Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead


How the Michaelmas Feast Turned Out
September 30, 2009, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Feasting, Michaelmas

NOTE: these are all pictures from my phone so they are less than stunning. Hopefully pictures from our actual camera will be uploaded later.

Because my obliging husband bought groceries between his classes, at 5pm we were ready to head home and begin cooking the feast.

The turkey took a bit longer to cook than we expected so the little boy had his own feast of sweet potato and some banana before getting very sleepy.

 

 

Look at those sleepy eyes!

Look at those sleepy eyes!

 

So he crawled into the bathroom for his nightly bath.

 

 

He loves baby bath time!

He loves baby bath time!

 

He was charming as usual.

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After baby bath time and sleepy time we finished preparing the food and set the table.

 

 

Eleanor set the table.

Eleanor set the table.

 

The carrots were a success!

 

 

I did use whiskey and they were delicious.

I did use whiskey and they were delicious.

 

Eleanor’s St. Michael’s Bannock was full of currants and spectacular.

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The stuffing was scrumptious.

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The long-awaited turkey did not disappoint.

 

 

There was some confusion as to the removal of the metal thing.

There was some confusion as to the removal of the metal thing.

 

Angelic glow from the chandelier!

Angelic glow from the chandelier!

 

Then we ate the blackberry buckle that Dan and Hillary made.

 

 

With cream and white chocolate almond ice cream!

With cream and white chocolate almond ice cream!

 

Heather quite enjoyed it.

Heather quite enjoyed it.

 

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.



Carrots for Michaelmas – September 29th
September 29, 2009, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Feasting, Michaelmas

Until this year, my only exposure to Michaelmas was a reference in Jane Austen novels and films.

“If I do not have the three of you married before Michaelmas, it will not be my fault!”

“If I do not have the three of you married before Michaelmas, it will not be my fault!”

 

What is Michaelmas, you ask?

Good question. As I’m just now discovering these traditions and attempting to observe them, I expect that a good deal of what I say will be inaccurate rubbish. Feel free to correct what I’ve gotten wrong and take everything else with a grain of salt. That being said…

Michaelmas (pronounced Mickel-mas) is a feast day celebrating St. Michael the Archangel, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel.  Surprisingly, considering my complete ignorance of this feast day until recently, Michaelmas used to be quite a big deal.  In fact, it was a Holy Day of Obligation until the 18th century and was a principal Feast of Christ for Lutheran Christians.

My linguist husband particularly likes the name Michael which means in Hebrew “Who Is Like God?” and is the battle cry of the angels. St. Michael fought against Lucifer and the fallen angels and defended the friends of God. You probably remember that St. Gabriel announced the coming of Jesus to the Virgin Mary and also the coming of John the Baptist to Zachariah. St. Raphael has something to do with Tobias in the book of Tobit which I won’t pretend I’m familiar with. Maybe next year.

How do you celebrate it?

FOOD.  At least that how we’re going to celebrate it. Although goose is traditional, no geese could be found in our grocery stores this Michaelmas so we’re sticking with chicken.

Carrots, another typical Michaelmas staple, WERE available at the store although they’re not quite ready to be plucked from our garden. I decided to try this recipe sans whiskey because I didn’t feel like going to the liquor store on my way home.  (I love this food blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks!, due to all her beautiful photographs.)

According to a Scottish custom, women would harvest wild carrots on Michaelmas by digging triangular holes with a three-pronged mattock. Apparently the holes represent St. Michael’s shield and the mattock represents his trident. Maybe Trinitarian as well? Our housemate Eleanor was particularly thrilled that the carrots are then tied together with red thread and carrot bouquets are given as gifts.  She dreams of someday having a bridal bouquet of carrots and was pleased that she wasn’t the first to think it up.  Weird, but kind of pretty, perhaps?  Festive at least?

We’re also going to make St. Michael’s Bannock which is a traditional Michaelmas bread with a recipe from The Catholic Home by Meredith Gould.

(Love this)

(Love this)

 

Some friends are bringing a blackberry dessert as blackberries are also traditional. There’s a legend concerning Lucifer falling into a blackberry bush after being expelled from heaven by St. Michael and spitting on the blackberries to make them bitter so that they cannot be picked after Michaelmas.

On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.

-Irish Proverb

Pictures to come tomorrow. And yes, Marmee and Geema, your grandson will be featured in them.