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SAINTLY IDEAS!

Good Morning Foodies!

What more can I possibly say but when ST. PADDY’S, ST. JOSEPH’S DAY and EASTER fall this close together, time becomes magical. These three special days involve EPIC MEALS!

This is when we truly shine in the kitchen. There is not an empty pot or pan to be found. All types of food items line the counters, buffets, and every table in sight! Ah yes, it is HEAVEN ON EARTH!

When I close my eyes, I can recall some of my most memorable meals prepared by my GRANDMOTHER, AUNTS and my MOM! I can still remember when it was pasta making day! Old broomsticks were braced across the dining room chairs so that the fresh cut pasta was hung to dry. Yep, we did get a few whacks on our butts as we ran through the dining room trying to knock the pasta strands down. They did not quite see the humor in it.
Today, March 17th, is the famous ST. PADDY’S DAY! Honestly, I did not grow up with this celebration. I know it is more than drinking GREEN BEER and hanging out at local IRISH PUBS. I am sure this SAINT was more than that!

I can tell you about ST. JOSEPH’S DAY, MARCH 19TH! The altars that are built by the community church members are unbelievable. These ALTARS are a reflection of the deep devotion to this patron of those in need—WORKERS, TRAVELERS, THE AGED AND THE DYING! The roots of this event stems from Sicily. The very first altar was set up as thanks after prayers to ST. JOSEPH which led to end of a horrible famine.

I do know that several ALTARS still exist in our area. If you have never seen one, you should give yourself a treat and experience this most spiritual gathering.

For those of you who are not familiar with this big production, here is a very short version of the event. Usually, a family or families gather to pay homage to St. Joseph for some special favor that was granted through prayer. Children are selected to represent the HOLY FAMILY and some special SAINTS. After the altar is blessed, the selected HOLY FAMILY, has to taste each item that comes off the altar, and then it is passed on to the gathering of people. Most leftovers are donated to some worthy group. When I was about 6, I was selected to be MARY. Needless, to say, being that young, I could care less about most of the food passing my way—NOW IF THAT WAS TODAY—THEY WOULD HAVE TROUBLE GETTING MARY OFF THE ALTAR!
There is some of the most amazing food items served. It is not just random food—there is a significant meaning to each item served. Some of the items were as follows:
Dried Fava Beans—carry in your wallet-meant you would always have money on hand.
Blessed Bread in Freezer-throw crumbs out in bad storms to protect you.
Blessed Bread Shapes: Round (circle of life); Oval (Easter); Cross.
Bread Crumbs Spread Around Altar-represents St. Joseph’s carpenter dust.
Never meat on the altar—only seafood (because this holiday usually falls during Lent)
Beautiful Meringue Doves-represent the Holy Spirit.
The night before there is the blessing of the altar and all gather to say the rosary. How I miss those days!

Have to be out of pocket for a few days. KITCHEN CLOSED ON MONDAY, MARCH 21 AND TUESDAY, MARCH 22! Will post on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23RD!
Have a safe and productive weekend!

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