Saints, Feast, Family
- Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring -
Saint of the day:
Saint Cosman & Saint Damian
Patron Saints of surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists,
veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.
Saints Cosmas and Damian’s Story
Little is known of the lives of these two saints except that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. Being prominent practitioners of medicine, it would have been hard for them to have remained unnoticed.
A church erected on the site of their burial was enlarged by the emperor Justinian. Devotion to the two saints spread rapidly in both East and West, and a famous basilica was erected in their honor in Constantinople. Their names were placed in the Roman Canon probably in the sixth century.
Legend says that they were twin brothers born in Arabia who were both skilled doctors. They were among those who are venerated in the East as the “moneyless ones” because, purportedly, they did not charge a fee for their services.
Nine centuries later, Francis of Assisi rebuilt the dilapidated San Damiano chapel outside Assisi.
Saints Cosmas and Damian (d. 287, Syria) (Relics: Rome, Italy; Munich, Germany)
Santi Cosma e Damiano
(Saints Cosmas and Damian)
Via dei Fori Imperiali 1
*This church is located next to the Roman Forum.
*Relics of Saints Cosmas and Damian rest under the altar in the lower church. Each year for the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian these relics are brought out for public veneration.
San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini
(Saint John the Baptist of the Florentines)
Via Acciaioli 2
*This church is just east of the Vatican. It is next to the Tiber River and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
*The chapel in the right transept is dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian.
*A relic of St Mary Magdalene’s foot rests in a shrine to the left of the main sanctuary.
San Salvatore in Onda
(The Holy Savior in the Deluge)
Via dei Pettinari 51
*This church is near Tiber Island.
*A painting of Saints Cosmas and Damian is above the altar to the right of the main sanctuary.
*The remains of St Vincent Pallotti (d. 1850) rest below the main altar.
Song of the Day!
Our Saints Were Patron Saints of Barbers.....
I can just hear la la la la la .....
We are celebrating with an Arabian recipe because our Saints were from Arabia.
Martabak, Mutabak, مطبق
Mutabak or Martabak is a street food which originated in southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen and its name in Arabic (مطبق)means folded. It spread to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei, where it is even more popular than in Arabia and has many variations, including a sweet and a savory version.The matabak that is found on the streets of Sanaa is usually and egg or cheese version, but you can add a variety of fillings. For this recipe, I added ground meat.
3 cups bread flour
¾ cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
½ onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lb. ground meat
½ tomato, finely diced
Pinch of spices- I added cumin, coriander,
ground black pepper, ground red chili powder
1 cup finely chopped leek (or green onion)
Salt to taste – about a ½ tsp.
A couple tablespoons of white cheese –
I used 2 triangle cheeses but you could experiment with other cheeses as well – OPTIONAL
Step 1 - Dough
Mix all ingredients and knead well, about 10 minutes. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
Coat your hands in oil in order to handle the dough.
Separate the dough into 6 parts and form each part into a smooth ball. Set the balls on a tray and coat generously in oil to prevent from drying out. Cover and let sit for 3 hours. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP or try to work with the dough without letting it sit. Letting the dough rest will allow you to roll it out.
Step 2 - Filling
Saute onions and garlic in oil until brown.
Add meat and cook until browned and all pink is gone, breaking up the meat into small pieces, about 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and spices and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes are slightly softened.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Lightly beat eggs and salt in a large bowl. Add chopped leek, cheese, and finally meat mixture. Stir until combined.
Step 3 - Assembling the Matabak
Prepare a large clean flat surface for stretching out the dough.
Take a dough ball and place it on the prepared surface pressing it into the table. It should be very soft now and not spring back at all. Press down until you have a 5-6 inch circle.
Add some oil on top of the dough and grab it with your two hands from the bottom. The right hand should be holding from underneath and the left hand holding from above. (This is for right-handed people, for left handed, it would be the opposite).
Now quickly lift the dough up with your right hand and toss it back over your left then quickly return it back down to the table in one motion. Move your hand around the outside of the dough to ensure evenness. Keep repeating this motion until the dough has stretched very thin and is see-through.
Take a couple spoonfuls of the meat-egg filling and place it on the center of the dough. Pat it down flat and make it into a square. Then fold the sides of the dough over the meat, one at a time. (See video for this)
Lift the folded mutabak onto a well-oiled frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook on the other side until browned and egg is fully cooked.