A Feast for St. Bede the Venerable

This feast (a meal from the year 700) in honor of St. Bede the Venerable was submitted by Anne Egan. She also included an electronic version (click on image below to download/print) of her own St. Bede holy card, with artwork by her mother! Thank you, Anne!


One of my favorite saints is Bede the Venerable. He was a great promoter of devotion to the saints in his own time, as well as being a scholar, historian, and--most importantly--a man of great faith and a follower of Christ. To celebrate his feast day on May 25th our family has a meal that is similar to what St. Bede himself might have eaten in the year 700. According to my research, here are the sorts of foods that were available at that time.


Meat: beef, pork, poultry (a delicacy,) venison, fish (eel, pike, minnow, trout, lamprey,) eggs, mutton, bacon (salted meat)
Beverages: mead, wine, beer
Grains: oats, wheat, barley, rye, "bean flour," (no corn!)
Dairy: cheese, curds, presumably butter
Vegetables: onions, leeks, cabbage, pickles, beets, parsnips, carrots, celery, turnips, watercress (no potatoes or tomatoes!)
Fruits: apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, raisins, currants (nothing tropical or citrus!)
Herbs, spices, misc.: salt, parsley, sage, rosemary, garlic, honey, olive oil (no sugar!)

NO FORKS! Use a knife and bread to scoop up the food.

Main courses included stews, meat pies, soups, or simply meat or fish, broiled or fried. Vegetables could be fried or roasted with herbs. Dessert could be plain fresh fruit or fruit pastries. Here's my menu from last year:

  • White fish fried in butter with sage, parsley and salt (tilapia fish was an economical "cheat")
  • Roasted Root Vegetables (recipe below)
  • Red cabbage and onions fried in butter (could also fry the cabbage with a cut up apple for more sweetness)
  • Rustic whole grain bread (I made it easy and bought a loaf at a local bakery)
  • Beer (apple juice for non-drinkers!)
  • Rustic Apple Tarts (recipe below)

Roasted Root Vegetables
(adapted from Taste of Home, Dec/Jan 2003, p. 36)

  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into about one inch pieces
  • 3 small turnips, peeled and cut into about one inch pieces
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. olive or canola oil

Place roots in greased 11 X 8 X 2 inch casserole. Sprinkle with herbs and salt. (You may want to adjust seasonings for your family's taste.) Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Bake, uncovered at 350° for 35 minutes. Stir. Raise temperature to 450° and bake for 10 – 15 minutes longer, or until tender. Makes approximately 4 – 6 servings.


Rustic Apple Tarts

  • 1 ½ c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. shortening (lard or butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until well blended. Gradually add water until dough forms
  • together into a ball. Divide into six parts. Roll each piece of dough into a 5 or 6 inch circle.
  • 2 Tbsp. dried bread crumbs
  • 1 – 2 medium apples, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter

Sprinkle 1 tsp. breadcrumbs on the center of each pastry circle. Top with apple slices and raisins. Fold up the edges of pastry leaving the center open. Stir together the honey and melted butter and spoon over the centers. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a 375° oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender.



St. Bede the Venerable, pray for us! 

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Swedish Waffles and AIP/Paleo Waffles for Lady Day

St. Patrick's Day on the 17th, St. Joseph's Day on the 19th, my husband's birthday on the 24th (today!), and then the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on the 25th... So much to celebrate lately and it's been a nice little break right in the middle of this year's lenten season. I shared these recipes over at Shower of Roses a couple years ago and I am finally getting them added over here at Catholic Cuisine too for tomorrow's Lady Day feasting. Scroll down to find an AIP/Paleo version as well. Enjoy!

The Annunciation from Rosary Flip Book

"This is Våffeldagen or Waffle Day in Sweden. One website said the name Vaffla, meaning waffle, originated from Var Fru, Our Lady, and that in time the two words became slurred and corrupted, first into Vaffer, then to Vaffla. The waffles are served with whipped cream and lingonberries (or cloudberries)... " 

You can read more in Jenn's post found in the archives on Lady Day Feasting

Originally I always served Belgian Waffles, since that was the only waffle maker we had at the time, using various recipes or mixes. (One year we made these delicious Organic 6-Grain Waffles and you can find that recipe here.) Once I finally purchased our heart shaped waffle maker we started making the delicious thinner Swedish style waffles. We love topping our waffles with marionberries, maple syrup and occasionally whipped cream.


Lady Day Swedish Waffles

Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 oz butter
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

In a bowl or blender (I used my Vitamix) whip together flour, baking powder and salt with half of the milk until you have an even batter. Pour in the rest of the milk, eggs and the melted butter, whip until thoroughly mixed.

Heat the waffle iron and brush with butter. Pour in 6 tablespoons of batter and bake until golden brown. Makes 8 waffles. Top with berries. (Lingonberries are traditional in Sweden. We used Marionberries in honor of Our Lady!) 



