Friday, April 26, 2013

Pilgrimage to Jordanville and Mjaddrah Recipe

We went to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY for a quick trip this week.  It was such a nice Lenten pilgrimage!  

On the way there, we stopped in the charming town of Gouveneur, NY for lunch.  We had a picnic with the hummus and bread we'd packed and then stopped by a coffee shop for some caffeine.  

We were able to be there for Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday.  Before we left we decided we'd better go soon since this would be our only opportunity to go to a mid-week Lenten service at the monastery.  It is only a four and a half hour drive for us.  I definitely think we should go more often.  We are planning to go for Pentecost weekend this year (the feast day of the monastery is the day after - Holy Spirit Monday) and again in July for Liza's nameday (July 18th - Grand Duchess Elizabeth).  

There is a women's skete nearby the monastery also named for Grand Duchess Elizabeth that will be celebrating their feastday that day.  I hope we can make it a tradition to attend the services at the skete for Liza's nameday.  As a side note, I also highly recommend their handmade skin cream.  I bought the natural cream for Liza (ingredients are olive oil, water, beeswax, and vitamin E).  It healed the baby eczema she's had on her hands for months!  It healed with just a few treatments.  The only other treatment I'd used was coconut oil, which did not do much, but did make her hands a little softer.  This one really took away the bumpiness and redness.

Yesterday I made a big pot of Mjaddrah.  I learned the recipe when I was in the Holy Land, where I spent five months volunteering at the Orthodox school in Bethany.  I don't always measure, but here is approximately how I made it.

Mjaddrah (Lentils and Rice)

1 cup rice
1 cup lentils
3 cups water
1 Tbsp. cumin (I've used whole seeds and ground - both are good)
2-3 onions, sliced
olive or other oil

Add the rice, lentils, and water to a pot and  bring to a boil.  Once boiled, add salt (maybe ½ tsp), cover, and simmer.

Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute until they are starting to brown.  Turn down the heat to medium-low, add cumin and some salt, and keep cooking them while you continue to stir.  After about 20 minutes or so, you should have nice caramelized onions and the rice mix should be done.

Serve the caramelized onions over the rice and lentils.  It goes very well with a salad with crunchy lettuce.

The girls performing during their 75th anniversary last year
Me with some of the girls who live at the school
This will be a busy weekend with several church services.  Tomorrow is Lazarus Saturday and one of my favorite days!  It is really a festive day (a sort of Nameday for me and my sister Martha) and along with Palm Sunday give us a glimpse of Paschal joy before starting the solemn Holy Week services.  Growing up, we would make palm crosses and put them into bunches with pussy willows on Saturday after Liturgy to be handed out that night at Vigil.  Lazarus Saturday also holds a special place in my heart as it is the feastday of the church at the school in Bethany.  Pilgrims come from all over to celebrate in Bethany.  I was not there during Lazarus Saturday (I was there August - January), but would sure love to be able to do that someday.   If you remember, please say a special prayer tomorrow for the students and nuns who work at the school.

The chapel built over a stone found during excavations that reads "Here is where Martha met Jesus and he told her of the Resurrection"


elizabeth said...

how very wonderful! We hope to go to Jordanville at some point too... have a blessed Holy Week! so glad for all the wonderful things in this post! and the dish sounds yummy!!!

Mary said...

Maybe you can come for Pentecost! It would be nice to see you!

Happy Lazarus Saturday and a blessed Holy Week to you too!

Martha said...

I was thinking of you while in church today...happy mini namesday to you!!! ♥
I'm so happy I can see all the pictures up close when I click on them! So many wonderful pics from Jordanville. Liza has gotten so big! I want to try some of the skin cream from St. Elizabeth's! Who is the nun in the picture with you and Liza?
P.S. I love your little bird there, looking like it wants to eat some of your delicious dinner.