sadness also, but God is a God of grace and He is merciful. God especially blessed my brother Ned. You all know that Ned has Downs Syndrome, but he looks at the world, particularly when there is sadness, in the most wonderful way. Our dad passed away in 1981, aunts and uncles along the way, and our grandmother in 2001. In every instance Ned says, "You know, (name here) died today." We always explain that we do know and that we are sad." Ned ALWAYS says in reply, "Well, he/she is up in heaven." As far as Ned is concerned, the recently departed loved one is JUST fine, and that is the end of it. He goes on about his business...never gets mad...never gets sad...never sheds a tear. Ned has the strongest faith of anybody I know.
God loves everybody...even the people who we, in our limited human ability to reason things out, might not find to be so lovable. He loves those who falter (and we ALL falter). He loves the people who don't love him back. We can dislike a person's behavior all we want (and there are plenty of "behaviors" in this world to dislike) but we have no right to make a determination about whether or not a person will spend eternity in heaven or hell. There is nothing wrong with speaking out against injustices in the world but there is a big difference between disagreeing and judging. A big difference, but a very fine line. (I'm preaching to nobody but MYSELF here...No person on this earth can never know any OTHER person's heart at the moment their life on this earth ends.
Out on the water at the summer house is one of my "thin places." I read a book one time (can't remember the title) that talked about thin places...places where we feel closer to God than any other place. It's hard for me to imagine how anybody could ever sit out over that water and watch the sunset (I'm never up for the sunrise) and not believe.
That's all I've got right now and I'm sure you thought that my sermonizing would NEVER end. Hey...I'm just trying to answer the questions...
Now, on a lighter note. Anonymous requested my Tomato Tart (Pie) Recipe. I base my recipe on Paula Deen's Tomato Pie recipe but made a few changes. You can find her original recipe HERE. Here it is with my changes...
4/5 tomatoes, sliced (peeled or not...makes no difference to me)
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion (I like vidalia)
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell (not deep dish)
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell (optional)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella (sometimes I only use cheddar or whatever is in the refrigerator)
1/2 cup grated cheddar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake one pie crust for about 7 minutes.
Place the tomatoes in one layer on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and let them sit for about 15 minutes.
Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes. If you want, you can use the unbaked pie crust as a top crust. Just slap it on top of the pie and cut a couple of vents in the middle. Bake for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Keep a watch...my oven bakes kind of slow.
You might want to put some aluminum foil around the edges to keep them from getting too brown.
Let the pie sit for at least 15 minutes before serving if you want it to cut pretty. Otherwise just have at it.
Caramel Pecan Pie...watch for the recipe in a day or so.