♥    ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥

After baking waffles for everyone else, I was really craving a waffle too... I decided to try to adapt an AIP Belgian waffle recipe to use with our waffle maker and the Cassava Flour I recently purchased. It turned out great! I'll definitely be making these again.


Autoimmune Protocol Waffles for the Annunciation
{gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, egg-free, dairy free, nut-free, seed-free}
Vegan, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly, and still delicious

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.

Place all the wet ingredients in blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until well combined. Add dry ingredients and blend again until well combined. The batter will be thicker than pancake batter but should still be pourable. You may need to add a little additional water or coconut milk.

Lightly brush waffle iron with coconut oil. Add about 1/3-1/2 cup of batter to your pre-heated waffle iron and cook until done. I use this waffle iron, preheated and very hot, with setting number 4.


The recipe yields 5-6 Swedish style waffles, using approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of batter for each waffle.  Be sure to cook the waffles long enough or they can turn out gummy.



Top with marionberries. Next time I'll make some Coconut Whip too! Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven.


O God, who didst will that Thy Word take flesh in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary at the message of the angel: grant us, we pray, to be aided before Thee by her intercession, whom we believe to be truly the Mother of God.  
- The Holyday Book by Father Francis X. Weiser

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Baileys Cream Puffs - St. Paddy & St. Joe Combo Treat

The feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph share a week in mid-March. Since they are just days apart how about a treat that combines elements of cultural symbolism of each. The cream puff - an Italian pastry sfingi, is a typical St. Joseph treat. But this variation on the traditional cream puff gets an extra kick from the addition of Baileys Irish Cream, a tribute the land of St. Patrick.


Baileys Cream Puffs

Ingredients:
Pastry puffs
3/4 cup water
6 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 egg for egg wash

Baileys cream filling
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp Baileys Irish cream
1 Tbsp  granulated sugar

Chocolate
1/3 cup hot fudge topping
1 Tbsp Baileys Irish cream

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pastry
Combine butter, sugar, and water in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring it to boil, while stirring slowly, and take off heat. Add flour and stir until all combined and coming off the walls of the pan easily.  Whisk in eggs, one at a time, making sure that each egg is mixed into the batter before adding another.  Transfer batter into a piping bag and pipe little round mounts, about 1 ½ inches in diameter.  For egg wash, beat 1 egg in a separate little mixing bowl and brush pastries with egg wash before baking.  Bake pastries at 425 for 12-15 minutes then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let pastries cool completely before adding the filling.

Baileys cream filling
Add the cold heavy whipping cream into the cold mixing bowl. Starting at low speed, start whisking, gradually raise to speed to high. Slowly pour in the sugar and then Baileys. Beat until stiff peaks appear (don't walk away far). Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Transfer whipped cream into a piping bag. Cut cooled pastries in the middle and fill them with whipped cream.

Chocolate
Heat up hot fudge topping and whisk it with Bailey's until completely combined. Cool before using so it doesn't melt the whipped cream.  Once cooled, drizzle filled cream puffs with chocolate sauce.

St. Patrick, Pray for us.
St. Joseph, Pray for us. 


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St. Cecilia Biscuits & Jam Session

This clever St. Cecilia feast day idea, from guest contributor, Rebecca Collazo, also uses a play on words - suggesting a jam and biscuit bar for refreshments to a musical jam session. Rebecca is a homeschool mom to four wonderful kids who shares that she loves reading to her children, having poetry tea times, teaching writing at a Catholic co-op, and traveling to places of literary and Catholic significance. Thanks again, Rebecca, for sharing this idea for a fun gathering of musicians and food event to honor St. Cecilia. Hopefully this gives you enough time to think about having a jam session for St. Cecilia sometime next week.

My daughter Celia, her name a variant of Cecilia, is a wonderfully talented singer, pianist, and budding self-taught ukulele player. It makes my own heart sing that she is so naturally gifted in an area that I myself have zero talent. Who knew when we chose the name that it would work out so perfectly? I like to think that St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, has a little something to do with that!

St. Cecilia’s Feast Day is November 22. She was an early Christian virgin and martyr. She was promised in marriage but told her new husband that she had made a vow of virginity to God and had an angel protecting her. It is said that she sang this promise in her heart to God, hence the connection to music. Her husband wanted to see this angel, and she told him to be baptized by the pope, and he would be able to see her protector. He did what she asked and was indeed able to see the angel. He honored her wishes to remain a virgin. His brother followed his lead and was baptized, and they went on to bury many of the Christians being killed in Rome. They were ultimately executed for not worshipping the Roman gods. Cecilia is said to have converted many with her witness, and as many as four hundred souls were baptized by Pope Urban because of her evangelization. Eventually, she was condemned to death, but when they attempted to behead her, she survived for three days. Her heroic faith is inspiring indeed! Learn a bit about her with your kids by reading Cecilia: Singing and Sharing the Faith or by listening to Glory Stories--Saint Cecilia: The Saint of the Catacombs


