I had a great road trip today. Finally I was able to trek out into the darkest depths of New Jersey to find the Summit Dominicans, the famous “Soap Sisters” about whom I’ve written often. Your job, after reading what follows, is to go to the site of the Soap Sisters and order as much stuff as you can afford.
I get this stuff for my mother.
They mentioned that they are going to shut down their website tomorrow sometime, I believe, to get ready for Christmas, so GET WITH IT!
First, to fortify myself before the voyage, some panetone for breakfast with strong coffee. The panetone were shipped to me here by a Madisonian and they are being shared with the priests in the rectory.
Off we go!
There’s a reason why you need to see this shot here.
How would you like to have this job?
The monastic complex that the sisters have right in Summit, NJ, is way to small. They are raising money, through donations and through the sales of their products, to build another urgently needed wing.
They had Benediction going on, the wall in the sanctuary is the divider also for the cloister’s chapel.
Outside the parlor (“parlor”, a place where people parley… talk), they have their products on display and for sale.
The sisters came swarming into the parlor. They removed a few of the screens and wheeled in some Christmas Stollen and coffee, both delicious. Did you know that the history of Stollen is tied up with the history of the Advent fast and butter? Several Popes were involved in this. It seems that the first generation of Stollen was made during the Council of Trent. I’ll let you look up the rest.
One member of the community came rushing in, creating a bit of a stir as all the sisters rushed to protect the coffee and cake. Eventually, they showed us how Sabina also can demonstrate the “venia”, lying prostrate and still on the floor until someone knocks.
With the sisters. They were very kind and gave me and my driver gift baskets. The conversation was great. I am super impressed with this community. They all seemed very happy. There were some pretty funny moments. One of the sisters, recently clothed, explained how, during her clothing she punched the Prioress in the face. And there was the tale of the first tea stain on her scapular, at which the other sisters said “Yay!” It must be a badge of nun honor.
BTW… they need another Vietnamese sister… who can cook. So… anyone?
Then it was back to Manhattan and lunch.
There is a Michelin 1-star Chinese place in Midtown. Sort of like Z cat-nip.
Cucumbers in garlic.
Double-cooked pork, in honor of ISIS.
Kung Pao Chicken, without the nasty breading.
Lamb in cumin.
Xiao Long Bao… but, frankly, not as good as the place in Queens. I can’t imagine those being surpassed.
On the way home, we were treated to this giant rat. Apparently rats are against asbestos.
Each time I come to this city, I try to get a good shot of a rat in the subway. Everyone needs a hobby.
Which brings me to the now famous NY subway “Pizza Rat”
Yes, it’s a metaphor for life.
For now, your job is to go to the site of the Soap Sisters and order as much stuff as you can afford. NOW. Click HERE.