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Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Joseph's Feast - -

Our St. Joseph's Altar
St. Joseph's Feast Day, 2011
St. Joseph
(Since we don't own a
larger statue of St. Joseph, I
made this for our altar.)
These are the yummy lemon
muffins - a treat for Dad's
Yesterday was my husband's birthday - - poor man, he had to work and then head over to the baseball field to watch our middle son, Alex, practice.  To make up for it, we celebrated it this morning - - sharing the morning with St. Joseph's feast.  While Dave tended the chickens, Jenna and I baked some lemon muffins first thing.  One thing Dave likes is lemon - - so that is always a good choice.  We put some of these on our St. Joseph's Altar.  I also started a batch of challah dough.  Then, we made pancakes and bacon (some with blueberry - - yummmmm!)  Dave helped to make them, as pancakes are his speciality.  We sat down to breakfast and afterwards, stuck a candle in one of the muffins and sung "Happy Birthday" to Dave.  He opened his presents:  a couple of shirts, a Steeler blanket made by Andrea and a wine plaque made by Jenna.  It was a pleasant morning. 

We have been trying to keep some goodies and breads on it every day since we had our friends over, this past Tuesday.  We have some cookies left still.  We also have our crown of thorns (though the one that was on the altar originally has been snacked on).  We have our St. Joseph's Staffs made from the spada dough.  I've added a loaf of challah bread and brownies - these are a favorite and will satisfy those who don't like lemon muffins. 
I am off to read Song of the Swallows with the kids.  I also downloaded some information on San Juan Capistrano mission in California.  The twins had been reading about the missions in California about a week ago, so this story will set right in.  Perhaps we will also get to play the BINGO game that I had downloaded from That Resource Site and printed out.  I wanted to do it for St. Patrick's Day, but we didn't get to it.  I have gummy worms (for snakes) as prizes.  The kids will like those, no matter the age. 

Looking back and reflecting on our Lenten journey, we have been enjoying our evening routine.  After dinner, we have been reading our story from the Children's Bible and putting the ornament on the Jesus tree.  After that we say a decade of the Rosary -- something that has been on my heart for a while and that we've never quite managed.  I am thinking perhaps we can increase to two decades during the 2nd week of Lent, working our way up to a full Rosary.  

God Bless & Happy St. Joseph's Feast Day!

Added today:  As requested by Jackie, here is the recipe for the Challah Bread.  It comes from the Joy of Cooking.  I will post the changes I made, which are not with the ingredients, but directions.  I am using what is leftover today for French Toast.  I will let you know how it comes out.

Challah Bread:
In a large bowl,  let stand until yeast is dissolved (about 5 min)
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees F)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolk, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablepoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix by hand or on low speed until thoroughly blended.  Gradually stir in:
2 1/2 cup bread flour.
Knead for about 8 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hand or the bowl.  Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat.  Cover with plastic and allow to rise until doubled in volume (1 - 1 1/2 hours).  Punch dough down, knead briefly, and refrigerate covered until nearly doubled in volume again (4 - 12 hours).  The dough is now ready to be shaped.  Separate dough into three equal parts and braid dough, tucking ends under.  Brush with egg wash (1 egg and a pinch of salt) and allow to rise until not quite doubled in volume (about 45 minutes).  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush again with egg wash (you can also add sesame seeds or poppy seeds if desired here).  Bake until crust is golden and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

My variations are small:  first, I used King Arthur's Sir Galahad flour.  I buy a large 50 lb bag and use it for everything.  I don't worry about whether it is bread flour or all-purpose.  Secondly, I allowed the dough to rise for about 2 hours, punched it down, shaped it and allowed it to rise again.  I am sure there are probably some flavor differences by the 2nd rising in the refrigerator, but I didn't have the time for the refrigerator rise.  So, then I baked it.  The texture of the bread reminds me of streudel dough, and I am certain it would make yummy cinnamon rolls!  It did turn out yummy.



  1. Lovely, Jennifer! I am so glad you joined in the blog fest. You did a great job and I absolutely love your wooden cutout of St. Joseph. Viva San Giuseppe!

  2. great wood cutout of st. joseph. your bread and lemon cupcakes look delish.

    keep working to a full rosary.

    your intentions will be in our prayers.

    San Giuseppe ~ ora pro nobis

  3. Yummy food and beautiful bread. Can you please add the recipe to your Challah bread. Looks so pretty. God bless.

  4. Thank you Jackie - - I added it to the bottom of the post. I am using the leftover bread today for French Toast!

  5. Hi Jen,
    What a beautiful St. Joseph you made and the breads and muffins look delicious! It sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate a feast day and a birthday! I'm visiting from Evann's St. Joseph altar link up! I'm linked up under " A Slice of Smith Life" where I posted about our homeschool altar yesterday! Also, love your choice of blog templates as it is the same as mine on my blog :)
    God bless! Tracy