Celebrate St. Nicholas Day


The Second Sunday of Advent this year is also St. Nicholas Day, a feast popular for centuries in many European countries but one which, sadly, failed to immigrate here in a big way.

Celebrating St. Nicholas and his good works, could mark a wonderful departure, if only for a day, from the over-hyped, over-commercialized run up to Christmas.

For children, it would be a really fine teaching moment, pointing out that Jolly Old St. Nick is really a powerful saint and fourth century bishop of the city of Myra in what is now Turkey.

Renowned for his great kindnesses and his generous aid to those in distress, among the many generous or miraculous acts attributed to him are: saving three young girls from a life on the streets by secretly providing their dowries; raising three murdered boys from the dead and saving sailors caught in stormy seas.

Festivities connected with the feast of the patron patron saint of children, unmarried girls and sailors, among others, included leaving gifts in children’s shoes or stockings — fruits nuts and sweets for good little girls and boys – lumps of coal for naughty kids. Coins were also left in the stockings as reminders of the life-saving dowries.

In some countries, the father of the family dressed up as Saint Nicholas on the eve of the feast and with great flourish, encouraged each child to examine his or her conscience.

Concluding the festivities with a sweet treat remains popular in many countries and this Black Forest ‘Good Works’ Cake would bring smiles to the mouths of everyone who tastes it. 

 According to St. Michael the Archangel On-Line, the website from whence it comes, the cherries in the middle of the cake symbolize the good works of St. Nicholas – some hidden from the eyes of others and some done openly.

Black Forest ‘Good Works’ Cake

Ingredients: 1 roll refrigerated brownie cookie dough; 1 (21-ounce) can of cherry pie filling;¼ cup sliced almonds; chocolate or fudge sauce

To make: divide brownie dough in half. Spread ½ in an 8-inch round cake pan (greased) and the other ½ in a second 8-inch round cake pan. (greased)

Bake as directed.

Cool both cakes. Place one cake on decorated plate.

Pour ½ of the thick chocolate or fudge sauce over the bottom cake and then cover with ½ can of cherries.

Place other brownie cake on top. Refrigerate. Right before serving, pour remainder of Chocolate/fudge sauce over top. Cover with remainder of cherries and almonds. Serve with lots of whipped cream!

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