Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of England
St. George's Story
It is uncertain when Saint George was born and historians continue to debate to this day. However, his death date is estimated to be April 23 303 A.D.
The first piece of evidence of George's existance appeared within the works of the Bollandists Daniel Papebroch, Jean Bolland, and Godfrey Henschen's Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca. George was one of several names listed in the historical text, and Pope Gelasius claimed George was one of the saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men,
but whose actions are known only to God."
George was born to a Gerontios and Polychronia, a Roman officer and a Greek native of Lydda. Both were Christians from noble families of the Anici and George, Georgios in the original Greek, was raised to follow their faith.
When George was old enough, he was welcomed into Diocletian's army. by his late 20's,
George became a Tribunus and served as an imperial guard for the Emperor at Nicomedia.
On February 24, 303 A.D., Diocletian, who hated Christians, announced that every Christian the army passed would be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods.
George refused to abide by the order and told Diocletian, who was angry but greatly valued his friendship with George's father.
When George announced his beliefs before his peers, Diocletian was unable to keep the news to himself.
In an effort to save George, Diocletian attempted to convert him to believe in the Roman gods, offered him land, money and slaves in exchange for offering a sacrifice to the Roman gods, and made several other offers that George refused.
Finally, after exhausting all other options, Diocletian ordered George's execution. In preparation for his death, George gave his money to the poor and was sent for several torture sessions.
He was lacerated on a wheel of swords and required resuscitation three times, but still George did not turn from God.
On April 23, 303 A.D., George was decapitated before Nicomedia's outer wall. His body was sent to Lydda for burial, and other Christians went to honor George as a martyr.
Saint George and the Dragon
There are several stories about George fighting dragons, but in the Western version, a dragon or crocodile made its nest at a spring that provided water to Silene, believed to be modern-day Lcyrene in Libya.
The people were unable to collect water and so attempted to remove the dragon from its nest on several ocassions. It would temporarily leave its nest when they offered it a sheep each day, until the sheep disappeared and the people were distraught.
This was when they decided that a maiden would be just as effective as sending a sheep. The townspeople chose the victim by drawing straws. This continued until one day the princess' straw was drawn.
The monarch begged for her to be spared but the people would not have it. She was offered to the dragon, but before she could be devoured, George appeared. He faced the dragon, protected himself with the sign of the Cross, and slayed the dragon.
After saving the town, the citizens abandoned their paganism and were all converted to Christianity.
Saint George stands out among other saints and legends because he is known and revered by both Muslims and Christians.
It is said Saint George killed the dragon near the sea in Beirut, thus Saint George bay was named in his honor.
Saint George's feast day is celebrated on April 23, but if it falls before Easter, it is celebrated Easter Monday.
The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates three St. George feast days each year -April 23 as is expected, November 3, to commemorate the consecration of a cathedral dedicated to him in Lydda, and on November 26, for when a church in Kiev was dedicated to him.
In Bulgaria, his feast day is celebrated May 6 with the slaughter and roasting of a lamb.
In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria calls St. George the "Prince of Martyrs" and celebrates on May 1. There is a second celebration November 17, in honor of the first church dedicated to him.
Saint George is the patron saint of England and Catalonia and his cross can be found throughout England.
In older works, Saint George is depicted wearing armor and holding a lance or fighting a dragon, which represents Christ's enemies.
The Church of the Holy Great Martyr George from Lodd, Lydda
St George's Day used to be a national holiday in England.
It is now an observance that is celebrated with parades, dancing and other activities.
Flags with the image of St George's cross are flown on some buildings, especially pubs, and a few people wear a red rose on their lapel.
Church services on the Sunday closest to April 23 often include the hymn 'Jerusalem', written by the poet William Blake.
The words describe a supposed visit to Glastonbury, England, by Jesus Christ during his youth.
The hymn 'Jerusalem' written by the poet William Blake
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g beef mince
1 small potato, peeled, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cornflour
1/3 cup Massel beef stock
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
5 sheets ready-rolled frozen shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until soft. Increase heat to high. Add garlic and mince. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Add potato and carrot. Cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
Combine cornflour and 2 tablespoons stock in a small bowl. Add to pan with remaining stock, worcestershire and tomato sauce. Bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut four 12cm (diameter) rounds from each pastry sheet. Spoon 1 tablespoon mince mixture onto each round. Brush edges with egg. Bring pastry edges together to form a semi-circle. Pinch edges to seal and form frills.
