Our friends' home in the mountains

Our friends' home in the mountains

I took two day off last week and escaped from Pagosa Springs. Some friends in the church are out of town and let us use their log house on the upper Blanco River. I arrived late Thursday and woke up Friday morning to a beautiful fall day. The surrounding peaks were all covered with fresh snow. The river is only twenty-five yards from the back door. I built a fire, gazed at the mountains and the water, and lost myself in the beauty.

The rest of the day I spent fly fishing and cooking. Yes, cooking. The Sabbath would begin at sundown. In the first century, the Sabbath feast was a time to join with friends and neighbors and eat a special meal. The law and tradition required no work on the Sabbath, but neighbors that brought food to share at the dinner were allowed to carry their empty dishes home after the feast. With a diet that was primarily vegetarian, the Sabbath was one of the occasions when fish and poultry were added to the menu. After a week of legumes, I wanted my special meal. So we celebrated the Sabbath on the banks of the Blanco River.

The Sabbath special was chicken braised in white wine. Instead of rice or potatoes — neither were part of the Mediterranean diet yet — we had bulgar and mushrooms. The side dishes were freshly picked leaf lettuce with oil, vinegar and feta cheese; pickled vegetables; and pita bread. It was a delightful feast in a wonderful place.

The Upper Blanco River

The Upper Blanco River

Shabbat Shalom!

Studying the Blanco River

Studying the Blanco River


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4 Responses to “Shabbat”

  1. Debby Swackhamer Says:

    Wow! That place is amazingly beautiful. How can you wake up there and not know the presence of God?
    I have bee thouroughly enjoying your blogs and am encouraged to add a little first century food to my diet. Loved the cheese recipe.

  2. Bill Richard Says:

    Doug, What an awesome place to retreat and reflect … and eat first century cuisine! Love the chicken recipe. Need to try it. I hardly ever use breast meat. More expensive and less flavor! I sort of had a first century meal tonight: lamb leg sirloin chops w/ onions (did they have those in first century palestine?) and yogurt… Loving your blog… Keep up the good diet!

  3. Sally Says:

    A fantastic and restful weekend. The beauty was stunning and the food was fantastic! Even Robert liked it! We truly appreciate the generosity of our parishioners and their willingness to share what they have. Living here in the midst of the mountains is a true blessing!

  4. judith bernstein Says:

    Shabbat sounds so much more peaceful than Sunday or Sabbath. Your awesome piece of heaven on earth. I am jealous. Will You adopt me?

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