2012–Preparing for the Feast of Saint Brigid

My husband and I are planning a menu for our favorite Irish feast of the year. Thankfully, the eve of Saint Brigid’s feast day, when we do all our cross weaving, falls on a Tuesday! Corned beef and cabbage, (and Irish soda bread) here we come…

Here’s the order of events:

Today! Order the wheat for weaving. For the last several years I’ve been so pleased with the wheat from Dale Scott. I order the starter kits (just $22 including shipping) and that’s all I need to make several crosses. You can also order one of her handmade Saint Brigid crosses. They are lovely…

Soon. Clean the house–especially take down the Christmas cards that line the back wall. (And, put away all the ornaments that are all over the coffee table in the living room. And… finish writing the last of the Christmas cards!) Oh, my.

January 31st. Have a party! Wheat weaving, Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and a wee bit of Irish ale. There are great instructions on how to weave a Saint Brigid cross on this old post of mine.

February 1st. Bake bread and take it out into the community, Saint Brigid style. I’m looking forward to that day…

Note: If you’d like a signed copy of The Life of Saint Brigid to read to your munchkins or to send to some other child, just leave a comment or email me at jane@janegmeyer.com and I can sign and send you one. They are $15 including shipping if you contact me by the 20th of January. Otherwise, you can buy one from:

Amazon

Conciliar Press

Or order it from your local bookstore…

Or… you can simply listen to the book on my website–here’s the link to my page. There’s an audio file in the little swirly thing, read by my super favorite British accent friend, and fellow author, Chrissi Hart.

Happy upcoming feast!

Fifth Century–Loaves Multiplying

Twenty loaves of dark Irish soda bread

Mixed, molded and baked from 5 am -7:30 am

Fed 225 hungry church goers

In honor of Saint Brigid, our family, along with a close friend, hosted coffee hour at church. We decided we would serve dark Irish soda bread, tangerines, nuts, butter and creamed cheeses along with the coffee, tea and juice. At first I was planning on making about ten loaves.

But, after speaking with my friend, and learning we were meant to feed over 200 people, I revised my baking plan, bumping the number of loaves up to twelve.

The alarm clock sounded at 5am. I fell out of bed at 5:15. My fellow baker, my husband, who signed up as co-pilot the night before, didn’t stir. The first batch went in at 5:45–already behind schedule, and that’s when I noticed how very small a loaf of dark Irish soda bread really is…

Hmmm.

The co-pilot stumbled into the kitchen at 6 am, looking sheepish. Did the alarm clock go off?

Yup.

That’s when we had a pow wow about the amount of bread we were baking–how in the world we were to feed all the five thousand–and this prompted him to drive to the market in his PJ’s for more ingredients. I mixed furiously.

All through Saint Brigid’s life there are miracles recorded about how food was multiplied through her prayers. Butter overflowing their vats, milk spilling over the rim of the jugs, water turned into ale–these acts of God’s abundance helped feed, and sometimes heal, her poorer neighbors and show the mighty and merciful hand of the Christ she prayed to. I love this simple prayer. It makes the duties of the home so much more joyful:

O God, bless my pantry!

Pantry, which the Lord has blessed.

Mary’s Son, my friend,

Come and bless my pantry!”

So, with Saint Brigid in mind I mixed and baked, hoping that the now sixteen loaves I was baking would be enough. By 7 am everyone was awake, and the loaves were stacking up on the cooling rack.

I shifted and squeezed bread into all corners of the oven, and when we were finished, and dressed and ready to head out out the door, I counted the loaves as I placed them in brown paper bags. Twenty loaves.

Now, how did that happen?

A blessed Saint Brigid’s Day everyone!