29 June 2012

29 June - Saints Peter and Paul; Broiled Haddock

Weather – If it rains on the day of Saints Peter and Paul, it will rain for the next 30 days.
It always rains on St. Peter’s day

[so, putting two and two together…]

[there was a light shower this morning in my part of the Smallest State… enough to make the grass wet]


“At Rome, the birthday of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, who suffered martyrdom on the same day, under the emperor Nero.  Within the city the former was crucified with his head downwards, and buried in the Vatican, near the Triumphal way, where he is venerated by the whole world.  The latter was put to the sword and buried on the Ostian way, where he receives similar honors.”
Roman Martyrology

Tradition says that Peter, escaping from certain execution in Rome, met Jesus on the Appian Way:
“The brethren then, when the prison was opened, prayed Peter to go thence, and he would not, but at the last he being overcome by their prayers went away.  And when he came to the gate…which is called Sancta Maria ad passus, he met Jesu Christ coming against him, and Peter said to him: Lord, whither goest thou?  And he said to him: I go to Rome for to be crucified again, and Peter demanded him: Lord, shalt thou be crucified again, And he said: Yea, and Peter said then: Lord, I shall return again then for to be crucified with thee.  This said, our Lord ascended into heaven, Peter beholding it, which wept sore.  And when Peter understood that our Lord had said to him of his passion, he returned…”  The Golden Legend

And of course, he was condemned.  As a non-citizen of Rome, he could be killed in any way that the Romans chose, and they chose crucifixion.

“…when Peter came to the cross, he said: When my Lord descended from heaven to the earth he was put on the cross right up, but me whom it pleaseth him to call from the earth to heaven, my cross shall show my head to the earth and address my feet to heaven, for I am not worthy to be put on the cross like as my Lord was, therefore turn my cross and crucify me my head downward.  Then they turned the cross, and fastened his feet upward and the head downward.”   The Golden Legend

Thus was born into heaven the Prince of the Apostles.

Gardening: The spring-blooming Cowslip is called St. Peter’s Keys, because the flower-head suggests a bunch of keys (suggests being the operative word) and keys are a symbol of Saint Peter. Supposedly, a German legend says that Saint Peter found some impure souls trying to sneak into heaven through a back gate, and this so upset him that managed to drop his Heavenly Keys.  Where they landed, cowslips bloomed.

Of course, once the ideas of keys took hold, the next belief was that the flower could reveal hidden treasures.

Plant it in the autumn in a sunny spot in your garden so that it can winter over and provide a bright spot of color come spring.


Last year, I gave you a recipe for Flaked Haddock Newburg (haddock being one of the fishes carrying the fingerprint of St. Peter).  This year, try BROILED HADDOCK FILLETS.

Butter a shallow baking pan or broiler rack.
Divide a grapefruit into twelve sections.

Wipe 1 ½ pounds of haddock fillets with a damp cloth, then dust both sides with salt and pepper (1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper total).  Place fillets on baking pan or rack.

Mix together ¾ cup of soft bread cubes or crumbs with ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter; stir in bread-crumbs until moistened.  Sprinkle over the fillets.  Top fillets with grapefruit sections.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter; brush butter over grapefruit sections.

Set oven temperature to low broil (400º).  Place the pan under the broiler and broil for about 25 minutes or until the fish is flaky.

Artwork: The woodcut is from a 1489 Dutch edition of The Golden Legend
The Martyrdom of St. Peter is from the Breviary of Martin of Aragon c 1400, Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  The others have no information with them.