Thursday, December 06, 2007

Feasts: St. Nicholas

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas ... and yes, he's a REAL guy! He was the bishop of Myra, Turkey and many wonderful stories are attributed to his generosity, charity and love of others.

We love St. Nick around here ... the kids (and that would be all of us) put out a shoe the night before, and the next day there are treats (usually a book or two, gold-foil chocolate coins and other treats) which the good St. Nick has left for us -- but only if we've been good.
We do crafts, cooking and reading about this wonderful man.

The best craft site and, actually the best site for anything St. Nicholas-y, is the St. Nicholas Center, whose sole purpose is bringing Santa Claus back to the origins of St. Nicholas ... trying to bring the Saint back into the celebrations. This site is a treasure trove of facts and fun about this man and the legends that have sprung up around him.

Tonight, we'll make Cheddar-Cheese Potato Pancakes (reminiscent of the gold coins St. Nicholas gave to some young women for their dowries) for dinner and read some of the fabulous stories about him from the book, The Real Saint Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World by Louise Carus -- a must-have book for anyone interested in learning more about this Saint who is patron of various cities, states, countries throughout the world as well as patron of children, spinsters and others.

Here's the recipe for the Cheddar-Cheese Potato Pancakes (makes 8 pancakes), in case you'd like to make them tonight too:

  • 2-1/4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes (thawed and drained)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • about 1/4 cup canola oil
  • sour cream or plain yogurt
Mix potatoes, eggs, cheese, onions, flour, salt, pepper and thyme together. Form into 8 patties. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until golden, turning once (4-5 minutes per side). Drain on paper towels. Serve pancakes with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

BTW, the wooden tree in the background of the St. Nick craft picture is our Jesse Tree with some of the ornaments made by 4real friends.

1 comment:

Leonie said...

Lovely ideas!