28 January 2011

28 January - Saint Agnes again; Shish Kabob

In the traditional calendars, this day was celebrated as the second commemoration of Saint Agnes.  It is the octave day of her feast on January 21 [remember that the eight days are counted inclusively.  While the Church keeps only two Octaves now, for centuries important feasts had their own octaves.  The eighth day after a saint's feast day - like those of Agnes, Lawrence, Genevieve of Paris, or Januarius of Naples - would also be celebrated].

Reverend Alban Butler could not account for this second celebration [he is not alone in this], and suggested that it was possibly the day she was buried, or the day of the translation of her relics, or a day in which a miracle took place due to her intercession.

I put it down to the octave day of her feast, on which, perhaps, the final part of her story would be recounted.  For it is said that on the eighth day after her death, she appeared in a vision to her grieving parents - holding a spotless lamb and surrounded by other holy martyrs - and assured them of her complete happiness.

That would be something to celebrate.

And a good celebratory dinner should include lamb, of course.  SHISH KABOB is easy.  If you are in an area whose weather will allow the grill to be fired up, use that.  This recipe uses the broiler.

Cut up 1 pound of lamb into (more-or-less) 1-inch cubes.  Marinate for 4 hours. (A simple marinade is one part lemon juice to three parts oil and whatever seasonings you wish, such as 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard, paprika, oregano, and/or salt).

Cut up 1-2 green peppers into 1-inch pieces.  If desired, marinate green pepper, 8 small onions (peeled), and 16 cherry tomatoes.

Position the oven rack and broiler pan below the broiler so that the top of the meat will be 3 inches from the heat.

Remove all pieces from marinade; pat dry; reserve marinade. Thread the meat on metal skewers, leaving a little space between each piece.  Broil for 5 minutes.  Turn the meat over, brush with marinade, and broil another 5 minutes.

Alternate the vegetables on skewers, leaving space between each piece.  Turn the lamb again, brush both the meat and vegetables with marinade, and broil another 3-4 minutes, turning the vegetables every 2 minutes.