Friday, October 31, 2008

More Feasts...

These next three are from by The Feast Day Cookbook by KATHERINE BURTON & HELMUT RIPPERGER. I think I accessed this at the EWTN site, but it was years ago...

November 1: All Saints' Day

THIS DAY, formerly known in England as All Hallows and in France called "Toussaint," honors, as its name implies, all the saints canonized and uncanonized, known and unknown. Long ago the church bells rang for most of the night before All Saints' Day to praise the saints "risen in their glory." Everywhere patronal and family saints are especially remembered. It is a feast to give them praise rather than to ask favors of them, a day for praising them to God rather than asking them to remember the living to Him. The observance of this feast merges into the next, which is All Souls' Day, so that by evening it has become the eve of the day of the dead. On All Souls' Eve the graves in Hungary are lighted with candles and decorated with flowers. Indeed, the custom of visiting the cemeteries and adorning the graves of relatives and friends with wreaths and bouquets prevails in most Latin and Central European countries. In Czechoslovakia, and in Belgium, there is an old tradition of eating special cakes on All Souls' Eve. In many old English towns, maids still go "souling" on All Souls' Eve, that is, singing for cakes, and one hears such ancient ballads as: Soul! soul! for a soul-cake! I pray, good misses a soul-cake-- An apple or pear, a plum or a cherry, Any good thing to make us merry, One for Peter, two for Paul, Three for Him who made us all.

Soul Cakes

1 yeast cake
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups flour
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 lb. Butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Dissolve the yeast cake with 1 teaspoon of sugar in the lukewarm water and let it stand in a warm place. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the milk which has been scalded and slightly cooled and then add the yeast. Sift the flour with the salt and cinnamon and add to the mixture, kneading for a few minutes. Place in a bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place to double its bulk. Shape the dough into round buns and bake at 375 degrees F. for about thirty minutes or until lightly browned. Originally, these cakes were shaped like men and women and were given raisins or currants for eyes.

November 2: All Souls' Day

After the feast in honor of the saints in heaven, comes the day of praying for the dead, particularly for members of the family, so "that they may quickly attain to the fellowship of the heavenly citizens." As we have said, many of the observances of this day take place on the eve. In the Old World, superstition was more observed than doctrine and lights were set in windows to guide the departed back to their homes, and food was placed beside a candle or lighted lamp on the table to await them. In Brittany, where belief in the supernatural is intensified on this night, the people, dressed appropriately in black, hurry home after vespers to talk together about the departed, speaking of them in low tones as if at a funeral. On the table with the best cloth are placed plates of bread and cheese and mugs of cider for the refreshment of the departed ones. As the living sit whispering together, they hear, or think they hear, in creaking floorboard and empty benches about the table the movements of the ghosts who have come to rest that night in their former home. And knowing that the saddest of all are the homeless dead who roam about the countryside on this one night of the year permitted them on earth, it is a custom of Celtic people to set food and drink on doorstep and window sill, so that homeless spirits too may have a share. In Italy, and especially in Sicily, good children who have prayed for the dead through the year are rewarded by having the "morti" leave gifts, sometimes cakes, none the less welcome because they have been made by the hands of mundane bakers. Especially good are these "Fave dei Morti," and as fine a reward for a pious child as was the "Pretiolium" or pretzel of the Middle Ages.

Fave dei Morti (Beans of the Dead)

1/4 lb. Almonds
butter, size of a walnut
1/4 lb. sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
1/2 lemon peel, grated
Pound some of the almonds (unblanched) with some of the sugar in a mortar, and then rub through a sieve. Continue this process until all of the almonds and sugar have been used. Any of the mixture remaining in the sieve should be pounded again until it is fine enough to pass through the sieve. Work this paste with the flour, butter, cinnamon, egg, and lemon peel until the whole is quite smooth. When done, roll into long thin rolls; divide into small pieces and shape them to resemble a broad bean. Bake on a greased tin at 350 degrees F. for about twenty minutes or until light brown. Though soft at first they will harden when cold.