Place pasties on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Brush with egg and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool
**Pastry Recipe instead of ready-rolled frozen shortcrust
600g plain flour
150g chilled butter or margarine, cubed
150g chilled lard, cubed
Good pinch of salt
Good pinch of sugar
To make the pastry Season the flour and sift into a large bowl. Add the lard, butter or margarine and using your fingers work into the flour until it forms the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with cold water, a tablespoonful at a time, and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Gently knead the dough on a floured work surface, then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
St. George's Day is marked as Bravery Day and The Day of The Bulgarian Army.
In Bulgaria St. George is the patron of spring verdure
and fertility, and of shepherds and farmers.
A common ritual is to cook and eat a whole lamb.
Special place on the table is attributed to the ritual Gergyovden bread.
All sorts of bread are made for the feast -
the cross bread, the shepherd's bread,
the large ring-bread, as well as small ones,
or the special ring-shaped bun baked by the young wife in the house.
Saint George's Day
On May 6th the Orthodox world celebrates the day of Saint Georgi the victor,
patron of shepherds and flocks, After Easter, St. George’s Day is considered to be the largest celebration of the spring.
In Bulgaria St. George is the patron of spring verdure and fertility & of shepherds and farmers.
His Day, May 6, is believed to bring in summer and the new farming cycle.
In Serbia Slavski Kolac (a special slava bread), zito, also known as koljivo (boiled wheat with honey and walnuts)
and red wine are served, the table is dressed with a special beeswax candle.
Big Leaf Snail Bread
Veliki lisnati puž
This recipe was translated from a Bosnian Recipe...
Today I present to you a beautiful "leafy" bread, with cheese and butter, in the shape of a snail. This bread is to be pulled apart and not cut while it is warm.
It's will surely delight kids and adults!
This recipe could be doubled
4.5 c (+ 4 oz) AP flour
1 tbsp powder for baking
1 dice (40 gr) of fresh yeast
7 oz of milk
7 oz of yogurt
7 oz of water
3 oz of oil
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
7 oz butter
7 oz cream cheese (or some other lubricant)
1 teaspoon of salt
Topping: yolks, 4-5 tablespoons of oil, sesame
It is preferable that all the ingredients are room temperature.
1. In 7 oz of warm milk, put a teaspoon of sugar, spoon a flour and mash yeast, stir and leave in a warm place to activate. (Bloom)
2. Mix flour, baking powder & salt in a mixing bowl.
Add yogurt, water, oil, and the activated yeast to the flour mixture.
Mix the dough softly.
Cover the dough with a cloth and leave it in a warm place, preferably in the closed oven to rise for half an hour.
3. With softened butter and cream cheese mix together. This has to be soft so it can spread on the dough easily.
4. Roll out the dough onto a thickness of half a finger (about 60x40 cm). Sharpen the ends if they are uneven.
5. Spread or cover the butter-cheese mixture over the whole surface of the dough.
6. Then cut the dough in strips, eight strips of about 7 cm wide.
7. Place the parchment paper in the baking pan. Insert one tape (strips) and place it on the center of the pillow. (Start forming the dough shape)
8. Then take the tape around the tape and lean it in the order, at the end of the previous tape (that is, only the first roll is trapped, then only the tape is transferred and the "nice" in the circle). It's a bit greasy and messy, but nothing can be seen when it's being baked;)
9. Brush the snail with a yolk mixed with a little oil, sprinkle with sesame and put in an oven to bake until it rinses, at 350 degrees (it is best to adjust the time and temperature of the baking to your oven).
**A different version of this recipe
Ingredients and preparations:
1, 200 gr. (5.25 cups) flour ( can be consumed and more, depends on the flour used )
40 gr. fresh yeast ( or one and a half dry bulk )
2 dcl. ( 7 oz) milk
2 dcl. (7 oz) yogurt
1 dcl. (3.5 oz)water
2 dcl. (7 oz) oil
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
All liquid ingredients should be lukewarm, yogurt and oil at room temperature.
250 gr. (9 oz) margarine ( tableware, for cakes and pastries )
1 egg ( for coating )
250 gr. (9 oz) Spice cheese ( I mixed some cream cheese, feta and cream )