Tribune Print Share Text

Food for the Spirit nourishes Pastoral Ministries at Linden Ponds

Interfaith cookbook shares recipes, traditions

Created date

November 26th, 2013

Despite the fact that many, if not most, people who live at Linden Ponds rarely use their kitchens, community members recently assembled a new cookbook that has proven a hot commodity, even among those who don t cook. Food for the Spirit is a multicultural, interfaith compilation of nearly 350 recipes contributed by those who live and work at Linden Ponds. Published this fall by the Linden Ponds Interfaith Council to support Pastoral Ministries in the community, the book is a tangible example of the cornucopia of people who call the Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass., home. Everyone seems to feel they have learned so much about other religions and they have become so much more tolerant and understanding, says Mira Appel, a Jewish community representative on the council and the one who came up with the cookbook idea. This particular community is really teaching people that no matter who you are, you are really just a person. The Interfaith Council comprises representatives from the community s Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, United Church of Christ (Congregational), Unitarian Universalist, and Skeptics groups, who meet to share news of their respective activities and to support Pastoral Ministries. There are many theological and religious issues separating our religious traditions, but there is perhaps one thing we all easily agree on: good faith and good food go together! writes Chris Beukman, manager of Pastoral Ministries at Linden Ponds, in the cookbook s foreword.

Serious about interfaith opportunities

Helen Seager, who lives at Linden Ponds and chaired its Interfaith Council when the cookbook was created, says she was struck when, on her first visit to the Oakleaf Clubhouse at Linden Ponds, the first door she saw was Pastoral Ministries. I thought, They take [spirituality] seriously, she says. Led by Beukman, Linden Ponds Pastoral Ministries organizes and hosts more than 70 events each month, from meditation and Bible studies to musical concerts and seminars. Each year, the department hosts an interfaith symposium featuring a panel of prestigious guests. This year s Joy, Laughter, and Humor in the Spiritual Life welcomed Professor Richard P. Olson, an accomplished writer on the subject and the brother of a Linden Ponds resident. What really keeps me going here is learning all the time, Mira says. I really never knew much about other religions. It doesn t matter how we believe. We are all learning. Helen describes the Interfaith Council as a fun group, willing to take on challenges. It s the only group I ve worked in where people say, Yes, I ll do it. The council was looking for a source of funding to support Pastoral Ministries many events when, Mira says, One night it hit me: why not have a cookbook?

Team effort

With the idea welcomed by the Interfaith Council, a smaller cookbook committee formed early this year. Mira and Helen were joined by Alice Heckman and Sandy Peavey, who also live at Linden Ponds. The book s list of contributors runs more than two pages, a sign of the many residents and staff members and even their family members who contributed favorite recipes that have been tested through generations. Many of the recipes include brief notes from the contributor about the recipe s origin or accompanying family tradition. However, the recipes often reached the book committee in a less digestible format. There was a lot of work involved, Mira says. People brought scribbled recipes, forcing the committee members to call the contributor and ask, What do they mean by a little bit? Sandy, Helen, and six other community members typed the recipes, and Sandy and Alice then began the task of reviewing them. The two of us went over every single recipe. We read them, and we looked at the ingredients. If there was any question about whether the amounts were right, Alice would call the person, Sandy says. Artists living at Linden Ponds helped design the book. Once ready, Sandy reviewed the proof for final edits and coordinated with the publisher to print 500 copies. I m just blown away. It s even better than I was anticipating, Sandy says of the final result. The reception has been fantastic.

Successful endeavor

In the first five days the cookbook was available, sales passed $1,000. Some [people who purchased it] don t cook, but they just love the recipes, Mira says. I think a lot of people are getting a kick out of it. More than the funding it continues to raise for Pastoral Ministries, the cookbook has also raised awareness of the spiritual offerings at Linden Ponds, which are highlighted in the first pages. It has, to a degree that s not measurable, put Interfaith Council on the map, Helen says. The council is getting much more ambitious about really looking at things from the point of view of improving the care of the soul at Linden Ponds. Mira adds of the interfaith community: I think it touches everyone here. I think it s probably one of the best things that s happening here. For a special night next month, the Linden Ponds restaurants will feature recipes from the cookbook. Copies ofFood for the Spiritare available for purchase for $15 in the Derby Clubhouse store or through the Linden Ponds administration office. Turkey Wellington Recipe by Mira Appel Serves 10-12 Ingredients 2 to 3 lbs fresh or frozen boneless turkey roast ' cup cranberry orange relish 1 pkg crescent refrigerated rolls 1 beaten egg Directions Place the roast turkey in a shallow pan, and roast according to package directions until a meat thermometer, inserted in the center, reaches 160 degrees. Remove the skin and cord from the roast. Replace the roast in the shallow pan and spoon the cranberry orange relish over the top. Continue roasting until the meat thermometer registers 170 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, separate crescent rolls into 4 rectangles, overlapping the rectangles to build one large rectangle. Press the seams and perforations to seal. Roll into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle. Remove the turkey when 170 degrees internal temperature is reached. Put oven setting on 375 degrees. Place the dough over the turkey roast and mold to the shape of the roast. Trim off excess dough. Use the excess dough to make cutouts for designs on top. Brush the dough with the beaten egg. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more.