Thursday, June 17, 2021

Scripture Bookmarks

 I made these printable bookmarks to slip in my dad's Father's Day card. He and I both read a lot and love scripture, so this felt like a fun thing to share. I chose some verses that I remember when I feel daily stress. File below. Print on cardstock and cut apart. Please enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

New 12 Passion Gospels Printable

 We've been using the old Holy Thursday printable for 5 years! I thought I'd make a less-clip-arty one, so the kids can light the candles as they're read. Enjoy!

Holy Saturday Old Testament Readings

I finally got around to making a printable for the 15 Old Testament readings of Holy Saturday! Please enjoy. 


Booklet of Old Testament Readings for Holy Saturday from OCA Diocese of NY and NJ (print front and back and fold into a booklet):

Lovely series of homilies on the 15 OT Readings of Holy Saturday:

List of Readings:

1. Genesis 1:1-13

2. Isaiah 60-1-16

3. Exodus 12:1-12

4. The book of Jonah

5. Joshua 5:10-15

6. Exodus 13:20-15:19

7. Zephaniah 3:8-15

8. 3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 17:8-24

9. Isaiah 61:10-62:5

10. Genesis 22:1-18

11. Isaiah 61:1-10

12. 4 Kingdoms (2 Kings) 4:8-37

13. Isaiah 63:11-64:5

14. Jeremiah 38:31-34

15. Daniel 3:1-88

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Onion Skin Red Egg Dye

 I just realized the blog where I originally got my onion skin dye instructions is no more! Fortunately, I saved the instructions and will share them here for posterity with thanks to the Williams Family. 

Yellow Onion Skins Method 

Originally from: My additions in brackets.

Gather lots of yellow onion skins. [I actually keep a grocery sack in my pantry and collect them all year. Leave the sack open so they dry out and don't get moldy. If you don't have enough, buy a sack of onions and take all the skins off! That should be enough.] 

During Holy Week, a few days before Pascha [on Holy Thursday between morning Liturgy and evening Passion Gospels], stuff them into a pot and pour about 1.5 liters (or quarts - they are the same, pretty much) of water over them, plus one tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water. That is 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup) for a liter. I use white or pale vinegar. [Don't overdo the vinegar! It will break down the egg shell and make them look bad.]

It is important for all the onion skins to be submerged, but, at the same time, you don't want to dilute the dye by using too much water. So squish down the onion skins with a weighted plate. Bring this to a boil and then simmer for about a half hour. If, say, I had less than the desired about of onion skins, I might keep on simmering for longer, to extract as much color as possible from the skins. But, like I said, I usually have more than enough onion skins, so a half hour is enough to produce a deeply colored dye.

Cook the eggs at the same time as dying them. [I think you can take the skins out now, but I also think I've done it both ways.] If you want, you can hard-boil the eggs first, and then dye them (I don't know how much longer the dyeing would take without the heat, but probably not a significant amount of time). Certainly, that would be the way to go if you draw or write on them with wax before the dying process (to leave an imprint in the dye). Otherwise, the wax would melt off into the dye. 

My concluding remarks:

I usually make 40-50 eggs for our little parish, and the concern is to dye them without cracking. You can't pile them up or let the water boil too rapidly without risking cracking. I usually boil a single layer (12 or so) in the low-boiling dye for 8-10 minutes, repeating until I have enough.

One year I had a full gallon size bag of onion skins and doubled the recipe to make a very full pot. I don't think this is necessary since I don't like to layer the eggs while dying/cooking. Fewer skins will still go a long way. 

Someone told me to polish them with olive oil to make them pretty and shiny, and I like to do that. 

I keep them in a basket in the fridge until Holy Saturday morning, when I take them to the church and leave them in the fridge for the evening service. This natural dye won't bleed, if if they sweat in the fridge. Toward the end of the Liturgy I step out to get them and put them by the solea or take to an altar boy.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2021 Vasilopita

My children told me finding the coin in the vasilopita is a little stressful for them each year, so I decided to mix it up this time.  I chose 8 interesting coins, so that each of the 8 slices contains a unique one. This fits a little more nicely anyway with my favorite version of the St. Basil story - he redistributed wealth to all the poor through the bread.

So here is my weighty 2021 Vasilopita! 
Happy New Year, friends!

1/2 cup butter 
1 cup white sugar 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
3 eggs 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 cup warm milk 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds 
1 tablespoon white sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 8 inch round cake pan (I used a pie pan). Cream the butter and sugar together, then stir in the flour and mix until mealy. Add the eggs, baking powder and milk, mixing well. Then combine the lemon juice and baking soda, stir into the batter. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and gently drop the coin in to the cake. Flip the cake out of a pan to a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes, then decorate with white sugar and almonds or whatever.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Righteous Tamar

 I'm researching St. Ephrem the Syrian's unique attention to Tamar in Genesis 38. In my writing, I noted hers isn't the kind of story we write Sunday school songs about - but if we did, we should try to convey the wonder & symmetry that St. Ephrem finds in her story.

So then of course, I felt compelled to write a child-friendly song drawn from his Hymn 9 on the Nativity. I just wrote new words for the Galician Carol, "We Learned for the Angel," which is about the greeting to Mary at the Annunciation. So you hear the familiar ring of "Rejoice, Mary, full of grace," which may be lazy, but also totally appropriate.

Anyway, please enjoy my geeking out over this redeemed story:

Rejoice, O Tamar,
Woman full of faith,
Our Lord has made you chaste.

You sat at the gate
And you stole life,
So you were not afraid.

Blessed Foremother of the Lord!
Blessed desire for the savior you bore!
Rejoice, O full of faith!