Wednesday, August 27, 2014
My hometown parish and the site of the funeral was St. Augustine Church, Montpelier, Vermont. It is in Montpelier that I was born and St. Augustine Church where I was baptized, received First Penance, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Montpelier is a charming, capitol city and St. Augustine Church's is a Gothic styled church built out of Vermont granite.
St. Augustine was a fourth century bishop from Hippo, Africa. The wayward son of St. Monica, who shed many tears and offered many prayers for his conversion. He was a brilliant man, who when he did embrace the Catholic faith at age 32, brought his great natural talents to bear when explaining and defending the faith to others. He is a doctor of the Catholic Church. His feast day is August 28.
One of my favorite stories about St. Augustine is reflected in this picture. It is the story of Augustine trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. As he walks along the beach pondering the mystery, he sees a little boy trying to put the ocean into a little hole he had dug out of the sand. "You can't fill the hole with the ocean," Augustine tells the child. "Neither can you comprehend the mystery of the Holy Trinity in your limited intellect," retorts the boy and upon saying it, he vanishes!
Here is a link to an Algerian Dessert possibly from Augustine's time
Friday, August 15, 2014
"The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory" (Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 44.) This is "a divinely revealed dogma" explained Pope Pius XII.
To learn more about the Dogma of the Assumption read this excellent article in the National Catholic Register: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-assumption-of-mary-12-things-to-know-and-share1#ixzz3AVsIu2Hg
To honor Mary and celebrate her glorious Assumption, here is a favorite recipe of mine for Cake Pops.
RECIPE FOR CAKE POPS
INGREDIENTS Makes about 36
cake mix any variety except angel food or sponge cake, and the oil, water and eggs that are required.
lollipop sticks, 3 inch, 36
chocolate melts, any color you like (Michael's Craft Store and A.C. Moore Stores have an extensive variety of colors and flavors) probably about 2 bags of melting chocolate
sprinkles, all colors, shapes, to decorate with (Michael's and A.C. Moore)
additional items you might want
pastry bag with decorating tips for designs (Michael's and A.C. Moore, Wal-Mart, Wilton on-line)
Follow the directions on the box for preparing and baking the cake. Using a rectangular pan is easiest but not essential. When the cake is out of the oven, let it cool completely.
Crumble baked cake into large mixing bowl. Crumble completely so there are no lumps.
Add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of prepared frosting gradually. You want the crumbled cake to become moist enough to roll between your hands and form into a small round ball. If you use too much frosting the mixture will be too wet and will not hold its shape.
When you are ready to roll the mixture into round balls have a couple of oblong cake pans or cookie sheets lined with aluminium foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap. I prefer aluminium foil.
Take a small amount of the mixture and roll between your palms into a 1-inch ball. Place on lined cookie sheet. Repeat until you have finished the bowl of mixture. Should be about 36 balls. Then place in the center of each ball one lollipop stick. Repeat until finished. Place rolled balls in freezer for 2 - 3 hours.
(If your freezer can not accommodate such a large pan, then use smaller pans or plates. Be sure to line them with aluminium foil for ease of removing the cake pop.)
Heat up the chocolate melts in a microwave safe bowl. Use about 1 1/2 cup of melts. Microwave at 35 seconds and then stir the mixture. Heat in increments of 35 seconds or less, until the melts are melted. You do not want to over heat the melts or they will be ruined.
Take the cake pops out of the freezer and one by one dip them in the heated chocolate melts. My technique is to dip the cake pop in so that it is completely covered. If necessary, I use a plastic spoon to shovel the melted chocolate up around the collar of the cake pop where the stick enters. When the entire pop is covered, I remove it carefully and place on a clean sheet of aluminium foil. You must put the sprinkles on immediately before the chocolate hardens. I usually do about twelve cake pops or so and then put the decorated batch in the freezer or the refrigerator depending on where I have room. Then I continue on with twelve more and so on, until I have completed all thirty six cake pops. If you want to add a design by melting the chocolate in a disposable, plastic pastry bag with a decorator tip, you can wait and do that later after you have finished all the cake pops, or even on another day, if you are not planning to eat them right off! The cake pops stay very fresh for up to two weeks because of the chocolate coating.
HAPPY FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION, BLESSED MARY