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January 11 

Saint of the day:

 Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch

Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch's Story

Theodosius was born in Mogariassus, Asia Minor in 423. From a pious family, he began his studies at an early age, and became a lector while still a youth. As a young man, he set out on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. People say he was inspired by Abraham's journey of faith recorded in the Bible's book of Genesis.


Here he met Saint Simeon Stylites in Antioch; Simeon recognized him as a holy man and leader, and invited Theodosius onto his pillar for prayer, blessing, and advice so they travelled to Jerusalem. Having satisfied his devotion in visiting the holy places in Jerusalem, he began to consider in what manner he should dedicate himself to God in a religious state. The dangers of living without a guide made him prefer a monastery to a hermitage.


After a while, he became a hermit in the desert of Judah, living in a cave. But word of his holiness began to attract disciples, and Theodosius decided to build a monastery at Cathismus, near Bethlehem to house them. Before long, it was filled with monks from Greece, Armenia, Arabia, Persia and the Slavic countries. Eventually, it grew into a "little city." One building was for sick people, one for the elderly and one for the poor and homeless, but they all happily worked and prayed together. Friend of and co-worker with Saint Sabbas. Appointed visitor to all cenobitical communities of Palestine the patriarch of Jerusalem.


Theodosius was always generous. He fed an endless stream of poor people. Sometimes it seemed like there would not be enough food for the monks, but Theodosius had great trust in God. He never turned travelers away, even when food was scarce. The monastery was a very peaceful place. The monks lived in silence and prayer. It was going so well that the patriarch of Jerusalem appointed Theodosius head of all the monks in the east.


He opposed heresies, including Eutychianism and Monophysitism. Emperor Anastatius, a supporter of Eutychianism, sent Theodosius a large bribe, hoping to sway the influential monk to his thinking; Theodosius distributed the money to the poor, and continued to preach against heresy. Because of his orthodox views, Anastatius removed him from his position in 513, but he soon resumed his duties under emperor Justinian.


The Legend:

There is a legend from the ancient fathers that St Theodosius's cave was the same cave the three Magi spent the night after they had worshiped the Lord.  While dwelling in the cave Theodosius performed great feats of asceticism. He prayed at all times and he even suspended a rope

that it might prop him up in case sleep overcame.



Celebrate at his Monastery in the desert of Judea.



Turkish Coffee & Turkish Delight

Turkish Coffee

Makes 2 turkish coffee cups

  • 3cups (Turkish coffee cup-sized cups) of cold filtered water

  • 2 1/2tablespoons ground Turkish coffee

  • Sugar, as desired


  1. Place the sugar (if desired), water, and Turkish coffee in metal Turkish coffee pot (cezve). (If one or more of the guests prefers no sugar, however, prepare and pour that cup first. After returning the coffee pot to the heat, then begin the sugar additions to suit the remaining guests.)

  2. Using a small spoon, stir briefly until just combined and place pot on stovetop.

  3. Slowly bring coffee mixture to a boil over medium heat. This will take 3 to 4 minutes, so keep a close watch.

  4. As the coffee warms, you will see a dark foam building up. When the mixture is close to coming to a boil, use teaspoon to transfer some of the foam into each of your two Turkish coffee cups. Return coffee pot to stovetop.

  5. As the coffee comes to a boil, pour half of the coffee into the cups, over the foam.

  6. Return coffee pot to stovetop and boil the remaining coffee for an additional 15 to 20 seconds and pour the rest into the coffee cups to the rim.

  7. Turkish coffee is always served with water: A sip of water will allow the person to clear his or her palate before drinking coffee, making for the best enjoyment. Additionally, most people serve the coffee with a small, sweet treat like Turkish delights, chocolate, or candy.

  8. When serving coffee, it's important to start with the eldest guest in the room as a sign of respect, and it's considered discourteous not to do so.
    Since Turkish coffee is much denser than filtered coffee, it's not customary to drink more than one cup.


Turkish Delight

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/8 tsp. citric acid or lemon juice or cream of tartar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 5/8 cup cornstarch

  • Rose flavor to taste- rose water, syrup, or oil

  • Red coloring (optional)

  • extra cornstarch for dusting



1. Prepare your molds. I used silicone molds greased with coconut oil.
    If you don't have silicone pans, line other pans with greased wax or parchment paper.

    (The final candy will be sticky, and that will help with the unmolding process.)

2. Begin by mixing together the first 3 ingredients (sugar, 3/4 c. water, and citric acid)

    in a heavy bottom pan, and bring to a slight boil before lowering the heat.

