Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of Poland, & Lithuania, Salt Miners
The Story of Saint Kinga of Poland
She was born in Esztergom, Kingdom of Hungary, the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina. She was a niece of Elizabeth of Hungary and great-niece of Saint Hedwig. Kinga's sisters were Saint Margaret of Hungary and blessed Jolenta of Poland. She reluctantly married Bolesław V ("the Chaste") and became princess when her husband ascended the throne as High Duke of Poland. Despite the marriage, the devout couple took up a vow of chastity. The marriage was largely arranged by and the vow of chastity patterned after that of Bolesław's sister, blessed Salomea of Poland.
During her reign Kinga got involved in charitable works such as visiting the poor and helping the lepers. When her husband died in 1279, she sold all her material possessions and gave the money to the poor. She soon did not want any part in governing the kingdom which was left to her and decided to become a Poor Clares nun in the monastery at Sandec (Stary Sącz). She would spend the rest of her life in contemplative prayer and did not allow anyone to refer to her past role as Grand Duchess of Poland. She died on 24 July 1292, aged 68.
who see that in our weakness we fail,
mercifully restore us to your love by the example of your Saints.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The Chapel of St. Kinga
Wieliczka Salt Mine
St. Kinga - Patron of Salt Miners
Kinga (Kunegunda) was a daughter of Hungarian King Bela IV and niece of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She married King Boleslaus V of Poland at sixteen.
According to the legend, when Polish king sent his envoys to take princess Kinga to Poland to marry a Polish king, her father wanted to show a royal generosity by giving gold and silver from his treasury to the Poles. Kinga asked him to give a salt instead, since Poles did have gold and silver but they did not have much needed salr. The king let Kinga to take as much Hungarian salt as she wanted, but Kinda had a premonition and she just dropped her engagement ring to the mine before going to Poland.
After Kinga's wedding in Krakow she went for a trip to a nearby town of Wieliczka and she ordered to dig a well. People who dig the well had to stop because they encountered a hard stone. She then ordered to lift up a chunk of the stone - it was a pure salt with Kinga's ring inside. In the place where Kinga asked to dig a well - huge deposits of pure salt were found. Therefore she became a patron of salt-miners.
Boleslaw, Kinga's husband had a nickname "Bashful" (in Polish: Wstydliwy) because he was very peaceful and shy. It is even rumored that his marriage with Kinga was never consummated. After her husband's death in 1279 Kinga became a nun in Franciscan tertiary, later he established the new noon order (Poor Clare and built a monastery for her nuns. Kinga founded many churches and hospitals, she ransomed Christians captured by the Turks, and served the poor and ill. Her cult was confirmed in 1690 (then she became a blessed Kinga). The feast day devoted to Kinga is celebrated on July 24. She attainted officially the sainthood in 1999 by John Paul II, Polish pope.
St. Kinga's Ring | The legends of Wieliczka
In Poland there is an ancient and protected forest, and in parts of this forest there are free-roaming bison. In this forest also grows a sweet grass that the bison are said to munch on. It is called, not surprisingly, bison grass.
For the last 500 years or so, Polish people have been using this grass to flavor vodka. It is called bison grass vodka. In Polish it is known as Zubrowka.
In the US, however, the Zubrowka brand is known as ZU. Although it comes from the same manufacturers and tastes nearly the same, the recipe is different in order to avoid a naturally-occurring chemical from the bison grass that is prohibited as a food additive in the States. The signature of this brand is the blade of (chemically-neutral) bison grass in each bottle.
ZU and Zubrowka taste of jasmine and caramel and hay, and when they are added to apple juice the drink tastes like apple pie. Not surprisingly, the drink is known as Szarlotka, meaning “apple pie.” Sometimes you’ll see the drink called the Polish Kiss or the Frisky Bison.
No matter what you call it, it’s a simple two-ingredient drink that’s easy as pie to make.
1.5 fl. oz. ZU bison grass vodka
5 fl. oz. (to taste) apple juice (unfiltered apple juice is best)
Add ingredients to an ice-filled highball glass and enjoy.
Also today is National Tequila Day!
Mexicans like to celebrate Tequila Day, and so do lots of others!
But let’s face it, we all know tequila is synonymous with margarita, so let’s take a look at this frozen favorite.
There is no definitive answer as to who really invented this drink, but interesting stories abound. One of the earliest stories tells of a wealthy Dallas socialite inventing the drink at a Christmas party in Acapulco in 1948. Tommy Hilton of the Hilton Hotel chain reportedly attended the party, and took the recipe home to serve at his hotels. Another suggests that it is merely based on an American drink called the Daisy, which was made with brandy instead of tequila. The Spanish word for “Daisy” is “Margarita”; hence the name.
In any case, this popular drink, made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, plus the trademark salt rim, will bring a touch of the tropics to any get-together.