My 2 1/2 year-old granddaughter loves to shop for groceries. She shops with her parents in the “real” store and also at home with a pink and green plastic shopping cart she received as a Christmas gift. On a visit to her house two weeks ago I was invited into one of her plastic shopping cart narratives. The play-shopping proceeded quite well until she needed a bag. None of the QFC and Whole Foods white plastic and brown paper ones in the bag drawer seemed to satisfy: “Too big! Too little!” Narrative was about to turn into drama.
Then I thought “WWMSD”–“What Would MOTHER Sybil Do?” I put on my aging mother-hat and grabbed one of the “too big” baguette bags. I chopped off six inches, performed some kitchen origami, and taped on a handle. Voila! She was thrilled! A week later she was still using the bag.
The paper bag creation was a flashback to my life with small children, when improvisation was a daily part of “making home.” It also reminded me of a book I blurbed a few months ago called A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together by Jerusalem Jackson Greer.
Jerusalem is the quintessential home-maker. I use that phrase with great admiration and respect. Jerusalem knows the importance of organizing home as a place of learning, nesting, and coming together. “Making home” is a whole-family affair. Here is the blurb I wrote about A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together:
With waffle crumbs and bacon drippings and brown sugar crystals, Jerusalem Jackson Greer leaves a Hansel and Gretel-like path for us to follow as we travel through the seasons of the liturgical year. With tasty-sounding recipes and visually pleasing crafts, A Homemade Year gives families a wonderful sensory way to share and experience the Christian story at home. The recipes, the activities and Jerusalem’s lovely and honest reflections on parenting and living in family weave the sacred and mundane journeys of life into a braided whole. I was charmed and moved by her book.
Jerusalem helps families create not just heady memories of the sacred year but embodied ones—through their fingers and in their stomachs.The activities and recipes in the book are simple enough even for families with very little spare time: During Advent create a Woodland Advent Wreath; on St. Lucy’s Day bake some Sweet Orange Rolls; for Candlemas make beeswax candles and cook crepes….
It is still Lent, so there is time to consider preparing a Maundy Thursday Passover meal from A Homemade Year. With deep roots in Arkansas, Jerusalem proposes a Southern-Style Seder complete with Ms. J’s Chicken and Dumplings (matzo ball soup and roasted chicken alternatives) and Nathan’s Greens and Bacon (bitter herbs and salt water alternatives). It’s not exactly a kosher meal but it does come by way of Jerusalem!
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Click Here and use the coupon code: sybil at check out.
Southern Seder photo: Judea Jackson
Paper bag photo: Sybil MacBeth
A Homemade Year:The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together
by Jerusalem Jackson Greer
©2013 by Jerusalem Jackson Greer, images by Judea Jackson
Used by permission of Paraclete Press