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


All Things Michaelmas!

I LOVE the Feast of the Archangels. We’ve got a feast planned, but, I’m 38 weeks pregnant today on Michaelmas, so you never know if we’ll be having a Michaelmas Baby instead of a Michaelmas Feast. Just in case I go into labor  and Michaelmas feasting gets skipped over this year, I thought I would compile some of the previous Michaelmas posts and some good resources I’ve found.

What is Michaelmas?

Michaelmas (pronounced Mickel-mas) is a feast day celebrating the Archangels. It follows the fall Ember Days (last Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) during which Christians traditionally thanked God for his creation and the bounty of the earth and fasted penitentially. Michaelmas was a Holy Day of Obligation until the 18th century and honors St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. 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 is found in the book of Tobit.

Michaelmas Menus:

For a seasonal table for Michaelmas, think of autumnal foods. Usually our Michaelmas feast is full of beta-carotene.

Carrots are very traditional. 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.

Terrible iPhone pic from 2009. My apologies.

I love this Whiskey-Glazed Carrots recipe by The Pioneer Woman. I can’t help but love her. These are seriously amazing. Whiskey? Butter? Brown Sugar? Can you go wrong?

St. Michael's Bannock on the left!

Another traditional food is St. Michael’s Bannock, a simple, sweet bread. We’ve used the recipe from Meredith Gould’s The Catholic Home. It’s super easy and turns out well.

Goose is also very traditional but we’ve discovered that it’s almost impossible to find an organic goose that’s remotely in our price range. So, we’ve cooked turkeys or chickens for the occasion. Last year we roasted sweet potatoes and onions with the chicken which turned out so yummy. This year we have tons of delicious sweet potatoes from the garden so we’ll definitely do a repeat!

Blackberries: 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

We’ve had blackberry buckle and blackberry cobbler but since they’re not in season right now in Florida, we try to just get organic frozen berries.

Ugly photo, delicious cobbler, promise!

A super easy and yummy blackberry cobbler recipe is The Pioneer Woman’s.

A Michaelmas Prayer:

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.

Michaelmas Daisies:

The aster flower, also known as the Michaelmas Daisy is in season in North America at the end of September. We meant to grow some from seed this year but…never got around to it. Last year Benjamin and I got beautiful mums (as seen in the picture at the top) and this year my two sweet boys picked beautiful Daisies they found and Bachelor’s Buttons and Marigolds from our garden:

What a pretty sight to wake up to on Michaelmas morning!

The Michaelmas daisies, among dede weeds,
Bloom for St Michael’s valorous deeds.
And seems the last of flowers that stood,
Till the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.”

I can’t believe that two years ago, Benjamin was still a wee babe!

Just look at my grown up boy on this Michaelmas morning!

He’s still not into wearing pants, but my, he’s big and cute.

I guess I look a little different this year, too.

38 weeks and ready for Baby Lucy Elanor to arrive! Doesn’t a Michaelmas baby sound like a good idea?! C’mon, Lucy!

Michaelmas posts from other years:

Carrots for Michaelmas – September 29th

How the Michaelmas Feast Turned Out (2009)

Preparing for Michaelmas (2010)

The Feast of the Archangels: Michaelmas 2010

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Life Update: Housemates, Date Nights, Friends, and a Question
August 21, 2011, 12:58 am
Filed under: Children, Community, Feasting, Saints

Well, we found them: the world’s greatest housemates. Our dear friends, Brian and Lois, moved into our third bedroom/library a couple of weeks ago and will be with us as they raise support for doing long-term missions in Nepal. It is so fun to have them around to share meals with and they could not be more helpful and great. This is our fourth endeavor into communal living and we feel like we are finally experiencing what we’ve always hoped it could be. They do awesome things like deep-cleaning our bathroom, weeding the garden, and cooking delicious meals without even being asked! It feels like we are really living in community, rather than attempting to run a household while having folks renting a room. And perhaps most amazingly, so far, 5 people sharing a bathroom hasn’t been half bad! Does that mean we don’t shower enough?

