30 June 2013

30 June - St. Paul the Apostle; Kilich Shish

Weather - If it is bright and clear on St. Paul’s day, we will have full bellies and full purses.

C’mon sunshine!!!


St Paul has a second commemoration today – sort of a continuing celebration from yesterday.

Last time, I posted a recipe for BAKED SWORDFISH, which seems eminently suitable for a saint whose main attribute is a sword.  Paul’s hometown of Tarsus is in what is now Turkey, so should the thunderstorms which supposedly threaten to wipe the Smallest State off the map fail to appear this evening, I will try grilling KILICH SHISH, aka Turkish Swordfish on Skewers in his honor.

Be warned.  It uses a lot of bay leaves.

Cut up 2 pounds of swordfish into cubes (about 1 to 1-½ inches).

Make the marinade by mixing together ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and 12 (yes, twelve!) bay leaves.  Marinate the fish for at least a couple of hours (more is better).

Meanwhile, make a sauce of ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, ¼ cup of chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve.

When ready to start grilling, cut up 2 medium tomatoes into small wedges [I use cherry tomatoes instead] and 1 lemon into thin slices.  Cut each lemon slice in half.

Thread fish, tomatoes, lemon slices and the marinated bay leaves alternately on skewers [I also add onion wedges to my skewers.  Call it a weakness.]

Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning frequently.  Serve with the oil-lemon sauce.

“Saint Paul” from Manual of Prayers, 1896

29 June 2013

29 June - Saints Peter and Paul

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…]

On the other hand
If it is bright and clear on St. Paul’s day (30 June), we will have full mouths and full purses.

C’mon sunshine!!!!

This is the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul. 

Previously I posted two recipes for Haddock (one of the fish with the thumbprint of St. Peter): FLAKED HADDOCK NEWBURG and BROILED HADDOCK

For today’s feast, I am having BAKED STUFFED HADDOCK FILLETS.

Cut 1-½ pounds of haddock fillets (fresh or frozen) into serving pieces.  Cut up 2 strips of bacon into small pieces.
Chop 1 small onion.
Grease a shallow baking dish.
Preheat oven to 325° (slow oven)

Cook the bacon pieces until crisp.  Remove and reserve.

Cook the onion in the bacon fat until golden.

To the cooked onion and bacon fat, stir in the bacon pieces, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and 2 cups of soft bread crumbs.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  [I cook the bacon in a sauté pan, so everything can be mixed together in it]

Spread the mixture on half of the fish pieces; top with remaining fish pieces.

Arrange fish in the baking dish and top with two slices of (uncooked) bacon.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

As usual, I serve this with rice, wild or tamed.

Remember also, that Saint Paul is commemorated tomorrow as well.

“Saint Peter” and “Saint Paul”, from The Golden Legend, 1489
“Saint Peter” from Manual of Prayers, 1896
“Saint Paul” from Manual of Prayers, 1896

28 June 2013

28 June - Eve of St. Peter

Those who told me (after I hit my head on the stairwell) that people who have had concussions, however slight, not only tend to feel very, very tired, but also seem to lose interest in life... were not kidding!  So many things to do, and no interest in them at all...

Meanwhile, this is the Eve of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, for all the love-lorn maidens out there.

04 June 2013


It’s June already?  What happened to May?

“June. The sixth month of the year in the modern or Gregorian calendar.  Ovid in the "Fasti" indicates that it was named after Juno, but a more likely etymon derives it from Juniores, the lower branch of the original Roman legislature, as that of May was from the higher branch. In the old Latin or Alban calendar the month of June had but twenty-six days.  Romulus gave it thirty. This was reduced to twenty-nine by Numa, and restored to thirty by Julius Caesar, a number it has ever since retained.”

“Among the old Romans June was a lucky as May was an unlucky month for marriages, the especially favorable seasons being at full moon and at the conjunction of the sun and moon.” William Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs (1898) p. 591

Astronomy for June:

Full Strawberry Moon on the 23rd.

