As a mom of four who works outside of the home, it’s always particularly challenging for me to try and find ways to bring the Liturgical Year of the Church alive for our family. A few years ago we decided that we were determined to do a little something special on favorite feast days during the year to drive home the idea that our Church is a Church of celebration. There is much throughout the year to celebrate, enjoy, and live our hope in joy! We started out slowly, celebrating each child’s patron saint’s feast day. We usually do this by making cupcakes or letting the child pick what we eat for supper that night. Slowly, we began adding little crafts or special foods for other feast days. Along the way, I have come to realize that the easiest way to highlight a feast day is by preparing foods for supper or dessert that accurately portray the type of cuisine local to the region where the saint lived. For instance, on St. Joseph’s feast day (March 19th), I make my good friend’s recipe for mostaccioli as an homage to his popularity in Sicily.
Another time, we had goldfish crackers on the feast of St. Anthony, which led to a great retelling of the legend where the saint couldn’t find anyone who’d listen to his sermons – so he went to a nearby stream and preached to the fish! One day when I was feeling particularly adventuresome, we invited a few friends over to make cornbread and wooden spoon dolls to celebrate the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Most of the time, though, dinnertime is the best time to enjoy saint-centric conversation and foods.
As you may remember, last week we took a road trip “home” to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. As I settled in to the passenger seat (sitting on top of a granola bar, I learned later) I resolved to spend the ride home reading a book and NOT playing on my phone as I had the whole ride down there (SEE: Twitter and Instagram feed #cajuntexasturkeyday) About a third of the way home, I briefly picked up my phone to check emails, facebook, etc. There in my inbox was my affiliate copy of More Feasts! Celebrating Saints and Seasons With Simple Real Food Recipes. EEEK! I couldn’t have been more excited. I read the whole thing on the way home, and cannot wait to get started making some of the yummy recipes. I simply loved Haley and Daniel Stewart’s first cookbook FEAST! I give it away as wedding gifts to foodie (and non-foodie!) couples I know. And now, there’s a PART TWO!
There are ten new recipes in the new book, along with short biographies and anecdotes about the saints and feasts highlighted. I am particularly excited about the Bulgogi Wraps for the feast of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, as it finally gives me a good idea for my husband’s birthday meal! There are even a few simple craft ideas to help enrich your family celebrations a bit more. Best part of all? The recipes are super quick, super easy, and GLUTEN FREE! Hallelujah! The recipes are also pretty customizable for the picky eaters in your domestic church.
To celebrate the book launch, the Stewarts are graciously offering their new book as a digital download (.pdf format) for just $3.99! Also, for all of Advent, their original cookbook is available as a digital download for $4.99, which is $3 off the usual price of $7.99! AAAAAAND, if you order between now and December 15th with the coupon code HAPPYFEAST, you will get an additional 25% off of your ebook purchase. How cool is that?!
You don’t have to be Catholic to celebrate and enjoy the rich liturgical seasons of the year. The observance of Advent and Lent are enjoying a Renaissance in some evangelical circles, a trend I first noticed after a conversation with a lady who happened to be the wife of a prominent local Baptist church. She spoke with me a bit about how these seasons are important in preparing our hearts and minds for the two great feasts of Christmas and Easter, and I couldn’t agree more. What are you waiting for? Jump on in and start celebrating! Maybe living the feasts more fully could be your Liturgical New Year’s Resolution?