Sunday, December 26, 2010

An Old Salem Christmas Eve

Picture a quaint town with a picturesque church where the sanctuary is draped, from the ceiling, with luscious green boughs of cedar and fir.  The smell of dozens of narcissus greet one's senses each year as they bloom daintily on the altar railing.  The brass band is merrily playing familiar, sacred carols while the people entering are dressed festively in reds, greens and golds to  match their holiday spirit.  Mugs of warm apple cider and fragrant buns are served to each  by smiling ladies dressed all in white. Then the beeswax candles are passed to each person, lit to symbolize the Light of the World, our Savior born to save us from our sins.  This is where 10 members of the Gordon family and one friend  were trying to get this Christmas eve morn--one of them only 7 weeks old.
 I had my doubts that we'd make it. Girls move slowly in the morning, the baby has to be nursed and then the traffic was slow.  To top it off we missed our exit too.  It is important to be on time to this yearly event. For you have to arrive at Home Moravian Church in Old Salem by 9:45 am in order to find a pew long enough for our crowd although  the service doesn't start until 11 am.  This is the first of three services held there this day, this one being the children's service.  And sure enough by the time we got there the church was mostly full.  Fortunately for us I had talked Claire and Witt, who were traveling from their own quiet home in Whitsett, to be there at the appointed hour, because I knew we, more than likely would be a little late this year.  Although we were a little late  we did get our pew, thanks to the Davises.  We even had time to spare.  ( To pass the time a few of us women always stand in line at the ladies room waiting to use the one stall facilities.)  Also Lauren and Ela had to make an emergency diaper change assisted by her nanny to be.
  I  really enjoy the brass band and the organ as they play the meaningful songs of my childhood. It is a service I don't want to miss, nor does any one else in the family. As we filed into the pew I  noticed I was quite a few people away from my grandbaby, Gabriela.  I whispered to Hart that I had wanted to sit beside Lauren and Ela, but oh well.  But Lauren leaned over all the family members and asked me if I wanted to hold Ela and of course I was elated.  She was restless for a few minutes but soon settled into my arms and snoozed throughout the whole service.  There was the constant sound of babies cooing or crying and toddlers talking, seeming to answer one another from across the sanctuary.  But it was fine as this was the service for the children.  The pastor said that in Germany of old only the children were invited to this service, but now adults are allowed to be a part of it as well.  It is a simple service.  The children's choir sings, the youth read the scripture and pray.  The pastor did give a sentence message. As we sang Away in a Manger I couldn't help but feel how Jesus must have really looked when he entered the world, much like the baby I held in my arms--helpless, sweet smelling and warm.  Mary, what must she have thought and felt.  Such awe and wonder. ( I just wanted to constantly kiss that plump little face and couldn't stop staring at her perfect rosebud mouth.)  The service ended with the congregation standing, singing  Joy to the World.  And as we sing the last verse, He rules the world with truth and grace all candles are lifted high into the air by the congregation declaring that Jesus is indeed Lord of our lives, one can see hundreds of flames waving towards heaven, a fragrant offering to the baby born so long ago.


Thursday, December 16, 2010


 Posted by Nancy on March 23, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Another new veggie-for me- I've tried is endive.  I searched Harris Teeter for this one, but they didn't have it. I then went to the Fresh Market going over and over the produce section.  Finally I asked and yes they did have it, hidden in the ice under the asparagus.  Who would have guessed!  For this I used a recipe one I found from my one of my favorite cooking sites, Cooking Light

It's an appetizer.

Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts:

 This takes walnuts, honey, balsamic vinegar, OJ, 2 heads of endive, 2 navel oranges, chopped fresh chives and cracked black pepper.
Take 1/3 c. coarsley chopped walnuts and  combine with 1 TB honey, spread on a baking sheet covered in Pam and bake at 350 for 10 mins.
Combine 1 TB honey, 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, and 3 TB OJ in a small pan, boil over high heat until reduced to 3 TB.
Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section.  Top each with 1 ts. cheese and 1 ts. walnuts, arrange on a plate.  Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over leaves and sprinkle with chives and pepper.
Yields 8 servings--2 leaves each

Baking day

 Posted by Nancy on March 29, 2010 at 10:28 PM

On Friday, March 26th, my mom, sisters and I gathered in Hickory to bake 50 pans of cinnamon rolls!  We made the traditional cinnamon, brown sugar and butter recipe and also a delectable chocolate bun that my sister, Kellie came up with.  Ann also made a couple of pans of sticky buns.  All of this was for Ann's daughter, Hannah, who is going to India with YWAM (Youth with a Mission).  Ann sent out an email to her friends in Hickory asking for cinnamon bun orders and she received this wonderful response.  We had fun rolling and baking together. My sister, Jane from Charlotte was a part of it too.  One of the best parts was when Kevin, Ann's husband arrived home for lunch with two bottles of winesmile!  We finished the baking, surprisingly, around 1, then sat around and sipped the wine, while we unwound.  We  hope to do this again, as we dream of starting our very own baking business.
Mom (Margaret), Ann, me, Kellie and Jane

Wedding cake

 Posted by Nancy on March 30, 2010 at 11:08 PM
So Claire is getting married in less than two months--yikes!  I am making her wedding cake.  It is a simple four tiered round cake with ropes of edible pearls all around it.  Hart ordered a sample of the pearls from an online store, so now I need to practice decorating a small cake with them.  The pearls are not shiny and I am not sure how that will look.  I think I will make the cake when Lauren comes on the 9th because wedding cake is her fav.  I made her wedding cake almost three years ago.  It was a square cake, which I found tricky to ice.  But it looked pretty and tasted great.

This is a picture of the cake Claire wants, minus the jewelry box  on top and we will use black ribbons around each layer of the cake instead of the pink and white ones.  She found a darling bride and groom cake topper--very unusual looking.

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