Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feasting in honour of the Cure of Ars!

We feasted at midday today on the feast of St John Vianney as my husband was not on a shift during the day and we had a lovely time!

We kept the table setting austere, with no table cloth, in keeping with the simple and mortified life of the Cure.

The highlight of the meal was the cake which was quite simple, two cakes - a chocolate mud cake and a white chocolate mud cake, both cut in half hortizonally and then layered making sure the white, iced top was the last layer. Last night I had made the silhouette of The Cure as he was on the last leg of his journey to Ars for the first time. He ran into a local boy and he asked for the way...the famous and beautiful quote goes like this:

"Show me the way to Ars and I'll show you the way to Heaven."

That quote makes me teary, it's touching and profound, this was a priest that would be giving his whole being to saving souls, nothing would be held back.

The silhouette I traced from the photo below. If you click on the image to enlarge it and then save it to your computer, you can print it up to full size on paper, cut out and then trace onto heavier cardboard. I'll keep that silhouette image for next year. On the cake is the quote I mentioned above and further below you will see the quote I printed up and laminated to go on the top of the cake.

We had a lovely discussion time when getting ready to cut the cake as I talked about the image, the quote and then I asked the children why did I layer the cake, dark, light, dark, light? Discussion started. I told them how The Cure had grappled and fought with the devil throughout his priestly life, particularly the evenings before a 'big fish' were to approach the town {Big fish was the term The Cure used for describing the soon-to-be converted sinner.}

So the cake is a representation of that constant battle with the iced white cake on top, The Cure victorious!! In face the devil once said that if there had been four Cure's at that time in history his dominion on earth would have been conquered.

Click on this image to enlarge if you wish to cut and paste as a template.

Our main meal was symbolic as well. We served homemade Chicken Mustard & Vege Pasties, with a cross on top. Pasties being a French cuisine. Making the casserole filling was easy, I used 2 chicken marylands and diced them up, fried them with two small onions and garlic. Then I added finally diced brocoli and yellow squash {could be any vege} and threw in a bottle of Chicken Mustard sauce and thickened it slightly with arrowroot powder.

Then I made the dough by adding 4 cups of plain flour in a bowl, I rubbed 360 grams {12.7 ounces} of softened butter into the flour and added two egg yolks and 6 Tablespoons of lemon juice {I used lime juice as well when I ran out of lemons} I then kneaded it into a dough and separated it into 8 portions {to feed 8} and rolled them out individually, using a regular eating bowl as the template for cutting out my circles, placed a heaping of casserole in the center and folded the dough over and pressed with my thumb, the edges together and cooked them in a medium oven for a good 30 mins.

Then we had 'Devils on Horseback' with two spiced, port soaked prunes wrapped in bacon, this symbolized The Cure's war against the devil constantly. I fried the bacon and wrapped two prunes in each strip, {you can secure them with toothpicks if you like} I popped them in the oven for 10 mins or so.

Then we had a side serving of boiled potatoes, this being the staple and constant diet of The Cure who mortified himself greatly with denying himself pleasurable food. Beans were an added green to the dish and it was topped with some butter and dried herbs. The meal was delicious but it looked simple on the plate, as you would imagine a meal would be in rural France in the time of The Cure.

As we enjoyed our meal we discussed these symbolic elements, the little children were particularly enthralled.

Here is a cross section of our yummy cake.

The children have spent their craft time today, working on this beautiful colouring picture of The Cure for the Year of the Priest. It is a competition being held by Illuminated Ink, so the children can send it away in hope to win a prize!

That coupled with an enjoyable read-aloud from the story I put up on this morning's post for the feast, has made it a beautiful day for us all.

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