Because Baby Lucy’s arrival is only 7ish weeks away (eek!!!), Daniel and I have been trying to have as many special dates as we can, just the two of us, in the remaining weeks. Last night after Benjamin went to his weekly slumber party at Daniel’s folks house (yes, having grandparents in town is THE BEST!), I picked up Daniel from work and we went to Mass before our dinner date. At Mass, I ran into a friend I had done some musicals with in high school–Colleen. She and her husband have a baby and just moved back to town. It was fantastic to reconnect with her and she promises to hook us up with other Catholic friends our age. We really don’t have any Catholic friends in town which is hard. So the prospect of having some is thrilling!

When we got home from dinner, we were pleased as punch to read the splendid post about the Feast of St. Helena of the True Cross that our new contributors to Feast!, Joseph and Helen Thompson wrote as their debut post.

Read more about the Thompsons here in the About section of Feast! We are so excited to have them on board.

I have been so bad about getting our camera out and taking good pictures of Benjamin lately. Here’s just a few low quality iphone pics to tide you over until I get it together:

Silly boy “helping” with the dishes. He always want to help do real work: with the chickens, in the garden, cooking, etc. “I want to do some work, Daddy!” is his rallying cry.

 

Losing his two-year-old mind over his excavator from Uncle Garrett!

So this blog is about to reach 10,000 views…not a whole lot for a blog, I know. But, I was thinking it called for some kind of giveaway. Thoughts? How do you do a giveaway? What would you want for a giveaway? Cheese? Books? Books about cheese? Chime in, please.



Feast of the Assumption
August 16, 2011, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Feasting

Check out Feast! for last night’s menu, pictures, and recipes: Assumption Salad, Stuffed Zucchini, Baked Apples with Butter Rum Sauce!



Feast of St. Dominic Post at Feast!
August 12, 2011, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Feasting, Saints, St. Dominic

 

Read our new post on Spanish Orange Chicken for the Feast of St. Dominic!

 

 



St. Anne, Mussels, and Grandparents
July 27, 2011, 2:09 am
Filed under: Feasting, Saints, St. Anne, St. Joachim

Check out our new post about today’s feast, St. Anne and St. Joachim’s Day, at Feast!

Moules Marinieres, Gateau Sainte-Anne, Sliced Baguette, Roasted Potatoes, and Garden Tomato and Arugula Salad. Yum.

We invited my folks over since St. Anne and St. Joachim, grandparents of Our Lord, are the patron saints of grandparents.

Also of note, I overheard Benjamin whilst falling asleep and snuggling with his mouse stuffed animal saying, “Oh, Mouse. I love you. I love you, you pretty ol’ girl.” What?

 

 

 

 

 



A Book for the Feast of St. Benedict of Nursia
July 11, 2011, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Books, Feasting, Saints, St. Benedict of Nursia

Today is the Feast of St. Benedict of Nursia, 5th century saint, the father of western monasticism, and author of The Rule of St. Benedict.

To celebrate this special saint, Benjamin and I read The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica, illustrated by one of our favorites, Tomie de Paola.

I ordered it last year but it was a little too wordy for him at that point and didn’t keep his attention very well. This year he seemed to really dig it and wanted to talk about the miracles and stories in the book.

I highly recommend it! In fact, all of Tomie de Paola’s books on saints are really great.



A Few Things…
July 7, 2011, 1:07 am
Filed under: Books, Feasting, Pregnancy

I know Trinity Sunday was almost three weeks ago but I finally posted the recipe for the Blueberry Pie I made for the occasion.

Super easy, super delicious. Check out the post here.

In other news, due to my best friend Eleanor’s urging, I started a Pinterest. You can check it out here. It is taking over my life. Help.

And here’s a somewhat recent pregnancy pic (from three weeks ago?). I feel like I look tons bigger already but…c’est la vie.

And if I had some money to burn I would clearly spend it on these beauties:

I bought Cranford and Jane Eyre for Eleanor last year because I couldn’t resist. But the whole set? Maybe I’ll start collecting one a month.