Triduum engages the senses

For every single person, the body is the place in which the most internal and the most external meet…”
– Chauvet, The Sacraments, p. 1

I have always found Lent and the Triduum to be my favorite days of our liturgical calendar. I’m often met with strange looks when I confess that to others. In the years I have reflected on it, I think it comes down to the symbols and the rituals we use during these 40+ days. Mass and our liturgies are beautiful throughout the year, but for me nothing compares to the liturgies over these days of the Triduum, where I feel the most connected to my faith.

Last night we celebrated one of the most beautiful liturgies of the year, Holy Thursday. From start to finish, the liturgy engages all of our senses. It is the same liturgy every year and it never fails to move me to tears. The smell of the incense as the procession began was a reminder that it was a special celebration. The loud crashing sounds of the final chimes of the church bells which usually ring hourly but won’t be heard again until the Vigil on Saturday night seemed to reach into the Church and into me. The sight of my community, washing one another’s feet is the most poignant for me. Friends, families, and strangers knelt down at one another’s feet, just as the Scriptures describe Jesus doing, to show the love we have for one another. I watched as they washed with care and genuine love for one another that was palpable. It was such an intimate and beautiful act to witness and be a part of. And seemed to me to be exactly what we need in the world today. The taste of the bread and wine at Eucharist, our last Mass and full celebration until Saturday. And the touch of my knees onto the ground, as we knelt while the procession of the Blessed Sacrament into its place for the evening began.

Today, while our senses are still utilized, the liturgy is largely about absence. The silence through the somber day of prayer and reflection today on Good Friday and into Saturday morning while we wait for the Resurrection seems to bring a certain quiet and hush to my world, one that is constantly full of sights and sounds. The absence and the bareness helps me enter spiritually into these days where I must confront what I need to die to in my own life. It’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But we must go through it to get to Easter.

At the Easter Vigil, we will again share in a liturgy that is rich and engages every sense. We begin in darkness, I imagine in those hours between Christ’s death and resurrection, his followers felt like they too were living without light. We will smell the smoke from the fire and hold candles “But now we know the praises of this pillar, which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor, a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light…” (The Exultant). We will hear the story of our salvation history proclaimed followed by the The Exultant, telling us our Easter joy of the sacred night: “This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.” We will again participate in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and taste the body and blood of Christ. I know that I will feel within me the celebration of God’s love for the world and will share in the joy of Christians throughout the world celebrating together, through all of rich symbols and rituals of this liturgy.

Bailey Ziegler serves as the director of human resources for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Capirotada de vigilia features symbolic ingredients of Christ’s Passion

Mayuli Bales, diocesan director of Multicultural Ministries

“The smell of capirotada bubbling in the oven was the smell of home,” Mayuli Bales, diocesan director of multicultural ministries, fondly reminisced about the traditional Mexican bread pudding served during Lent. “My grandmother used to make it for the Lenten period and served it on Good Friday. My mother would bake it ahead of time and it was our family custom to eat it on Fridays before Holy Week.”

There are thousands of variations for capirotada, which begins with toasted bread, soaked in a warm, mulled syrup, then layered with fruits and nuts and finally topped with cheese. Some recipes include a layer of meat and others are made with milk. Cuisines differ between the northern and southern regions of Mexico.

The ingredients in this dish symbolize elements during the Passion of Christ: the bread as the Body of Christ, syrup as Christ’s blood, cloves are the nails and cinnamon sticks are the wood of the cross. The melted cheese stands for the Holy Shroud.

Mayuli grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico, which is close to 300 miles southwest of Mexico City. Her family’s recipe for capirotada has been handed down only through oral tradition but she has recorded now it for her children and future generations.

Capirotada de vigilia
Mayuli Bales

6 “bolillo” or 2 stale French bread loaves
2 quarts water
2 cups “piloncillo” (3-4 pieces)
1/2 cup raisins
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 anise stars
6 cloves
6 green “tomatillos,” diced
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
2 cups shredded Manchego or Ranchero cheese (or a blend of both)

Slice the bread and fry it in oil or broil it — turning as needed, until nicely brown and crisp. Remove from frying pan or broiler and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare the syrup in a medium saucepan by boiling the water and adding the piloncillo, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise stars, cloves, tomatillos and onions. Simmer mixture for 5 to 10 minutes until it is slightly thickened and becomes syrup. Pour the mixture through a strainer and discard the solids except raisins. Keep the syrup warm.