In Poland on All Souls' Day vespers are sometimes sung in the churchyards, and alms are given to the poor who in return are expected to offer prayers and petitions for the dead of the donor's family. Lighted candles are placed on the graves. In Spain every theater gives a performance of the famous play "Don Juan Tenorio" and thrills anew to the drama of the wicked lover who is dragged to hell by the ghost of the fair damsel to whom Don Juan proved unfaithful. The "Dia de Muertos" is an occasion so important in Mexico that its observance lasts for several days. Several days before, on October 30th, the souls of dead children are said to revisit their homes and spend the night. They are welcomed with flowers and food in gourds, as many gourds as there are "angelitos"--souls of dead children expected. And in the doorway of homes are placed chocolates and cakes and a lighted candle for those children who have no one to remember them. On the Day of the Dead, Mexican crowds stream into the cemeteries long before daybreak, bearing flowers, candles, and food. Breads, candies, and cakes have been made in the form of grinning skulls with eyes of shining purple paper, of little chocolate hearses [emphasis mine] and coffins and funeral wreaths. With picnic gaiety the families group about the graves in the cemeteries, everyone laughing and enjoying the fine fiesta and sharing the food they have brought. And as in Spain, in the evening the whole village repairs to see the perennial drama of the faithless Don Juan and his luckless lady.

Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead)
1 yeast cake
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
6 eggs
5 cups flour
1/3 cup orange blossom
1 teaspoon salt water
1 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup anisette
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and let it stand in a warm place. Sift the flour with the salt. Taking about half the flour, add the yeast, mix well, and allow to rise in a greased bowl in a warm place until double in bulk. Cream the butter with the sugar; add the egg yolks and the orange blossom water. Then add the remaining flour, the milk and anisette. Mix well and knead for a few minutes. Then add the egg whites, one at a time, kneading after each addition. Finally add the fermented dough and beat and knead until thoroughly mixed. Allow it to rise in a greased bowl in a warm place until double in bulk. Knead once more and divide into two portions. Remove a bit of the dough from each portion, enough to form two "bones." Shape the dough into round loaves and moisten the tops with water. Place the "bones" in the shape of a cross on each loaf and bake at 375 degrees F. for about fifty minutes or until done. The loaves are usually covered with a light sugar glaze when baked.

November 3: Feast of Saint Hubert

Born in the 8th Century, St. Hubert is the patron of hunters, and is a saint greatly honored in France and Belgium. Saint Hubert lived a full life. He became bishop of Tongres and traveled through his huge diocese on horseback and by boat, preaching and building churches to the glory of God. He was the friend of the great of his day--Pepin of Heristal and Charles Martel among them--and also of the poor. In particular his heart went out to prisoners, and he would secretly place food for them before their dungeon windows. As he died he said to those about him, "Stretch the pallium over my mouth for I am now going to give back to God the soul I received from Him." In parts of France and Belgium there has long been a custom of holding stag hunts on Saint Hubert's Day, and the hunters gather before the chase for Mass and the blessing of men and horses and dogs. After the hunt is over, those taking part gather for a bountiful breakfast consisting of fish, meat, salad, cheese, and dessert. Naturally the meat is venison of some sort, and the salad may well be one of dandelion greens.

Venaison Roti (Roast Venison)

If the venison is young, it does not need marinating; otherwise marinate several hours or even overnight. For the marinade use
1 pint of vinegar,
1 pint of red wine,
several bay leaves,
4 shallots,
2 sliced carrots,
1 lemon cut into thin slices,
some freshly ground pepper,
and a handful of juniper berries.
Carefully remove the skin from a loin of venison without tearing the meat and wipe it with a damp cloth. Lard the loin symmetrically with bacon (not larding pork). Dust with salt and pepper, cover liberally with butter, and roast in a hot oven for one hour, basting almost continuously with the butter in the pan and 2 cups of sour cream. Remove the meat to a hot platter; carefully stir 1 tablespoon of flour into the pan, then add a cup of hot stock, cook for several minutes, and strain through a fine sieve. (Though not orthodox, a leg of lamb may be substituted but in that case marinate for several days.)

