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October 9

Saint of the day:

Saint Denis

Patron Saint of headaches, hydrophobia, against frenzy, strife, possessed people, Paris, France.

Saint Denis and Companions’ Story

The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around 258 A.D. comes in the sixth century in the writings of Saint Gregory of Tours.

Denis (or Dionysius as he is also called) is the most famous of the three. Born and raised in Italy, he was sent as a missionary to Gaul (now France) circa 250 A.D. by Pope St. Clement along with five other bishops.

Denis made his base of missionary activity an island in the Seine near the city of Lutetia Parisorium -- what would become Paris. For this reason he is know as the first bishop of Paris and the Apostle of France. There he was captured by the Parisians along with Rusticus and Eleutherius. Later writers have referred to these as Denis' priest and deacon, or his deacon and subdeacon, but we have no further information on them.

After a long imprisonment and several aborted executions, the three martyrs were beheaded with a sword and their bodies were thrown into the river. Denis' body was retrieved from the Seine by his converts and buried. The chapel that was built over his tomb grew into the abbey of Saint-Denis.

In the ninth century, Denis' story and identity became fused and confused with Dionysius the Areopagite and Pseudo-Dionysius, but later scholarship has re-established his identity as a separate saint.

Denis is pictured as he was martyred -- headless (with a vine growing over the neck) and carrying his own mitred head.

Recognized since the time of St. Gregory as a special saint of Paris, Denis is the patron saint of France.






Basilica of St Denis
Saint-Denis, France




Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin


  • 1 sugar pumpkin, about 2-3 pounds

  • canola or olive oil

  • salt and pepper

  • 3-4 slices (about 1/4 pound) stale bread, torn into chunks

  • 1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated or chunked cheese, such as Gruyère,
    Emmenthal, aged cheddar, or a combination

  • 2–4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme (optional)

  • 1/3 cup (ish) half & half or whipping cream

  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the top off the sugar pumpkin, like you would if you were carving a Jack-o-lantern, and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the inside with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put it on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and put it into the oven while you prepare the stuffing.

  2. In a bowl, toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, thyme, half & half, some salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove the pumpkin from the oven (if you put it in) and stuff the bread mixture into it, letting it overflow a bit, drizzling any cream in the bottom of the bowl over top. Put the lid on and put the pumpkin back into the oven for about an hour.

  3. Remove the lid and bake for another half hour, until the pumpkin is soft and slumped over, and the top is golden and crispy. To serve, scoop out the soft pumpkin with the filling.



Pumpkin & Caramelized Onion Galette


for the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen (use vegetable shortening for vegan option)

  • 1/4 cup ice water (plus 1 or 2 tablespoons more, depending)

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage


for the filling

  • 1 pound kabocha pumpkin (about half of a small one), sliced

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1–2 tablespoons butter (use olive oil for vegan option)

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped sage

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 3–4 tablespoons aged or fresh goat cheese (optional remove if vegan)

  • 1 egg or a splash of cream for the crust (optional remove if vegan)



To make the galette crust

  1. Remove the butter from the freezer and let it thaw briefly while you prepare the dry ingredients.

  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and chopped sage. Using the coarsest holes on a box grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour, then mix gently with your fingers to incorporate it into the flour until no clumps larger than peas remain. Sprinkle three tablespoons of the ice water evenly over the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. When the mixture holds together when squeezed, it has enough moisture — if it won’t hold, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until it does.

  3. Knead gently a few times to gather it into a dough, then wrap it into a disk in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour and up to a day ahead. For longer than a day in advance, freeze the dough.


For the kabocha pumpkin

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices —a sharp mandolin is best for this, though be very careful when using. You can keep the skin on. Toss pieces with olive oil and about half the salt, then place in a single layer on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes or until pieces are tender. Set aside to cool slightly.

  2. For the onions: While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Lay the onion slices in a single layer (they can overlap slightly), then cook over low heat, stirring once every 10 minutes or so, until soft and brown. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the minced garlic, sage, and balsamic vinegar. Let cool briefly.

  3. To bake: Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Roll the galette dough out to a 12-inch circle between two pieces of parchment paper, or on a Silpat underneath parchment paper. Peel off the top piece of parchment paper, then line the galette with pumpkin slices, caramelized onions, and goat cheese, leaving a 1 to 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the edges over the filling, pleating as desired. If you like, brush a bit of beaten egg or heavy cream over the crust for a more golden crust (optional).

  4. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool briefly, then enjoy!



Caramelized Turnips and Apples with Thyme
High-heat roasting caramelizes apple and turnip wedges, turning them into the perfect side dish for fall or winter meals.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme

  • 1 pound turnips (3 medium turnips)

  • 1 pound apples (2 large apples)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Adjust oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 450 ºF. Line a sheet pan with parchment.

  2. Add the olive oil, garlic, and thyme to a medium bowl.

  3. Peel and trim the turnips, and cut each into chunky wedges. Halve, core and slice the apple into wedges about the same size as the turnip wedges. Add the turnip and apple to the bowl with the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, and toss everything together very well so the turnips and apples are evenly coated with oil and seasoning.

  4. Tip the turnip, apple, and any residual oil onto the sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 25-35 minutes, or until the turnips are tender throughout, and nicely caramelized and brown. After 15 minutes, check the wedges and flip any that are already deeply brown on the bottom.

  5. Remove from oven and serve right away. 

Note:  Used here were Fuji apples, which are lovely and roasted sweet, soft wedges which still held together. For a firmer roasted apple, use a Granny Smith apple.



Make jack o lanterns!

The Tale Of Stingy Jack

The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow's Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits.

The Tale of Stingy Jack and the Jack O' Lantern

Jack O'Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. Many of the stories, center round Stingy Jack. Here's the most popular story:

Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who took pleasure in playing tricks on just about everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. After the Devil climbed up the tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. Unable to touch a cross, the Devil was stuck in the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses, and the Devil climbed down out of the apple tree.

Many years later, Jack died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was mean and cruel, and had led a miserable, worthless life on earth. Stingy Jack was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack was scared . He had nowhere to go, but to wander about forever in the dark Netherworld between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave, as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell, to help Stingy Jack light his way. Jack had a Turnip with him. It was one of his favorite foods, and he always carried one with him. Jack hollowed out the Turnip, and placed the ember the Devil had given him, inside the turnip. From that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his "Jack O'Lantern".

On all Hallow's eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O'Lanterns. In the 1800's a couple of waves of Irish immigrants came to America. The Irish immigrants quickly discovered that Pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve out. So they used pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns.

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