Today is the final Ember Days of Winter. It comes on the eve of the Fourth (and final) Advent Sunday before the Christmas Season. Each set of Ember Days has its own character and purpose.
It is not by chance that the Ember Days of Winter are on the heels of the Feast of Saint Lucia. Like Lucia, we are called to show a world in darkness what it is to walk in the light. Each of us can be that point of light. Let this final Ember Days of Winter become that last voice crying out in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord. While Christmas is upon us, and the birth of our Savior fills the world with joy, this is only the beginning of what will one day come.
God created Man and Woman for different roles. Men are filled with logic and reason. History has cast them as the authors of the Law. While this might be true, women are the guiding force. Women are the true keepers of the Faith. We do not need to see to believe. Throughout scripture, God has spoken directly to women, just as He continues to speak to our hearts today. Make no mistake about it, women are not the weaker sex. Our strength comes from a spirit that has always been and will always be in an intimate relationship with the whole of the universe and all that God has made. Our tears are not a sign of weakness but rather a washing away of worldly discord.
Let us prepare the way of the Lord in all we do. We make this world a better place by making a difference, even if that difference is only left by a single life. No person is without merit, value and purpose unto the Lord. Even the lost serve a purpose. Let your light shine; for it is a light God has filled with love and understanding. That light from above is the source of our enduring strength.
For me, to be a woman of faith is a great responsibility and a sense of pride tempered by humility. I long to heed His call always, and to demonstrate the true strength that lay in gently compassion.
Ember Days Saturday Supper
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Asparagus
Jasmine Vegetable Rice Pilaf
Garlic Infused Roasted Chicken Thighs with Asparagus
6 Chicken Thighs with skin
6 tablespoons Garlic Infused Olive Oil
1 teaspoon dried Parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/3 cup White Wine
2 lbs Asparagus
Heat oven to 400-degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Remove bones from the chicken thighs, retaining the skin. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the olive oil, parsley, basil, oregano, and salt. Set aside.
Mix lemon juice with wine. Pour wine mixture into the prepared baking pan, tilt to disperse liquids.
Trim asparagus, drizzle with about a tablespoon of the olive oil mixture, set aside.
Pour remaining olive oil mixture over the chicken thighs. Rub into skin and meat. Arrange thighs, skin side up with excess skin tucked under the meat, down the center of the prepared pan. Divide asparagus, arrange on either side of the thighs.
Place in the oven, bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and asparagus is tender.
Slice lemon, arrange slices around the chicken. Turn oven to BROIL. Cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until skins are crisp and lemon slices have roasted.
Serve and enjoy.
Jasmine Vegetable Rice Pilaf
1 small White Onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen Peas and Carrots mix, thawed
2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic from a jar
1 cup Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
Peel and finely dice onion, set aside. Place peas and carrots in a strainer. Rinse with cold water to gently thaw, drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onions, salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and cook another minute.
Add rice, stirring often, cook 3 minutes. Stir in peas and carrot mix. Add chicken broth, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover, simmer for about 20 minutes or until liquid has adsorbed and the rice is tender.
Uncover, fluff with a fork. Serve and enjoy.