Each year during Lent I try to reconnect with my faith. I am not the most religious girl, and I don’t often enter into conversations regarding religion and in no way offer to convert someone. I have an almost all-encompassing view of God. I was raised Catholic and when I do go to church I attend the local Catholic Church – I like the rhythm of mass. And while I don’t always agree with the Catholic viewpoint, I still get something out of each homily.
I see religion as a human’s way to understand life, as a way to provide a purpose to human existence. I do believe that there is a God – I don’t have an image of God, and I definitely don’t provide Him with a human quality – more of a giant ball of light and energy. I believe that every religion is actually one in the same (not I’m not trying to spark a debate here), and that different cultures and peoples choose to understand and believe in their vision of God differently.
With my blog I have decided to take a different outlook on my Lenten journey this year. It’s been a long time since I’ve given something up (candy, soda, fast food, etc) and instead I look to adding something to my life – usually it’s going to Church each Sunday (as I don’t do that weekly) or reading the New Testament. But with the blog I thought it’d be great to add a food aspect to my journey. I’ve never failed a Lenten promise and I don’t want to set myself up for failure here, so two times a week (Wednesdays and Sundays) I plan to cook a recipe from Rena Rossner’s Eating the Bible.On those days my posts will be in the evening after supper.
Rena took it upon herself to enrich her bible study through food. These recipes are inspired by the Old Testament. And even though Lent is about the 40 days Jesus spent wandering in the desert, renouncing the Devil and Temptation and ends with Holy Week which marks the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter!), I can still find Rena’s cookbook to help me slow down and think about God. While she references many stories from the Old Testament, she provides “food for thought” both in recipes and in questions to ask about God.
The first recipe that I’m trying from Eating the Bible is Eternal Dust which was inspired by Genesis 13:16.
“And I will make your progeny like the dust of the earth: so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then your progeny could also be counted.”
I feel this recipe applies greatly to Ash Wednesday. During Ash Wednesday mass, ashes are placed on our forehead in the shape of a cross while the words from Genesis 3:19 ”Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” are said. Ash Wednesday serves as a reminder of earthly mortality and repentance to God.
Rena decided to make a spice rub, or a spice “dust”, as a compliment to this bible study. She titled her spice blend “Earthly Seasoning”. I used this “Earthly Seasoning” on roasted shrimp and broccoli which I served over rice.
“Earthly Seasoning” is a mix of 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne, and 1 tbsp sugar.
Earthly Seasoned Shrimp and Broccoli
- 3/4 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
- 3/4 lb broccoli florets
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided use
- 2 1/2 tsp “Earthly Seasoning” (recipe above), divided use
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss broccoli in 2 tbsp of olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Season with 1 1/2 tsp “Earthly Seasoning”. Roast for 10 minutes.
- Gently toss shrimp in remaining olive oil and seasoning. After broccoli has been roasting for 10 minutes flip broccoli and add the shrimp to the baking sheet. Cook another 8-10 minutes, turning half-way.
- Serve over rice with a squeeze of lemon.
*This recipe is modified from Adam at http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2009/02/roasted_shrimp.html*