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or a large casserole dish. Place one third of the bread pieces in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle it with some of the cooked raisins, peanuts, almonds and cheese. Drizzle some of the syrup over this layer, letting it soak into the bread. Continue layering bread, raisins, peanuts, almonds, cheese and a little syrup and finish with a layer of cheese. Pour the rest of the syrup over the whole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350°F.

Serve capirotada warm or chilled.

Yield: 12 servings

Notes from Mayuli:

  • A bolillo is a variation of a baguette traditionally made in Mexico.
  • Piloncillo cones are unrefined pure cane sugar with no additives. (Don’t mistake it for brown sugar.)
  • Tomatillos are also known as the Mexican husk tomato. They are purplish or yellow when ripe but are most often used when green. Green tomatoes can be substituted for this dish if tomatillos cannot be found.
  • Manchego cheese is made from sheep’s milk. It is from the La Mancha region of Spain. Ranchero is an artisan cheese with a dry, crumbly texture similar to Parmesan cheese. It has a mild, buttery flavor. (Monterrey Jack or white cheddar will work in this recipe, too.)

Notes from Carol:

Mayuli’s maternal grandmother was Guadalupe Ruiz. She was from Oaxaca, Mexico. Her mother, who lives in Mexico, is Esther Infante.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Roll Away the Stone

It has been a hard year for faith in the Church.  Lawsuits, arrests, bankruptcy, confrontations. The words to one of my favorite Easter songs hit me hard today. Looking forward to Easter Sunday, I found myself humming it. I stopped, googled the lyrics, and did Lectio Divina. I know you are supposed to use Scripture, but hey, I felt the need to color outside the lines.

I read it.  I reflected.  Went for a few walks. Now is time for contemplation. I believe God is speaking in these lyrics this Easter. We need to listen.

They have been saying all our plans are empty.

They have been saying “Where is their God now?”

They have been saying no one will remember.

They have been saying no one hears the singing.

They have been saying all our strength is gone.

They have been saying “All of us are dying.”

They have been saying “All of us are dead.”

Roll away the stone see the Glory of God.

Roll away the stone.

How true. Society tells us the Church is corrupt and outdated. There is in-fighting within communities, about where God is present as if He is confined within bricks and defined by steeples. All of this leads to the belief that the faith is dead. Roll the stone in front, close that door, proclaim it to be dead; move on. We need to move forward, but that means rolling the stone AWAY, letting the light IN, and believing in the power of Resurrection.

The Church is not defined by abuse, despite what they have been saying. An individual’s bad acts is not indicative of other faithful servants, working hard in parishes every single day, despite what they have been saying. A community is not defined by a single structure, despite what they have been saying.

Sometimes it is really hard not to focus on what they have been saying. We are attracted to that kind of noise. In addition, self-righteousness and belief in our own oppression are stones we place in our own way.

Despite what they have been saying, I believe this is the actual truth. Our plans are not empty. God is present, our strength is not gone, and people will hear the singing. We are not dying. Roll away the stone. Behind it is hope and a future; faith and trust are not dead. What if on Sunday we roll away the stone, not listening to what others are saying.  What if we wake up Sunday and truly live as if Jesus is raised from the dead and in our world – listening to us, journeying beside us on our walk through life as He did to the two men while they walked to Emmaus?  It’s not a crazy thought.

“The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“My God’s not dead. He’s surely alive.”  Newsboys

Have a Blessed Easter.

Sheila Hellermann is a member of St. Rose of Lima Church in St. Rosa. She works at St. John’s University as a program and department coordinator for several academic departments. Read more about Sheila on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

 

 

Don’t Give Up On Lent

It’s been a bit of a “muddling through” kind of Lent, it seems. I suppose that doesn’t sound quite right in a way. It’s probably because it just doesn’t really ‘feel’ like Lent. That’s not to say there hasn’t been progress or determination to follow the prayer, fasting and almsgiving standards. I even set the bar low this year with the aim just to follow a small handful of spiritual and physical to-do’s, so that I could intentionally spotlight those areas that needed adjusting.

‘Flourish’ is my word of the year for 2018 and, as I prayed and jotted down Lenten ideas, they seemed to fall under flourishing. There it was, “Flourish this Lent.” Based on something I had recently read suggesting that Lent should reset, pare away and focus on the important, those became my three main focus categories. I could easily come up with areas of struggle that fell under each. I’ll admit that while they look simple on paper, following through in action has proven challenging. Breaking a cycle and changing my ways is hard work, but it took me longer than a short season to acquire these bad patterns. Digging in and prayerfully breaking them down like a chisel to the stone will be part of the duration, not just this liturgical season.

