Thursday, January 31, 2013

St. Brigid's Feast Day~ Literature, Crafts, and a Recipe


Tomorrow is the feast day of St Brigid, patroness of Ireland, babies and scholars. Here's a mini-unit of study around St Brigid, a bit in advance of her day, so that you have time to get organized:  A little info, some literary resources, a craft and a wonderful recipe.


As a 100% Irish lass ( though it's said that no one, given Ireland's turbulent history,  is truly of 100%  "Irish"  descent) St Brigid has always been a beacon to me. Nothing stopped this gal. She exemplified generosity to all and became an inspiration to legions of the  Irish.

Her accomplishments were many,  despite being born to a life of slavery. Her father, a pagan chieftain, eventually granted her freedom, after which she immediately sought to be consecrated fully to a life of service to Christ. She  spent years, then, over the map of Ireland, overseeing the building of abbeys and rose to considerable power as an abbess. 

 When she was born, Ireland was half pagan and half Christian. Upon her death in 525 A.D., the country had been transformed to an almost fully Christian country.

Here are a few books you might like to enjoy: 
We use 57 Stories of Saints  rather frequently. Many Catholic homeschoolers have a copy on their shelves. You probably do, as well. There's a very nice bio in here on St Brigid that 
your littles will likely enjoy.

This is also a lovely book to read for S Brigid's feast day:

For Mom, perhaps a bit more detail and an escape into some historical fiction around this woman of our Church?  You might enjoy reading this title, Brigid of Kildare.
Doesn't the cover alone look enticing?

How to make St Brigid's Cross:
We are creating these crosses tomorrow and so, I've no shots of our craft to share as of yet. This is, of course, the legendary cross of St Brigid.

St. Brigid and her cross are linked together by the story that she wove this form of cross at the death bed of  her father.  As you know,  he was a pagan lord and legend has it that upon hearing what the cross truly meant, asked to be baptized.

All you need to make the crosses with your kids is:
1.  a link to this amazing site 
2.  pipe cleaners ( I bought a few packages of 45 at The Dollar Tree last night--what a steal)  
3. Perhaps some of this music  in the background. 

Since we are an Irish family ( though <sob> my kids are only 1/2 Irish!! ), the lovely strains of Irish music begin on St Brigid's Day and continue through St Pat's feast day  in March.

A recipe for St Brigid's feast:
 This Irish Soda Bread  recipe was given to me many years ago. Since then I have tweaked it much. I don't quite know how many hundreds of loaves I have made in the past two decades alone. I bake this bread and mail it  to friends and family all over the US between now and St Pat's Day   There are so very many special people who used to live nearby and enjoy corn beef and cabbage around the saints' feast days with us. But now, because time and distance do not allow us the privilege of time spent together, I have to rely on the US Postal Service!

It is quite an easy and yummy recipe that you and the kids will enjoy concocting and enjoying with dinner, as breakfast, or as a snack during the day:

Irish Soda Bread.

4 c flour
4 tbsp white sugar
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 c butter softened
1 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 c raisins
(optional- 1/2 c caraway seeds)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease your baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, powder, soda, butter.

3. Stir in buttermilk and egg, raisins.

4. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead. Form dough into a round. Place on baking sheet

5. Combine 1/4 c buttermilk with butter. Brush loaf with this mixture.

Bake 45-50 min. Cont to brush bread with mixture

Pats of butter melted onto slices of this bread? It's the best.

One more thing~
You must click over to my friend Tracy's article
at Epic Pew:  Here’s 31 Things You Probably 
Didn’t Know About St. Brigid of Ireland
It's SO well done...I know you'll enjoy!

Image result for birthday themed post dividers

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  1. Hey Chris!
    Thank you for this- I have the book you references and am going to try the recipe for the Irish soda bread. I am not a great baker, so wish me luck ;)

    miss you!

    1. Hi there Dina!
      I'm not a great baker either; this recipe is awesome though.
      Enjoy it.
      I hope all is well with you and the family...and I miss seeing you too, Dina. Thanks for clicking over and for leaving a note.
      Love you

  2. Hi Chris! Well, another commonality is found. Though I am a bit of a hodgepodge, I claim Irish blood from both sides of the family -- Boyle and Byrne. I have the freckles to prove it. :) I wrote a feature story on a local Irish gal from our city about a year ago and she shared a St. Brigid's cross with me. Lovely! I hope you'll share how yours turned out!

    1. Hi there Roxane,
      Thank you for stopping in to share this!!
      Love that.
      Take care, Roxane...see you in the blogosphere:)

  3. We have made soda bread before when we did our Ireland unit from Down load and go, we loved it. I will check out the book of Brigid of Kildare, I love those types of books and the kindle version:)

    Is your top picture of the Badlands with your 2 precious boys? It reminds me of our vacation there many years ago:)

    Have you been to Ireland, we only made it for a long weekend to Dublin but I loved it, hope to go back one day.

    1. Yes!! the shot WAS taken in The Badlands this is about a two day drive from our of our favorite spots...The Black Hills of South Dakota. We drive cross country this summer but spent about one week in that area....Mt Rushmore, Deadwood, Crazy Horse Monument, Jewel Cave. Beautiful!
      And yes I was in Ireland, but not since 1990. All four of my grandparents hail from The Emerald Isle and emigrated in the early 1900s to NY where they lived in tenements in the lower west side. I never met any of them, sadly. They had all passed by the time O was born.
      Thank you so much, for stopping in and leaving your comment!
      I will see you back at your lovely blog soon!

  4. Thank you for the story of St. Brigid. I knew of her but I did not know the story. I will check out the book also and maybe I'll add it to my to read list. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Joanna~
      Thank you so much!! Hope you like the books, once you get to peruse them!

      I appreciate your visit!

  5. Hi there! I'm visiting from #MMBH. Can't wait to try the soda bread recipe. And I am very glad to have found your Catholic resources. Thank you! My home on the web is - Evolving the conversation of mothering.

    1. Thanks so very much for stopping by!

      I look fwd to visiting your blog as well! God bless

  6. Hi Chris, hope you are well? I've never tried soda bread!! Lovely to see you at Creative Mondays, thanks for linking up..


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