Saturday, June 16, 2012

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI AND THE SULTAN & STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES

The Trial by Fire of St. Francis of Assisi, Fra Angelico, 1429

(This post was revised on September 23, 2014.)

St. Francis of Assisi is a beloved and well-known saint throughout the world and is remembers as "the Monk" by Muslims in the Middle East. He was born in either 1181 or 1182 in Assisi, Italy. He founded the Franciscan Order of Friar Minors, lived the gospels in obedience to the Church, traveled in peace to the Middle East during the crusades, created the first Nativity scene, saw God in everyone and everything, received the Stigmata of Christ Crucified, inspired countless people in his lifetime, and continues to inspire us today.

St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He is one of two patron saints of Italy (along with Catherine of Siena) and many other places throughout the world, including San Francisco, CA, in the United States. He is honored in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal, and Lutheran Churches. He died on October 3, 1226, and his feast day, October 4, is usually celebrated with a Blessing of the Animals.

To catch up on his story, see Young St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.  

Seven and a half years after the Palm Sunday night of 1212, when Francis performed the ceremony in which Clare of Assisi took holy vows and began attracting women to the Franciscan Sisterhood of the Poor Ladies, Francis traveled to the Middle East.

In 1219, the Franciscan Brotherhood of the Friar Minors was expanding as more and more men took holy vows in a desire to walk the Way of Jesus Christ and spread His word.

Years earlier, Francis had agreed to write a few rules that would give the Friar Minors (lesser brothers) guidance along the way. He also put local leaders called Vicars in place to take care of the brothers in his absence. Brothers spread out on mission trips throughout the known world in an effort to teach as many people as possible about Jesus Christ.

Francis felt called to go to the Middle East and had attempted two previous trips. One failed due to bad weather on the seas, and one failed due to illness. Countless men, religious and lay, rich or servant, joined the crusades because they believed that dying in a holy war made them martyrs and assured their immediate acceptance into Heaven.

(In 1095, Pope Urban II had declared that the purpose of the crusades, which off and on lasted until 1291, was so that Christians could have access and ownership of the Holy Land or Jerusalem and the sacred sites of Jesus.) 

Further, they saw that some crusaders returned with vast wealth from sacking villages and cities. Also, some Middle Eastern leaders teamed up with the crusaders in order to gain more territory for themselves. There were nine major crusades and many other smaller ones usually prompted by personal desire for wealth and power. In 1219, Francis arrived during a stalemate of one of the smaller, but deadly, crusades.

Francis had left from Bari or Brindisi in Southern Italy aboard a ship that regularly traveled this eastern route. The ship followed the coast of Greece and passed Crete. Then it sailed south to the Nile Delta.  

The Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, Malik al-Adil, (1145-1218) had risen in power to unite Egypt and Palestine. He fostered good relations and trade agreements with the crusader states, but he would not release control of Jerusalem. He was a powerful general who died in battle. His son and successor, Malk-al-Kamil, who is remembered for his for leniency and kindness, and the crusaders were in a stalemate when Francis arrived.

The war preparations at the crusaders’ encampment in Egypt deeply affected Francis. He walked around beseeching the soldiers to go home before they killed others or were killed themselves. He delivered his message in his usual passionate and animated way. The soldiers laughed at him and called him crazy.

Some historians believe that Francis had a vision or prophesy of the major battle at the city walls of Damietta in which many of the crusaders would later die. Others believe that the battle experiences of his youth made him a pacifist who preached peace.

Soon, Francis sought permission from the cardinal to cross enemy lines in order to speak with Sultan Malk-al-Kamil. The cardinal said no for many days. Francis continued to beg him as he felt called to go, but he would not go without permission from the Church.

The cardinal finally granted Francis permission as long as it wouldn’t appear to the sultan that the cardinal ordered him to negotiate. He also made it clear that he would not send troops to rescue Francis.

When Francis and one brother, possibly Illuminato, were spotted by the border guards, they let them cross assuming that they wanted to convert to Islam. As soon as it became clear that they would not, the guards beat them. Francis shouted the only Arabic word he knew, “Soldan, Soldan, Soldan,” until the guards took them to the Sultan Malik al-Kamil.

