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November 23


Saint of the day:
Saint Columban

Patron Saint of Motorcyclists

Saint Columban’s Story

Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor.

After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture.

Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported back to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry, and his monastic rule.



St Columban stamp.jpg


Remains of Columbanus resting at the Bobbio Abbey crypt

in Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy




The Hermitage of St. Columban in Trentino, Italy



Dark Beer Soda Bread  




  • 5 cups whole-grain flour

  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour

  • ¾ cup oatmeal

  • 2 ½ teaspoons of bread soda

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 2 ½ tablespoons of brown sugar

  • 2 ½ butter

  • 2 cups of whole milk

  • ¾ cup black molasses

  • 1 cup of Guinness Draught



  1. Mix butter with all dry ingredients until the dough develops the consistency of breadcrumbs,

  2. add the milk, black molasses and the Guinness Draught.

  3. Mix until you reach a wet dough.

  4. Bake in a greased bread tin for 40–45 minutes at 350°F in a pre-heated oven.

Dark Beer Braised Short Ribs  


  • 8 quarts beef stock

  • 2 cups tomato juice

  • 2 cans Guinness Draught

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 4 celery stalks, diced

  • 2 chopped onions

  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 12 (24 oz.) bone-in short ribs

  • Canola oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Coat your pot with canola oil and pan sear short ribs in batches. When the meat is seared to an amber brown color, transfer to a roasting pan. In the same pot, sauté carrots, onions and celery for 5 to 8 minutes then transfer to the roasting pan. Add two cans of Guinness Draught to deglaze the pot over medium heat. Pour this liquid over the short ribs in your roasting pan.

  3. Add beef stock, tomato juice and fresh thyme to the roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Place meat into preheated oven and braise for 2–2.5 hours. The short ribs will slightly pull away from the bone when cooked. Ribs vary in size so cooking times may differ.

  4. Remove short ribs from the roasting pan and transfer to a plate to rest. Strain the remaining liquid and divide in half. Pour one half of the liquid into a saucepan and reduce over medium/high heat and reduce to create a sauce.

  5. When ready to serve, simmer short ribs in the second half of your liquid until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Spoon sauce reduction over the short ribs and serve.

  6. Served over Champ or Polenta!

Dark Beer Irish Car Bomb Cake



  • 1 cup Guinness (or any stout)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2/3 cup sour cream or full fat ricotta
    *1/4 cup vegetable oil (add with eggs)


  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (I only had unsweetened,
    so I used 4 oz and added sugar to taste, about 4 tbsp)

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1-2 tsp Irish whiskey


  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 3-4 tbsp Baileys or milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. 

  2. In a saucepan, simmer the stout and butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 tsp salt. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs and the sour cream. Then beat in the chocolate-stout mixture until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Divide between the cake pans and bake for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 300 and bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 15 more minutes. 

  4. To make the filling, melt the chocolate in a saucepan or double boiler. Add in the cream, butter, and whiskey and mix until smooth. Allow to cool until thick. You can put in the refrigerator to speed up the process, but make sure you stir it occasionally.

  5. For the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, fully incorporating it each time. I usually don't measure it out, just taste it frequently and stop when I think it is sweet enough. Then beat in the milk and/or Bailey's. 

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