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December 23


Saint of the day:
Saint John of Kanty

Saint John of Kanty’s Story

John was a country lad who made good in the big city and the big university of Kraków, Poland. After brilliant studies he was ordained a priest and became a professor of theology. The inevitable opposition which saints encounter led to his being ousted by rivals and sent to be a parish priest at Olkusz. An extremely humble man, he did his best, but his best was not to the liking of his parishioners. Besides, he was afraid of the responsibilities of his position. But in the end he won his people’s hearts. After some time he returned to Kraków and taught Scripture for the remainder of his life.

He was a serious man, and humble, but known to all the poor of Kraków for his kindness. His goods and his money were always at their disposal, and time and again they took advantage of him. He kept only the money and clothes absolutely needed to support himself. He slept little, ate sparingly, and took no meat. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, hoping to be martyred by the Turks. He made four pilgrimages to Rome, carrying his luggage on his back. When he was warned to look after his health, he was quick to point out that, for all their austerity, the fathers of the desert lived remarkably long lives.



Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that by the example of St. John,
Thy Confessor we may make progress in the science of the Saints, and by showing mercy to others may obtain through his merits forgiveness from Thee.
Through our Lord.




Church of St Anne

św. Anny 11

30-962 Kraków, Poland

*St John of Kanty, a professor of theology and a parish priest, is buried in the right transept of this church.

In Polish his tomb is marked as (św. Jan z Kęt).


Songs of the season:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Jingle Bells


Kelley's RICOTTA COOKIES (Italian Christmas Cookies)


   2 c. Sugar 
   1/2 lb. Butter 

   2 Eggs 
   1 lb. (16 oz.) Ricotta Cheese (Full Fat)
   2 tsp. Vanilla 

   4 c. AP Flour

   1/2 tsp salt
   1 tsp. Baking Soda
   1 tsp. Baking Powder

Icing Mix
   1 1/2 c. Powder Sugar
   3 to 4 TBSP Milk*
   Mix until Smooth

   1. Pre-Heat Oven at 350°
   2. "Cream" together the butter & sugar. (light & white)
   3. Add eggs and mix.
   4. Add ricotta & vanilla and mix.
   5. Mix all dry ingredients and sift or whisk. 
   6. Add Dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients. 
   7. Drop dough balls onto a lined cookie sheet.
   8. Bake 350°F for 10-12 minutes.
**NOTE: Spread icing on cookies while still warm

(not hot) for best effect; also add a drop of food coloring for a little splash of color.**
****I Add 4 TBSP egg white powder, 1/4 c corn syrup, 3 cups powder sugar and 1/4c hot water to my icing and cook it over a water bath. Like a poured fondant icing (no milk for this cooked icing).
I like icing my cookies on a cooling rack so the cookies may drip dry and drip clean.  

Poppy seed cake (Makowiec)



  • 1 lb. poppy seeds

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup candied orange peel

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

  • 2 egg whites


  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

  • 1/4 cup warm water

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


To prepare the filling

  1. Put poppy seeds in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cool. Strain the poppy seeds through a fine strainer.

  2. Combine the poppy seeds, walnuts, and almonds in a blender or food processor and grind.

  3. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the poppy seed mixture and sugar to the skillet and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the egg, honey, orange peel, lemon peel, and raisins. Whip the egg whites until stiff and then folk into the poppy seed mixture. Let cool.

To make the dough

  1. Prime the yeast in the warm water. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the salt, and sugar, then mix in the yeast, eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon rind. Once the ingredients are mixed and can form a ball of dough, turn out onto a work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes (or use a stand mixer to knead for 5-8 minutes) until the dough is smooth and satiny.

  2. To make the rolls

  3. Divide the dough in two. Roll out each piece into a thin, roughly square shape.

  4. Spread half of the filling onto each piece and then roll the dough up, sealing the seam and ends as tightly as you can.

  5. Place each roll onto a baking sheet.

  6. Cover with a damp towel or place the baking sheets into plastic garbage bags and set aside to rise for approximately 90 minutes.

  7. Bake in the oven heated to 350⁰ F. for 30 to 35 minutes, until the exterior is golden brown.

  8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

  9. Once cool apply the glaze.



  • 6 egg, separated

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 pint heavy cream

  • 4 pints milk

  • 1/2 pint Bourbon

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  • Nutmeg



  1. In a bowl beat the egg yolks with the 1/2 cup of sugar until thick.

  2. In another bowl beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until thick.

  3. In a third bowl beat the cream until thick.

  4. Add the cream to the yolks, fold in the egg whites,
    and add the milk, Bourbon, vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired.

  5. Chill in freezer before serving.

  6. Serve eggnog in a large punch bowl.

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