The sultan had several days’ worth of patience during which he let Francis speak. He was probably hopeful that Francis was there to negotiate a treaty. But also Francis spoke about Jesus, a respected prophet in Islam, whom the sultan honored. More importantly, Francis didn’t say anything negative about Muhammad or his Message.

Francis willingly accepted the challenge of talking about Jesus with the sultan’s religious advisors. It's believed that he offered to walk through fire along with the advisors to see whom God would choose to protect and that the advisors backed down before the first step. However, it’s more likely that he simply offered to let them cut off his head if the sultan didn’t like what he said. He was totally serious and this also impressed the sultan.

Finally, it was time for Francis and Illuminato to go back as neither Francis nor the sultan would convert. Perhaps the sultan told them of his willingness to create a treaty of peace with the crusaders.

As is the way of Middle Eastern hospitality, the sultan gave Francis an opportunity to select a parting gift among many gold and silver ornaments. Francis graciously refused and explained that his religion forbade him from accepting anything of such value. But, he would be happy to accept food for the day.

The sultan shared a wonderful meal with Francis and Illuminato and then had them escorted to the border. 

The cardinal refused to enter into peace negotiations with the sultan. 

Francis and his brother returned to Assisi in the spring of 1220.

Although Francis didn’t end the war, he did make quite the impression on the clergy in place to support the crusaders. Many abandoned their posts and joined the Franciscan Friar Minors.

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
                             Collect, HOLY WOMEN, HOLY MEN: CELEBRATING THE SAINTS

Discover what Francis did in Greccio in December 1223 in St. Francis and the Nativity, see St. Francis of Assisi and Animals to learn why he’s the patron saint of animals and ecology, then jump ahead to his final years in The Stigmata and Death of St. Francis.

Sources:

FRANCIS OF ASSISI: A NEW BIOGRAPHY by Augustine Thompson, O.P.
Clare and Francis: A film produced by Ignatius Press
…………………………………………………………........................

The crusades continue -- it's only the players and the treasures that differ.

(Check out this Wait But Why post for a comprehensive look -- From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq's Full Story.)

St. Francis of Assisi met with Sultan Malik al-Kamil in a space of kindness and respect. Francis never said that Muhammad or his Message was wrong or that the sultan was wrong for his beliefs, so the sultan was willing to listen to Francis speak of why he followed his Savior, Jesus Christ. That space of kindness, respect, and new friendship was maintained throughout their time together.

St. Francis of Assisi is warmly remembered by Muslims as "The Monk" who came for a visit.

It should be noted here that the same sultan dealt differently with Franciscan friars who arrived later. They preached in front of the Mosque in Seville and were almost killed on the spot. But the sultan issued a strict warning and allowed them to pass on to Morocco.

(Islam teaches that Jesus was a powerful prophet in a strong line of prophets including Moses. Muhammad is the latest prophet whose teachings contain the most pertinent part of God’s message. To speak ill of Muhammad or attempt to convince Muslims to abandon their religion was a crime punishable by death.)

Although the friars were warned repeatedly to stop, they continued to preach of Jesus Christ in the streets. For this crime, they were tortured and beheaded. A crusader ransomed and escorted their bodies home. Their remains were paraded around in glory as martyrs for Christ. Fernando Martins de Bulhoes was greatly inspired by these martyrs. So much so that he joined the Franciscans and became St. Anthony of Padua and Lisbon.

So there's that. But, actively seeking martyrdom for the sake of martyrdom is medieval and this is modern times. Don't do it. Be good and do good. That's the message in the life story of St. Francis of Assisi - be God in the world (the unique entity that's a combination of you and God Within) and do God's works in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Prayer helps in discerning what good God wants us to do. I'm particularly drawn to devotions during which the focus on a task creates an open space in which to listen. Cooking, as I learned in St. Dominic of Osma is an excellent devotion, particularly when creating a time-consuming dish easily obtainable out of a can. 

