My Top Ten Posts of 2022

Marsh sunsetOnce again, as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it has been my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year. I started this blog back in 2009, and to my surprise, 2022 was its best year yet.  It had 81,415 views and 62,614 visitors.

I began it as a theology blog, but soon started posting recipes of dishes I made. In recent years I’ve posted the sermons from my occasional guest preaching, and recipes from my cooking. That dichotomy is represented in the top posts of the year; six of them are recipes, two are sermons I preached this year, one is a remembrance of a dear colleague, and one is a paper I gave for the 375th anniversary of the Westminster Confession. You might say I’m into feeding both body and soul.

 Here are the ten most popular posts from 2022:

“Building Bigger Barns” A Sermon on Luke 12:13-2

Rick’s Greek Moussaka

Rick’s Favorite Black Bean Salad

“Our Down to Earth God” A Sermon on John 1:1-18

Remembering Luther C. Pierce (1924-2021)

Reflections on the Legacy of the Westminster Confession of Faith

Rick’s Vietnamese Pork Chops

Rick’s Summer Spaghetti with Uncooked Tomato Basil Sauce

Rick’s Cataplana Shellfish Stew

Rick’s Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Honey Sauce

And here are the ten all-time most popular posts, all but one of which are sermons:

Why did Jesus refer to Herod as “That fox” in Luke 13:32”?

“Distracted by Many Things” A Sermon on Luke 10:38-42

“Breaking chains, Opening Doors” A Sermon on Acts 16:16-34

“Pity the Nation” A Poem for our Time by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“The God Who Still Speaks” A Sermon on John 16:12-15

“Displaced Persons” A Sermon on Jeremiah 29: 1-14

“Of Fig Trees and Second Chances” A Sermon on Luke 13:6-9

“Rich Toward God” A Stewardship Sermon on Luke 12:13-21

“God Gives the Growth:” A Retirement Sermon

“Ask, Search, Knock” A Sermon on Luke 11:1-13

Just a reminder that this is an open-source free site, and you are free to share content with attribution. But remember “Thou shalt not steal!” I appreciate your support. Thanks for coming by and come again in 2023.

(Photo: R.L Floyd, 2022. The photo is of the marsh behind our house.)

Rick’s Cataplana Shellfish Stew

Cat 1

Years ago, friends of ours brought us back a cataplana from their trip to Portugal. A cataplana is both the name of the cooking vessel and the dish that is made in it. The vessel is a clam-shaped copper pot with a hinge.  If you don’t have a cataplana, you can use a sturdy pot or Dutch oven with a lid. The dish is a shellfish and pork stew. There are many versions. Here’s mine. Since my cataplana isn’t very big, this recipe is for two, or maybe four with enough good crusty bread and a salad. Continue reading

Rick’s Split Pea Soup with Smoked Ham Hock

Bowl

I like to make this when the weather gets cold. It’s cheap eats, but good! The ham hocks come in packages of three or four (also sold as “smoked pork hocks.”) The trick is to put them in individual freezer bags and freeze them, so you always have them on hand. You can defrost them in the microwave. This is an easy and delicious soup. Continue reading

Rick’s Summer Spaghetti with Uncooked Tomato Basil Sauce

Pasta 3We’ve been cooking variations on this recipe on hot summer days for decades. The original “Silver Palate Cookbook“ had a version that called for Brie, but  we felt that was too rich for a hot summer dinner.

We only make this in late summer when the good local tomatoes come in, and we have fresh herbs in pots ready to go. You do have to cook the pasta, but the rest is uncooked. I combine all the other ingredients in a pasta bowl earlier in the day and let them get happy. Continue reading

Rick’s “Fathers’ Day” Mixed Grill

Mixed grillWhen we were on holiday in Burwash, East Sussex, way back in 1993, it was our June 12 anniversary, and we were looking for fine dining to celebrate.  We had Auntie Freya with us to watch the kiddos, so we had high hopes, and we had scouted out what appeared to be the only restaurant in town that wasn’t one of the three pubs. Sadly, when we went to make a reservation, it was closed, night off, bank holiday or whatever.

Not to be deterred we turned to the usually reliable English pub for a back-up. The high street in Burwash isn’t very long, and was then anchored by a pub at either end and one in the middle. The one in the middle seemed busy so we went there.  It had “Mixed Grill” on the menu. Continue reading

Rick’s Summer Tabbouleh Salad

TabboulehI had never had tabbouleh until I met my wife’s family in my early twenties.  It was a staple of their summer picnics and I loved it. I seldom make it, as I was reminded yesterday by my unopened Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur with a 2012 sell-by date. A quick trip to Guido’s for new bulgur and I was ready. We had friends over for a Mediterranean dinner last night. We started with pita, hummus, feta and mixed olives, some nice Rose from Provence. Then I made grilled marinated butterflied leg of lamb and grilled veggies with the tabbouleh. Summer dining on the back porch at its best! Continue reading