Sunday, July 19, 2009

Loyola House - Meals Magnifique!

Since I've imposed a moratorium on myself with respect to my daily 24/7 obsession with muddling through Hebrew, I thought I'd add some more about my upcoming retreat which is becoming, amazingly, something to which I am looking forward. Amazing in the sense that I can't think of anything else in the past eleven months, other than The Lovely Daughter's college graduation.

Probably many of you have been to various retreat house and conference center meals where the menu resembled something akin to that found in your local high school cafeteria. And I get it -- time is short, budgets are limited, and not too many people working for cafeteria level wages have the interest, knowledge, and skills to develop a menu based on fresh local offerings, Not being a cook of any sort myself, I can hardly complain. When I went to Guelph two years ago, I expected the usual overcooked chicken, scalloped potatoes, and green beans dumped out of cans, and I would not have been disappointed by same.

Did I ever underestimate the creativity and hospitality of the Jesuits ??? (One might mistake them for Benedictines!)

Herewith, from the new brochure (linked in my previous post):

Our continental breakfast includes fresh fruit, yogurt, muffins, citrus marinated prunes, fresh baked breads, hot oats, cereal, and Guelph’s own Planet Bean fair trade organic coffee. Hot breakfasts can include poached, fried, or scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, French toast, or pancakes.

Every lunch we offer a house soup such as ginger carrot, fresh tomato fennel, chowder, sweet potato, or roasted vegetable. Our entrées range from spanakopita to pasta primavera. Salads might include Greek, roasted sweet potato, fresh greens, tomato basil, or coleslaw.

Our dinner entrées can include roasted lemon chicken, fish in a caper tomato broth, beef and vegetable stew, Moroccan tagine, or roast pork with rosemary. Dinner accompaniments range from herb roasted sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables, or roasted Yukon golds to a mixed rice pilaf.

Desserts are our specialty! From fresh apple crumble pie and butter tarts to orange pecan cake to a simple fresh fruit bowl.

We take great care to bring you the freshest ingredients in all of our preparations. Whenever possible we use as much locally grown food as we can, especially from our farm right here on the property. Everything is made in house from the beginning without the use of pre-made ingredients.

I might add that everything is prepared in silence, to accomodate the retreatants, and presented enticingly in a vast and light, airy dining room, one wall of which consists of windows overlooking gardens and pastures. (And the brochure doesn't mention the brownies, one of which I spirited up to my room every night for a post-labyrinth midnight snack.)

Obviously the expectation is that a week of silent prayer requires a lot of nourishment, and not just of the spiritual direction variety.

8 comments:

Julia said...

wow, I MIGHT be able to stay quiet for a week just for the food. does a quiet "mmmmm" count? I'm so glad that you are looking forward to this reflection time ~
I hope it is all you wish for.

mompriest said...

Yum. I too can eat just about anything, but food as a ministry to sustain silent retreats, sounds especially fabulous!

Quotidian Grace said...

Great menus! The Jesuits must have learned that if you feed them well, they will come.

Carol said...

If I thought for a second that I could be silent for a week, I'd consider becoming a Christian just for this gastronomic experience! Enjoy. And I hope you'll blog about this element of the experience when you return.

Sarah S-D said...

oh my, yum! and i'm wishing i were heading on this retreat, for the food alone, even with the beginnings of an intestinal virus working mercilessly on my guts right now.

may it be a truly blessed retreat. a 2 brownie a night one even.

Lisa :-] said...

My goodness...it sounds as if they are sneaking my chef away to help them out.

Stratoz said...

Wernersville tries also on the food end. sounds like your house may be a bit better??? any which way a salad made mostly from fresh Cherry tomatoes blew me away last year.

and here I thought the lack of rants was because Hebrew was going gloriously. hang in there.

Laurie said...

Wow, that sounds like a gastronomic celebration of all that God has placed on earth and in the sea, prepared lovingly and respectfully for the fullest appreciation and thankfulness. That appreciation and thankfulness, however, will end at the moment you step onto the scales after you return home!!

I hope it is all that you need it to be. (oh, how odd, I just saw that Julia expressed almost the same sentiment!)