Author Archives: Monica Sawyn

About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog. I actually have two blogs here: one about ordinary things at monicaspen.wordpress.com; and one about Catholic and Benedictine things at heartsponderings.wordpress.com.

A day of its own

This is an unusual Sunday. Normally I’d be getting ready to leave for Mass right about now, but for some reason, we decided to go last night. Yesterday’s picture-perfect spring day primed me for a leisurely stint in the garden … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic life, Lifestyle, Reflection, Uncategorized, weather | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Edible Journey: Ethiopia

They definitely saved the best for last. Our final stop on the Catholic Relief Services rice-bowl journey was to Ethiopia where we were to sample “Injera with Atkilt Wat,” or cabbage and crepes. I wasn’t hopeful. Cabbage and crepes? And … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic life, cooking, CRS Rice Bowl, Food, Lent, Lenten food, Lenten meals, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Edible Journey: Mexico

I set the plate of food, a rice-and-veggie mixture, in front of George and pointed something out to him. “Have you noticed how these third-world recipes all seem to look alike?” I asked. I suppose it makes sense. The people … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic, cooking, CRS Rice Bowl, Lenten food, Lenten meals, meatless meals, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Edible Journey: El Salvador

Some culinary adventures aren’t quite what I’d hoped for. That’s what happened when we sat down to our El Salvadoran meal as part of our Lenten Friday rice bowl menus. (Read more about that here.) The fault, I confess, is … Continue reading

Posted in cooking, CRS Rice Bowl, Lenten food, Lenten meals, meatless meals, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments

The tale of the mutant meatballs

This, as the title says, is a tale of the mutant meatballs–or, how recipes sometimes develop a mind of their own. That can only happen when you’re unprepared, as I was today. I knew I had ground beef to cook, … Continue reading

Posted in cooking, Food, Humor, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The edible journey: Zambia

Dinner was simmering on the stove, and George and I were both getting hungry. “I think, for the first time, we’re REALLY going to feel like we’re eating in solidarity with the poor,” I warned him. He hesitated for just … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic, cooking, CRS Rice Bowl, Food, healthy eating, Lenten food, Lenten meals, meatless meal, nutrition, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The edible journey: India

I was chopping tomatoes when George wandered past, sticking his head over my shoulder to watch. “What are those for?” he asked. Since it was nearing dinner time, I replied in my best duh! tone of voice. “For dinner, of … Continue reading

Posted in cooking, CRS Rice Bowl, Food, Lent, Lenten food, Lenten meals, meatless meals, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

On the road again

George and I are traveling again. Every Friday we visit a different third-world country. We don’t get to see any scenery, but we sure do enjoy a lot of good food. Our mode of transport is the Catholic Relief Services … Continue reading

Posted in cooking, CRS Rice Bowl, Food, healthy eating, Lenten food, meatless meals, nutrition, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

No ordinary French toast

Yesterday was Wednesday, and that means one thing: French toast for breakfast. I’m not sure how that became a tradition. Probably because it’s halfway between Saturdays, when we have pancakes and bacon. The rest of the days are usually just … Continue reading

Posted in cooking, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Giants in my bones

The rumble was more a feeling than a sound, almost subliminal. I glanced outside, expecting a UPS truck, but the streets were empty. “Must be the shipyard,” George said. “They must be moving a boat.” “Boat” is a gentle term … Continue reading

Posted in Boats, ore boats, Uncategorized, working harbor | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments