“There was… an incident…”

Last night’s dinner was derailed by a crazed cat. Seriously. Our older cat was just put on medication, which means he was just put on Pill Pockets. Silly me, I left the house with the pill pocket packet (say that ten times fast) on the counter, and crazed cat tore into that heavy duty foil like it was a felled gazelle and he was a bloodthirsty lion. Bye-bye, $7 on pill pockets. So instead of staying home and making a nice batch of seitan barbecue, we had to drive out to the pet store, pick up the Mr. from his train stop, and while we were out that way at that time, we just got Chinese buffet.

Okay, so dinner was derailed less by the cat and more by my forgetfulness. Guilty as charged. So tonight ended up being seitan bbq night. “Barbecue” around these parts is not necessarily meat on the grill or out of the smoker. Nope, it’s ground meat stewed in a sweet sauce and served on a bun or, as the real rebels do, on cornbread. We usually don’t go more than a month without eating either hamburger or turkey barbecue, so it was weird to think of forty days without it. Think “sloppy joes” without

Seitan Barbecue
Half a batch of seitan, cut into 1/4″ chunk “shreds”
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 c ketchup
2 T mustard
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T Worcestershire sauce (vegan option: HP Brown Sauce)
2 T packed brown sugar

Brown onion in your favorite oil. Combine all ingredients in a slowcooker and cook on low 2-3 hours. Serve on sandwich rolls, over baked potatoes, with a side of cornbread, etc.

Tonight’s Just Dessert was to Visit the Imprisoned. Several years ago, I tried being a pen pal for Mary, Mother of Captives. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but no matter how spiritual I kept my writing, I kept getting hit on. Sorry, it’s the truth. I understand–or really can only imagine I understand. Prison is a lonely place. We want to be loved. Our culture feeds us all this idea that unless we’re loved romantically, we’re not loved. That’s so not true. So tonight we made Easter cards and said a Hail Mary for all the people who would receive our cards.


Guess which ones I made!

After one of the girls asked if she could include a ribbon in her card (the answer was no, per MMOC rules, not to mention per prison rules), we talked about how lonely it must be to not be allowed to receive any gifts (not even a piece of ribbon). I didn’t even get to how sad it must be not to see the sunshine, not to smell the grass, to be abandoned by your friends… just like Jesus experienced while waiting for His trial. It doesn’t matter how they got into captivity, they’re all still the face of Jesus.

So if you want to visit the imprisoned, send a card to: 




About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

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