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January 6 

Saint of the day:

Saint Balthazar

The Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Saint Melchior: Jan 1 or 6 feast day

Saint Caspar: Jan 6 or 11 feast day

Patron Saint of Epilepsy, thunder, motorists, pilgrims, playing card manufacturers,

sawmen, sawyers, travellers, travelling merchants, Cologne, Germany, Saxony


Saint Balthazar's Story

Balthasar, also known as Balthazar, Balthassar or Bithisarea was born presumably by calculations, around 25-20 BC and was one of the members of the legendary three wise men, mostly referred to as Magi, who went to visit and gift baby Jesus. He was referred to as the King of Macedonia, probably where he was born, and was the one that gifted baby Jesus with myrrh. His gift prophesied the future death of a king.

He was said to be of dark complexion with a heavy beard as described by 8th century’s Saint Bede. He and the other two, Caspar and Melchoir, all considered saints, arrived in Bethlehem after passing by King Herod’s palace as led by the star. They were instructed to return to the palace with the whereabouts of the new born king but as wise as they were, headed a warning from an angel to not inform the king as it would pose a great risk to baby Jesus.

Balthasar died on January 6 55 AD aged 112 and was buried in the shrine of the three kings in Cologne Cathedral.





our father prayer_edited.jpg




Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany





German New Year’s Pretzel or Neujahrsbrezel 

Tradition states that the braiding of the German New Year’s pretzel symbolizes symbolized “Verbundenheit” or connectedness. The pretzel itself represents good luck or prosperity in the new year. In Germany, this large pretzel is eaten on New Year’s Day. However many Germans break this bread with their friends and family at midnight on New Year’s Eve. So eat this with coffee or champagne. Your choice.

Whether you are ringing in the new year with German or your own traditions, I wish you all, Einen Guten Rutsch (a good slide) into the New Year. May the. New Year bring health, peace, happiness and of course, more deliciousness for everyone.



  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg separated

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature,
    cut into 8 tablespoons

  • 1/4 cup pearl sugar


  1. Heat the milk and vanilla, stirring to combine in a small saucepan until warm. Do not boil.

  2. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm temperature.

  3. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the lemon zest, flour, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar.

  4. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and sprinkle the yeast into the well.

  5. Pour about 1/4 cup of the vanilla milk on top of the yeast to dissolve it. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the top.

  6. Scrape some flour off of the sides of the bowl with your hands and mix everything together to form ragged dough.

  7. Cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel and let rest for 10 minutes

  8. Sprinkle the dough with the salt. Add the rest of the milk and the 4 egg yolks. Use the dough hook attachment of your mixer (or your hands) to knead everything into a smooth dough (about 8 minutes)

  9. Add 5 tablespoons of the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Knead again for 3 minutes until the dough becomes elastic.

  10. Cover the bowl again with the dishtowel and let stand for 1 hour in a warm place.

  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  12. Knead the dough again for a few minutes.

  13. Divide the dough into three equal portions (use a kitchen scale).

  14. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each portion out into a log 2 feet long.

  15. Braid the three dough strands together.

  16. On the last 4 inches of both ends, roll them out 8 inches long (4+3/4 inches wide) and use a sharp knife to cut the ends into three strands. Roll each stand to create log shapes, then braid them together.

  17. The result should be a long fat braid in the middle with small long, thinner braids on the ends.

  18. Transfer the entire dough braid to the prepared baking sheet. Pull both ends down and tuck them under the fat middle braid, forming two loops.

  19. Cover with the dishtowel and let rest for 15 minutes.

  20. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  21. Beat the egg white in a small separate dish.

  22. Brush the braided dough with the egg white and sprinkle the pearl sugar over the top.

  23. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and scatter over the top.

  24. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the pretzel is golden brown.

  25. Remove from oven and let cool to warm before serving.

  26. Serve with butter and jam.

Recipe Notes

Note: Many people like to tuck a 1 cent coin into the pretzel before baking guaranteeing extra luck for the person who finds it. If you do this, wrap the coin in aluminum foil before tucking into the dough.

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