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February 11

Saint of the day:

St. Abigail 

also known as Saint Gobnait

or in England Gobnait/Abigail is known as St. Deborah, Deborah meaning honey bee!

Patron Saint of honeybees and beekeepers

St. Abigail

St. Abigail, more commonly known as St. Gobnait or Deborah, was a medieval Irish saint born around the 6th century in County Clare, Ireland.

According to tradition, Abigail's family was always feuding. This caused her to run away from home to settle on Inis Oirr in the Aran Islands.

After some time, an angel appeared to Abigail and told her this was not her place of resurrection. She was to head inland to find the place she would spend the rest of her life. The angel told Abigail this place would be marked with the presence of nine white deer.

Abigail set off in search for the deer throughout the southern coastal counties. Her journey is now marked by churches and holy wells which are dedicated to her along the way.

She finally found the herd of deer in Ballyvourney, County Cork, now known as St. Gobnet's Wood.

Abigail would spend the rest of her earthly life dedicated to pastoral service and Christian charitable work. Her brother, St. Abban is believed to have joined her to help set the foundation for a convent, placing Abigail as its abbess, or mother superior of the community of women religious.

Abigail also went on to spend much of her time caring for the sick.

According to early Celtic folklore and religious symbolism, the soul departs from the body in the form of a bee or butterfly. So, it is not surprising that, given her deep Christian faith and belief in the Resurrection, Abigail also became a beekeeper.

It is said that she developed a powerful relationship with the bees and would use their honey to treat illnesses and heal wounds.

She became known for her miracles in rousting bees from their hives and using them to chase off evil. Some pious legend even claim that the bees transformed into soldiers, with their hives becoming helmets.

Abigail is also credited with saving Ballyvourney from the plague.

She remained settled in Ballyvourney until her death where she was then buried "to await her resurrection."

St. Abigail is the patron saint of honeybees and beekeepers. She is often featured surrounded by bees or carrying a honeycomb.

Her feast day is celebrated on February 11.

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Saint Gobnait’s Holy Well in Ballyvourney Cork, Ireland

St Gobnait's House and Holy Well
St Gobnait's House and Holy Well
St Gobnait's House and Holy Well



St. Abigail's Honey Elixir

This drink may be served hot or cold. The hot version is like a hot toddy while the iced cold version is like a gold rush. Enjoy!

While in the UK whiskey would be an amazing substitute for the American born bourbon. 


  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

  • 1/2 cup bourbon (4 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 lemons, juiced, (about 4 tablespoons or 2 ounces)


  1. Pour honey into a small jar or mixing bowl. Pour in the boiling water and whisk vigorously until they form a thin syrup. Whisk in the bourbon and lemon juice. Mixture can be refrigerated until ready to serve.

  2. To serve, shake vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain over a big ice cube in 2 rocks glass.

Instant Pot Honey Hoisin Ribs


  • 4 lb. pork ribs (about 2 racks)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce, preferably dark

  • 2 Tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder

  • Flaky sea salt

Special Equipment

  • An Instant Pot


  1. Cut meat between bones into individual ribs; season with kosher salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

  2. Whisk hoisin, honey, soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, and five-spice powder in cooker insert. Toss ribs in sauce to coat, then fit as many as possible in a single layer; set remaining ribs on top. Lock on lid, making sure steam release valve is in the proper sealed position. Select “Manual” and program for 12 minutes at high pressure.

  3. As soon as the time has elapsed, turn off cooker, “Quick Release” the steam, and unlock lid. The ribs should be tender enough to easily pierce with a sharp knife. Transfer ribs to a platter.

  4. Select “Sauté” and let cooking liquid simmer until reduced by about half, 10–15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, prepare a medium direct fire on a gas or charcoal grill (or preheat broiler). Brush ribs with sauce. Place ribs on grate directly over fire, meaty side down. Close lid and grill until browned and crisp in places, about 5 minutes (or transfer them to a baking sheet, meaty side up, and broil the same way).

  6. Return ribs to platter. Top with sea salt. Serve with remaining sauce alongside.

  • Cooks’ Note: For a fruitier spin on the sauce, substitute pineapple or orange juice for the honey and use a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes instead of the five-spice powder.

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