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 Chocolate Cake and Abbey Kitchen

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breljo

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PostSubject: Chocolate Cake and Abbey Kitchen   Mon May 21, 2012 8:44 pm

What a great subject, "The Kitchen"....... What comes to mind for me immediately, besides the best ever Chocolate Cake I (missed eating) at Shasta Abbey, is the Abbeys kitchen. The few times, "back then", when I was able to attend a retreat at the Abbey, I immediately understood that a lot of great teaching goes on in "the Kitchen", what with the amount of people involved trying to bring about order within chaos, and do ones best to bring about peace and harmony within this "welter of beings"all around trying to do the same. I had both, great admirationfor those that played a major role in this kitchen world and was at the same time a bit intimidated when being sent there on work duty, never quite knowing what might befall a new trainee. Of course I admired how much attention was being given to the careful use of food, how quantities were determined and allocated, and how awareness comes in pretty handy of where to place or not to place the forty eight thousand implements at large at any time. I have to confess that my two favorite things when being assigned kitchen duty was the walk in the brisk early morning air from the Vimalakirti Hall to the kitchen and absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of Mt. Shasta, Shasta Abbey, the pungent smell of the fresh earth and the woodpiles and last but not least the possibility of being offered a cup of coffee before breakfast while doing some chore.

All this, and much more, many moons ago.........................

With a bow to the kitchen "god"

Brigitte
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Chocolate Cake and Abbey Kitchen   Mon May 21, 2012 11:57 pm

Brigitte, by the time I was going there, they would set out a carafe with leftover coffee from the day before and kitchen helpers could pour themselves a cup and microwave it. It was brewed very strong, a second cup could cause a caffeine headache, but it was good. Sometimes the monk in charge would set out a Tupperware of banana bread pieces or cookies to go with coffee.

I liked being there too. The kitchen felt like such a primitive place, almost like a campsite in the forest that had a few rudimentary graces but not many. Things were well-worn but also well-cared for. The bulletin board was entertaining; it showed who ate what (gluten-free, non-dairy, etc.) and made note of items of trangression to be discussed with the community (for instance, empty cat food cans left in the sink instead of being properly disposed of). I agree, it was also such a good place to observe people and learn things.

I have an Abbey cookbook published several years ago - I'll see if there's a recipe for the chocolate cake, unless maybe you have it already? Lot of good recipes in there.
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: Chocolate Cake and Abbey Kitchen   Tue May 22, 2012 1:09 am

Thanks Lise, for the offer, but I am getting to old and lazy to do a lot of cooking and baking, but I know the cookbook you are talking about and it is a good one. At my age now even a couple of pieces of that Chocolate Cake might send me "over the edge" and possibly cause anaphylactic shock, or even an apocalyptic one and bring on the December 21st a little early for me. Smile The reason why I missed out on the cake at that time was because I am a slow eater, and I was still trying to finish what I had on my plate when the dessert was being passed around and I thought I'll wait until "second helpings", which sadly never happened. As one can tell, I am still working on "letting things go".
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PostSubject: Re: Chocolate Cake and Abbey Kitchen   Tue May 22, 2012 12:39 pm

Well, if you're sure that a piece of that cake might send you off early, I won't ship you any - we don't want to lose you.

I was thinking of digging out that cookbook, to see if the recipe's there -- if so I might post it.
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