Summer solstice on the 21st at 0104 (1:04 am) EDT.
June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Liturgical Celebrations
Saint Justin …………………………… 1 June
Corpus Christi ………………………..  2 June
Saint Boniface ………………………..  5 June
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus …………..  7 June
Immaculate Heart of Mary …………… 8 June
Saint Barnabas ………………………. 11 June
Saint Anthony of Padua ……………..  13 June
Saint Basil the Great ………………..   14 June
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga ……………..  21 June
Nativity of St. John the Baptist ……… 24 June
Our Lady of Perpetual Help …………. 27 June
Saint Irenaeus ………………………..  28 June
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles…. 29 June
Saint Paul the Apostle ………………   30 June

Novenas forJune
Corpus Christi …………………….. continues from 24 May
Saint Erasmus …………………….. continues from 24 May
Sacred Heart of Jesus ……………..  continues from 29 May (there are 5 more on that website)
Immaculate Heart of Mary ……….   continues from 30 May (also here)
Saint Anthony of Padua …………... begins 4 June (and 4 more)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help ………  begins 18 June (and 3 more)
Saint Peter the Apostle ……………  begins 20 June
Precious Blood …………………....  begins 22 June (traditional calendar)
Saint Maria Goretti ……………….. begins 27 June


Weather for June:
According to the 12 Days of Christmas: Bright sunshine and clear skies.  Beautiful!
According to the first 12 days of January: Precipitation early; cloudy skies, warm.
According to the Ember Days: Sunny to start with, ending with rain.

Weather Lore for June:
A June damp and warm does the farmer no harm.

If June be sunny, harvest comes early.

A dry June means a good corn crop.

June that is dry more than it is wet fills the barrels with good wine.

Calm weather in June, sets corn in tune.

A cold and wet June spoils the rest of the year.
A good leak in June sets all in tune.
 A wet June makes a dry September.

When it is hottest in June, it will be coldest in the corresponding days of next February. [I don't even want to think about February yet]

Mist in May and heat in June,
Make the harvest come right soon.

Thunder in June means a good year for straw and hay.

“Thunder in June signifies that same year that woods shall be overthrown with winds, and great raging shall be of lions and wolves, and so like of other harmful beasts.”  Book of Knowledge [which is only natural if their domiciles have been overthrown with winds…]

6/1 - 3  If it rains in the first three days of June, there will be no wild grapes.

6/1    If St. Fortunatus’ day be fine, we may expect a fruitful season [except possibly for the wild grapes]

         If it rains on June 1st, there will be fifty-seven rains in June, July, and August.

6/2  If it rains on June 2nd, there will be no blackberries.

6/6  If it rains on June 6th, there will be no mast [nuts of forest trees, such as acorns, upon which hogs 'pastured' in the forests feed.]

        The rains that fall on St. Norbert’s day inundate the earth [i.e. expect the rains to be heavy]

6/8  If it rains on St. Médard's day, it will rain for forty days, unless it is dry on St. Barnabas [and then all bets are off]
       If it rains on St. Médard's day, there will be a wet harvest.
      If it rains on the day of Saint Médard, we will not have wine nor lard.

6/10  If it rains on St. Margaret’s day, it will rain for fourteen days.

6/11  If it rains on St. Barnabas' day, it is good for grapes
The general character of the weather during the last twenty days of June will rule the weather for the Summer.

6/15   If St. Vitus Day be rainy weather, it will rain for thirty days together.
       If it rains on St. Vitus’ day, the year will be fruitful.
On the other hand
      When it rains on St. Vitus’ day, half of the grapes will be destroyed.
      When St. Vitus’ day is rainy, the oats will not thrive.

6/19  If it rains on the day of Saint Protais and Gervais, it will rain for forty days after.

6/20   As the wind and weather at the solstices, so will they be for the next three months.
          The first three days of any season rule the weather for that season.

6/23   If it rains on the eve of St. John’s day, the filberts (hazelnuts) will be spoiled.

6/24    If it rains today, we may expect a wet harvest.
          Midsummer rain spoils hay and grain.
          If it rains on St. John's Day, nuts will spoil and wicked women will thrive [how wicked?], but apples, pears, and plums will not be hurt.
          If it rains on St. John’s day, it will rain another four weeks, and we can expect a poor harvest.

6/26   Weather on the last Sunday of the month indicates the weather for the next month

6/27  If it rains on June 27th, it will rain seven weeks.

6/28  If it rains on the eve of St. Peter, the vintage will be reduced by one-third.

6/29  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…]
On the other hand
If it is bright and clear on St. Paul’s day, we will have full mouths and full purses.

[Let us hope that it rains in between the above days (except for St. Fortunatus and St. Barnabas).  A good soak is one thing; drowning my seeds and new plants is quite another]

Gardening for June

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.

When St. Bamaby bright smiles night and day, (June 11)
Poor Ragged Robin blooms in the hay.
The scarlet Lychnis, the garden's pride,
Flames at St. John the Baptist's tide.  (June 24)

When the bramble blossoms early in June, an early harvest is expected.

6/11   On St. Barnabas’ day, it is time to cut your hay.

