Yield: 20 Servings
- 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
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.
Fact or Fiction?
The Real Meaning behind the 12 Days of Christmas
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.
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. The idea was further popularized by a Catholic priest, Fr. Hal Stockert, in an article he wrote in 1982 and posted online in 1995, In 1987 and 1992, Fr. James Gilhooley, chaplain of Mount Saint Mary College of Newburgh, New York repeated these claims. None of the enumerated items would distinguish Catholics from Protestants, and so would hardly need to be secretly encoded.
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!”
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 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
Recipe by Taste of Home©
- 1 pound fully cooked ham, cubed
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup crushed cornflakes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse ham in batches in a food processor until finely ground. Combine with the next seven ingredients just until mixed. Shape into 1-in. balls; place in a single layer on greased 15×10-in. rimmed baking pans.
- For glaze, cook and stir all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Spoon over ham balls. Bake until ham balls are just beginning to brown, 30-35 minutes, rotating pans and carefully stirring halfway through. Gently toss in glaze. Serve warm.
1 meatball: 52 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 113mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.
Recipe by Taste of Home
- 1 pound sliced bacon
- 1 package (16 ounces) miniature smoked sausage links
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- Cut each bacon strip in half widthwise. Wrap one piece of bacon around each sausage.
- Place in a foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp and sausage is heated through.
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
Recipe by Taste of Home©
Yield: 2 cups/1 Cheeseball
- 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
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
These tasty sausage balls can even be made ahead of time, and frozen. Just thaw and bake when you need them…but you may not want to wait that long!
2 (16 ounce) packages Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean® Pork Sausage
(Sage pork sausage is also a good choice)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick®
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Form into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet; bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks.
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