Tell us about yourself and your family:
I am an only child who was born and raised in Miami, Florida. My mom and I moved to Minnesota when I was in high school to be closer to family. I met Greg through mutual friends and also through volunteering to build a website for a youth retreat program in our archdiocese. We claim that we got engaged on our first date, and we have been married for almost 15 years. If you would have asked us on our wedding day if we wanted a big family, I think we would have thought you were crazy. Never in our wildest dreams did we plan on having six children in eight years, but thankfully, God had it in His plan. We are so blessed by this wild ride that is also quite ordinary. When life gets too hectic, we remind each other that we are a team—Team D!—and that God's will is that all of us are in this together. We strive to incorporate the treasures of our Catholic Faith into our everyday lives, as well as our traditions and feast days. We are not a perfect family, but we are indeed blessed.
Share your family's favorite recipe:
One thing that I love about having a big family is that we never have leftover dessert. One pie can always be cut easily into eight pieces. And then it's gone.
Often, when we celebrate our children's name day (the feast day of the saint they are named after) or birthday, they select the meal and a special dessert. The recipe that I'm sharing today has been in my family since I was a child. My mom often made it for my birthday, and when I turned 40 earlier this year, I requested it again. I love the lightness, sweetness, and freshness of this dessert.
I have come to appreciate this dessert for another reason, too. It is gluten free! When I was younger, I don't think I even knew what gluten was, but now, many of my extended family members avoid or limit wheat. I also strive to do this, although imperfectly, as I know it is just better for my overall health. Finding recipes free of gluten, or modifying favorites, can be hard. This one is just naturally wheat free, so it's good to go!
6-8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar (or less if you want a less-sweet dessert)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
pinch of salt
1-2 container(s) of Cool Whip
- Preheat oven to 200-250 degrees.
- Using a dinner plate, trace two circles onto brown grocery bags. Place on baking sheets.
- Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add the sugar, salt and vinegar.
- Gently spoon egg-white mixture onto circles. Grease edge with butter and do not spread to the very edge.
- Bake for one hour.
- When cooled completely, remove meringues from paper.
- To assemble cake, spread Cool Whip on bottom of plate, then one shell. Spread Cool Whip onto shell and top with strawberries. Add the second shell, and repeat Cool Whip and sliced strawberry layers.
- Chill until ready to serve.
How does your book, blog or project help "feed" people spiritually?
I have always enjoyed writing. I started writing for my school newspaper when I was in junior high, and I haven't stopped for 27 years. I publish my own blog at sarahdamm.com, and I love being a columnist for CatholicMom.com, WINE: Women in the New Evangelization, and New Evangelizers. With WINE, I also oversee various marketing and editorial projects. I am a contributor to two books: As Morning Breaks: Daily Gospel Reflections and a soon-to-be-relased daily meditation book for moms.
I hope that my writing feeds people spiritually through stories of faith and words of encouragement. I also like to share books worth reading and fun family ideas. I am grateful for the friendships I have made along the way.
Share a Fun Fact about yourself or your family:
We have a fun tradition of designing family T-shirts, and we have three unique designs. We call ourselves "Team D," and the shirts truly bring us together. Each shirt focuses on a theme or something we want to work on as a family, such as looking outward or encouraging others. Our latest shirt represents our family vacation to Florida, which included the kids' first airplane ride and visit to Walt Disney World. However, the theme of "take off" also has a larger meaning of taking off in new directions together.
Share your family's favorite grace before meals prayer:
My family's favorite grace before meals prayer is the traditional "Bless Us O Lord" prayer. We always end it with "Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!" because of our devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Complete the sentence:
When you join us at our dinner table, it will be quite cozy, with the eight of us plus my mom who lives with us. Greg often asks everyone about their day, and my children love to share a highlight or two. Very rarely will you hear how an adult's day was, but hopefully, we have time afterward to talk, since the children are now old enough to clean up after dinner. Yes, there can be fighting or teasing at the table. And some people are not the best at passing everything around (but we're getting better). It can be rather lively, but it's probably one of the most important times of the day, since we're all together.
Copyright 2016 Sarah Damm