Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Protocol and Panocha

Sitting at the 11:45 a.m. mass at Our Lady of Visitation on Palm Sunday two things happened that surprised me. At the Our Father where in many churches everyone holds hands came my first surprise. I had read an article that the congregation should not do hand gestures, like holding up our hands as the priest was doing. The article also mentioned that during the Our Father, it is a prayer between me and God. The argument that holding hands depicts community was that already there is community by being together at mass. Since there is no official ruling from the church, people can do what is comfortable for them.

When the person next to me reached over to get my hand, I continued looking forward and did not get her hand. I noticed she whipped around as if she was angry. When the Sign of Peace came around, she turned her back to me. Knowing I had upset her I put my arm around her and whispered, "Are you upset with me because I did not hold your hand during the Our Father." She said, "Yes, I thought that was very rude of you." I told her about the article I had just read and that I would no longer do the hand gestures and hold hands during the Our Father. She said, "I don't know about that, we have not been told and I will continue to hold hands." I felt bad that my actions had upset her and maybe in the future I should follow the saying of "when in Rome do as the Romans do."

The second surprise came after mass when it was announced that the ladies of the church would be serving Panocha, bread pudding, and biscochitos.  I had never heard of the word Panocha. I leaned into the upset lady and asked, "What is Panocha." She replied in a friendly voice, "It's some kind of a pudding and I don't like it. It's made with different kinds of grains." I figured we were "friends" again!

I did taste the dark purple looking panocha and she was right, I did not care for the bland taste. It surprised me that I had never heard of the dish called Panocha.

Panocha is usually prepared during Holy Week.


5 cups sprouted wheat flour
2 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
9 cups boiling water
2 cups sugar (optional)
4 T. butter

Mix flours, add 1/2 of boiling water, stir well,
set aside for 15 minutes.
Add rest of water,
sugar if being used should be caramelized with 1 cup boiling water.
Once sugar dissolves add to flour mixture.
Boil for 2 hours, add butter, place uncovered in oven, 325 degrees
for 1 hour or until thick and deep brown.  Serve with cream.

Other information I found that can be fixed with Panocha were brownies, candies, frosting, nut rolls, and cakes. While looking for a recipe on the Internet, and I put in the word Panocha, and was shocked when the items that came up were x-rated. Evidently, the word has a double meaning in some Spanish speaking countries!

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