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November 30


Saint of the day:
Saint Andrew

Patron Saint of of Fishermen, singers, Scotland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Patras
Scotland’s National Day

Saint Andrew’s Story

Andrew was St. Peter’s brother, and was called with him. “As [Jesus] was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is now called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20).

John the Evangelist presents Andrew as a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by one day, John said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew and another disciple followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come, and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day” (John 1:38-39a).

Little else is said about Andrew in the Gospels. Before the multiplication of the loaves, it was Andrew who spoke up about the boy who had the barley loaves and fishes. When the Gentiles went to see Jesus, they came to Philip, but Philip then had recourse to Andrew.

Legend has it that Andrew preached the Good News in what is now modern Greece and Turkey and was crucified at Patras on an X-shaped cross.







St Andrew

(Relics: Amalfi, Italy; Florence, Italy; Patras, Greece; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cologne, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine)


Tradition claims that St Andrew was martyred and buried in Patras, Greece. Later most of his relics were transferred to the city of Constantinople and a small portion to Scotland. The relics in Constantinople were taken by the Crusaders after their violent sacking of the city in 1204 and transferred to the Duomo di Sant'Andrea in Amalfi, Italy. It is from this source that many cities within Europe have received their relics of St Andrew.

Within Scotland the relics of St Andrew have played a particularly pivotal role. Tradition claims that they first entered into the annals of Scottish history in the 4th century when they were brought to Scotland by the legendary Bishop of Patras, St Regulus. It is said that this bishop was warned in a dream by an angel that the safety of the relics were in jeopardy. He then set sail from Greece for the farthest western edges of the known world in order to protect the relics. Just off the coast of Scotland his voyage met with shipwreck and he was forced to come ashore at what is now the town of St Andrews. Despite this ancient tradition and the great historical influence that the relics of St Andrew have had upon the Scottish people the original relics met a tragic fate on June 14, 1559 when they were destroyed by supporters of the Scottish Reformation.

Basilica of Saint Andrew

Αγίου Ανδρέου

Patras, Greece

*As noted above tradition holds that St Andrew was martyred upon an X shaped cross in Patras, Greece. Remnants of this cross are preserved within this church to the left of the main sanctuary.

*In 1964 the skull of St Andrew was returned to this church from St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. This relic now rests within a beautiful shrine to the right of the main sanctuary.

*Also venerated here are several additional relics of St Andrew including his finger.


Duomo di Sant'Andrea (Cathedral of Saint Andrew)

Piazza Duomo

84011 Amalfi, Italy

*The relics of St Andrew rest beneath the main altar in the crypt of this church.

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

61 York Place

EH1 3JD, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Scotland)

*In recent centuries the Scottish church has been blessed to receive several relics of St Andrew to replace the original relics that had been destroyed in 1559. In 1879 a large portion of the shoulder of St Andrew was taken from his remains in Amalfi, Italy and brought to Scotland. Also in 1969 Pope Paul VI gave additional relics of St Andrew to the Scottish church with the words, “Peter greets his brother Andrew.”  These relics of St Andrew now rest within this cathedral at an altar to the right of the main sanctuary.


St Andrew’s Church

Андріївський узвіз, 23

Kiev, Ukraine 02000

*Legend holds that St Andrew’s apostolic zeal led him as far north as Ukraine where he placed a cross in the very spot where this church now stands. The present church was erected in the 18th century and houses a small relic of St Andrew.


Sankt Andreas (Saint Andrew)

Komodienstraße 6-8

50667 Cologne, Germany

*An arm of St Andrew rests within a reliquary located in the back of the choir in the main body of this church. It was placed here in 1997.

*Also the remains of St Albert the Great (d. 1280) rest within a tomb in the crypt.

*The city of Cologne is also noted for its connection to a number of other prominent relics and traditions. The remains of the Three Kings are said to rest within a magnificent golden reliquary located in the apse of the Cologne Cathedral. Blessed John Duns Scotus is buried within a tomb in the church called the Minoritenkirche. Also it was here in this city that St Thomas Aquinas studied theology under St Albert the Great and where St Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, was born. Finally, it was here in 1933 that Edith Stein entered a Carmelite Convent and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Duomo di Firenze

(Florence Cathedral)

*Relics of the following four saints are said to be within the sacristy.

*The skull of St John Chrysostom (Acquired in 1360), the arm of St Andrew the Apostle (Acquired in the 14th century), the arm of St Philip the Apostle (Acquired in 1205), and the finger of St John the Baptist (Acquired in 1419).