From day one of Lent 2018, two meaningful themes rose to the surface indicating more of what I also needed to find in this season: healing and forgiveness. It became apparent that there were wounds that were going to take time to heal and forgiveness needed to be given. These were not on my agenda and I easily became frustrated that God would ask a bigger task than I felt I could fulfill in six weeks. Small steps and amazing grace will help guide these areas over time.

Those seemingly low bar items on the list have naturally provided me with plenty to work on and God has seen to it to present me with numerous ways to chip away at them. I guess because I don’t feel like I’m being challenged or in great physical pain this Lent doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. I’m in this game for the long haul and it doesn’t all end with Easter morning celebrating. I am just beginning and so are you. We are still in this (sometimes) grueling season, but it is a time of preparation that will reach far beyond Easter. It is a time to renew and pull ourselves back into our relationship with God. Don’t be so quick to wish it away. Dive in. There’s still plenty of time.

Sarah Heidelberger is a wife and homeschooling mom of five who keeps her days steady with her planning and organizing skills. Read more about her on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

 

 

 

Cream cheese makes egg burritos ‘egg-stra’ special

A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed sharing three salmon recipes that I had published in “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a blog I authored for The Visitor from 2010 to 2012.

Eggs are another good choice for a meatless meal during Lent or any other time. Consider preparing these egg burritos that I originally printed on March 28, 2012 — they are a delicious, healthy and inexpensive alternative to fish or meat.

Egg Burritos
(Cheryl Orbeck)

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 tsp. oil
7 eggs
3 tbsp. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa

In a nonstick skillet, sauté the mushrooms, onion and red pepper in the oil until tender. Remove and keep warm. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, egg substitute, cream cheese and salt and pepper. Pour into the same skillet, cook and stir over medium heat until the eggs are completely set. Stir in the sautéed vegetables. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the center of each tortilla; top with cheese and salsa. Fold the ends and sides over the filling. Serve immediately.

Yield: 10 burritos

A note from Cheryl: Sometimes I lay all the ingredients out and let everyone make their own burritos using the combinations they prefer.

A note from Carol: Cheryl discovered the original recipe, which called for 3 eggs and 1 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute, about five years ago in a “Taste of Home” magazine. She submitted it for the “Fruit of the Spirit” cookbook, published by St. Donatus Parish in Brooten, where she and her family were members when she grew up. To order the cookbook, contact the St. Donatus Parish office at stdonatus@tds.net or 320-346-2431. They are on sale for $15 each. (Shipping and handling is $5 for one book or $7 for two.)

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Talking Faith and Francis in Rome

The following is a guest blog post by Barry Hudock. Barry works as publisher for parish resources at Liturgical Press. He lives in Albany with his family.

My job at Liturgical Press typically has me sitting at my desk on the campus of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, toiling away with colleagues or tapping away email conversations with authors about various book projects we’re working on. Rarely does it get as exciting as it did earlier this month, when I found myself in a conference room a stone’s throw from the Vatican with some of the most fascinating voices in the church today.

Liturgical Press has just published a new book called A Pope Francis Lexicon. It’s a collection of essays contributed by a remarkable set of 54 authors. Each author chose a single word that has been important in the teaching and ministry of Pope Francis, and wrote about what the Holy Father’s use of the word says about him and about what it means to be a Catholic today. For example, Cardinal Donald Wuerl wrote about Baptism, Sr. Simone Campbell wrote about Justice, Fr. James Martin took Discernment, and Carolyn Woo had Periphery. The result is an inspiring and fascinating set of reflections. (An edition in French is already available and an Italian edition will be published soon by the Vatican’s own publishing house!)

On March 1, Liturgical Press sponsored an event in Rome to mark the publication of the book. It was held in a conference room at the Jesuit Curia building, the world headquarters of the Jesuit order. The evening featured five incredible panelists:

  • Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life;
  • Teresa Forcades, a Spanish physician and Benedictine nun;
  • Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a member of Pope Francis’s Council of Cardinals advising him on the reform of the Roman Curia;
  • Norma Seni Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas; and
  • Phyllis Zagano, a scholar who is serving on Pope Francis’s commission to study the possibility of women deacons.

It also included the book’s two editors (the people who did all the work getting the chapters together), Joshua McElwee, the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, and Cindy Wooden, Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service.

Our event was attended by about 175 people, including over two dozen journalists (Rome correspondents for media like CNN, ABC News, NPR, Fox News, and EWTN), several bishops (besides those on the panel), and even a few ambassadors to the Holy See from several nations. All in all, it was sort of dizzying to take in!