Known as Dolmas in the Middle East, this is a dish that Sultan Malik al-Kamil may have actually offered to St. Francis of Assisi. Whether it was filled with spiced meat or grains and vegetables, St. Francis would have eaten them with gusto because that's what good guests do, and because they are, in fact, pretty yummy. 

Similar ingredients to the ones listed below would have been available in Egypt at that time even the cinnamon and cumin which were expensive yet obtainable by trade with India.
  
STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES



(More photos below.)

Ingredients

1 jar grape leaves
3 or so tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, minced
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
3 cups water, divided
1 cup uncooked pearled barley
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 fresh (or 1 dry) tablespoons chopped mint
3 fresh (or 1 dry) tablespoons chopped dill
3 fresh (or 1 dry) tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

Instructions

 1. If you can harvest fresh, early spring grape leaves, remove the stems and soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. If not, purchase a jar of grape leaves found in the pickle or international section of some grocery stores and markets. (I found mine at Lovey's Market.)

 2. Rinse grape leaves with cold water, drain. Pat dry with clean kitchen or paper towels. Set aside.

 3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat. (I used a frying pan then switched to a sauce pan. But you could do the whole job in a sauce pan.)

 4. Add onion, cook and stir until tender but not brown. 

 5. Add scallions and pine nuts, cook and stir for 3 minutes.

 6. Place or keep in saucepan. Add 2 cups water, pearled barley, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cumin. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until water is absorbed.

 7. Remove from heat and cool.

 8. Stir in feta, parsley, mint, and dill.

 9. Lay several grape leaves on the bottom of a large saucepan, to protect the stuffed grape leaves from the direct heat.

10. Lay one, patted-dry grape leaf, stem side up, shiny side down on a clean work surface.

11. Depending on the size of the leaves you were able to obtain, spoon barley mixture onto center of the leave. 

12.  Fold bottom part up.

13.  Fold left and right sides in.

14. Roll up tightly.

15. Place in pot.

16. Repeat steps 10-15 until the first layer in the pot is complete.

17. Take a break, go outside. Pick a fresh lemon off of your son's Meyer Lemon tree which is your son's in name only because he asked for it one year for his birthday, but it's really yours because you take care of it -- moving it inside every fall and outside every spring and all that watering, feeding, and pruning. Good thing for him, there's also harvesting. OR, use a fresh lemon that you purchased or lemon juice from bottle.

18. Drizzle first layer with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

19. Repeat layers until you use up your grape leaves or your barley mixture. I had extra mixture and baked it into a tiny casserole. You could also add some fresh vegetables and serve as a salad.

20.  Place a small heatproof plate upside down on top of the layers in the pot.    

21.  Add 1 cup of water.

22.  Simmer for 1 hour.

23.  Remove from heat, but keep covered. Cool for 1 hour. (Unfortunately, I removed the cover and the leaves shriveled a bit as they dried.)

24. Serve at room temperature.

25. They can be served as an appetizer or as the main course along with a salad. 

Enjoy!

Photos:


My father's vineyard in the Hudson Valley of New York State




Yes, I did take that photo with the same hand that was pouring.








Demo photo of side folds was out of focus.


Donny's Meyer Lemon Tree









Tuesday, June 5, 2012

ST. JULIAN OF NORWICH AND HAZELNUT BREAD Lent Madness 2016 Saintly Sprinkle One




Saint or Dame Julian of Norwich was born around 1342 in England. She's a beloved mystic who experienced powerful visions of God, anchoress and pastoral counselor of St. Julian’s Church in Norwich, contemplative, and author of SIXTEEN REVELATIONS OF DIVINE LOVE -- the first book written in the English language by a woman. She is celebrated as a saint in the Anglican (including Episcopal), and Lutheran Churches on May 8. Due to popular devotion, she is honored as Blessed in the Roman Catholic Church on May 13. These feast days are the probable dates of her visions in 1373. She died some time after 1416.

Aside from her written meditations, very little is known of Julian. That much historians agree upon. Not much agreeing goes on after that. For one, some historians surmise that Julian took the name or was named for the church in which she became anchoress. The Patron Saint of St. Julian’s Church in Norwich is St. Julien of le Mans. It is unlikely that she would take the name of a French male saint. In fact, it was a common practice for parishioners to rename their church in honor of their anchorites instead of the other way around. Further, Julian or Juliana was a common female name in medieval England. So it’s most likely that her name and the name of the church were the same due to coincidence.

