Friday, March 11, 2016

St. Patrick's Day - We are going to have a party

St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland
Detail from stained glass window at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church,
Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Dad/Grandpa, Robert Patrick, Born March 16
 We are planning a joint celebration for St. Patrick's Day and my husband Bob's birthday. All the family is coming except our son, Tom, and his wife, Meredith. They live at a distance. Our six grandchildren will be here, and we are planning to make some yummy treats with them and for everybody. Here are pictures with links to the recipes for our treats. Don't they look just delicious?

Mint Oreo Truffles

Of course we will have some games. I found a great scavenger hunt on line for the kids, and after all their running around, we will show the CCC movie, St. Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle. This movie is put out by CCC of America. The link is below if you want to buy one for your children or grandchildren.

No St. Patrick party would be complete without Irish entrees. I will be serving Corn beef and Cabbage and Guinness Stew. There will be my Irish-born mother-in-law's Irish Soda Bread. You can find the recipe on my Tuesday, March 17, 2015 post. It is an excellent recipe and has a hint of nutmeg which you do not find in other soda bread recipes. To go with the Irish Soda Bread and our birthday cake for Grandpa will be Irish Coffee. We always buy a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey for the occasion.

And our toast!

Lastly no gathering of the Irish and their descendants would be complete without praying part of 
St. Patrick's Breastplate. 

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

Happy Feast of St. Patrick


Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bread Dough Crown of Thorns Lenten Activity

    Bread Dough Crown of Thorns Painted, John 19:2

    Holy Week is fast approaching. Today's post is one you can do with your children or grandchildren between now and Good Friday.  It is a bread dough Crown of Thorns Lenten devotional. There are many activities for children which involve making a Crown of Thorns. This one involves flour, water, and salt. The recipe and steps for fashioning the wreath are given below. Some Crown of Thorn activities involve making thorns that can be removed by the children after they do a good deed. The thorns in this crown are permanent and cannot be removed without damaging the crown. That is why this activity is called a Lenten devotional. It shows us what Jesus suffered out of love for us and reminds us to show him deeds of love in return. The finished crown may be placed in some visible spot in your home to remind the family of the great love of Jesus for us. At the end of this post there is a prayer to the Sacred Head of Jesus and a picture of Jesus crowned with thorns

    Below is the same Crown of Thorns but it only has been painted brown.

Bread Dough Crown of Thorns Painted Brown

Bread Dough Crowns of Thorns before Baking

Bread Dough Crowns of Thorns after Baking

 Bread Dough Crown of Thorns

PREP: 20 minutes                                                   
 BAKE: 325 1 hour or until hard and dry
4 cups of flour                 
1 ½ cups of warm water                          
1 cup of salt 
Toothpicks, round head is preferable

Large mixing bowl,
Floured board
Baking Sheet
Large mixing spoon

DIRECTIONS: YIELD: 1 large or 4 mini-Crowns of Thorns

1. Combine flour and salt in bowl. Mix thoroughly. (For the classroom, have a few parents send in one recipe each in a plastic gallon bag. Only water will need to be added!)
2. Make a well in center of flour/salt mixture.
3. Pour 1 cup water into flour mixture and stir.
4. Add more water until flour is moist but not wet.* Continue mixing. May use hands.
5. Knead dough 5 minutes on floured board or in bowl until smooth.
6. Turn oven on to 325 degrees.
7. Take the lump of kneaded dough and roll between hands making a rope of about 18 inches in length and 1 inch in width. Repeat.  Attach ends to one another making a fairly smooth seam by using a small amount of water to work dough together. (For smaller crowns divide the dough into four or six lumps. Follow preceding directions. Rope will be shorter.) I always get my rope too wide, so for a more authentic looking Crown of Thorns a narrower width is better. Place toothpicks in to look like sharp thorns.
8. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. 
9. Bake for 1 hour or until very hard. Let cool thoroughly before painting.
*Be careful not to use too much water or bread dough will not harden but instead puff out!
Below is an example of a Crown of Thorns that you may find useful as a pattern.

We use acrylic paints to paint our Crown of Thorns. With children I always make sure they wear an old shirt or apron when using acrylic paints since they do not wash out. You may seal it with a clear, spray or acrylic sealer if you wish. Washable paints can be used if you prefer. The Crown of Thorns will store well after the Lenten season, You can store it in a plastic gallon bag in a cool, dry place. It will last for years.

Prayer to the Sacred Head of Jesus

                           WISDOM of the Sacred Head, guide me in all my ways. 
O Love of the Sacred, consume me with Your fire. 
Three Glorias, in honour of the Divine Will, Memory and Understanding. 
O Seat of Divine Wisdom, and guiding Power, which governs all the motions and love of the Sacred Heart, may all minds know You, all hearts love You, and all tongues praise You, now and for evermore.