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February 13

Saint of the day:

Saint Ermenilda of Ely

The Story of Ermenilda of Ely

Saint Eormenhild (or Ermenilda, Ermenildis, Ermengild) (d. about 700/703) is a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon saint venerated in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.


She features in the genealogies of various 11th and 12th century versions of the Kentish Royal Legend. These describe her as the daughter of King Eorcenberht of Kent and St. Seaxburh of Ely, and wife to Wulfhere of Mercia, with whom she had a daughter, St. Wærburh, and a son, Coenred. Eormenhild became a nun after her husband died in 675, and eventually became abbess of Minster-in-Sheppey and Ely consecutively.

There are almost no contemporary records for her life. When discussing Wulfhere, Bede mentions neither she nor her daughter Wærburh. However, her name is mentioned as an abbess in a (copy of a) charter of King Wihtred of Kent, dated 699, along with three other abbesses present at the occasion when the charter was issued: "Irminburga, Aeaba et Nerienda"

*February 13th is the feast of Saint Ermenilda of Ely: Anglo-Saxon princess of Kent, Queen Consort of Mercia, mother of Saint Werburga of Chester and King Cœnred of Mercia, widow, Benedictine nun, and Abbess of Minster-in-Sheppey and Ely, where she died on this day in 703 AD.






Cambridgeshire, England

 Ely Cathedral

St Etheldreda's chapel

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Barnsley Lamb Chop with Spring Green Salsa


Barnsley chops are basically a double loin chop, often referred to as a saddle chop as they’re cut across the saddle of the lamb to include the fillet as well. You can find them at a butcher’s – but using ordinary chops is fine, too.

Serves 4


  • 150ml (5fl oz) olive oil

  • 200ml (7fl oz) white wine

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 sprig of rosemary

  • 1tbsp salt

  • 2 black peppercorns, crushed

  • 4 thick Barnsley chops

For the spring green salsa

  • 1 spring green leaf, roughly chopped

  • 25g (1oz) pitted black olives

  • 2 anchovies in oil, drained and chopped

  • 1tsp chopped fresh parsley

  • Finely grated zest of ½ a lemon

  • 15-25g (½-1oz) finely grated

Parmesan cheese

  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 2tbsp oil for frying

  • A large knob of butter (about 1tbsp)


  1. Place 100ml (3½fl oz) of the olive oil with the wine, garlic, rosemary, salt and crushed peppercorns into a saucepan and heat gently to infuse the flavours. Allow to cool. 

  2. Arrange the lamb chops in a ceramic dish large enough to lay them in a single layer. Pour over the cooled marinade and turn the lamb to coat. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or longer if you have time.

  3. To make the salsa, bring a pan of lightly salted boiling water up to the boil, drop in the chopped spring greens and cook for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place immediately into a bowl of iced water.

  4. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place onto a chopping board with the olives and anchovies and chop roughly – you will end up with a coarse, salsa-like texture. Place this into a bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil, parsley, lemon zest, Parmesan and cayenne. Season to taste.

  5. Heat the 2tbsp of oil in a large frying pan, remove the chops from the marinade, pat dry with kitchen paper and season with a little salt. Carefully lay the chops into the pan on their edges to render down the fat or rind. This will take about three minutes.

  6. Turn the chops using tongs to make sure all the fat is browned and rendered down. Then lay the chops in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until browned. Add the large knob of butter to the pan and once it’s melted spoon it over the meat until glazed. 

  7. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for 6 minutes. Serve with the salsa spooned over.

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