Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!

Every year since I've moved out west I've had to make my own King Cake for Mardi Gras.  This year it was a bit crusty.  I think I needed to have used more yeast.  One of these years I'm going to make the perfect King Cake.  One that my husband won't refer to as "oh, you mean that hard cake thing you make every year."  Yeah, that's the one.

Hubby is of the opinion since we live in a metropolitan area that surely we can find a king cake somewhere.  I'm sure we could especially if we asked a bakery to make it special order.  I'm just not so sure that it would be all that affordable.

So alas alas, I strive every year to improve my baking skills.  For those of you who do bake, a King Cake is basically bread with sweet ingredients like cinnamon and nutmeg added.  You also add egg yolk to it too.  So it has cake-like and bread-like properties.  It's relatively easy to make if you've ever made your own bread.

In fact, it's inspired me to contemplate making our own bread here at home especially since the bread I usually purchase for sandwiches is expensive (not to mention loaded with a lot of stuff you don't want to be eating anyway like high fructose corn syrup which is essentially corn not real sugar).

But in the next oh two hours for me (not sure about you), will be the start of Lent.  What will we be doing this year?  Cutting back on tv.  I'm hoping not to have tv at all for the kiddos.  But I'm not sure if I can stay sane without the tube.  So at the very least only tv during times of crisis.  Mostly I want to start focusing on prayer.

HB is now two and we've never prayed at the dinner table.  Oh, we gather around it.  Even the baby sits in the high chair opposite his zany brother.  But we don't actually say grace.  Why?  Well, it's not a habit for me.

My parents never said grace when I was growing up.  Heck, we barely sat at a dinner table.  If we did, I have very vague memories of it.  Our kitchen table acted more as a dumping ground for bills etc then a place to eat.  And then there's the fact that I live with some sort of an agnostic.  Hubby doesn't care if we say grace.  We've discussed it before.  Agnostics believe in God; they just aren't usually the praying types.  So I haven't felt the need to push the issue.

But now we have a two year old.  And he knows his alphabet, his numbers, his colors, and some of his shapes.  He also sings quite well.  I figure if I can hand him over a W and he knows what the heck it is and even turns it upside down to identify it as an M, then it's high time he learns Grace Before Meals too.  He's need more religion then what he gets from the 20 minutes he sits still for during Mass and Veggie Tales (which incidentally the Easter Carol is a good one).  So the goal is to start saying Grace Before Meals at dinner time (and maybe lunch at some point).

I also plan on trying to start saying the Rosary.  It's high time I learned the Apostle's Creed.  I sorta know Hail, Holy Queen.  And it might be nice to learn the meditations without having to look them up in a book too.  (Did I mention that my parents never prayed in front of me?  My father did teach me to pray before bed sometime in pre-school/elemetary, but that was as far as it ever got.)  I know I'm a weird cradle Catholic.  I'm lazy about memorizing things and praying in front of people, but *rolling my eyes and sighing* I know that this Lent it shouldn't be about my pensiveness over prayer.  I should be about setting a good example for my kids.  If I want them to pray or take their faith seriously, then I need to stick my head out of the closet and show them what it looks like.

I really hate praying in front of people.  To me it's such a private affair.  I feel more comfortable in my underwear in front of my kids then holding onto some rosary beads.  But I'll get over it.  Call it my Lenten penance/fasting.

Oh, and won't be fasting again this year (I hate that; I actually like fasting).  I think last year I fasted for Ash Wednesday but by the time Good Friday rolled around I was pregnant (I can't remember all the details).  I had to even give up the notion of abstaining since it really came down to eating what I could keep down.  So being able to abstain this year will be nice.  It's the breaks of the game when you have nursing kiddos.  Knee is much to young to deal with his mother losing nutrients.  I think nursing/pregnant mothers fall under the exception to fasting (as with any other illness).

Oh, dear.  I'm rambling.  It's fatigue I suppose.  Night!

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