Or perhaps, according to my theory of the connection between saints and those that have the same name, she chose that church for her last home because she had the same name. BUZZ! Totally Made up Conjecture Alert!! I’d like to believe this, but there’s no proof.



Another tidbit I’d love to believe is that Julian had a cat. There is absolutely no proof of her having a cat. However, there is proof in the anchorite’s handbook, ANCRENE WISSE, that a cat was the only pet allowed to an anchorite AND there were a lot of rats around in medieval England, so a cat would be considered a necessity. Therefore, she probably had a cat.

You can see how this goes. My version of Julian’s life story is a cross-referenced compilation of gleanings from historical sources and her own writing. Inaccurate as it might be, I hope you find her life and lessons as inspirational as I do.

Julian was born in 1342. To put it in a time frame, she lived about 100 years after St. Francis of Assisi and 220 years before Shakespeare. It was the medieval age. Middle English was developing from the commoners’ street language to the national language in order to separate from French and Latin influences. She was probably born to a devout family of medium social standing and income dedicated to helping the church aid those in need.

When she was six years old, the Black Death or Pestilence struck. Black rats infested with infected fleas came to England aboard ships. When the rats died, the fleas jumped to humans and carried with them Bubonic, Pneumonic, and Septicemial Plague. This first plague lasted three years and killed more than half of Norwich’s population. Julian and her mother were among those that survived with immunity. 

When it was over, people in Norwich slowly began to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Julian and her mother attended church, helped with the poor, and prayed. Some time in her early teens, Julian prayed for three gifts including sickness:

In this sickness, I desired to have all kinds of pains, bodily and spiritual, that I would have if I were to die with all the fear and temptations of the fiend – except the outpassing of the soul. 
                                           Chapter 2 of her Revelations

She requested also to be with Jesus like the Apostles and the Blessed Mother Mary when He suffered and died on the cross. Finally, she asked for three wounds -- bodily sight, spiritual sight, and words formed in her understanding. In other words, vision, insight, and comprehension.

When she prayed for these gifts, she always added: 

Lord, thou knowest what I wish - if it be Thy will that I have it, grant it to me, and if it be not Thy will, Good Lord, be not displeased, for I want nothing except what thou wilt.  
                                                            Chapter 2

After a while she forgot about these wishes. She may have married and bore a child or two during her late teens as was the norm for her day.

In 1362 when Julian was 19 years old, the second plague struck killing mostly those who were not immune from previous exposure – the children.

Due to all the references to motherhood in her Revelations, historians believe that Julian did have children and that they died. Whether or not she was a mother, she was heartbroken at the immense loss nonetheless. She and her mother did all they could for her church family. They nursed the sick, kept vigil, and prayed. Even so, people whom she loved dearly ended up with other bodies in a “bloated heap of stinking mire.”
                                                        Chapter 64

Julian entered a time of great despair:

. . . when I had a great longing and desire of God’s gift to be delivered of this world and of this life. For oft time I beheld the woe that is here and the wellness and blessed being that is there.                                                          Chapter 64

When the second plague ended, and people again began to rebuild their lives, Julian remained terribly sad and confused. In her lifetime, the Holy Church taught that suffering was caused by sin. The topic of many sermons was that someone in town was sinful and caused the plague that killed the children. People roamed the streets beating themselves as a form of penitence for the whole town. Although Julian continued her good works for her parish family for the next 10 years, she floundered in a state of anguish unable to understand how the God she so loved could punish the innocent for the sinful acts of others.

A new life and understanding began for her when she became ill in early May of 1373. Two days after she received last rites as she was staring up toward Heaven, the curate of her church shoved a crucifix in her face. With all her effort, she lowered her eyes to look at it. Jesus looked back. He moved, He talked, He bled, He suffered, He died, and He loved.