6/15   Sow cabbage on St. Vitus’ day.

6/17  Sow your Swedes today.

6/24  The best hay is made before midsummer
         St. John’s Day is considered a good time for sowing, and when the sun shines on his day, nuts will be abundant during the coming year [this being an election year, an abundance of nuts is a sure bet.]
         Cut your thistles before St. John, you will have two instead of one [so leave those thistles standing another day]
        Up to St. John’s day, wine is fit only for peasants. [in other words, the wine of last year’s vintage is not good until after Midsummer.  Fine.  Along with the thistles, leave last year’s vintage alone for another day.  Or be a peasant with me.]

Cassell’s Illustrated almanac 1871 for June:
Flowers.— Propagate verbenas, heliotropes, etc., by cutting.  A few annuals, such as Clarkia and Virginia stock may still be sown. Others should be thinned out from the border and potted for window-plants. Take up choice bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. Tie up carnations, &c, and look after aphides, which may be kept under by dusting a little Scotch snuff upon them. The budding of roses may be performed towards the end of the month. The operation is not attended with much difficulty. A strong shoot should be selected for the bud, and a slit like the letter T should be made in the bark. Then take a full-grown bud, paring it off by a sharp knife, with a piece of the wood attached.  Trim this carefully, and insert the base of the bud in the top of the T-shaped slit, raising the bark a little at the sides to receive it. When the bud is inserted, close the bark down again, and bind over the whole with bast to exclude the air; sometimes a coating of clay is used for this purpose.
Vegetables.— Gather herbs for drying, and remove all kinds of decaying crops. Make your last sowing of beans and peas early in the month.
Plant out your young cabbage, &c., and make a good sowing of turnips, sprinkling young plants, when they come up, with soot or lime. 
Fruit. – Still look over vines, and cut away weak and useless growths. Keep strawberries well watered in very dry weather. Protect cherry trees, etc., from the ravages of black-fly, by dipping the points infested by it in a mixture of clayey soil and water, which will quickly dry in the sun, and may be washed off when the insects have perished.

From the 1817 Almanac:
Sow Broccoli the Beginning of this Month, for a second Crop.  Transplant Celery for Blanching.  Transplant Savoy and Cabbage Plants for Winter Use.  Sow Kidney-Beans and brown Dutch Cabbage Lettuce for a late Crop.
Gather such Herbs for drying as are now in Flower, and let them dry leisurely in a shady Place, and not in the Sun.  Sow all Sorts of small Sallad Herbs every three or four Days.  Keep your Garden free from all Sorts of Weeds, for they spoil whatever Plants they are near.  Weed your corn, and sow Rape, cole-seed, and Turnip-seed.

Health for June:
Cooling Sallads, as Lettuce, Sorrel, Purslane, &c. will prevent too great a Perspiration, and throw off feverish Disorders.

June. Limbourg frères. Grandes Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, Fifteenth century.
The calendar pages of the Grandes Heures carried more religious symbolism than that of the more famous Très Riches Heures.  Each month was dedicated to a part of the Apostles Creed, with the relevant prophecy from the Old Testament and scripture from the New Testament.  June is dedicated to the article of the Creed which says “…He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty…” Here we see (left to right) Saint Paul instructing the Phillipians (although the scripture “…He [that descended is the same also that] ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things…” comes from Ephesians 4:10); Our Lady stands above the battlements of the New Jerusalem, holding a banner with a depiction of Our Lord’s resurrection [yes, that belonged to last month, but the artists weren’t too accurate here, as we’ve seen]; Cancer, the Crab, astrological symbol of June, emerges from the gate; the sun has moved higher in the arc of heaven; and below it are flowering trees in a green meadow.

José de Páez, c1770, Sacred Heart of Jesus with St. Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga.  Swiped from Wikipedia.

June. Limbourg frères. Grandes Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, Fifteenth century.
Depicted at the bottom of the calendar pages in the Grandes Heures is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament by the articles of the Apostles Creed.  In each, a prophet (cloaked to show the obscurity of prophecy) takes a stone out of the building representing the Old Law and offers it to an apostle, who, by raising the cloak ‘uncovers’ the prophecy with an article of faith. The Prophet Amos holds a banderole which translates to “…He that builds his ascension in heaven…” (Amos 9:6), while the brick he pulls from the edifice has caused the buttress and tower to crumble and the columns holding the loggia roof to buckle; Saint James Minor presents the relevant part of the Apostle’s Creed, “…He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father Almighty…”

June – Cutting Wood. Engraving based on an 11th century manuscript. William Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs (1898) p. 591