From the Desk of Deacon Richard… Chesterton’s Café

From the Parish Bulletin for
Sunday, April 19, 2015
The Third Sunday of Easter

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I have had this idea — or maybe you could call it a dream — for awhile of opening a restaurant that would feature gourmet soups, stews, and chili, plus fresh-baked bread. What would make it different is that when a person stops in and purchases lunch for him- or herself, the cost of the meal they buy also covers a bowl of the same soup and bread for a person who is homeless or hungry… essentially a buy-two-get-one plus the knowledge that you have just fed another human being.

Now, I have no idea if something like this could ever be able to generate sufficient income to keep its doors open and keep feeding people, which would be, I would think, the basic definition of success for a restaurant like this. Also, I should probably point out that I have no idea how to run a restaurant and am in no way qualified to do so. Aside from a short stint working in a fast food burger joint years ago when I was in high school, I have no experience in running a restaurant at all.

Still, I keep thinking about it and praying about it. And I feel like maybe the Holy Spirit is guiding me in it as the idea comes into more and more focus and takes on more shape. Father and I have discussed it and batted a few ideas around. We’ve even named it: Chesterton’s Café. It might be something that would be based at the parish, or it might not. It might involve a food truck, or with the regulations Kansas City puts in place it probably won’t — I found out this week it would take a total of 11 license to operate under such a model. And that’s not counting anything additional Raytown might add.

Will it ever happen and if it does, what form will it take? I have no idea. But I do know if it is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit that it will happen and it will happen in its own time and in the way it is suppose to happen… as long as I am open to the workings of the Spirit.

And this is true for all of us: if we are open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, then we will find ourselves guided to the path God intends for us. Our shortcomings won’t matter; what we don’t know won’t matter. When we are doing the work God intends, we will, as the psalm says, be guided in right paths. It has been rightly observed that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies those He has called.

Let us pray always for the grace to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to answer God’s call.

Peace,
Dcn. Richard

Artificial Control

“Of course production cannot be unbound from limits and as with all attempts at freedom beyond limits the result is violence. This violence is evident across the country in confinement chicken and pork operations. In both cases animals are bred for very particular ends such as large breasts or lean bacon that often result in a weakened gene pool. The goal is to create a series of perfectly-mirrored animals without any of the variety found in nature . These animals are then kept in large warehouse-like structures and kept in a way that is intended to maximize the speed of the animal’s weight gain with minimal losses that might affect the bottom line. The animal is not seen as an animal, but as a part of an industrial process that will result in a protein product. This is exemplified by Cargill’s move to follow the current business orientation toward providing ‘solutions’ rather than products. The pigs being raised for Cargill are a part of Cargill’s ‘Meat Solutions’ division — a pig is then reduced to a solution to a protein problem. Gone is both the joy of food and the tradition of animal husbandry — a tradition in which the words ‘products,’ ‘protein’ and ‘solution’ seem fairly out of place.”

–Ragan Sutterfield, “Farming As A Spiritual Discipline”

Almond Tea Cookies

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2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamon

Optional: dark chocolate or carob chips (just mix in the batter)

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients. Roll into 2-inch balls and press down with fork tines. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

1917 Huh?

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Established by Executive Order 2679-A on August 10, 1917, as a result of the the Food and Fuel Control Act.(a.k.a. the Lever Act), the U.S. Food Administration was responsible for managing the US food supply during World War I; chief among its tasks was the stabilization of prices in U.S. markets. The U.S. Food Agency became obsolete after peace was negotiated in Europe; it became the American Relief Administration, responsible for the U.S. relief effort to post-War Europe and post-revolutionary Russia.

The advice offered is still excellent advice for today, although it seems to have had little or no effect in the almost 100 years since given.

Square Foot Gardening Plant Density

Square Foot GraphThough not the most current thoughts on microfarming, square-foot gardening techniques can still play a significant role in small-scale fruit and vegetable production for food security and sustainability. This graph, which was spotted on Facebook (although I’m not sure of the original source), nicely illustrates suggested densities for some plants.