3. Heat, without needing to stir, over low to medium heat until you reach 260ºF.

    You can occasionally use a spatula to wipe down any sugar crystals from the side of the pan throughout this process.

4. Meanwhile, mix together the solution of cornstarch and water.

5. When the sugar syrup has reached the right temperature, temporarily take it off the heat source

    and ladle in a bit of the sugar syrup into the cornstarch mixture to warm it.

6. Slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the sugar syrup while continuously stirring them together.

7. Once all of the cornstarch solution has been completely incorporated, begin to stir the mixture over low heat.

    You will notice that the mixture should get quite thick almost immediately.

8. Despite the fact that the mixture is quite thick, you will want to reduce and thicken it even more before adding in your flavorings.
    I found it was best to keep the mixture over a low heat so that the sugar wouldn't caramelize on the bottom, affecting the flavor of the final product.

9. As you heat and stir, you should notice that the gel becomes quite transparent. It will also reduce slightly in volume.

10. To determine the point when you should add your flavoring, test the consistency of your candy by dipping a spoon into the gel,
      and then dipping the gel covered spoon into a glass of ice water. As the candy cools, you can judge the consistency and stop when you are happy 

      with it. The longer you cook the candy at this stage, the chewier it will become and the more it will hold its shape at room temperature.

11. Add in your flavorings and colorings. I wanted a strong rose flavor like the one in the turkish delight I bought in Turkey so I used a combination of

      2 Tbsp. rose water, and 2 Tbsp. rose syrup. (In the first trials, I used only rose water, and it seemed to be enough for the softer versions of the candy.

      As you heat it more, though, the flavor gets more subtle, so I needed to add more flavor to compensate for that.
      You can check the flavor when you check the texture in ice water.)

12. Once you've incorporated all of your flavorings, check the texture once more to make sure that the addition of any new liquids hasn't affected the 

      consistency of your candy too much. If necessary, slightly mix and warm your mixture a little longer at very low heat to help evaporate a little water,         but be careful and take into account that doing this for too long can alter and diminish the flavorings you have added.

13. When you are happy with your result, pour the mixture into your prepared molds and spread it out as best you can with a spatula.
      It should be very thick and sticky.

14. Let cool for several hours.

15. Cut into small squares, using cornstarch to keep the candies from sticking to one another. All of the recipes I found online either used powdered 

      sugar or a combination of powdered sugar and cornstarch for dusting the candies, preventing them from sticking to one another. The turkish delight I

      bought in turkey was only dusted with cornstarch and wasn't dusted with sugar, something I find to be unnecessary as the turkish delight is already

      very sweet. If you do choose to use powdered sugar for dusting, keep in mind that the candy may sweat and the sugar coating may end up "melting"          off of the candy so you may have to add in more cornstarch or reapply the coating before serving your candy.


Often called "Turkish Pizza," Pide is a boat-shaped flatbread served with a variety of toppings, often minced meat or spinach and cheese.


Spinach Pide
(*Very similar to Georgian Khachapuri)



For the dough


  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

  • 1 tsp caster sugar

  • 300g 00-grade durum wheat flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

  • 100ml ice-cold water


For the topping


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 200g baby spinach

  • ½ tsp ground cumin

  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 280g grated Cheddar cheese

  • Sea salt


  1. Put the yeast and sugar in a small bowl and add 2 tbsp of lukewarm water.

  2. Stir and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture begins to froth.

  3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the salt.

  4. Pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. Start to combine with your hands, while slowly pouring in the cold water.

  5. Continue until all the water is incorporated and the dough starts to stick together.

  6. If needed, add a few extra tablespoons of water to help the dough combine.

  7. Tip the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 5-6 minutes until shiny and stretchy.

  8. Place into an oiled mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 30 minutes to rise.

  9. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

  10. Halve the dough, putting one batch aside to use at a later date (it freezes well).

  11. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Use your hands to form each piece into an oval shape.

  12. Dust both sides with flour and roll out into a large boat shape.

  13. The dough should be really thin – you should be able to just about see the board through the dough.

  14. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Put on the prepared baking sheet.

  15. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden.

  16. Add the spinach and fry for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Add the cumin, black pepper and a good pinch of salt.

  17. Mix well, remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.

  18. Arrange the spinach down the middle of each pide, leaving a 2cm gap around the edges.

  19. Scatter over the cheese. Fold the edges in on themselves all around the pide, so that you have a 1cm border.

  20. Starting at one end and using your thumb and forefinger, squeeze the pastry border together so that it crimps and stands up a little.

  21. Do this all the way around and squeeze the two ends together. You should end up with a boat shape.

  22. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the two pointy edges have slightly curled up and the sides are golden. Serve immediately.

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