A Cloud of Witnesses - Joan S. Hickey, Author

3:55 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves

Apple Pie a la Mode
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 to 7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg white
Additional sugar
 
Directions
In a small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.
Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edge. Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry.
Beat egg white until foamy; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20-25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 8 servings.
Top with ice cream
 
A Cloud of Witnesses – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
 
***I am the seventh of seventeen children, from a working-class, Midwestern Catholic family.  In my teenage years, the tension of alcoholism and depression brought my family to its knees.  My parents fought constantly about money.  Teenage brothers and sisters, one at a time, ran away from home.  My fifteen-year-old younger sister, Lisa, got pregnant.  My eighteen-year-old older brother, Charlie, who was smoking a lot of weed and dropping a lot of LSD, got shot in the back hitchhiking home at 4 a.m. through the ghetto and became crippled.  My father’s depression and drinking led to the loss of his job.  When my family defaulted on the mortgage to our house, we sold our furniture on the front lawn in the middle of January, packed our remaining belongings into a U-Hall truck, and made our way out west for a new start.***
 
***Inside I was dying.  The alcoholic family’s code of silence and denial worked in tandem with teenage male conditioning in a toxic way.  I was deeply depressed by all that was happening at home.  I struggled with a tremendous sense of shame.  I had no way to access my own needs and feelings, much less the ability to articulate them or to ask for the help I desperately needed… This whole time was a death-of-God experience for me.  The God of my childhood, with whom I had bargained to save me and my family, was now officially dead.***
 
This is a story that is lived by many others but seldom told.  How can a person expect to live through circumstances so negative and still come out with a positive attitude?  How can they be expected to go through the heartbreaks and horror and still have Faith?  How can they be expected to even believe that the is a real God?  ‘As a young boy Jesse felt called to be a priest.  Part of this was a real sense of piety.  He truly felt a love for God.  The Holy One was the only one he could count on amidst the emotional and physical violence of his family.  At the same time, religion was a socially sanctioned way to escape from the chaos’…  Even though his faith and beliefs faltered over the years, he experienced his own ‘miracle’ that kept him seeking and eventually becoming what God meant for him to be.  He is a board-certified chaplain who works with pediatric oncology patients and their families.
 
Jesse’s story and many others are shared with us in this wonderfully uplifting book A Cloud of Witnesses.  As I read each story I allowed myself to drift into a state of ‘meditation’ and be there for each Godly experience.  The inter peace and tranquility that I received was through each testimony can only be described as beautiful.  I have several friends who are cancer patients and this is a book that I fully intend to pass along to them with hopes that they too will receive the messages being shared by those within this book who experienced them.  I can only say thank you to the author Joan S. Hickey for bringing these words together.
 

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