Yesterday Mass once again was beautiful with one of my favorite gospels, “for my burden is easy, my yoke is light…” Rest in the Lord. Amen. And truthfully, we sang our hearts out yesterday. Stephanie looked overjoyed at our singing and kept giving us two thumbs up, always makes me glad. But oh, Lordy, at Communion time…I received the wafer and stepped in line to take the wine. It was a very young woman no more than 22 offering the Chalice. She handed it to me, I took a sip of wine and as I handed it back to her it seemed to start to ricochet off both our hands and nearly slipped out of both…shades of the day I knocked the Host out of the priest’s hands at St. Matthews…well, I think both this young lady and I nearly had a heart attack but we held onto it, and I turned to go back to choir to see some of the members cracking up at me while visions of that simple, beautiful gold chalice bounding across the church floor splattering the Blood of Christ played in my mind like a really bad film. I don’t know whose fault it was…perhaps it was a case of Klutz meets Klutz.

Went to the library to pick up a hold, Eric Bolling’s, “The Swamp,” filled with scandalous stories about Washington through the centuries, and lo and behold, there was the latest Sarah Booth Delaney, “Sticks and Bones.” Started reading both of them yesterday. Both really good. In the Sarah Booth, there’s a politician running to be state senator of Mississippi who is obsessed with Vladimir Putin. He blames Putin for everything even the Kennedy assassinations although Putin could not have been much older than I was at the time. I discovered the author, Carolyn Haines, has another series of mysteries with a detective who owns an occult shop and communes with the dead to solve cases. Must find that. Requested the latest Ruth Galloway, “The Chalk Pit,” found two anthropological mysteries by Elizabeth Peters, aka Barbara Michaels, one set in turn of the 19th century Egypt, the other in 1978 Rome.

Since I planned this Sunday to be an orgy of nonstop reading, thought I would just stick with simply roasting two chicken halves on a bed of onion with thyme, and steamed veggies. But Sunday morning habits are hard to break. I decided to also make Romeo’s, the former produce manager at Joe W’s, Cuban veggie dish he told Mom about…cubed zucchini, eggplant, red potatoes, chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, simply and slowly cooked down to a magnificent puree of sorts that’s even good on a cracker. Savory and smooth. So I had a lot of this beautiful oval (if you stood it on its head) eggplant left, one zucchini and half a loaf of French bread that was good and stale. Perfect. I crumbled it, added garlic powder and Italian herbs and made my own Italian breadcrumbs. Sliced the eggplant, layered it in olive oil, sprinkled breadcrumbs over it, ladled some Cento divine organic chunky cooked tomatoes over, then, having bought cottage cheese, I mixed this with garlic powder, Italian herbs and made a layer of that in a casserole and just kept layering till I reached the top. This was a fly by the seat of your pants experiment. What was left of the zucchini and eggplant, I cut into spears, drizzled olive oil and the rest of the bread crumbs, and that’s roasting on the bottom rack of the oven beneath the chicken. It smells like Central Italian Grocery on Decatur Street used to smell before it became a tourist trap. So, despite my resolve to keep it simple and just read, I can say, like the mother in, “Ode to Billy Hoe,” well, I been cookin’s all mawnin…’

Well, two of my four dishes are cooked. When the chicken is done, in goes the eggplant concoction. Now I will retire to the purple fan, the recliner, Earl’s quilt, Sticks and Bones, and a huge ice cold glass of Ozarka sparking water.

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