Pissenlit au Lard (Dandelion Greens with Bacon)

Wash the dandelion greens carefully to remove all grit and dry thoroughly in a salad basket. Cut up 1/4 pound of lean bacon into dice and fry over a slow fire until very crisp. Add 3 tablespoons of tarragon vinegar to the bacon grease and season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour, while hot, over the greens, mix well, and serve at once. I’m actually not sure one can find dandelion leaves in November…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What's Wrong with the World, and Why I hate Old People

[The discussion herein is explicit.]
What's wrong with the world, apart from the "Protestant Reformation" and the failure of the Hierarchy to Consecrate Russia to Our Lady, is screwing. Rampant, indescriminate screwing. Screwing without attachment, without commitment, without consequence. Screwing, indeed, without striving and without even caring about whom we screw.

Sex was never intended as a casual passtime.

The entire splendor and solemnity surrounding the Wedding ceremony and the elaborate bridal garments stems from the fact that these two people are going to live with each other and have sex with each other and no one else, and SUPPOSEDLY that they, and at the very least SHE, have/has never had sex with anyone else!

Western history has been shaped by two things: War, and Who Won Which Woman. "Four things greater than all things are: Women and horses and power and War" opines the narrator in Kipling's Ballad of the King's Jest. At the end of the poem he amends his statement to: "Two things greater than all things are: the first is love, the second is war." Which makes sense since horses certainly fall into the category of War and power comes from either War, or Who Won Which Woman.

May I digress? Of course, I may---It's my blog. In more intelligent ages, princesses and other ladies of privileged birth were raised to be Queens. They did not expect to receive---they expected to give. They expected to be supportive of the old man to whom they were married. They expected to assume responsibility not only for his House, but in a very real sense, for his subjects. They expected to lose their figures to childbearing. They expected to be self-sacrificing, dignified, courageous, charitable, chaste, pious, generous, and somewhat taken for granted. Self-pity used to be considered a fault...What planet were Di and Fergie from, anyway? My pre-adolescent daughters were shocked at their ignorance and self-indulgence. How did Diana become a sainted martyr? Which leads me back to my original theme...

No doubt liasons were formed which contained no affection and did no more than ally two kingdoms, but how many dynasties and kingdoms and indeed civilizations have risen or fallen because of one woman's ability or inability to bear sons for the king? What lies concealed between a woman's legs---NOT easily accessible, interestingly enough---was not INTENDED to be accessible. It was INTENDED to be a well guarded holy of holies accessible to one man and one man only and for the purpose not only of pleasure but of creating life and extending the very civilization.

There were reasons why whores and loose women were eschewed: not only did they spread disease, they caused young men to waste the precious seed needed to establish kingdoms and families. And the reason we are in such a mess today is because good women, what few there are, tolerate the whores.

It isn't FAIR that it is the woman's job to maintain domestic morality. But, by Heaven, that's the way it is. Or was. And all our screaming for equality only meant that we wanted out of our responsibilty. We stopped trying to bring our husbands and brothers up to our level and demanded to be let down to theirs. We stopped trying to live as God demanded and started demanding our share of the orgasms, as if that were the only thing that mattered. We traded secure and loving families, reverence for life, respect for our gender, societal stability and Heaven itself for Our Share of the Orgasms. The horrendous divorce rate, abortion rate, suicide, murder, drug use and ruin are our just rewards.

Sex, and heirs which are the fruit of sex, used to be the good man's reward for courage, fidelity, physical prowess and all the other virtues required by Chivalry. Now, however, sex is free. Why strive? And men DON'T strive anymore. They buy their wives, as they buy power, not with excellence but with money. And when the wife no longer pleases, there is no reason not to replace her.

And that is what's wrong with the world.

I hate Old People because they are the most ridiculous and damnable players in this universal tragedy. They have lost their Faith and have nothing to cling to but medical science and the promise of longevity. They think that having "sex", or what passes for sex---clumsy contact between artifically stiffened flacid penises and profusely lubricated withered vaginas---means they are young. No. It means that they are simply old, without any of the grace and wisdom that should be a part of their advanced age. They complain about the younger generations and their ignorance, but they teach nothing because they are too busy trying to hang on to a stage of their life which ended with their fertility. There is a reason that their parts no longer naturally engorge and become wet. God is telling them to move on.

A recent Simpson's episode included a pharmaceutical "commercial" which exactly illustrated this sad phenomenon: "Sorry, Jimmy, I can't go fishin' with you! Grandma and I are gonna go have Old People Sex! Thanks, Jamitin!"

