I've been Neglectful!
I am really excited about some of the new pieces that I finished recently. I have discovered copper, which makes for a unique alternative to silver or gold or brass! I'll post a picture of one of my favorites right now- Ras Malai. I named it after a delicious Indian Dessert because the taste of cardamom (spice) would be the color of cooper if it were a color... does that make sense?
Ras Malai is actually cheese- I know, don't get grossed out. It is sweet and in a sweet and spiced cream. I thought the same thing you are probably thinking (ewwww)- but it is soooo yummy I promise. So remember- minds work best when open!!! I'll post the recipe below.
On another note- I had a bad experience over the last month or so as I encountered bigotry and hate in the most obvious way for the first time in my life. I have had the blessing (or has it really been a blessing?) to go through life without dealing with hate and bigotry to my face. Because I don't look "different" people assume things about me and the way I live my life. Sorry for the ramble, but I felt like you needed some context for the rest of the story.
After Christmas this year, I had a really strong pull to get closer to God and was very driven to find a church home for both me, especially my son and our family as a whole. I was raised Southern Baptist and was never comfortable in that faith. I went to Catholic Mass with my grandmother both as a young girl and then as a young adult and always felt as though I belonged most there. Carrie's family is also Catholic, so when I began to think about my responsibility as a parent to Cooper, raising him in the Catholic faith was my obvious answer- and one that I felt very strongly about.
I visited a quaint Catholic Church while staying at Joan and Bill's (Cooper's Neena and Pop Pop and Carrie's parents). It was such a wonderful experience for me that I thought I would inquire about joining, taking Adult Initiation classes and getting Cooper baptized there. Carries parents had registered with the church- so I thought it would be a great way to visit and have dinner with Carrie's folks every week and be part of a wonderful parish.
Joan and Bill (who I adore and treat me like a daughter) inquired with the church about Cooper's baptism, and in the meantime I had contacted the person in charge of Religious Education about starting classes and attended a class. The priest responded to Bill and wanted to meet Carrie and I- so I took the opportunity to be truthful about who we were and how we got to this place spiritually. The response from the priest was one of the most awful things! He said that he would not baptize Cooper, and that I could not return to classes anymore! He was kind enough to offer resources and website for conversion of homosexuals and encouraged us to make the choice to change,
Now- regardless of your views about religion, same sex relationships or whatever- the point of my post is to discuss my hurt, rejection and humiliation. This is my blog- and here I can talk about anything I want. If you don't like it- please blog about it on your page not mine. If you leave a derogatory comment I will delete it and block future comments :)
So- back to the story. Although hurt (and embarrassed because I had shared my faith journey with many people) I don't give up easily so I went at it again trying to find a church home. I found the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It is a Roman Catholic Church- with the most welcoming, loving Priest- Father Henry Gracz. Cooper is being given the Sacrament of Welcome this Saturday. Father Gracz said he would be honored to baptize Cooper- and has accepted and welcomed our family as we are wthout any suggestion of or expectation that we change who we are. I am so happy and cannot wait for his special day. The Catholic Shrine website is www.catholicshrineatlanta.org (sorry my hyperlink isn't working)
So- there is my life during my blog world absence. I'll include pics of the jewlery and the Ras Malai recipe below.
2 pounds ricotta cheese
2 quarts light cream
2 cups sugar
5 each cardamom pods
1 each bay leaf
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspooon rosewater to taste (optional)
Mix 1 1/2 cups of sugar with the Ricotta cheese and bake it in a 400 F oven for about 75 minutes in a flat dish covered with aluminum foil. The cheese should have hardened and turned a pale brown.
Thicken the half and half by simmering over low heat for a long time. This is best done in a microwave; if a microwave is not available, do it over low heat and stir frequently. Thicken until the volume drops to around half of the original volume.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cardamom pods, bay leaf, vanilla and rose water (and any other flavoring that you may want) to the Half and Half. Heat for a few minutes.
After the cheese has been baked, cut it into 1 inch squares and add to the hot thickened half and half. Cool for a few hours in the fridge.