Monday, February 13, 2012

Benet Hill Monastery

We spent last weekend up at the Benet Hill Monastery, at the retreat center run by the Benedictine nuns.

Friday evening we sat Vespers with the nuns. Leece thoroughly enjoyed this, as she joined the nuns in singing the psalmody. Friday was also the feast day of Saint Scholastica, making the day all the more significant to the nuns.

We browsed the bookstore, and the library, which is a small but magnificent collection illustrating the wide range of interests of the nuns. Leece was able to find a very nice translation from the German of a book examining the Psalms.

The halls of the monastery, from the entrance to the chapel, have details of illustrations from the Saint John's Bible. You can see some examples of the artwork contained in the bible here.

We had hoped to experience the prayer labyrinth and the Zen gardens, but the recent fall of more than two feet of snow buried everything. So we enjoyed some walks in the frozen forest. While Friday was a bright, sunny bluebird day, Saturday turned downright frigid, with frost coating the trees, and a light snow whispering down through the trees. It was quiet enough to hear the snow falling.

Critters abound in these woods. We saw all manner of tracks in the snow, but during the day, we saw not so much as a mouse's whiskers.

It was a quiet and refreshing weekend.

You can find a gallery of some of the photos we took over on's Galleries page, under Road Trips 2012.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Homemade pizza 02.04.2012

Leece is a pretty good baker. Her breads are first rate. So's her pizza crust.

The kids have been nagging about having some homemade pizza, so yesterday we had a group effort pizza-making.

Leece used bread flour rather than all-purpose flour, which worked very well indeed, as the pizza crust was probably the best ever. Smeared generously with a well-seasoned tomato paste - paste, not sauce - and then slathered with pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage, Texas 1015 onion chunks, bell pepper, and mushrooms. A few handfuls of mozzarella and Parmesan topped it off. In fact, this was probably the best pizza we've ever made. It all just seemed to come together so well.

All participated. Kneaders, vegetable choppers, mixers, scullery maids. You can see the gallery over on the Galleries page of Homemade Pizza in The Holy Land 02.04.2012, under Events.