Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feast Day: St. Martin of Tours

I love the Catholic Church -- we have such great role-models and feasts to celebrate! My boys particularly love today. Not only is it Veterans' Day here in the U.S., it is also the feast of St. Martin of Tours, a soldier himself!

St. Martin was this really cool guy back in the 4th Century in Hungary who converted to Christianity (despite his parents' objection) and ended up becoming the Bishop of Tours. On the way to his bishopric, legend tells us that he sacrificed half his military cloak -- which would have been a sign of his rank -- to a freezing man on the side of the road. Later, he dreamt about this man who, in his dream, was Jesus.

The boys eat this stuff up!

Today, we not only celebrated Veterans' Day and St. Martin's Day, we celebrated a visit from one of dh's fellow teachers for dinner! This is always fun for the kids as they can spout college football stats, practice joke-telling, and generally entertain an unsuspecting audience. This is particularly fun when the faculty member is a, single or b, married but childless!

Tonight we had a nice Italian man from Orange County so we served spaghetti and meatballs, spinach salad and St. Martin's Horseshoe cookies (a recipe we got from Catholic Culture -- see below).

Although St. Martin's life was austere and sober, his day was always celebrated in the Old World manner, with feasting, merriment, and thanksgiving for harvest foods. In Poland rich cookies shaped like horseshoes were baked for St. Martin's snow-white horse, on which he "comes riding through the snow" when one least expects him.

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar·
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
Pre-heat oven to 325. While pre-heating oven, toast the oats in a pyrex pan. Cream butter or margarine; add sugar gradually while continuing to cream; beat until fluffy. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt. Blend in toasted oats. Taking a hefty tablespoon of dough in floured hands, quickly roll into a "cigar" shape and then curve into a horseshoe. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.Bake at 325° for 20 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove carefully, as cookies are very rich and break easily. (about 1-1/2 doz horseshoes)

A GREAT time was had by all!

St. Martin of Tours, pray for us!

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