After Mass on Pentecost, favorite friends at table, sweet fare to share


This Sunday is Pentecost and we’ve been planning for days just how we’ll celebrate.

We’ve decided, after years of clinging to the parish church we grew up in, to finally make the move to St. Mary of the Lake – Holy Family Parish in Lakewood, where we’ve lived for the last several years.

I always like to time special personal occasions to special feast days in the Church and this being the case, we’ve chosen Pentecost as the official start of our new parish membership.

Now, according to pious legend, King Arthur (a family hero of long standing) always kept Pentecost in a big way. It is written of him that he gathered all his knights at the round table on this day for a feast and a quest. With him in mind, we’ll be gathering around Mom’s round table on the porch-dining room with a circle of good friends to celebrate the day.

Perhaps it will be cool enough to go “questing” around the lake for which the town is named later in the afternoon.

The entree for the day will be chicken, grilled on our old backyard barbecue so as to enjoy some actual flames, though culinary ones, not those of the Holy Spirit. The special dessert will be Pentecost Cake, a treasure from Helen McLoughlin’s venerable, 1956 treasure trove: “Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost.”

Pentecost Cake

Ingredients: 2/3 cup scalded milk; 1 cup sugar; 1 – 1/3 cups flour sifted; 3 teaspoons baking powder; 2 egg whites; 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon vanilla frosting; 15 large strawberries; 1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar; 2 tablespoons soft butter. Sugar to taste.

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Scald the milk and allow it to cool. Sift sugar, flour and baking powder together three times. Add scalded milk gradually, beating constantly. In a separate bowl, blend egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla and beat until egg whites refuse to slip when the bowl is tipped and fold into the floured mixture. Bake in a greased seven-inch tube pan for forty-five minutes or until the cake is golden brown and firm to the touch. Invert the cake on a rack and cool.

Meanwhile, hull and clean the strawberries. Crush 8 with a fork and sweeten to taste. Make a frosting of 1-1/2 cups of confectionary sugar, 2 tablespoons of soft butter and 2 tablespoons of crushed strawberries in their juice. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl, add the rest of the crushed berries and juice beating well with a fork. Add only enough to make a mixture that spreads easily. Frost the cake and top with seven whole strawberries as a reminder of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

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