Somewhere in my recipe file is a sheet in my mother’s handwriting, with the recipe for a big pan of chicken enchilada casserole. It’s a yummy concoction, using flour tortillas.
As I was cleaning my desk yesterday, in my home study, I found a little recipe book from Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City. I had purchased this a couple of years ago, and dog-eared a few recipes, then left it out of mind on the side of my work space.
One of the recipes was a similar concoction to what Mom made. And so on Sunday evening I threw together a homemade cream of chicken soup base, sour cream, corn tortillas, a cup of diced chicken breast, a can of green chilies, a bit of onion, and some chicken broth . . . and had a wonderful, cheese-topped homemade casserole. With leftovers for the week.
This tasted almost like Mom’s recipe. For a moment, I was transported back to the kitchen on Wingate in Lee’s Summit.
I spent three nights in Lee’s Summit this week. The time at home included four visits to Beth’s home, a visit with Aunt Esther (who is failing at 101 years old), two services at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, and of course time at my father’s house. Christmas Day festivities were at Beth’s home.
I went to sleep on Christmas Eve, as I have for several years now, listening to ‘This Christmastide’ performed by the American Boy Choir, and to Lauridsen’s ‘O magnum mysterium’ in the Brompton Oratory rendition.
In these photos, my blog buds will find Karen and her partner Debbie and Karen’s children Blayne and Kristen, Beth and Robert and their three children Anna, Luke, and Joseph, my father and step-mother, my step-brother Greg, Aunt Esther, and various folks from the Cathedral. And Anna’s boyfriend, Dan. And Samson.
Notes from Amtrak 302.
A phone ringing in the business-class car just makes me grumpy. Put the phone on vibrate when in public, people!
The last time I rose on purpose at 5.15 a.m. was to go to NYC in March. I found this morning that I get out of bed at 5.15 more eagerly if the sun is already starting to shine, as it was this morning. Somehow 5.15 didn’t feel so early.
Samson has been sleeping on top of the counterpane. This is unusual since he most often sleeps under the covers. But I’ve noticed that at 4.50 every morning – and I do mean nearly every morning – he crawls around from the right side of the bed to the left, paws his way under the counterpane, and snuggles up next to my chest. He’s a curious dog.
The taxi driver this morning called the freeway ’64.’ I immediately said ‘You’re not from Saint Louis, are you?’ Yup. She’s from outside of Columbus, Ohio. How did I know? All the locals call that highway ’40,’ and scoff at those of us who more progressively refer to it as ‘I 64.’
A very long freight train of empty coal cars has us on a siding somewhere south of Springfield, Illinois.
Happiness is a very clean house. I experience happiness this past weekend.
Happiness is also reconnecting with old friends. When I was in Lee’s Summit prior to Memorial Day, I went to Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City to join the choir practice on Thursday evening, since I’ll be singing with this group in the West Counties of England next month. I’ve blogged previously about GHTC being my home parish and my spiritual home. I was reminded all over again that Thursday why I love that parish. I first started going there regularly more than 20 years ago. Time and distance have not altered the place in my heart held by GHTC, by John and Leona Schaefer, and by those wonderful choir members.
I was just doing the math. Had I flown to Chicago, I’d have left home more than 90 minutes prior to a flight, had a 75-minute gate-to-gate, then a ten-minute walk at Midway to the Orange Line, then a 20-minute commute to the Loop. That’s already nearly 3.5 hours. By taking the train, I have a six-hour trip from the time I leave the house to the time I arrive in Chicago, but I’m in a relaxed environment, and one that’s not as noisy, and one that just begs for a nap, especially with all this space. And I pay 1/3 of the round-trip price. Train travel rocks!
So, a quick recall: I’ve traveled by train in the USA, Denmark, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, Belgium, France, China, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Canada. In Malaysia my travel was all by car and by coach; South America, by car and by air. I do look forward to adding more countries to this list. . . .
Why Chicago? I’m off to a fundraising seminar designed for college administrators and department chairs. And I’m meeting up with alums whilst I’m in town for two nights.