Last weekend, while Hubby Bryan and I were reveling in the rain at the Regatta, our Colorado relatives were having a celebration of their own.
Brother-in-law Don — DotMom always referred to him as RevDon in Mixing & Musing — officially retired after 36 years of minis-try at Our Father Lutheran Church in Centennial, Colo. Sister Margaret also left her post as director of music at the same church, although she’s a bit too young to completely retire and will return to ministry after she heals from shoulder repairs.
The “Celebration of Ministry” festivities included multiple worship services and a gala dinner for which 400 people RSVP’d. We, of course, were invited to be part of these events, but alas, due to other obligations, had to send our regrets. But we celebrated with them from afar and look forward to seeing the videotaped proceedings.
I’ve always admired my brother-in-law’s way with words, and especially cherish the sermons he preached for my wedding, both DotMom’s and DadDon’s funerals as well as a personal opus he wrote upon the occasion of DotMom’s estate sale.
In his final church newsletter posting, RevDon talked about all the “lasts” he and Margaret had experienced in recent months at the church: the last Christmas, the last Easter, etc., and ended with these words:
For Margaret and for me, there is a quiet satisfaction amongst the gentle sadness of last partings. You have gifted us, dear friends of Our Father, the opportunity to do what we most enjoy doing — sharing God’s great gift of new life in Jesus Christ — in words and music, relationships and ministry, and along the way we have been privileged to serve with some of God’s greatest saints, regularly gathered “all together in one place.” (see Acts 2:1).
As we blow the nose and wipe the tear, we’ll grin ear to ear for such gifts as these.
So here are my last words, the final words of my last column:
“There were (and are) the days the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in them!”
For the occasion of their last Pentecost at Our Father, Don and Margaret hosted a dinner at their home. Red is the liturgical color for Pentecost — a reference to the tongues of flame in which the Holy Spirit descended on the first Pentecost — so they planned a red-themed dinner.
The appetizer courses (salsa with red chips) and dessert (red velvet cupcakes and ice cream with store-bought Dr. Pepper Cherry Sauce) were easy to decide upon, but Margaret had a bit more trouble coming up with a suitably red main course. She finally settled on this stuffed red pepper recipe, which she doubled. Margaret notes, “Our red peppers were so big that, rather than fill them up as wholes, I cut them in half and used them more as bowls.”
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut the tops off 4 red bell peppers, one-inch from the stem end, and remove the seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, add peppers and boil, using a spoon to keep peppers com-pletely submerged, until brilliant red and flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped; one garlic clove, peeled and chopped, and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add 1 pound ground turkey, 1½ cups cooked rice or ¾ cup raw instant rice, 1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned), 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and ¼ teaspoon white pepper; mix well.
Coat the inside of the peppers with olive oil and arrange cut side up in a baking dish. Stuff peppers with the meat mixture. Com-bine ½ cup ketchup, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a dash of Tabasco sauce and spoon over filling. Add ¼ cup water to the baking dish, place in oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
The recent wet weather has kept area rhubarb patches flourishing. This cake recipe received rave reviews from Daily Globe co-worker Sheila Kluever and her daughter, JoEllen Dixon. It comes from the 25th anniversary reprint of the “Worthington Regional Hospital Cookbook,” in which it is credited to Maxcyne Schmidt.
Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Mix 4 cups cut rhubarb and 1 cup sugar in the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan. Over top sprinkle one 3-ounce package strawberry or raspberry Jell-O (dry) and 1/3 package of miniature marshmallows.
Mix one package white cake mix according to package directions and pour on top. Bake according to instructions on cake mix
Serve warm with whipped cream.