Virginia Bible Teacher, With a Recipe for Baked Pork Chops and Stuffing
Maryellen Bashioum has been involved in Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter, Cursillo, Emmaus and Teams of Our Lady, and now leads a Walking With Purpose group in Ashburn, Virginia.
Maryellen Bashioum lives at Ashby Ponds in Ashburn, Virginia, where she facilitates a national Catholic Bible study program, “Walking With Purpose.” She recounts her childhood outside of Boston, growing up in a Catholic household. “I think I got my religious strength of faith from my dad,” she said, recounting how he led his family through a faith-filled life. And the adult Maryellen has taken on the role of leading people to and educating people about the Catholic faith.
“My dad was a real spiritual head of our family,” she said. “He had a very strong faith and he and mom prayed the Rosary novena daily. During Lent my dad and I went to Mass every morning. I can remember when I was little walking with my dad to church while holding his hand, and sitting beside him so proud of my father and especially happy when he praised me for being ‘good’ in church.
“My father won a four-year football scholarship to Boston College, then was offered a better one to St. John’s in Queens, New York, and another better one at Villanova in Villanova, Pennsylvania,” she said. “He was taught by three different orders of priests, but I learned from him that the most important thing about the Catholic faith was living it in respecting others and helping others no matter who or what they were … he loved his family and took care of us.”
Maryellen met her husband in college, and they began attending Sunday Mass together. But “he was intrigued with Edgar Cayce, the American ‘clairvoyant,’ and the Rosicrucians,” she said. “However, one time when he became sick with the flu, he decided to read the Bible and he read it through in a week. That same year he attended a seminar called ‘Life in the Spirit’ at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In the final class, he was prayed over to receive the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit.’”
When he got home, Maryellen noted that something very special had happened to him. She then received the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’ about three months later. “Now we were journeying together in our faith,” she said. From then on, Maryellen and her husband became involved with Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter, Cursillo, Emmaus, Teams of Our Lady and special marriage programs for the engaged and married.
As for Maryellen’s love of cooking, not surprisingly, her dad’s role as home cook was her primary inspiration.
“Cooking was not my mother’s forte; my dad was a good cook,” she said. “And he would tease my mom about the first time she made a pie crust, and it was almost black from so much kneading of the dough and the upside-down cake that was not upside down. But dad always complimented my mom on her meals. Her roasts were always delicious.”
Maryellen recalls her very first cooking experience when she was a Brownie. “The troop leader invited the Brownie troop to her house to cook beef stew,” she said. “We had a wonderful time learning how to chop vegetables and our leader prepared the meat. Each of us brought some of the stew home to our parents. I remember being so proud of what I had fixed; however, my mother said that it was not a beef stew and I remember being crestfallen. Actually, it was more like a soup, not like my mother's beef stew.”
But her real cooking passion and skills developed when she went Girl Scout camping and cooked over an open fire. “We baked beans over charcoal,” she said. “And that is where I learned to do my cooking, even the fish, and baking with a reflector oven. The Girl Scout handbook had recipes and the one my kids loved was the ‘campfire stew,’ which is a vegetable soup with browned hamburger meat added to the soup pot. Then you add canned vegetables and just enough water to thin it out. You serve this with bread and salad.”
She noted again that much of her dad’s strong Catholic faith rubbed off on her. “We all have to … develop our own relationship with God. If we are fortunate, we have parents who can guide us.”
Baked Pork Chops with Stuffing
As Maryellen Bashioum noted, “My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish. The pork recipe is from my mother-in-law, and she fixed it for my kids when she visited and the kids loved it. My grandchildren loved it. I still cook it here.”
- 1 box bread stuffing
- 6 pork chops, bone in
- Dried thyme
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 can mushroom or chicken soup
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cook the stuffing as directed on the package.
Rub the thyme seasoning into the pork chops. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the chops on both sides. Remove the chops from the skillet and place them in a casserole. Stir in the wine, scraping up any meat bits. Add the soup and cook until warmed through; add water if needed to prevent it thickening too much.
Pour some of the soup over the chops and scoop the stuffing over the chops. Drizzle the remaining soup over the stuffing. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.