Ember Days are among the most confusing of Catholic practices. Ember Days are by their very nature an extension of our agrarian roots. Yet most Catholics today are unfamiliar with the term Ember Days let alone how to observe them.
The Church of old had set aside four times each year to acknowledge the changing of the seasons and to give thanks and praise to the Lord our God. Life once revolved more closely around the seasons and our ties to Nature as well as our ties to the community. People today are just as dependant upon one another, but less aware of those connections. In part this is because our lives have changed. Urban living with all the technological advancements, have lulled people into a state of disconnect with God and creation.
Food is shipped in from all over the globe. We hardly notice the fields or the seasons. We check the weather to see if a sweater or coat might be in order, or if a picnic would be nice without giving much thought to the farmer or rancher whos labor made that picnic possible. Many traditions have fallen by the wayside not because they are unimportant but because the faithful no longer are able to relate.
While Ember Days are no longer universally celebrated, personal observance are not discouraged. In my humble opinion, taking a moment to focus on God, to pray for mankind, to give thanks for all we receive can never be a bad thing. Just as meatless Fridays allow us, as a family, to be reminded in a physical way of the suffering of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, observing days of faith enriches our lives.
Lord, I thank thee every day for all you have done for me. For the many blessings so subtle that I might not even be aware. For the sun that rose this morning, and the food upon my table. Bless the hands that made this possible. Thank you.
Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Herb Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons Shallots
1 tablespoon fresh Chives
1 tablespoon fresh Dill, chopped
1/4 cup White Wine
3 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
6 tablespoons cold Butter
Pinch Black Pepper
Finely chop shallots and chives, set aside. Chop dill, set aside.
In small saucepan, combine shallots, wine and fresh lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook for about 6 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 2-1/2 tablespoons, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Cut very cold butter into 1-tablespoon pieces. Stir cold butter a tablespoon at a time into the sauce. Let butter blend well between additions. Stir in dill, chives and a pinch of pepper.
Cover to keep warm off heat.
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
4 (4 oz) Salmon Fillets with skin
Sea Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Fresh Dill for garnish
Heat gas grill. Clean and oil grate.
In small bowl, combine oil and lemon juice; mix well. Brush over salmon fillets. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper.
When grill is heated, place salmon, skin side up, on the grill over medium heat. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, turning once and brushing occasionally with any remaining oil mixture.
If necessary, reheat butter sauce over very low heat, stirring constantly.
Plate salmon, spoon butter sauce over the fish. Garnish with dill, serve and enjoy.