It's really too bad the pages in the back of this year's Saintly Scorecard aren't of the scratch 'n sniff variety. Because you'll find six delectable "Saintly Sprinkles" -- recipes from Lent Madness Resident Foodie Maria Nolletti Ross. All the recipes have connections to saints.
While we agree that they're all mouth-watering, please don't drool on the full-color, glossy, pull-out bracket. It hurts our feelings.
Maria Nolletti Ross, Lent Madness Resident Foodie, received her training in her parents’ Italian/American, New York bakery and her home kitchen. She is a member of St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she serves as a lay reader and a youth-group volunteer. She lives with her husband, daughter, three cats, five koi, and a cell phone on which she too frequently texts her son at college. A member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Maria recently earned the Highlights for Children Author of the Month Award for her August 2014 story, “No Translation Needed.” She invites you to follow along with her as she studies the lives of the saints, uncovers their modern-day messages, and cooks up related recipes on her blog Saints and Recipes. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram (marianollettiross) and check out her Saints and Recipes Facebook page.
What do you most love about the extraordinary honor of being the Resident Foodie (besides global adulation)?
What I love most about being a part of Lent Madness is that this team of saintly nutjobs said to me, “Hey, you’re our kind of nutjob! Wanna play?”
What is the quirkiest thing you've learned about one of your saints and how does this inspire your faith?
The seeming inconsistency of the love St. Francis of Assisi had for animals is to me one of his quirkiest and most inspiring characteristics. One time he saw two lambs tied up and destined for slaughter. He wept uncontrollably until his brothers begged for the coins needed to purchase the lambs and set them free. But often as a guest in someone’s home, especially on a feast day, he would be served roast lamb. He would eat it in earnest and with grateful acceptance of the generous gift of a meal at someone’s hearth because his great love for all life included human beings.
This inspires me to remember that no matter how passionate I am about my beliefs, sometimes it’s best to shut up and be gracious.
Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead and why?
Downton Abbey because zombies are scary, and I don’t need that kind of stress in my life.
Besides Lent Madness, what do you most look forward to in the season of Lent?
I most look forward to being intentional for the Lord during the season of Lent. In particular this year, after spending the last month catching up on general reading and other stuff from my pile o’ procrastination, I’m excited to get back to saintly research, writing, and cooking!
SEC NOTE: This picture of Maria with her daughter is not from an Adam and Eve pageant depicting Eve eating an Apple product.