Next month, Grandpa will be bitching about the fact that little Jimmy doesn't know how to bait a hook. Grandpa should be spending more time casting nightcrawlers into the murky depths and less time, well, never mind. Use your imaginination.

I'm sickened by our society's inability to value anything beautiful or fine or holy. I think this is why my agoraphobia gets worse with every day that passes. I just don't want to know what's out there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hanging Palin in effigy

It's not a hate crime. It's in very poor taste, but people have been hanged in effigy throughout history, with no ill effects to them.

It ISN'T a hate crime. What one resents, however, is the hypocrisy of the Left. Can you IMAGINE the hue and cry if Obama were hanged in effigy?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

IQ challenged skin-heads

I knew it was going to start, and I told you so. I didn't know WHERE or HOW, exactly, but I knew that the ruling elites were offering us a "choice" of vomit soup or turd sandwich in this election in order to foment race wars. And today the top story is Teenage Mutant Skinhead Murderers who say they intended to kill 88 Negroes and BEHEAD---BEHEAD, mind you, BE-FREAKING-HEAD 14 more before shooting Obama. And all while wearing white tuxedos. Charming young grotesques. I would thoroughly love to slap them upside their little bald white trash heads, again and again until they squalled and blubbered. And a fat lot of good it will do to put them in the damned prison system where they can become even more thoroughly skinhead and stupid. Oh, forget it. I'll rant about prisons some other time.

But I say again, like the sorrowful, angry old fat mother that I am, I told you so.

Earlier in October, I wrote in my blog at MySpace:

I wonder what our Elite Masters are up to with the "choice" they've given us this time? I remain convinced that the entire election process is nothing more than a ploy to keep us all apparently some of us are getting wise, and now they have to come up with bigger and more spectacular "consequences" and "secrets" to keep us interested.

I have to admit the Obama-Ayers connection is at least interesting. Ayers is one of those cowardly mad bombers whose goal is not to change but to terrify and subdue. A man may bomb a building because he either loves it and abhors its desecration, or because he hates its purpose and wants to stop what's taking place within. That's why we can love the character "V" in the film, "V for Vendetta". However, what if he were a man who simply wanted to call attention to himself and his cause by killing as many people as possible? Then we would have, NOT the masked and sophisticated V, but Barak Obama's buddy, Bill Ayers---a man who is on the loose for no reason except that the law he so despises let him go on a technicality. O! for a Judge with scrotal circumference! [Somehow, I doubt the skinheads will get off on a technicality as Ayers did, nor should they.]

Obama's terrorist connections, which are by NO means limited to Ayers, certainly should give us pause---and, if "democracy" were on the level, they should motivate us to make sure that SOMEONE else won. [not to mention Obama's mind-boggling lack of qualification for the job.]But if this whole system is on the level, then why isn't there a major investigation going on? The potential criminality here isn't something the media and mob rule ought to be deciding.

But it's all part of the manipulation process. Now that we are getting a sufficient number of low IQ illegals into the country---look, I'm not being mean. Most of them failed in their own country and are the products of generations of squalor. They are converging on us like mice to cheese. I like mice. But now that we are getting enough of them to do the clods jobs, the gods can afford to decimate the middle class with race wars.

That will likely be accomplished to one extent or another regardless of who wins. Same script, different actors, just like always.

In September I wrote: ...

the race agitators of all colors and creeds will hit the streets and the news programs, and stupid people on every side will start hurting each other. The elites won't care, because they will not be in harm's way, just as they don't care what happens in Iraq and Afghanistan because their lives are not on the line. I realize McCain's new VP candidate has a son on the way to Iraq, but she is not among the elite. McCain is barely on the edge, and the Obamas are deceiving themselves if they think they are part of the ruling class. Any and all of those people are interchangeable and expendable, tools used to keep us confused. What a terrific scam they are pulling off! No matter what happens, it's YOUR FAULT! Whether you voted or didn't vote, it's YOUR FAULT! There is no accountability in a democracy, except the poor benighted voters.

I'm just sayin'...I TOLD YOU SO!

