Posts Tagged ‘Saints’

St. Patrick’s Soda Bread

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Up early this morning, to prepare the St.Patrick’s Day table and bake soda bread for breakfast. There are many choices, and this recipe (below) is my current favorite. But I was out of wheat germ, so I substituted bran, resulting in a gutsier product. Great with Irish cheddar, or yogurt and jam (or all of the above, if that is to your taste). Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Brown Soda Bread

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (or bran)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 T cold unsalted butter cut into bits
1-1/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (I’ve tried both)

Preheat oven to 425º.

Sprinkle baking sheet with a little flour.

In a large bowl whisk together flours, oats, wheat germ/bran, baking soda, and salt. With fingertips rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk/yogurt and mix quickly until dough is evenly moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Turn dough onto floured surface and shape quickly into neat sphere, sprinkling with more flour as needed. On prepared baking sheet pat dough out into 7-inch round. With sharp knife cut shallow X in top.

Bake 25 minutes or so (depends on your oven) until bread looks set in center. Cool before serving.

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Hark!

Friday, December 25th, 2015

For Christmas Day, a painting and a poem. Merry Christmas, everyone, as we go onward together holding hands, listening for angels.

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A little girl is singing for the faithful to come ye
Joyful and triumphant, a song she loves,
And also the partridge in a pear tree
And the golden rings and the turtle doves.
In the dark streets, red lights and green and blue
Where the faithful live, some joyful, some troubled,
Enduring the cold and also the flu,
Taking the garbage out and keeping the sidewalk shoveled.
Not much triumph going on here—and yet
There is much we do not understand.
And my hopes and fears are met
In this small singer holding onto my hand.
Onward we go, faithfully, into the dark
And are there angels hovering overhead? Hark.
— Gary Johnson

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St. Nicolas le chocolat

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Our daughter has been so good all year that St. Nicholas found her even at her new address in this tiny hillside village. And brought a treat from our favorite bakery too.

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St. Swithin’s Day

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Look out the window. Happy St. Swithin’s Day!

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Annunziazione

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

It has arrived!

In honor of the first day of Spring, a poem by Robert Frost, and a painting.

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 A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

—Robert Frost

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For every storm, a rainbow

Monday, March 17th, 2014

An Irish blessing, and a page from my Ireland sketchbook. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone.

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May God give you
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

—Irish blessing

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Saint Lucy’s Gingerbread

Friday, December 13th, 2013

A warning to all my cookie guinea pigs! This year I set aside the traditional gingerbread cookie recipe to try a new one. I set it up last night and trudged to the kitchen before dawn (which is, admittedly, pretty late by mid-December) to finish the dough, which now must chill thoroughly before it’s cut and baked. If it’s a success, I’ll post the recipe in time for next Santa Lucia Day.

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St. Nicholas Day Plagiarist

Friday, December 6th, 2013

As part of my continuing obsession each December to remind the world about the discovery of the TRUE author of the beloved Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” I cannot resist once more posting a link to the story. Naughty, naughty, Clement Clarke Moore. No golden walnut for YOU.

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Rise Up, O Flame

Monday, November 11th, 2013

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As we move into the darkest season, looking increasingly inward and reflecting on the year nearly past, and on our losses and our shortcomings, we encourage and inspire ourselves and each other with a multitude of festivals of light: Michaelmas, Dia de los Muertos, Diwali, Chanukah, Christmas. On November 11th we celebrate simultaneously Martinmas, the feast of kindly St. Martin of Tours, and Veterans Day, each with its acknowledgement of sadness, courage, and hope.

In our family, we follow a tradition begun when our children were tiny Waldorf kindergarteners, and we have a lantern walk at nightfall. Despite my [now very big] children’s inevitable complaints and eyerolling, we’ll all do the last dog-walk together, carrying our homemade paper lanterns and singing. Someday they’ll thank me…

In case you also would like to go singing through the darkness, here is one of the songs, a lovely round by Praetorius.

 

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Where There Is Darkness, Light

Friday, October 4th, 2013

For the the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi today, I post a painting from the series of Washington National Cathedral, where this coming Sunday you can take your pet to be blessed in honor of that kindly friend of all living creatures.

I also post below the well-known Prayer of St. Francis, which might come in handy at this time if distributed among the less law-abiding members of Congress.

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Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

—St. Francis of Assisi

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