As each panelist took his or her turn speaking, we received a steady stream of insightful comments about Pope Francis and what he is up to in leading the Church. Sr. Forcades focused her comments on Pope Francis’s teaching on legalism, saying, “The legalistic mentality perceives grace as a threat. Grace subverts any system that tries to objectify the human experience.”

Phyllis Zagano had some beautiful things to say about the Pope’s understanding of service. Cardinal Maradiaga explained how and why the Pope is trying to reform the Roman Curia. And it was not all cheerleading; some difficult questions were raised too. In the end, though, maybe what was most exciting was to hear Cardinal Farrell comment emphatically on the Lexicon, “Anyone who wishes to understand Pope Francis must read this book.”

My experience in Rome this month was more than an exciting professional experience. It helped me understand and love my Catholic faith and our extraordinary Pope much better than I had before.

It was very inspiring to see The Visitor to produce its own version of the Pope Francis Lexicon with contributions from people from around our diocese. It demonstrates that you don’t have to be a global church leader or brilliant scholar to have some pretty profound insights about the Pope and the Church.

Barry Hudock works as publisher for parish resources at Liturgical Press. He lives in Albany with his family.

Giving Up Giving Up Social Media for Lent

Overheard during one of my rather irregular ventures into Facebook:

“Lenten resolution 2018: I’m going to unplug for Lent. I’m going to fast from Facebook.”

Many of my friends were looking for a retreat from the din of online activity. They enjoy social media and, for the most part, they bring a healthy perspective to what can be a contentious environment (think liberal vs. conservative debates, often aimed at the people who post rather than the messages they post). I applaud their efforts to quiet their lives and turn more attention to silence and solitude.

On the other hand, if every faith-filled person abandoned social media for Lent, who is telling the Story of God’s activity? Who is sharing aspects of the Reign of God? Who is going to be Christ’s Online Presence (see my earlier post)?

So this year, my Lenten resolution was to ‘give up giving up’ social media. I don’t do much on Facebook, and even less on Twitter. I use my iPhone’s Snapchat app only to animate my face. So this year, I would be sure to do some Lenten reflection, and then share it regularly online.

It is now halfway through Lent… and I have failed miserably. Every time I think of a meme to make, or motivational poster to produce, or word cloud to create, I either become fearful that it won’t be good enough, afraid of possible repercussions from friends who disagree with my theology, or just succumb to my inclinations to simply go to bed because I’m exhausted. In other words, the very challenges that I need to be addressing this Lent still have the upper hand.

The good news is that God is gentle with me. God knows I’m a shy introvert, more apt to do a little lurking on Facebook that sharing things going on in my life. It is a personality trait, and definitely a family tradition, to be a private person. So I think, rather than beating myself up, I will embrace who God created me to be and maximize who I am. I will write this blog post to tell the Story of God’s gentleness, and then proceed to Facebook. I will not post anything there, but I will use the gifts God gave me of empathy and love for my friends. I will put people in need of prayer on the conduit on my office wall to remind me to pray for them by name, and I will send something to a dear friend who is initiating a ‘Gofundme’ account for a self-employed man in the hospital due to a cardiac emergency. I will accept who I am, and probably not post anything while I am there. I may in the future, but not now because… well… I am fearful, afraid, and too exhausted.

God will understand. Because God is gentle with me.

Here are some tools to use when we are ready to simply keep our Story in the forefront of Facebook.

For Memes to Make:

(Tool: Student Meme Generator, nature park of photo by Julie Tschida)

For Motivational Posters to Produce:
(Tool: Big Huge Labs' Motivator, photo by Julie Tschida)

For Word Clouds to Create:

(Tool: WordArt (formerly Tagul), recognize the Act of Contrition?)

 

Tim Welch is the Consultant for Educational Technology at Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of Saint Cloud, MN. Read more about him on the Meet Our Bloggers page.

Carrying the cross with Jesus

As we make our way through Lent, various themes are brought to our attention.  These include: repentance, healing, forgiveness, obedience and listening to God.

As we approach Holy Week, however, the theme of the cross becomes ever more on our minds.  We recall that Jesus is headed for Jerusalem where He will suffer and die before rising again.  We are reminded, too, that we cannot be His disciples without taking up that same cross. All three synoptic gospels (Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9: 23) tell us this.  Luke even includes the adjective daily.  If we wish to follow Jesus, we must be united with Him in His cross.

While this can include offering our little day-to-day hardships in union with all that He suffered, there are also times when we feel the weight of the cross more acutely.  We feel, at times, that we are truly under the heavy wooden beam with Jesus on the way to Calvary.