And in the interest of spreading my angst around, I'm republishing a blog I did on McCain (I don't care about "Fair and Balanced". This is MY blog, these are my opinions. McCain is an unprincipled, opportunistic jerk who abandoned his wife when she became less attractive and is now practicing serial polygamy with a wealthy younger woman):

McCain has been recently quoted as saying that it is not in his makeup to conduct a fighting campaign (although he tells his supporters that they must stand up and fight for him) and that he would rather "lose gracefully" than win by means that are uncharacteristic.

I could respect "I'd rather lose gracefully than win by means that are treacherous, or dishonest"---but uncharacteristic? If it's uncharacteristic for him to be able to fight face to face, I guess it's a good thing he chose to fight from an airplane. I suppose taking on another jet is less personal that shooting the guy that just ran into you in an urban combat setting.

My daddy fought in Korea. He was always saddened remembering the faces of the North Koreans he shot when they met on a narrow mountain road—almost near enough to touch. It was apparently "uncharacteristic" for Daddy to kill a man while he was looking into his eyes—even if that man was drawing down on him and preparing—reluctantly or not—to dispatch him to his Creator. But in the circumstance of absolute necessity, fighting not only for himself, but for his fellow soldiers in his jeep and ultimately for his duty as an American Soldier, Daddy killed the Koreans. Face to face, with deliberate blood-splattering thuds as the bullets from his M-1 hit home, again and again, Daddy killed them, not because he was a killer but because he had to.

John McCain accepted a commission when he accepted the nomination of his party. It is his duty to fight the necessary fight—ALWAYS excepting treachery or dishonesty—in order to win. The fact that saying unpleasant truths while looking at Obama in a debate is not COMFORTABLE for Senator McCain does not excuse him from his duty—and you would THINK that anyone who spent so much time as a POW in Vietnam would know that. It appears that the Senator doesn't seriously view Obama as the enemy---which raises the question, "Why not?"

It has been proven that Obama has NUMEROUS ties to socialist radicals, domestic and foreign. Obama is a Right-wing Loony Fringe Conspiracy Theory Scenario Dream-Come-True. Obama is the Thing we laughed about—the Thing that could never happen.

A friend of mine, the editor of a conservative e-magazine, wrote to me this weekend: "I can't think of this guy as anything except a foreigner, and it infuriates me that he should hop, skip and jump over American blacks, who can trace their lineage back to 20 and 30 and 40 generations of American grandparents, on both sides. How can a Kenyan, named Obama, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii (a foreign country, no matter what anyone says), become President of this country?"

I've given it a lot of thought, and I believe that in order for the "masters" to find a dark-complexioned man willing to stand as their puppet for the annihilation of our system, they HAD to go outside the system itself. Conservative American blacks are too patriotic, and liberal American blacks too self-interested to participate in a national coup that will alter everything. Make no mistake, Barrack Obama is not an American black man. All of his American genes are white. He cannot claim "African-American by association" if he isn't willing to be labeled "Radical by association".

But the question is, or should be at this point, Why doesn't McCain recognize Obama as the enemy? Of course, you know what I think: I think they are working for the same puppet masters. I think that the result will ultimately be the same, regardless of who is elected. There will be some minor changes in the script, and that's all.

Marcus Aurelius wrote: "Say to yourself as a Roman and as a man to do what you must with a perfect and simple dignity, for a feeling of freedom, and affection and justice. And give yourself relief from all other thoughts."

The only thing we can do is keep our hearts and minds firmly on our families and friends, and on God. He, at least, is eternal and merciful. Do your duty in all things. Duty is ours, Consequences are God's.

Kyrie Eleison

Monday, October 27, 2008

Seven years ago, I put together a book of recipes and traditions for my own children. I used sources from all over the net, never thinking to try to credit them all, for I never really intended the book to go outside my own family. However, I think we need traditions. So I'll be publishing the monthly chapters of my book here on my blog. If you find something you wrote in it, let me know and I'll give you thanks and tell everyone. :)