During these amazing visions, Julian saw with her eyes, she heard His words, and she understood. Along with her visions, she was given the gift of memory. The visions did not fade for her. It is believed that she dictated the short version of her Revelations to a scribe soon after her recovery. She then spent the next 20 years or so, contemplating, praying, and studying (perhaps with an Augustinian friar) so that she could write the longer version herself and include deeper explanations of each sighting for her “even Christians” (fellow Christians, neighbors and friends).

She used images from her daily life to help explain her visions:

Also in this revelation He showed a little thing, the size of a hazel nut in the palm of my hand, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: "What can this be?"


And it was generally answered thus: "It is all that is made."


In this little thing, I saw three characteristics, the first is that God made it; the second is that God loves it, and the third is that God helps it.
                                                               Chapter 5

(In medieval England people referred to the size of the hazel nut in cooking as in “Add a bit of rock salt the size of a hazel nut.”)

So all of creation is the size of a hazel nut in the palm of God’s hand and “He has made us only for Himself and restored us by His blessed Passion and ever keeps us in His blessed love.” -- Chapter 5

She was granted a vision, insight, and understanding of the Trinity deeper than words can show. And from that she showed us, her “dearworthy even Christians,” how to pray:

And we pray to Him by His sweet Mother’s love who bore Him, but all the help we have from her is His goodness.


And in the same way, all the help that we have from special saints and all the blessed company of Heaven – the dearworthy love and endless friendship that we have from them – is from His goodness. 


Wherefore it pleases Him that we seek Him and worship Him by intermediaries, understanding and recognizing that He is the goodness of all. 
                                                                       Chapter 6
                                                                             
Go ahead and pray for intercession from the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints whom love us remembering that it’s God from which all goodness comes.

For the goodness of God is the highest prayer, and it comes down to the lowest part of our need. It vitalizes our soul and brings it to life and makes it grown in grace and virtue. Therefore, we can with His grace and His help remain in spiritual contemplation, with everlasting wonder at this high surpassing, inestimable love which Almighty God has for us of His goodness. 
                                                                      Chapter 6

It’s okay to pray without words in wonder of God and His love for us.

For all things, the beholding, and the loving of the Creator makes the soul seem less in its own sight, and most fills it with reverent fear and true humility, with an abundance of love for its fellow Christians. 
                                                                   Chapter 6

Let God’s love fill you up and overflow out to others.

In chapter 8 we get to something that troubled Julian. I almost left this part out because it troubles me as well, but what I like about it is that Julian admitted her inability to understand God:

He created everything for love and by the same love everything is protected and shall be without end; God is everything that is good, as I see it, and the goodness that everything has, it is He. If something is good, that thing is God.


God loves all, goodness in all, even sin.
                                                      Chapter 8 

Julian explained that God allows sin and suffering to occur because it’s ultimately good. She cannot understand this paradox -- if God is so powerful and loves us so much, why doesn’t he stop sin or bad stuff before it happens?

But she consented to trust God, “And I wished no longer to wonder at this, but I looked to our Lord for what He wished to show.” - Chapter 8

In Chapter 13 she learned that “God scorns the fiend” and that sin has no power.

In Chapter 14 she wrote, “God wants us to know that He protects us equally surely in woe as in well.” God is with us at all times, in good and bad.

Further in Chapter 17 as she saw and felt Jesus’ Passion on the cross, she humbly regretted ever having prayed for this experience. “How can any pain be more to me than to see Him who is all my life, all my bliss, all my joy, suffer?”

In Chapter 20 she turned to Mary at the cross “Inasmuch as Our Lady grieved for His pains, just so much He suffered grief for her sorrow.”

God is always with us in our woe. He suffers for us and with us.

In Chapter 21 she witnessed, “At the moment of death, He changed His blessed Countenance. The changing of His blessed countenance changed mine, and I was glad and as merry as possible.”

Julian was given an experience of the joy that is the immediate result of the Passion – the transformation from human suffering and pain to bliss and glory.

Later she asked God again how if sin (and bad stuff) is from God and God is all Goodness, why does He allow it? His answer implied that it will all make sense to us someday:

Sin is inevitable,
but all shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of all things shall be well.
                                                             Chapter 27

Julian did not understand, but through faith, she accepted.