As hard as these times may be, I have really found them to be occasions for growth.  In walking with Jesus through these dark valleys, we learn to trust Him, to lean on Him, to confide in Him, to cling to Him.  If it were not for these times of carrying the cross with Jesus, where would I be?

These crosses, I have found, take various forms.  They might include: teasing from peers in school…having to stand up for what is right…facing an illness or disability…struggling with persistent temptation… In various circumstances, the cross comes to us.

The wonderful news is that Jesus is with us!  And, He has gone before us.

In facing each day, I like to borrow from the words of the disciples after their journey to Emmaus, praying “Please, stay with me, Lord.”  This is a wonderful prayer to use regardless of what cross we may be facing, and especially fruitful in facing our own weakness.

A prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, for use after Holy Communion, draws from this phrase in a beautiful way. May I share some poignant excerpts here?

“Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.  You know how easily I abandon You.  Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.  Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.  Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness…Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.  Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You…Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers. I need You.”

Sister Christina Neumann serves at St. Anne’s Guest Home, an assisted living-type facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota. There, she helps in a variety of roles, including receptionist, sacristan, activities, and occasional personal care aide. Along with these duties, she also manages the web page for the facility, writes their weekly blog, and edits their resident newsletter. Sister Christina also authors “Our Franciscan Fiat” , the blog for her religious community of Dillingen Franciscan Sisters in North Dakota. She also finds time for embroidery, baking, biking and liturgical music. Before entering religious life, she received a bachelor of arts in written communication, with some coursework also in graphic arts and theology.

Maple salmon is sophisticated and elegant

This is the third and final in a series.

Meandering through memory lane earlier this month inspired me to bring back three salmon recipes from “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a food blog I wrote for The Visitor from August 2010 to December 2012.

This Maple Salmon recipe is a favorite that I shared with my readers on March 22, 2012. The others are Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon and Pecan Crusted Salmon.

Maple Salmon
(Sheila Ballweg-Pulju)

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. salmon

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic powder and pepper.

Spray a shallow baking dish with no-stick spray. Place the salmon in the dish and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish and marinate the salmon in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the salmon for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it easily flakes with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Sheila: This easy recipe been a family dinner favorite since the day I discovered it. I’ve served the salmon the next day as an appetizer, on crackers and in salads but it’s so good that we rarely have any left over. 

A note from Carol: I wanted to prepare this special recipe for dinner recently but found that there was no time to marinate the fish. So, I prepared the marinade and put it in a baking dish, placed the salmon (skin side down) in the marinade, poured several spoonfuls of it over the topside of the fish and set the dish in the preheated oven. When it was finished baking I again poured several spoonfuls of the marinade — which had reduced beautifully — over the salmon again. I served the fish and the rich-tasting marinade, which I then called a “sauce,” together and it was fabulous!

Enjoy!

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

Pecan Crusted Salmon features flavor and finesse

This is the second in a series.

This Pecan Crusted Salmon is the second in a series of distinctive salmon recipes I’m sharing from “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a blog I previously authored for The Visitor. It was originally posted on March 21, 2012.

Yesterday’s post from this tempting collection featured Honey-Orange Marinated Salmon.

Pecan Crusted Salmon
(Amy Klaphake)

4 (about 6 oz.) salmon fillets
2 cups milk
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. oil

Place salmon fillets in a large resealable plastic bag; add the milk. Seal the bag and turn to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine the pecans, flour, brown sugar, seasoned salt and pepper. Coat fillets with pecan mixture, gently pressing into the fish. In a large skillet, brown the salmon in oil over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 15x10x1-inch baking pan coated with no-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Amy: I usually don’t soak the fish in as much milk or for as long as the recipe calls for. I put it upside down (skin side up) in a glass pan, pour in a little milk, let it soak for about 10 minutes and then pour it off.

I’ve found that the pecan crust mixture makes a lot so I usually freeze half of it and it’s ready to go when I want to make the recipe again.

The first time I made it I browned the fish as directed but since then I’ve skipped that step and put it straight into the oven after I’ve dipped it in the crust mixture. I’ve also put it in a greased aluminum pan and placed it on the grill. It’s turns out great that way as well.

A note from Carol: Amy and I compared notes after I tried this recipe so I did things a little differently. I, too, felt that there was an abundance of the pecan mixture and so I peeled the skin off and covered both sides of the fish with it. (Next time I likely would make half the amount of this crust mixture.)

I followed the recipe and browned the fish — on both sides — since there was crust mixture on both. I made it in an ovenproof skillet and then put that pan directly in the oven rather than using another baking dish.

Enjoy!

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”