Month: November 2015
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
As we prepare to give thanks for “all things good” and enjoy an autumn harvest feast in the company of family and friends, ATG shares the below prayer, taken from the November 26, 2014 issue of The Weekly Standard, that we think beautifully captures the spirit of Thanksgiving:
We thank Thee for the glory of the universe, for the light of the sun and the mellowness of the moon and for the stars in their courses whose amazing dimensions and staggering distances challenge our imagination.
We thank Thee for the beauty and utility of Thy creations, for the flowers which are the stars of the earth even as the stars are the flowers of heaven; for the fertility of the soil and the abundance of its products; for the food that is borne within its bosom and the waters that flow from its deep and inner fountains; for the air that surrounds all creatures and that holds within its invisible self the secret and power of life.
We thank Thee for the dignity and majesty of man, for the spirit of wisdom with which Thou didst endow him, for the vision with which he is possessed, for the sensitivity of his heart and the profoundness of his soul. We thank Thee for the dominion that is his over all creation, for his capacity to live with all his kind and for the urge that stimulates him to search, to seek and ultimately to approach even Thee. For all these blessings we thank thee.
Light and Dark: Maxfield Parrish and James Nachtwey
“There has always been war,” says James Nachtwey, a multi-award winning photojournalist. “War is raging throughout the world at the present moment. And there is little reason to believe that war will cease to exist in the future. As man has become increasingly civilized, his means of destroying his fellow man have become ever more efficient, cruel and devastating.”
He continues: “Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior which has existed throughout history by means of photography? The proportions of that notion seem ridiculously out of balance. Yet, that very idea has motivated me.”
James Nachtwey, born in 1948, has spent a lifetime documenting historical events around the world through photography, as seen in the exhibit, “Witness to History: James Nachtwey—Afghanistan, Ground Zero, Iraq“, currently on display at the Currier Gallery of Art in New Hampshire. Read more
Thanksgiving Favorites: Cornbread, Popcorn Balls & Pumpkin Pie
In the season of “all things cooking”, when the lights in the kitchen burn from early morning well into the late evening, we celebrate the harvest of Thanksgiving with some very basic and traditional recipes, including three variations of corn bread.
As found in The Blackberry Farm Cookbook, John Egerton writes in Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History, “A properly prepared dish of spoon bread can be taken as testimony to the perfectibility of humankind; a crisp corn bread, dodger, or hoecake, on the other hand, demonstrates another kind of perfection, an enduring strength that has not been improved upon in four centuries of service to hungry people.” Read more
Quotes On Teaching, Thinking & Learning
As a compliment to our piece in Rose’s Ridge about trigger warnings and microaggressions on college campuses, the below paragraphs from an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, written by Helaine L. Smith, a teacher of English at a school in New York City, provides a glimmer of hope:
“What I hope my students are learning is a lesson that is not political but is essential for politics: that one must support assertions with proofs, that one must consider counterarguments, that it’s necessary to listen to what others say and that doing so may allow you to strengthen, or force you to alter, what you think. Read more
Warning: Some Of This Material May Lead to Feelings of Discomfort
“Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.”
So begins an article in the September issue of The Atlantic Magazine, written by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt entitled, “The Coddling of the American Mind”, in which they provide an in-depth look into the “trigger warnings”* and “microaggressions”* movement that is becoming institutionalized across U.S. college campuses, subsequently “affecting what can be said in the classroom, even as a basis for discussion.”
From the works of classic literature and paintings by renowned artists (such as the painting of Ulysses tied to the mast of his ship in which there were topless mermaids that Mr. Haidt used in one of his classes for a lesson on the weakness of the will, only to receive a formal complaint) to seemingly innocuous statements, such as “America is the land of opportunity,” Messrs. Lukianoff and Haidt describe an uncomfortable and disturbing environment where professors, threatened with formal punishments or the loss of their jobs, are left teaching in classrooms where their every word is policed by students who are dictating what academic resources are acceptable. Read more
Plumping Up for Winter in Maine at Duck Fat
If you are a lover of quality food and are curious about what the latest trends in the culinary world are, a visit to the small city of Portland, Maine provides an enticing glimpse.
Portland has a uniquely strong farm-to-table movement and is considered the epicenter for the concept on the East Coast. It has been nationally recognized as a “hub of innovative cuisine,” and referred to as a “gastro-tourism paradise.”
For years, talented chefs such as Sam Hayward of Fore Street Grill (opened 1996 and designated as a Top 50 Restaurant in the U.S. by Gourmet Magazine in 2001 and 2006), have been making their way north from Boston and New York City to Portland where they find a wealth of resources from farmers, fishermen, and artisans that provide for year round seasonal cooking and a more welcoming (i.e. less cut-throat) and supportive environment. Read more
Meanwhile, On Another Planet, In Another Realm…
Autumn’s Last Light & “Hot” Read
November’s “Hot” Read: City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
City On Fire – an “immersive, exuberant, boundary-vaulting novel” published in October of this year – is the debut novel of Garth Risk Hallberg, an American novelist born in Louisiana who grew up in North Carolina and currently lives in New York with his wife and children.
Here’s what people are saying:
“Locating the best of times within the worst of times is no mean trick, especially in a historical novel where the history is recent enough that many readers remember firsthand just how bad those times were. That’s the delicate and ultimately moving balancing act that Garth Risk Hallberg pulls off in ‘City on Fire,’ his Dickens-size descent into New York City circa 1976-77”….read more from the New York Times. Read more
Scrumptious Apple Pies From Scratch
Setting out to make a pie can be a “very scary thing,” writes Deb Perelman in her cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen. As an “obsessive home cook” who suffered FOP (fear of pie), she was determined to master the art of piecrust making. It took several “pie seasons” of experimental distractions until she successfully arrived on top with the perfect piecrust, which as it turns out, is pretty basic and simple!
Below are three recipes, one from Deb Perelman’s described as a “buttery flakey crust” and two recipes that include the crust and filling. Two of the crust recipes use butter and the other from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook uses Crisco shortening, making it a more old-fashioned, but tried and true crust recipe nonetheless. Read more