Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of school; tests; books; reading; convulsive children;
nuns; invoked against storms and rain; Le Mans
Saint Scholastica's Story
St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode in the neighborhood at Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns, about five miles from that of St. Benedict, who, it appears, also directed his sister and her nuns. She visited her brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went in company with some of his brethren to meet her at a house some distance away. These visits were spent in conferring together on spiritual matters. On one occasion they had passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation and in the evening they sat down to take their reflection. St. Scholastica begged her brother to remain until the next day. St. Benedict refused to spend the night outside his monastery. She had recourse to prayer and a furious thunderstorm burst so that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could return home. They spent the night in spiritual conferences. The next morning they parted to meet no more on earth. Three days later St. Scholastica died, and her holy brother beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. She died about the year 543, and St. Benedict followed her soon after. Her feast day is February 10th.
Abbazia di Montecassino (Abbey of Monte Cassino)
03043 Cassino, Italy
*The remains of St Benedict and St Scholastica are said to rest under the main altar of the church at this monastery. Following the tragic destruction of this church during World War II the relics were exhumed and analyzed. This study, conducted in 1950, did not produce conclusive evidence to either confirm or deny the authenticity of these relics.
The tomb of St. Benedict & St. Scholasticaat Monte Cassino
Every day thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all around the world come to this threshold. They silently go through the cloisters and then up the big ramp to the Basilica at Saint Benedict and Scholastica's grave. Then the Crypt is there beneath to be revealed with the astonishing golden mosaics. But it is in the museum where finally visitors can see the magnificent paintings, the wonderful manuscripts and ancient books. They can go through the history of the Abbey from the very beginning till today and grasp why
Montecassino Abbey is known as the Lighthouse of Western Civilization.
Story of the Day!
BRASATO IN BIANCO
Brasato simply means braised.
“In Bianco” almost always reflects that the dish is prepared without tomatoes, most commonly in a white wine sauce such as this one. Braising the meat as I do in this recipe creates meat so tender it literally falls off of the bones. In Umbria a dish of braised meats such as this one would be served with a wedge or two of the traditional Umbrian griddle bread, called Torta al Testo to sop up the delicious juices, but it would be equally tasty served with soft polenta or even with garlic mashed potatoes.
YIELD: SERVES 4 - 6
COOK TIME: 3 HRS
Slowly braised meat becomes so tender it falls off the bone.
2 to 2 1/2 Pounds Meat Of Choice Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces ~
(I used A Veal Steak Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces, And A Slab Of Pork Ribs
With The Ribs Cut Individually)
1 Carrot, Peeled And Diced
1 Celery Stalk, Diced
1 Small Onion, Peeled And Diced
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
2 Cups Hot Homemade Chicken Broth (Plus Additional If Needed)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
Cracked Black Pepper
Chopped Fresh Parsley
In a large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and brown all of
the meat pieces until golden brown on all sides.
Remove to a plate and add the vegetables.
Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften.
Add the wine, stirring all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Return the meat to the pan and continue to cook until the wine is reduced by half.
Add the broth, and fresh herbs and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook, covered, for 2 hours turning the meat over every so often.
Remove the cover and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes or so until the meat is very tender.
If needed, additional broth can be added. Season with salt and pepper and serve as desired.
Note: Most of the time the sauce thickens enough not to need any additional thickener added, but if you want a thicker “gravy” you can simply whisk into the juices a tablespoon or so of flour mixed first with a tablespoon of softened butter.