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September 25

Saint of the day:

Saint Finbarr of Cork

Patron Saint of Cork, Diocese of Cork (Ireland)

Saint Finnbarr's Story

He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the Irish royal court. Born in Connaught, Ireland, and baptized Lochan, he was educated at Kilmacahil, Kilkenny, where the monks named him Fionnbharr (white head) because of his light hair; he is also known as Bairre and Barr. He went on pilgrimage to Rome with some of the monks, visiting St. David in Wales on the way back. Supposedly, on another visit to Rome the Pope wanted to consecrate him a bishop but was deterred by a vision, notifying the pope that God had reserved that honor to Himself, and Finbar was consecrated from heaven and then returned to Ireland. At any rate, he may have preached in Scotland, definitely did in southern Ireland, lived as a hermit on a small island at Lough Eiroe, and then, on the river Lee, founded a monastery that developed into the city of Cork, of which he was the first bishop. His monastery became famous in southern Ireland and attracted numerous disciples. Many extravagant miracles are attributed to him, and supposedly, the sun did not set for two weeks after he died at Cloyne about the year 633. His feast day is September 25th.







Saint Fin Barre's at Gougane Barra (Ireland)




Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral

Bishop Street, Cork, T12 K710



Mussels in Cream Sauce and Curry


  • a pinch of saffron

  • 2 lbs mussels

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped

  • 3/4 tsp yellow curry powder

  • 2 tbsps brandy

  • 2 tsp all purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine like Chardonnay

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

  • baguette or a crusty bread for serving


  1. Put saffron in a cup and add ¼ cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 30 minutes.

  2. Clean the mussels with several washes of very cold water, removing any beards and barnacles.

  3. Tap each mussel against the sink as you clean and discard any that remain open and don’t close.

  4. Over medium heat, melt the butter and gently saute the shallot until soft, for about 5 minutes.

  5. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for another 2 minutes to release the curry’s fragrance.

  6. Add the brandy and let it boil until it has reduced to a couple of tablespoons.

  7. Reduce the heat and stir in the flour, mixing well until everything is smooth.

  8. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the saffron and its water while stirring. Set aside.

  9. In a separate large saucepan, place the wine and mussels and cover the lid. Cook the mussels over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until the mussels have opened.

  10. Strain the mussels over a large strainer and collect their juice in a bowl. Discard any mussels that didn’t open and put the rest back in the saucepan and cover to keep warm.

  11. Strain the mussel juice through a sieve lined with muslin to get rid of any sand or grit.  

  12. Reheat the saffron sauce over medium heat. Add the mussel juice and stir to combine.

  13. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for another 5 minutes until it has reduced and the sauce is a little thick.  

  14. Season with sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the parsley.

  15. Put the mussels in a large serving bowl, pour over the sauce, and serve immediately with a fresh loaf of baguette. 

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