Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Top Chef" a Top School

I thought "blogging" and a cooking on YouTube were adventurous undertakings. Today, I hosted a cooking competition for our faculty and staff – “Top Chef” Saint Gertrude. I had no idea, when I was asked to work with the head of our Theology department, what this project would require. The part I liked best was creating the menu and then seeing how the teams brought their dish to life. Here's how it worked: Six teams of six tore into baskets filled with the secret ingredients for their dish. They had thirty minutes to make enough food to feed the entire SGHS faculty and staff – a goal in keeping with our meditation on the “Feeding of the 5,000” in the gospel of Luke. Each team was named for a famous chef: Emeril, Giada, Paula Dean, Bobby Flay, Barefoot Contessa and, of course, Julia Child. Teams were selected by drawing a knife from the block - (just like TV!)

I think it was a good day for all. Our guest judge, Leslie Stack, founder and former owner of “Complete Catering” here in Richmond, was so earnest! She really observed the teams closely, saw what was especially creative and had a commendation for every dish. First prize went toJulia Child and second place to “Barefoot Contessa.” A gracious and knowledgeable judge, Leslie seemed so happy to share in our day. Good things happen when call on the gifts of others.

I’ve been “off the radar” for a bit. I forgot to put the “out of office” message on my e-mail and phone. August 14th - 16th we had three wonderful women visit our monastery for the “Holy Leisure” Vocation Retreat. Then, Sunday evening, the Vocation TEAM headed to our house in the Blue Ridge for two days of planning for the year ahead. We did good work together.

My next task was to “cater” this amazing, community-building retreat day. I've been back in Richmond just 23 hours. Now, I’m ready to call it a day – even though it’s only 1:30. I asked Sister Charlotte this morning if she’d wake me up for dinner. She suggested I just sleep until I wake up, and maybe that is the better plan. I wanted to check in with you all and bring you up to date on the everyday-wonder of my monastic life.

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki