Tuesday, January 18, 2022

St. Hildegard’s cookies

"Take one whole nutmeg, add equal amounts of cinnamon and a pinch of cloves, grind it together until it forms a fine powder; add the flour and a little water. Make small cookies and eat these often. They will reduce the bad humors, enrich the blood, and fortify the nerves.” — Hildegard of Bingen, Physica, Book 1, XXI. Nutmeg

I gave a day of reflection on Hildegard of Bingen at a local retreat house. One of the conferences was on Hildegard’s Physica where she recommends mint for the digestion and spicy cookies to fortify the nerves. I sent retreatants home with tea and ginger snaps. 

It’s the start of the semester for me tomorrow, so I’m in need of something to fortify the nerves with. I’m on Zoom to start, while students await test results. Next week — back in person!

St. Hildegard’s cookies

1 3/4 c sugar
3/4 c butter
1/4 c molasses
1 egg
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
extra sugar for rolling

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well blended. Add egg, beat on low to combine. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices to batter and blend well. Chill dough, covered, for at least 1 hour.

Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll the balls in extra sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should just be brown around the edges. Cool on a rack, cookies will firm up as they cool. Store in airtight container or freeze.

Monday, January 03, 2022

Transmissions from God

This evening I stumbled over an article in the New York Times about a woman who claims to channel the dead. She also claims to channel Yeshua — Jesus Christ. Who apparently comes across with a bit of of a British accent. Really. The article treats this all with dead seriousness, including a flat assertion that she channels the dead, though it does include a couple of remarks from a skeptic. I found the whole business (and business it seems to be, with consultations at $1111 an hour and a book published by Harper One) to be…ridiculous.

Thirteen years ago today I pointed my Mini Cooper north, headed for Gloucester to make the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola following the 20th annotation. Leaving behind family and friends and comforts to spend 30 days in silence, channeling God.

I wonder what a similar New York Times Style article on my experiences of the Exercises would read like? Would it seem equally ridiculous to an outsider?