Archive for July, 2011

The Feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim: July 26th
July 26, 2011

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the mother and father of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Our Lord. Having been barren for 20 years, St. Anne gave birth to the Blessed Virgin at age 40. Her Hebrew name, Hanna, is the same as Hannah in the Old Testament and their stories mirror one another.

In this image painted by Giotto, St. Anne and St. Joachim (age 40 and 69), kiss and embrace after being told separately by angels that they are pregnant with a daughter who will be consecrated to God. They are the patron saints of parents and grandparents and St. Anne is the patron saint of homemakers and women in labor.

Because shellfish is a traditional food to prepare on St. Anne’s Day and Brittany is a region particularly devoted to St. Anne, Daniel chose a dish from that region: moules marinières or Mariner’s Mussels.

Moules Marinières:

Mussels in the shell – 1 pound

Shrimp – 1 pound (Get Gulf Shrimp if you live near Florida!)

Butter -3 tablespoons

Onion, finely chopped — 1

Garlic, minced — 3 cloves

White wine — 1 cup (Muscadet would be most authentic but Sauvignon Blanc will work fine)

Parsley, finely chopped — 1/4 cup

Tomatoes – 1 Large or 2-3 smaller ones, diced

Salt and pepper — to taste

Peel the shrimp and wash the mussels, scrubbing them to remove the “beard.” Heat the butter in a large pot. Saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Stir in the tomato and parsley. Add the mussels, shrimp, and wine, stirring gently so as not to break the shells. Cover the pot and let it steam for a minute or two. Stir about every minute so the shrimp will cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper. It should be ready in about 4-5 minutes. Make sure to save the sauce to dip bread in. Technically, moules marinières should be just mussels but some people don’t exactly love them so we added shrimp to be safe.

He also found a recipe for Gateau Sainte-Anne, a traditional cake from the Alsace region, in Cooking with the Saints. We simplified it a little bit.


4 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp. dark rum

2 cups flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 cup butter

1 cup grated chololate

1 cup ground almonds

1 tsp vanilla


2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk

1 tbsp rum

1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. With an electric beater blend eggs and sugar until frothy. Add rum and flour mixed with baking powder. Blend in rest of ingredients.

Grease and flour your cake pan and fill with the mixture. Bake for 50 minutes or until done.

Mix the ingredients for the icing. Add more powdered sugar or more rum until the consistency is right.

Girls named after St. Anne traditionally wore red and green ribbons in their hair on her feast day and we had some beautiful tomatoes in our garden so we made an arugula and tomato salad with goat cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy. Next time you’re in Thomasville, go by their wonderful store located in historic downtown. Or pick up their products for New Leaf or Tomato Land.

We served the shellfish dish over sliced baguette with roasted potatoes. Yum.

And you might want to invite some grandparents since St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents.

There is a beautiful novena to St. Anne that can be said on the nine days preceding her feast (or at any other time):

O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .Glory Be

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death.

Good St. Ann, intercede for me.


Trinity Sunday Blueberry Pie
July 6, 2011

On Trinity Sunday we celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity–the doctrine that distinguishes Christianity from all other faiths.

A concept like the Holy Trinity is difficult to denote through food, but part of the goal of this blog is to start food traditions for the Christian Year that also tie into what’s seasonal where we live. During early summer in Florida, blueberries are fully in season.

My dad and I even took my toddler to a U-Pick-Em local organic blueberry farm and we stocked up on pounds and pounds of them. (See the post about our excursion here.)

We celebrated on Trinity Sunday evening with a delicious feast that Daniel made including Grilled Pork with a Molasses Marinade and a homemade salsa garnish (tomatoes, onions, and cilantro from our garden), and grilled cabbage and squash (from the garden).

We followed up that scrumptiousness with some hot-out-of-the-oven Blueberry Pie.

For the pie crust I used Ree Drummond’s recipe but I substituted butter for shortening.

For the filling mix:

5 cups blueberries

3/4 cup Sugar

3 TBS Flour

1 tsp Cinnamon

Once you add the filling to the crust, bake in the oven at 375 degrees for approx. 40 min. Just keep an eye on it so that the crust on top doesn’t brown. Then, of course, you can top it off with some vanilla ice cream. Very easy, very delicious.