My true love gave to me Seven Swans-a-Swimming. The number seven represents the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation (Encouragement), Contribution, Leadership and Mercy. You need not take a vow of celibacy or stand at the pulpit to realize your spiritual gifts.
While some may argue that not everyone has been given these gifts equally, insisting that some have “it” and some don’t, I say look outside the box. What does it mean to serve? Serving is to put someone’s needs – anyone’s needs, be it family, friend or stranger – before our own. Teaching and Leadership are intertwined. We teach our children when we lead by example in our thoughts, our words and our deeds. See the world not as it is, but as it could be and move in that direction. Encourage others to believe in the goodness within themselves and see that same goodness in others. Shout it from the mountaintops – Halaula. When we invest ourselves in the world around us, the spiritual dividends are beyond measure.
After the year we’ve all had, it’s time to ring in the New Year with hopeful hearts. Tap into your spiritual gifts and give thanks for all you have. Each new year is a yet another chance to get things right, to make this world a better place for all God’s creations.
For Seven-Swans-a-Swimming my first thoughts were of birds. Turkeys, ducks, chickens – you get the idea. But then I realized swimming meant water. Water – the oceans of the world. And it is New Year’s Eve after all. A time of celebration. While we might not be ringing in this New Year crowded together in Times Square, it doesn’t mean we can’t create a little elegant magic on a more intimate scale.
Spicy Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
2 teaspoons prepared Horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
Pinch Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to blend well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Note: This cocktail sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to a week.
2 lbs large Shrimp, fully cooked
4 large Lemons
Martini Glasses as needed
Crushed Ice as needed
Rosemary Sprigs for garnish
Thaw shrimp in the refrigerator as directed on the packaging or rinse under cold water to thaw, then hold in refrigerator until ready to assemble and present.
With a paring knife, cut lemons in half using a V-shape cut. Use a small spoon to hollow out as much of the lemon as possible. Place pulp in cheese cloth and set aside.
When ready to serve, fill martini glasses or other wide-rimmed cocktail glasses with ice. Spoon some cocktail sauce into each hollowed out lemon half. Place lemons in the center of each glass. Squeeze lemon juice over the shrimp. Drape shrimp over the rims of the the glasses, seven per glass with tails out. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve.
And yeah, I know there are eight shrimp, but you get the idea.