October 27: Juan Seguin, Hero of the War for Texas Independence

"A victim to the wickedness of a few men... a foreigner in my native land; could I be expected to stoically endure their outrages and insults?" he wrote in 1858. "I sought for shelter amongst those against whom I fought; I separated from my country, parents, family, relatives and friends, and what was more, from the institutions, on behalf which I had drawn my sword, with an earnest wish to see Texas free and happy."
In honor of Col. Juan Seguin, let’s serve:
Puerco Pibil (Slow-Cooked Pork)
· 5 T. annatto seeds
· 2 t. cumin seeds
· 1 T. whole black pepper
· 8 whole allspice berries
· 1 t. cloves
· 2 habanero peppers
· 2 T. salt
· 8 cloves garlic
· 1/2 c. orange juice
· 1/2 c. white vinegar
· 5 lemons, juiced
· 1 shot (1 1/2 oz.) tequila
· 5 lbs. pork butt
· banana leaves
grind the dried spices (annatto, cumin, black pepper, allspice, and cloves), thoroughly mince the habenero peppers, after removing the seeds
1. combine orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, tequila, dried spices, minced habenero, salt, and garlic in a blender. Liquify.
2. cut pork into 2 inch squares, place in a large ziplock bag, and fill with the marinade
3. let marinate for at least twenty minutes (overnight is fine, too)
4. line a 9" x 12" pan with banana leaves, pour pork & marinade in, cover with more banana leaves, cover tightly with foil
5. cook at 325 degrees F. for four hours and serve over rice.

October 28: Feast of Saints Simon and Jude

Not very much is known of either of these Apostles, except that Simon was called "the Zealous," and Jude was the brother of James the Less, and that they preached and were martyred in Persia. Over the years great devotion has grown up around Saint Jude as the Saint of the impossible. As prayers to Saint Anthony restore lost articles, so prayers to Saint Jude restore or revivify the most difficult of spiritual causes for persons, or groups, or nations. Saint Jude has proved a powerful patron in more than one instance, for example in the case of the City of St. Jude in Alabama, founded to aid materially and spiritually the Negro race, and which has well fulfilled that mission. Saint Jude might make a fine patron for the United Nations, over endowed with material patrons, but sadly lacking in those of the spirit. Regarding popular celebration of the feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, there has arisen some confusion through the centuries. In Italy a "foletto," which translated, means holy goblin, was often confused with Saint Simon because of a similarity in names, and Jude was confused in people's minds with Judas. Another reason for the confusion is that the feast of these saints comes so close to All Hallow's Eve that it partakes a little of its traditions. From the old association with goblins and witches and feasts of the dead, there has come down to us a cake often eaten in Scotland and England in honor of Simon and Jude. In Scotland, it is known as a Dirge Cake, in England as a Soul Cake, and the recipe is on November 2nd, the feast of All Souls.

October 31: All Hallows' Eve

A soul! A soul! A soul for a soul cake!
Come save a soul for a soul cake!
One for Peter and two for Paul
And three for the Good Lord who saved us all.

Put your hand in your pocket and draw out your keys
Go down to the cellar and draw what you please!
Give us cakes and ale and good strong beer
And we’ll come no more souling until next year!

The old English custom of "soul-caking," or "souling," originated before the protestant revolt, when poor singers went about on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, November 1 and 2, to beg for cakes in remembrance of the dead. The souls were prayed for, the poor folk fed, and everyone gained a great deal.
Allhallows e'en, or eve, a night of pranks and fun , was celebrated with games and treats. Young people bobbed for apples and told ghost stories.
When you, my children, were very young, and I was very young and impressionable as well, we lived in an all-protestant neighborhood where most of our neighbors went to “worship” at least three times each week. About 30 years ago, anti-Halloween hysteria was high amoung these folks. Skeletons, monsters, all manner of “Halloweenish” symbols were carefully cataloged and their ties to satanism documented. Many little audio cassettes by former “satanists” made the rounds, and, of course, hidden amoung the condemnations of Halloween was much finger pointing at the Holy Catholic Church…
I’m rather ashamed of the fact that I succumbed to the general alarm at the time…and rather gleeful that my temporary solution was to dress you all as saints, which was fun, and at least as horrific to many of my neigbors as the skeletons and pirates had been…
Of course, as the years went by and I contemplated things like the Gargoyles atop the Cathedrals (much lamented by the anti-halloweeners) and the Chapel of Bones in Portugal, I realized that every generation goes through these things and I decided bones and monsters were not going to draw you into the devil’s web---after all, most of your forefathers are bones, and many would have done better to have had a monstrous exterior and a pious soul. I truly loved your saint costumes (remember Forrest’s tonsure? That’s dedication!) but I loved the Halloween of 1992 when you boys dressed as Clinton, Bush and Perot---complete with huge cardboard ears for Crockett. I loved Stuart’s “legally blond” costume, and Siggy’s Axel Rose, Robert Smith and even last year’s pirate…I don’t find it at all odd that none of you has ever had a desire to dress as a witch or vampire, for we eschew things which are intrinsically evil. But the ado about Halloween will probably strike you as well when you are young parents---I’m not going to worry about your decisions. Halloween for me will always be night of fun when we can visit the neighbors in town, stroll around in the twilight, admire the kids’ costumes, and look forward to The Great Pumpkin...
Here is a recipe for Soul Cakes, which differs somewhat from the one given forAll Souls…

