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January 4 

Saint of the day:

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Patron Saint of in-law problems, against the

death of children, widows, death of parents,

and opposition of Church authorities

On the 11th Day of Christmas....
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Apostles:
1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5)Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas,
9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16).

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton's Story

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Mother Seton is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a true daughter of the American Revolution, born August 28, 1774, just two years before the Declaration of Independence. By birth and marriage, she was linked to the first families of New York and enjoyed the fruits of high society. Reared a staunch Episcopalian, she learned the value of prayer, Scripture and a nightly examination of conscience. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, did not have much use for churches but was a great humanitarian, teaching his daughter to love and serve others.

The early deaths of her mother in 1777 and her baby sister in 1778 gave Elizabeth a feel for eternity and the temporariness of the pilgrim life on earth. Far from being brooding and sullen, she faced each new “holocaust,” as she put it, with hopeful cheerfulness.

At 19, Elizabeth was the belle of New York and married a handsome, wealthy businessman, William Magee Seton. They had five children before his business failed and he died of tuberculosis. At 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless, with five small children to support.

Elizabeth's deep concern for the spiritual welfare of her family and friends eventually led her into the Catholic Church.

In Italy, Elizabeth captivated everyone by her kindness, patience, good sense, wit, and courtesy. During this time Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic Faith and, over a period of months, her Italian friends guided her in Catholic instruction.

Elizabeth's desire for the Bread of Life was to be a strong force leading her to the Catholic Church.

While in Italy with her dying husband, Elizabeth witnessed Catholicity in action through family friends.

Three basic points led her to become a Catholic: belief in the Real Presence, devotion to the Blessed Mother and conviction that the Catholic Church led back to the apostles and to Christ.


Many of her family and friends rejected her when she became a Catholic in March 1805. To support her children, she opened a school in Baltimore. From the beginning, her group followed the lines of a religious community, which was officially founded in 1809.

The thousand or more letters of Mother Seton reveal the development of her spiritual life from ordinary goodness to heroic sanctity. She suffered great trials of sickness, misunderstanding, the death of loved ones (her husband and two young daughters) and the heartache of a wayward son. She died January 4, 1821, and became the first American-born citizen to be beatified (1963) and then canonized (1975). She is buried in Emmitsburg, Maryland.







The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
339 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727-9297


Songs of the season:

Angels We Have Heard on High

The Little Dummer Boy!  Alex Boye' 



*Daily meals & customary beverages for New Yorkers
"The seventeenth century brought the great prosperity, known as the 'Golden Age.' Both the East and West India Companies were founded in its first quarter...With more food available, consumption increased and the common eating pattern grew to four meals a day. Breakfast consisted of bread with butter or cheese; the noon meal, of a stew of meat and vegetables, or of fish, with fruit, cooked vegetables, honey cake, or raised pie. The afternoon meal of bread with butter or cheese was eaten a few hours later. Just before bedtime, leftovers from noon, or bread with butter or cheese or porridge were served. The Dutch were known for their love of sweets, sweet breads like honey cake or gingerbread, and confections like marzipan, candied almonds, or cinnamon bark, which were consumed in addition to the daily fare. Like their cheeses, the Dutch koek (honey cake), akin to ginger bread, was named for its city of origin...eastern Netherlands was already famous throughout the land. Waffles, wafers, olie-koecken (deep-fried balls of dough with raisins, apples, and almonds that became the forerunner of the donut), and pancakes were some of the celebratory foods both prepared at home and sold on the streets...Beer continued to be the common drink...In the latter half of the seventeenth century tea and coffee made a significant impact on meal patterns and social customs."
---Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art and Life, Donna R. Barnes & Peter G. Rose [Albany Institute of History and Art/Syracuse University Press] 2002 (p. 20-21)

Corn and Crab Bisque


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup minced onions

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup minced celery

  • 3 cups good-quality frozen sweet corn kernels

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 4 cups crab or fish stock plus more for thinning

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon liquid crab boil

  • 1 pound lump crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Chopped chives for garnish


  1. In a large sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat then add the onions, shallots, garlic and celery, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring as needed until softened. 

  2. Add the corn and cook 5 minutes longer. Season with spices then add the stock and bay leaves. Season with the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

  3. Bring the mixture to a boil then whisk in the milk, cream and crab boil.

  4. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes longer. Whisk in the roux, 1 tablespoon at a time. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, whisking until the mixture thickens.

  5. Stir in the crab meat and Worcestershire, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes longer.

  6. Adjust seasoning if necessary or thin with additional crab stock if desired.  Ladle into bowls, avoiding the bay leaves, and garnish with chives & bacon.

    Serve with a crusty wheat bread!

Blond Roux


  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)

  • 1 cup flour


In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and cook, whisking constantly, until the roux becomes fragrant yet does not take on much color.

Oly Koeken, Vet Ballen, Vet Bollen, Ole Bollen, Oliekoecken....aka Oil Balls

An Oliebol (plural Oliebollen) is a traditional Dutch food.

Oliebollen (literally oil balls) are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve and at fun fairs.

They are also called smoutebollen in Belgium.

Sometimes it is referenced in English as Dutch donut.

They are said to have been first eaten by Germanic tribes in the Netherlands during the Yule,

the period between December 26 and January 6. 

Oly Koeken (Fat Balls)​


  • 1 TBSP yeast

  • 2 cup lukewarm milk

  • 1 TBSP Honey

  • ½ cup dark beer

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 egg, beaten

  • 1/3 cup oil

  • 1½ cup raisins

  • 4 cups Honey Crisp apple
    - peeled, cored and finely chopped,
      cooked with sugar, a splash of rum & 2 TBSP corn starch

  • oil for deep-frying

  • confectioners' sugar for dusting



  1.  Warm the milk to 110F and add the yeast and 1 tbsp honey. Let stand for 10 min it should be foaming by now, If not then your yeast is not working. Try a new package. Sift the flour,  cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture, oil, beer and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth dough.

  2. Cover the bowl, and leave the dough in a warm place to rise until double in size.
    I like to use the top of the stove. This will take about 1-2 hours.

  3. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.
    Cover with cinnamon sugar. Cut into oliebollen. Add cook apples. (See the below pictures.)
    Let stand for about 60 minutes.

  4. In a large, sauce pan pour vegetable oil, until it is at least 3 inches
    (or about 5 centimeters) high and place on medium heat until oil is 375 degrees

  5. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, only a few at a time.
    Fry, turning once, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack.

  6. Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
    The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy.
    If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy.
    Drain finished doughnuts on a wire rack and dust with confectioners' sugar.
    Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners' sugar dusted over them.
    Eat them while warm.

    Serve with coffee or Hard apple cider.

    **Glaze (Add a glaze instead of powder sugar)

    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons milk (or more to desired consistency)

    Mix all ingredients together until desired consistency is acquired, adding more powdered sugar or milk if need be.


*Coffee became the American alternative to tea after the enactment of the Tea Act of 1773.

*Hard apple cider was by far the most common alcoholic beverage available to colonists. 

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