*It is said that this is the same finger that St John the Baptist used to point at Jesus when he proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God.”


Churches of Honor in Rome


Sant'Andrea della Valle (Saint Andrew of the Valley)

Piazza Vidoni 6 / Piazza Sant'Andrea della Valle

Rome, Italy

*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

*The large paintings in the sanctuary depict the martyrdom of St Andrew.


Sant'Andrea delle Fratte (Saint Andrew of the Bushes)

Via Sant'Andrea delle Fratte 1

Rome, Italy

*This church is near the Spanish Steps. It is dedicated to St Andrew. Within the sanctuary are five large paintings depicting scenes from his martyrdom.

*The third altar on the left side of the nave is where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Ratisbonne, an agnostic Jew, in 1842. Ratisbonne converted on the spot. In 1918 St Maximilian Mary Kolbe (d. 1941) offered his first Mass in this very same chapel.


Sant'Andrea al Quirinale (St Andrew at the Quirinale)

Via del Quirinale 29

Rome, Italy

*This church is south of the Barberini metro stop. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and it is dedicated to St Andrew.

*The remains of St Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568), a young Jesuit novice who died in Rome at the age of seventeen, rest here. The room in which he died has been converted into a chapel and can be visited by asking the sacristan.

Sant'Andrea a Ponte Milvio (Saint Andrew at the Milvian Bridge)

Via Flaminia 441

Rome, Italy

*This church is near the Milvian Bridge.

*The advancement of the Ottoman Turks into the Byzantine Empire threatened the safety of many Christian relics. Therefore, in 1462 the relic of St Andrew’s skull was brought to Rome for safe keeping. The small church of Sant’Andrea a Ponte Milvio marks the spot where this relic was first received in Rome. This relic remained in Rome at St Peter’s Basilica until its return to Patras, Greece in 1964.


Il Gesu (The Jesus)

Via degli Astalli 16

Rome, Italy

*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

*The first chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to St Andrew.

*St Ignatius of Loyola (d. 1556) is buried under the altar in the left transept.

*An arm of St Francis Xavier (d. 1552) rests within a reliquary above the altar in the right transept.




Greek's celebrate with Loukoumades
(Greek Donuts with Honey and Walnuts)




  • 2  egg whites

  • 1 cup labna click on link for method or substitute with thick yogurt

  • 3 cups flour, all purpose (plain)

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp whisky or brandy, optional


  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Topping

  •   cinnamon, ground

  •   sesame seeds

  •   walnuts finely chopped

To Cook

  •   coconut oil or other cooking oil for frying


  1. Prepare the syrup first. Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once the syrup has boiled, turn off and allow to cool.

  2. Make the batter. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, add the labna (or half the quantity of yogurt) and stir to combine well. In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose flour and baking powder. Add to the labna mixture, along with the whisky, if using. Stir well to combine.

  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 f (95 c) to keep cooked loukoumades warm. Over a medium heat, place enough oil in the pan to come half way up the loukoumades. When the oil is hot but not smoking, and using 2 spoons, carefully drop about 1 teaspoonful of batter into the oil. Wet the spoons between each puff. Turn the puffs using a slotted spoon and cook until golden brown. Place cooked loukoumades on a plate covered with kitchen towel to drain excess oil. Place in the oven to keep warm between batches.

  4. When all are cooked, place loukoumades on a serving plate. Drizzle with the honey syrup and sprinkle with ground cinnamon, sesame seeds and crushed walnuts.


Sticky Toffee Pudding



  • 8 ounces dates, finely chopped 

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) boiling water or very hot coffee

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups AP flour

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • zest of an orange

Sticky Toffee Sauce

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) whipping cream

  • 1 cup, packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup corn syrup 

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

  • optional - 1 tbsp Drambuie liqueur


Preheat oven to 350º F (175º C)

For the pudding (Cake) 

  1. Butter 8-inch-square pan (preferably not dark.)

  2. Mix flour and baking powder and set aside.

  3. Place chopped dates in small bowl, then pour 1 cup boiling water over the dates and let cool, about 1 hour.

  4. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl to blend. Scrape sides of bowl often.

  5. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the bowl. Add half of flour and baking powder and beat to blend. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Continue scraping down sides of bowl, often. Add remaining flour and beat until blended.