Makes 12 to 15 2-inch soul cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground fresh if possible
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of saffron
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup currants
For the Glaze:
1 egg yolk, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the flour, the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Mix well with a fork.
Crumble the saffron threads into a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until they become aromatic, taking care not to burn them. Add the milk and heat just until hot to the touch. The milk will have turned a bright yellow. Remove from heat.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon (or use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment). Add the egg yolks and blend in thoroughly with the back of the spoon. Add the spiced flour and combine as thoroughly as possible; the mixture will be dry and crumbly.
One tablespoon at a time, begin adding in the warm saffron milk, blending vigorously with the spoon. When you have a soft dough, stop adding milk; you probably won't need the entire half-cup.
Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead gently, with floured hands, until the dough is uniform. Roll out gently to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a floured 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can and set on an ungreased baking sheet. You can gather and re-roll the scraps, gently.
Decorate the soul cakes with currants and then brush liberally with the beaten egg yolk. Bake for 15 minutes, until just golden and shiny. Serve warm...with ale. And good strong beer.

In Ireland, Tyrone, Cavan, and other counties indulge in boxty dishes on Halloween, and also in many verses about them. One runs: Boxty on the griddle, Boxty on the pan, The wee one in the middle It is for Mary Anne. Boxty on the griddle, Boxty on the pan-- If you don't eat boxty, You'll never get your man. And another: Two rounds of boxty baked on the pan, Each one came in got a cake in her han'; Butter on the one side, Gravy on t'other Sure them that gave me boxty Were better than my mother. These boxty dishes include boxty dumplings and boxty bread and boxty pancakes (for the latter see Shrove Tuesday).

Boxty Bread

1 lb. raw potatoes
1 lb. cooked potatoes
Wash and peel the raw potatoes and grate them onto a piece of cheesecloth. Then squeeze them out, catching the liquid in a dish which must be allowed to stand so that the potato starch may settle. Mash the cooked potatoes over the raw, and season with salt. Pour off the potato liquid carefully; then scrape up the potato starch at the bottom of the dish and add to the potato mixture. Work in enough flour to make a good dough and knead for a few minutes; then roll out, cut into cakes, and bake on a hot griddle.

Boxty Dumplings
Use the same ingredients and follow the same procedure as for Boxty Bread. When the dough has been kneaded, instead of rolling it out, form into small balls the size of an egg, drop them into boiling salted water and cook them for forty- five minutes. Serve with a sweet sauce.

In Scotland a special cake is made, and charms wrapped in paper are stirred in before it is baked. These are the usual ring, button, thimble, and coin, with the addition of a horseshoe for good luck, a swastika for happiness, and a wishbone for the heart's desire. In England, as also in the United States, it is a night for feasting before an open fire, on cider and nuts and apples, and was formerly known as Nut Crack Night. Far back in history runs the list of games played on that night, many of them still popular, such as bobbing for apples in a tub of water, or trying to take a bite from one swinging on a cord.
Familiar is the sight of the small boy coming home with a bag full of edibles--candies, cakes, nuts, gum, enough for several meals--and a good stack of pennies. Grown-ups, whose duty for the evening seems to be to provide the handout, might spend their own evening by making it a Nut Crack Night. Sitting before a bright hearth fire, they can feast cider, apples and nuts. And soul cakes, and boxty.


This is my first post, and I have no time at the moment to say anything at all...I intend to repost some of my previous blogs from other sites--perhaps I'll get to do that today--but this is a test.