A sweet birthday bouquet for the Blessed Virgin Mary

For Catholics, today is the day to celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birth.

Exactly nine months after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Mary’s birth celebration  is one of only three “nativity” feasts on our calendar. She is celebrated thusly along with her son and his cousin, John the Baptist, because all three were born without Original Sin.

At our house, the day includes a bit of festivity in Mary’s honor. A new garden flag depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe purchased, I’m so pleased to say, in a gift shop in the Methodist camp meeting village of Ocean Grove, was flapping merrily in the breeze as I left home this morning. Another new reminder of Mary — a candle holder, again of Mary as the Guadalupe — is poised and ready for the candle lighting and prayers tonight just before dinner. Fresh flowers from the garden, of course, will further embellish the table setting. 

In the fridge, a blueberry pudding composed in Mary’s  honor, is ready and waiting to bring the celebration to a sweet conclusion.   

This is a feast I really enjoy celebrating because it prepares the way for the birth of Christ.

Let the harbingers of Halloween on the shelves of the secular market places rest in peace for the day and celebrate Mary, the perfect gateway to the closing months of the year.

This blueberry pudding is adapted from several recipes on the Internet. It’s easy to put together and definitely delish!

Mary’s Blueberry Pudding

Ingredients: 4 cups fresh blueberries or, if you must, 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen, unsugared blueberries; 1 cup sugar; 10 slices home style white bread; 1/4 cup butter; 1 cup whipped cream, sweetened to taste.

Directions: In a saucepan, combine the berries and sugar. Place over medium to low heat. Stir until the berries cook to a sauce consistency – about 15 minutes. butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Trim the edges off the bread. Butter the bread generously with butter or substitute of your choice but only on one side.

Spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of the loaf pan. Top with 2 slices of bread, fitting them so they cover the entire bottom of the pan. Top with 2 more slices of bread. Repeat until all the bread and blueberry sauce is used up, ending with the sauce. Cover. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and chill overnight.

To serve, run the knife around the edges to loosen. Invert onto a plate, garnish with more blueberries if you have fresh and cut into slices. Serve with whipped cream spooned over each slice.


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