Though the weather was a little chillier than we would have liked, our weekend was full of sunshine and time spent with our DC communities. And after a tense Friday evening watching the news coverage from Boston while under a tornado watch, the weekend was the perfect antidote.
Personally I think sunny April Saturdays were created especially for picnics. [smile] I mean what better way to celebrate spring than with hotdogs and veggie burgers, ripe strawberries and whipped cream, tag and Frisbee? The only thing we were missing was a kite!
Answering the call to “Keep Calm and Picnic On” we gathered with our seminary cohorts to celebrate the approaching end of the semester and the joy of living in community. Given the weather the night before (lots of rain) we were all a bit skeptical as to the feasibility of holding the picnic outside, but in the words of one of our classmates “a picnic kind of loses its allure when moved indoors.” Happily the ground had dried out enough to spread blankets and lunch on the lawn. Lunch consisted of the aforementioned hot dogs, burger, strawberries and whipped cream with a few Whole Foods salads, cupcakes, and root beer floats donated by a few of the student organizations. Chips and popcorn rounded out the delightfully and deliciously eclectic mix of offerings.
If you’re at all familiar with gatherings of seminary students you can be assured that one of two things will inevitably ensue: 1. theology talk or 2. a spontaneous hymn sing. Given the stress of approaching final papers and tests, theology was pushed aside for the picnic in favor of joyful singing! [smile] One thing I will certainly miss about seminary is the freedom with which my classmates raise their voices in praise. Their enthusiasm reminds me of John Wesley’s notes for singing at the beginning of the UM Hymnal:
Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.
Preach it JW! [smile] After the hymn sing we decided to grab a photo with said Wesley. All in all a lovely day and a lovely memory of our experience at seminary.
Sunday brought a second opportunity in our weekend to share a meal with friends in DC– Crossroads 3rd Sunday Potluck! As perfect as Saturdays seem for picnics, Sunday and potlucks are paired even more perfectly. I love figuring out the perfect dish to bring. This time I picked something that just sings spring is here and summer is coming. Its one of our families favorites and got rave reviews at the potluck– “Uncle Steve’s Tabouli.” I brought it as a side for the dinner Sunday, but it can easily be made into the main dish with the addition of some pita, hummus and additional veggies (think sweet peppers or chickpeas). Recipe follows. Bon appetit!
“Uncle Steve’s Tabouli”
Ingredients: 1 cup bulgur wheat; 1 1/2 cup boiling water; 1 1/2 tsp salt; 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice; 1 heaping tsp fresh crushed garlic; 1/2 cup chopped scallions; 1/4 cup olive oil; fresh ground black pepper; 2 medium tomatoes, diced or about 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; 1 packed cup freshly chopped parsley; 1 cup grated carrot; 1 chopped cucumber
Combine bulgur, boiling water and salt in bowl. Cover and let stand 15-20 minutes, until bulgur is chewable. Add lemon juice, garlic, and oil, mix well. Refrigerate 2 or 3 hours. Just before serving add vegetables and parsley and mix gently