(There is something about this concept that has resonated with folks throughout the ages. It’s been quoted and paraphrased as often as lines from Shakespeare; and sometimes, like Shakespearean quotes, to the point of forgetting the original source.

Yet, it’s a concept that loses nothing in repetition, misquotes, or reworkings. My favorite is its use in the movie Shakespeare in Love:

“Don’t worry. It’ll all turn out well.”

“How will it?”

“I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”)

It took over 20 years for Julian to understand her visions to the point when she was ready to write the second more comprehensive version of her Revelations. She didn’t have the time she needed to write as the running of her own home was labor intensive and the good works she did with her church was an integral part of her life and not something she could chose not to do.

It's likely that she met with the women of the church for prayer group and they discussed her visions as well as how each of them tried to balance their busy home lives and parish caretaking with their desire to lead more prayerful lives. They helped Julian see that the best way for her to complete her writing in safety (at the time it was illegal to write religious texts in English) was to become an anchoress. (Her beloved mother, who was with her during her illness and visions, had passed, and there is no record of any other family.) Julian petitioned the bishop, and he granted her permission.

There is a written record of four bequests made to support Julian in her life as the anchoress of St. Julian’s Church. But the real support came from her friends and parishioners. They brought her food and other necessities, and she prayed for and counseled them.

She lived in a room with three windows – one opened to a servant’s room though which food, necessities, and the chamber pot were passed; one small opening into the church so that she could listen to the services and receive communion; and one veiled opening out to a small porch with a chair so that she could listen to, pray with, and counsel parishioners, townspeople, and travelers.

When she completed her Revelations written with homemade ink on goatskin parchment bound with wood and covered in leather, she passed it through the window into the hands of a scribe or a nun from the nearby convent. There are four copies remaining, the most comprehensive text seems to have been copied quickly for someone’s own personal use. Translations remain in print and are read throughout the world today.

She died some time after 1416 and was buried in an unmarked grave as was the way of anchorites and anchoresses.

Lord God, in your compassion you granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
                                                                                  - Collect, Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints

Sources:

SIXTEEN REVELATIONS OF DIVINE LOVE by Julian of Norwich
THE COMPLETE JULIAN OF NORWICH by Fr. John-Julian, OJN, contains the entire Revelations with annotations and other biographical and historical information.
A CONTEMPLATIVE BIOGRAPHY: JULIAN OF NORWICH by Amy Frykholm is an imaginative biography based on extensive historical study. Her Selected Bibliography contains many intriguing titles.

Recommendations:

THE DOOMSDAY BOOK by Connie Willis is a science fiction time travel novel that delves deep into the Plague. It’s a great story and explains everything you’ve never thought to ask about the Black Death.
JULIAN’S CAT: AN IMAGINARY HISTORY OF A CAT OF DESTINY by Mary E. Little – a picture book published in 1989 is out of print, but available used or hopeful at your local library.

…………………………………………………………………………

Confession: In order to meet my deadline and run my home as needed, I didn’t finish reading Julian’s work. And as there is so much more that I didn’t even touch upon, none of us can go wrong with further study of St. Julian of Norwich and her Revelations. She offers us a path to peace and faithful understanding, with or without her dearworthy cat.

In honor of the hazelnut sized creation that God holds in the palm of His hand, I offer this bread made with ingredients that would have been available in England during the Late Middle Ages:


HAZELNUT BREAD




INGREDIENTS

¾ cup Grape-Nuts (barley/wheat nugget) Cereal
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or any combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, to taste)
¾ cup honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 apple, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
½ cup hazelnuts, halved

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. Combine cereal and buttermilk in a small bowl. Let soak for ½ hour.
 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
 3. In a large bowl, combine salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
 4. Add honey, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk mixture. Stir thoroughly with large spoon.
 5. Mix in melted butter.
 6. Gradually add whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Combine.
 7. Add apple and hazelnuts. Stir.
 8. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
 9. Bake at 375 degrees F for about one hour. Insert toothpick in the middle of the loaf. It’s done when toothpick comes out clean or with only a few crumbs.

10. Allow to cool a bit before serving.