Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:17-30

This is a bit of a macabre topic, but I occasionally wonder, should I be asked what I would like for my last meal, what would I say? Then I ran across this article, which outlines the last words uttered by criminals prior to their execution.

Number 17 on the list, a Thomas Grasso, is remembered for saying, “I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.” Now, he could have said “I’m sorry” or “God, forgive me” or, as others have done, he could have told those around him to take a long walk off a short pier (I’m paraphrasing). But instead, he chose to point out this error, this indignity he suffered at the unnatural end of his life. The man requested a specific food – Spaghetti O’s – and was, instead, given what was probably a correctional institute’s commissary-issue version of spaghetti.

I’ve thought about this from time to time, wondering if a convicted criminal requests a steak from a certain restaurant if they actually get that or if they get the chicken fried steak that was served in the prison that day. And, naturally, my thoughts then turn to what my own meal request would be. So, I thought I would share that with you today:

Fruit Tea from Bread & Co.

Fruity Pebbles with a sliced banana 
and whole milk. 

I like just about any kind of cereal there is and those who know me know that I can and have had cereal for all three meals. My favorites include Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries, Grape-Nuts, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, Cocoa Pebbles, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But in the end, I would probably choose Fruity Pebbles. With a banana. And with Vitamin D, whole milk. None of that skim business for my last meal.

            Cream of Wheat.

        Not just Cream of Wheat, but a bowl made by my Mom. This was the dish she made for me when I was sick or just cold or in need of comfort. And it was delicious. Living up to its name, it was creamy and probably mixed with copious amounts of butter and sugar. I was in college before I went to buy my first “living on my own” box and was shocked to find that its name is not actually “Creamy Wheat,” as I had always known it. The second shock was that it’s not actually easy to make. It requires precision with the measuring, just the right amount of heat, a perfectly-sized pot, and insanely-focused attention and constant stirring, to prevent lumps. As I tried to eat a less-than-desirable version of my beloved comfort food, I realized the secret ingredient that was missing – love. And I missed my Mom for the first, but certainly not last, time.

          Purple Hull Green Beans.
        There are purple hull peas, but what I want are purple hull green beans. They’re a bit elusive. You won’t find them on the canned vegetable aisle at the grocery. Believe me. But my mother-in-law makes them and they’re kind of to-die-for. Purple when picked, they turn green when cooked and little brown seeds jump out and add to the texture and flavor of the dish. I know her dishes, including this one, have an extra tablespoon of that secret ingredient, as well.

          Roasted corn on the cob.

   I like all types of corn, but if I had to pick one type to ride out on, it would be plain and simple. Roasted corn on the cob.


          Chick Fil-A’s Peppermint Chocolate Chip Shake.

        It says “Christmas is around the corner” and “you can start your diet in January.” Go ahead and give me an order of waffle fries, too.


          Becker’s Bakery Petit Four with Chocolate Ice Cream.

        This is a tough one. About as impossible as my dream bowl of Creamy Wheat. Becker’s was a Nashville institution. Located on 12th Avenue/Granny White Pike in south Nashville, it was the end-all-be-all of bakeries. It’s where Nashville’s elite and Nashville’s Everyman bought dinner rolls, cookies, birthday cakes, and wedding cakes. They closed in 2004 after serving Nashville for 79 years, leaving an inferior second location on the other side of town. The name is the same but that is about all. Walking into Becker’s meant a few things:  there was always a line. It was staffed entirely by grumpy, old women, one of whom always wore a sailor hat. Everything in there had a thin coat of flour on it and a mist of flour seemed to hang in the air. It smelled like I imagine Heaven does. And you were going to leave with something truly special. My favorite treat from them was a piece of basic, white-on-white cake, mushed up with a scoop of plain ol’ chocolate ice cream. Pure bliss.

So, what’s on your menu?