Christmas Sherbet Punch

Recipe by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman for The Food Network

 

Yield: 20 Servings

Christmas Sherbet Punch

Photo by the Food Network

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 gallon raspberry sherbet
  • 16 cups (1 gallon) cranberry juice (or cranberry mixed with pomegranate), well chilled
  • Two 2-liter bottles ginger ale, well chilled

 

Directions:

Make sure all the ingredients are very cold. Scoop the sherbet into a large punch bowl, then pour in the cranberry juice and ginger ale and stir gently.

 

12 Days of Christmas: An Underground Catechism Song?

Fact or Fiction?

The Real Meaning behind the 12 Days of Christmas

Partridge in a Pear Tree illustration  At one time, it was a crime to be Catholic.

During 1558 to 1829, Catholics in England were prohibited by law from any practice of their faith… private or public.  To be caught with anything in writing, indicating the adherence to the Catholic Faith, would find a person imprisoned, hanged…or hanged, drawn and quartered.

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” was written in England as one of the “catechism songs” to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith… a memory aid.

Rosary

Despite the absence of hard evidence that the 12 Days of Christmas is a song of catechism, it can still be used as a learning tool.

In 1979, a Canadian hymnologist, Hugh D. McKellar, published an article, “How to Decode the Twelve Days of Christmas”, claiming that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” lyrics were intended as a catechism song to help young Catholics learn their faith, at a time when practising Catholicism was criminalized in England (1558 until 1829). McKellar offered no evidence for his claim and subsequently admitted that the purported associations were his own invention.[29] The idea was further popularized by a Catholic priest, Fr. Hal Stockert, in an article he wrote in 1982 and posted online in 1995,[30][31] In 1987 and 1992, Fr. James Gilhooley, chaplain of Mount Saint Mary College of Newburgh, New York repeated these claims.[32][33] None of the enumerated items would distinguish Catholics from Protestants, and so would hardly need to be secretly encoded.[3]

Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, author of the Crossroads Initiative,  writes “The “Twelve Days of Christmas” refer to the eight days of the Christmas Octave from December 25 to New Years Day, and the four additional days up to and including the eve of January 6, the traditional date of the Epiphany. In the USA and many other countries, Epiphany is now celebrated on the first Sunday after New Years, so the exact number 12 does not necessarily apply. But the point is, don’t throw out the tree on the 26th–the birth of the Savior can’t be celebrated adequately in one day. Let the celebration continue through at least through the Feast of the Epiphany–if not through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

According to the Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals by Ann Ball, the famous song about the 12 Days of Christmas was written in England as a catechism song for young Catholics in the days when it was illegal to practice or teach the Catholic Faith. It contains hidden meanings intended to help children remember lessons of faith. Instead of referring to an earthly suitor, the “true love” mentioned in the song really refers to God. The “me” who receives the presents is symbolic of every baptized person.

There appears to be no conclusive historical evidence to prove this origin of the song, Nevertheless, the traditional association between the gifts mentioned in the song and various spiritual gifts is a fun way to turn a seemingly secular Christmas carol into a valuable catechetical tool. So let’s have fun with it!”

12 Days of Christmas

The song’s gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith.  The “true love” mentioned in the song refers to God, Himself.  The “me” who receives the presents refers to every baptized person.  The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (A mother partridge will feign injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings.)

the bird, partridge

A mother partridge will distract a predictor from her young in order to save them. The partridge in the song “12 Days of Christmas” represents Jesus.

The other symbols mean the following:

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens = the Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity)

4 Calling Birds = The Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch,” which gives the history of man’s fall from Grace.

6 Geese-a-Laying = The Six Days of Creation

7 Swans-a-Swimming = the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the 7 sacraments

8 Maids-a-Milking = the Eight Beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing = the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords-a-Leaping = the Ten Commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the Eleven faithful Apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the Twelve points of Doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

 

Candy Cane Punch

Recipe by Taste of Home©

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 jars (12 ounces each) strawberry jelly
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, divided
  • 2 quarts peppermint stick ice cream
  • Miniature candy canes, optional

 

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, melt jelly with 2 cups soda. Chill the jelly mixture and remaining soda.
  2. Just before serving, place 6 cups ice cream in a punch bowl. Gently stir in jelly mixture. Add remaining soda. Add remaining ice cream by scoopfuls.
  3. Garnish with candy canes if desired.

 

 

Nutrition Facts:

1 cup: 270 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 73mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (43g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
Originally published as Candy Cane Punch in Crafting Traditions November/December 1999

Smokey Bacon Wraps Recipe

Recipe by Taste of Home

Smokey Bacon Wraps

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sliced bacon
  • 1 package (16 ounces) miniature smoked sausage links
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

 

Directions: 

  1. Cut each bacon strip in half widthwise. Wrap one piece of bacon around each sausage.
  2. Place in a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp and sausage is heated through.

 
Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 90 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 293mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.
Originally published as Smoky Bacon Wraps in Quick Cooking January/February 2001

Garlic-Parmesan Cheese Ball

Recipe by Taste of Home©

 

Yield: 2 cups/1 Cheeseball

Garlic Parmesan Cheese Ball

Photo by Taste of Home©

 

Ingredients: 

 

  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • Assorted fresh vegetables and/or crackers

 

 

 

Nutrition Facts: 

2 tablespoons: 98 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 109mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

 

 

Originally published as Parmesan Cheese Spread in Simple & Delicious November/December 2007

Nutty Chicken Pita Sandwiches Recipe

Ingredients:

exps1576_TH0089C27D

Photo by Taste of Home©

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 6 pita pocket halves

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the chicken, green pepper, onions, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper; refrigerate.
  2. Just before serving, stir in walnuts. Spoon about 1/2 cup filling into each pita half.

 

 

Originally published as Nutty Chicken Pita Sandwiches in Taste of Home April/May 1996