We have heard it said, “To sing is to pray twice.” Why not gather loved ones to do just that? To celebrate this patroness of music, this year my family plans to host a St. Cecilia Jam Session. Since her feast day falls on Thanksgiving this year, I feel like she would approve of celebrating a day early, or even squeezing in a little breakfast fun on Thanksgiving morning with relatives already gathered for the big feast). We will invite a few families to join us to perform on their instruments of choice, sing praise songs together, or maybe even bust out the karaoke machine for the bravest among us! My plan is to begin by praying the Prayer of St. Cecilia, read a short book about her life, and offer friends refreshments as we listen to the performances. And what more perfect snack at a jam session than jam itself! I’ll spread out a simple biscuit bar with a variety of jams, jellies, and spreads for folks to choose from. Coffee, tea, and juice will be the beverage offerings, and if I’m feeling fancy, we might have some fruit, too. My friends are always more than willing to bring things to share, so I may ask them to bring their favorite jam, fruit, or biscuits, but honestly, this is a pretty simple spread, so I may even be able to pull it off without too much hassle! True confessions: my biscuits will be of the Pillsbury variety, and I can assure you none of my people will be disappointed. Insert Dough Boy giggle here.



Simple celebrations are the best way to keep up with these feast days and to keep my own heart singing. My hope is that by creating these special memories with my children, they’ll really appreciate the Liturgical Year, and all the richness that it offers us. And that, my friends, really is my jam!

St. Cecilia, Patron of Musicians,


Pray for us!




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Beautiful New Shower of Roses Apron


“When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.” - St. Therese

I just finished adding this beautiful "Shower of Roses" apron to our list of available aprons! It would make a lovely gift for anyone in your life who has a special devotion to St. Therese. I would love to add it to my own apron collection!


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Reginette "little queen" Pasta for Our Lady's Queenship

Several past Catholic Cuisine posts have shared ideas for pasta meals based on the symbolism of the pasta shape. There are hundreds of kinds of Italian pastas, and each one has its own special name and each pasta name actually means something.


Mafaldine or malfada, also known as reginette or reginelle (Italian for "little queens") is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta. Mafaldine were named in honor of Princess Mafalda of Savoy which is why they are also called "little queens." The pasta is flat and wide, usually about ½ inch in width, with wavy edges on both sides. The delicately fluted edges remind one of a crown. It is prepared similarly to other ribbon-based pasta such as linguine and fettuccine. On this feast of the Queenship of Mary (August 22) a pasta shape referencing a queen is perfect. It would also be a great pasta to serve up on any of the queen saints' feast days, such as St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Elizabeth of Hungary or St. Helena.

A variety of sauces could be served with this pasta. I chose a sun-dried tomato pesto which highlights the fresh bounty of basil from my August garden. Since August - the month of the Assumption and the one dedicated to the Immaculate Heart - is such a Marian month and is tied to herb harvest in her honor, it was fitting.


Reginette with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients:
10 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp grated parmesan
10 basil leaves
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 oz pasta

Directions:
In a blender, place the tomatoes, pine nuts, cheese, basil leaves and oil and blend at maximum power. Cook the pasta until al dente in boiling salted water, drain and stir in the pesto.

NOTE: Reginette/Reginelle pasta is not one of the most common shapes of pasta available in grocery stores. But I did find it available from Kroger as part of their HemisFares pasta brand. It is also available online and is specialty stores.

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us!

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Assumption Day and First Fruits


August 15, the feast of the Assumption, is a harvest feast day and associated with "first fruits". We are reminded that Mary goes before us in Faith and also as a first fruit of the Resurrection, of which all the faithful will experience at the end of time (1 Corinthians 15:20-21). In many Catholic counties Assumption Day marks the period for invoking blessings on various "fruits" or fruiting plants - - particularly vineyards/grapes, fruit trees, grains, and herbs.

One idea is to serve "First Fruits" shortcake and topped with whipped cream - symbolizing the clouds of the sky in scenes depicting Mary being raised into heaven. You can use a variety of fruits on packaged shortcake cups.

A very simple idea along the same lines is a fresh fruit tray with whipped cream for dipping.


Grapes are especially associated with the feast of the Assumption. Armenian communities all over the world bless grapes on Assumption Day. Great trays are piled high with ripe grapes and carried to church, where they receive the blessings of the priest. Since grapes so often have this prominence in Assumption feasting we will often have this refreshing grape enhanced salad on this feast day.


Silverglade Spinach Salad
Ingredients:
6 cups spinach, rinsed and stemmed
6 ounces cheese, shredded or cut into julienne strips (Cheddar or Jack or combo)
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
Dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 slices bacon, fried crisp, drained, & crumbled
2 green onions, sliced thin

Directions:
To prepare dressing, whisk together vinegar, oil. mustard, and brown sugar. Stir in bacon pieces and onion. Refrigerate. In a large bowl combine spinach, cheeses, and grapes. Toss with dressing. 

O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary, Pray for us. 
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