My friend Christi and I share a common love for the Lord, and we also both have sons who are seminarians. So when Christi approached me with a fun little cooking challenge to prepare special meals for our seminarian sons and their friends, I was delighted to partake in it. We both purchased copies of From a Rectory Kitchen: Italian Food Cooked and Served in the Joy of the Lord, which was written by Christi's friend, Fr. Matthew R. Mauriello and Franca Bosio Bertoli. The plan is that we will invite priests and seminarians to dinner, prepare some recipes from the cookbook, post pictures and details of the dinner here on this blog, and thereby hopefully inspire you, the reader, to also purchase the cookbook and prepare the recipes for your favorite priests and seminarians.
I gladly agreed to start off the challenge since I already had a dinner planned with priests and seminarians as the guests of honor. My family had planned to celebrate my son John's graduation from high school with an informal cook-out for friends and family. The guest list included Bishop Donald Hying and seminarian-to-be Jerry Krajewski. My family has known Jerry ever since he was a toddler, and trust me, when he finally does enter the seminary he will be a huge success and will one day make a fabulous priest. Since we were expecting twelve guests in addition to our family of seven, I didn't want to alter the menu too much from the simple summer cook out that we had originally planned, so I chose recipes for Insalata Di Patate E Fagiolini (potato and string bean salad) and a Fragole Cento Volte (strawberries 100 times) that both seemed easy to make and casual enough to fit with an easy dinner menu of hamburgers and bratwurst on the grill.
The idea was that I would prepare these two recipes without the help of Chef Paul (my husband) who usually does all of the cooking when we entertain guests. I did ask his opinion after preparing the Potato and String Bean Salad and he suggested adding a bit more oil and pepper. He mentioned that this was an old-fashioned recipe that is delicious as a base for a tuna steak.
The strawberries were super easy to make, and yes, I really did stir them 100 times although I'm not sure why it was necessary to stir them so much. But when I was done they were glistening and oh so delicious! My daughter, Mary, tested a few and agreed that they were fantastic.
After a few rain showers worked their way through our area on the day of the party, the weather became hot and sultry which made these cold vegetable and fruit dishes especially appealing. Not only did we enjoy fabulous company at our dinner, but our priest and seminarian guests, Bishop Hying, Jerry and John, all commented that the potato and strawberry salads were delicious and very enjoyable.
In addition to the potato salad and strawberry dessert, our menu included hamburgers and brats on the grill, broccoli slaw, assorted beers and wine (Sea Glass and Holy Spirits brands) and lavender cake.
Of course, no meal with Bishop Hying would be complete without his favorite dessert, Bishop's Pie. The recipe for Bishop's Pie didn't come from the cookbook, but it was my own concoction based on Bishop Hying's description of his favorite childhood dessert. A few summer's ago my family and I enjoyed a gluttonous summer as we tried out several ice cream pie recipes until we came up with one to which Bishop Hying confessed was exactly how he remembered it, and he recently added, "My mom would be proud!" I've posted the recipe here several times before but in case you missed it, you can find it at the end of this post.
The next stop on this blogalicious cooking adventure will be at Christi's beautiful home late in July where her guests of honor will be St. Francis de Sales Seminary rector, Fr. John Hemsing and her seminarian son Paul Jentz and possibly several other priests and seminarians. Christi will share the results of that dinner here on Imprisoned in my Bones. After that you can look forward to several other future posts about dinners prepared for priests and seminarians by Christi and I using From A Rectory Kitchen recipes.
May I ask that you please keep all bishops, priests and seminarians in your prayers. We may work to feed their bodies but they work to feed our souls and that is nourishment that will last forever!
1/4 c. corn syrup
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 1/2 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. chocolate syrup
3 tbsp. corn syrup
1 qt. vanilla ice cream
first 3 ingredients in saucepan. Cook over low heat until mix begins to
boil. Remove from heat, add 1/4 cup peanut butter and Rice Krispies.
Press into 9" pie pan for crust. Stir next 3 ingredients together.
Spread 1/2 mix over crust. Freeze until firm. Soften ice cream slightly
and spoon over crust. Freeze until firm. Allow to stand 10 minutes
before serving. Warm remaining peanut butter mix and drizzle on top.