  6. Combine instant coffee and baking soda in small bowl. Pour into date mixture, stirring to dissolve coffee granules. It will froth slightly. Add date mixture to batter and mix well until evenly combined.

  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. I have found that placing about 1 cup of batter, into another small pan works better as the cake doesn't rise as high, which means there is no need to level the top. Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan. After it has cooled, you can level off the top of the cake if necessary, by cutting off the center part, or carefully removing the cake and using a cake leveler. Then placing the cake back into the pan. Poke holes all over the cake with a skewer or toothpick.

For the sauce 

  1. Bring cream, brown sugar and butter to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce until reduced to 1¾ cups (12 oz), stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. If adding the Drambuie, add it after taking the sauce off the heat.

  3. When cake is cool and caramel sauce is still warm, but not too hot, pour about half of the sauce over the cake. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, without covering. After an hour or so, when the sauce has become firm, cover the dessert with cling film (once cool the plastic won't stick to it.)

  4. When serving, cut a piece and heat in microwave until the caramel melts; the dessert should be hot and steaming. Serve with the reserved, warm sticky toffee sauce and freshly whipped cream.


Russian Walnut Shaped Cookies – “Oreshki”
They are an iconic Russian treat, especially during holidays, weddings and other special occasions. 


Oreshki require a special skillet, called the oreshnitsa, to cook them. You can buy them online but there are electric oreshnitsa skillets too, which are probably easier to use. The crisp, golden exterior of the cookies hold a very creamy, caramely filling. Slavic people love using cooked condensed milk in lots of desserts. You can use the excess cookie crumbs or crushed nuts in the filling, for added flavor and crunch. 



  • 2 large eggs

  • 1½ cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (or 16 TBSP) butter, melted & slightly cooled

  • 3½ Tablespoons mayonnaise

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon vinegar

  • 4 cups all purpose flour


  • 1½ cans dulce de leche (cooked condensed milk)

  • 1 cup butter (or 16 Tablespoons), room temperature

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand held mixer, mix the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.

  2. Add the melted butter, mayonnaise, sour cream until evenly mixed. Add the baking soda dissolved in vinegar and mix again until combined.

  3. Add the flour and mix, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed to medium, until all the flour is incorporated.

  4. Here's where the oreshki skillet comes to the scene. Shape little balls from the prepared cookie batter, about ¾ of a teaspoon of batter for each walnut shape. It's very helpful to shape a lot of the cookie balls before you start cooking them. If you have a helper, it makes this process much faster and much more enjoyable. Otherwise, turn on a podcast or a show on tv or Youtube. It sure helps to pass the time. When you have a lot, or even all of the cookie balls shaped, (cover them with plastic wrap so they don't dry out), heat the oreshki griddle on medium heat until hot.

  5. Quickly place a cookie ball into each of the cookie wells, close the lid and tightly hold the two ends, squeezing them as tight as you can. Cook each side until golden on both sides, flipping the griddle over halfway through. The time really depends on the type of griddle you are using and on your stove. I cooked mine for only 1 - 1½ minutes per side, but you might need to cook them longer, up to 3 minutes per side.

  6. The cookie batter will spread when you're squeezing the two sides together and that's a good thing, since it makes sure that the entire walnut shape is completely covered and you will also use all the leftover cookie scraps in the filling.

  7. Use a small and sharp paring knife to cut each of the walnut shaped cookies out, setting aside all the scraps. Crush all the cookie scraps into small crumbs, using a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, or a food processor. Cook all of the cookies, cutting them out into walnut shapes.

  8. For the filling, in a large bowl, using a standing mixer or a hand held mixer, combine the dulce de leche, butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Add the cookie crumbs to the filling and mix again to combine. Instead of the crumbs, you can use crushed nuts, but I prefer the taste and texture of the cookie crumbs.

  9. Fill the inside of two walnut shaped cookies with the filling and place two of the cookies, filling side down, toward each other, gently squeezing, and scrape off the excess filling with a small paring knife.

  10. Continue to fill the cookies, gently squeezing the two halves of the cookies together. You should have a total of about 115 oreshki. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can serve them immediately, but they will stay fresh for at least 1 week.
    Be creative and do whatever combination flavor you think would taste amazing!

A little spreading in perfect but too much will leak out so be careful! (Lightly spray your pan)

I liked using my microplane to clean up the shells' edges,
Also I finished the cookies with a brushed on sugar wash


Song of the Day:

Something a little Scottish




Read about Saint Andrew!

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