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Location: Decatur, GA, United States

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I've been Neglectful!

I am so very sorry it has been so long since I have posted anything. I have been caught up in a whirlwind of activity including President Obama's inauguration, moving offices at work, oh excuses excuses.

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.


Ras Malai

Ingredients
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)

Directions
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.




7 Comments:

Blogger Colleen, JB, Alex & Abby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 4, 2009 at 5:11 AM  
Blogger Colleen, JB, Alex & Abby said...

I'm glad you were able to find a church home that accepts who you are and I can't wait to see pictures of the baptism (sorry we won't be there!). We love you!

February 4, 2009 at 5:12 AM  
Blogger Kindra said...

Oh, I hope you didn't have a bad comment. I see a comment has been deleted.:(

Well, first of all, so glad your back to blogging. I have been MIA from blogging world and slowly getting back in the groove myself. Your new earrings are super cool! I wish I had the extra $, things are a little iffy around here.

I'm so happy to hear that you found a church family that will accept Cooper, you and Carrie. I think it is so terrible to "hate" people no matter if a person is green, red, purple, blue, white, black, straight, gay, pro-life, pro-choice...whatever! I think it's quite the "sin" to judge people and I am for equal rights for everyone. I could go on and on about this...I can't relate about your situation but I found out first hand on my blog when I mention I am a supporter of Obama and I get terrible comments that I'm a baby killer supporter. I couldn't believe all the religious people were saying all these hateful things to me. It was quite sad and made me want to quit blogging. Obviously, I didn't but I do know who left those "ononymous" notes and some were online friends. :( So sad...

Anyways, sorry about the long book. So happy to hear about the good news. Can't wait to hear all about Cooper's batism!

February 4, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger audrey said...

Oh I am so sad that you had to go through that. It is amazing to me how judgmental people can be. It is so not anyone's place to judge, especially someone such as a priest. What a hypocrite. Anyhoo,I am so glad you found a church that welcomes you. I am looking forward to Cooper's special day!

February 4, 2009 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Kim,Bill,Makenzie and Kaiden said...

wow Jennifer, that stinks that you guys had to go through all that. So glad that you found a church so welcoming. Its hard for our family to find a church around here also. There aren't many that meet our needs as a family.

February 4, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Good for you for not giving up and pressing forward. Although it doesn't seem like you may need it, a book that has been life changing for me is "if the buddha got stuck". I would have given up after a bad experience before this book, but after reading it my mantra is "STAY FLUID". I am proud of you and proud of your religious decision. My kids attend Catholic school and most all of the time I love it!!! But, other times I with they were exposed to a little more diversity. Good luck and love the realness of this entry. Can't wait to read more.

February 20, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

As a guy who was raised Catholic and went to 12 years of Catholic school, I must say i am not surprised what you went through, but am sad it had to happen. Years ago i wanted my sister, who was raised catholic, to be Godmother of one of my girls. I was shocked to learn she was "not allowed" because she was divorced. I thought that was crazy. We used my sisters middle name on the form a few weeks later. She is my daughters Godmother today. It's little things like that, and more, that has chased me away, but thats my issue. I'm glad you found a place to find peace. Your priest sounds great. Good luck to you and your family.

March 5, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

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