Monday, November 22, 2010

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Saint Elizabeth's feast day was last week, on Chris's and my anniversary. So, I double-dipped and made this Hungarian coffee cake as an anniversary breakfast treat! It was very yummy. I used my cathedral bundt pan, and the cake came out perfectly (exciting, because I have had problems with cakes sticking and then tearing apart in the past using this pan!)... its shape resembles a crown - at least, I think it does - and Saint Elizabeth was a queen.

I didn't frost the cake as is shown in the link to the recipe, and I made a few modifications... I used while wheat pastry flour instead of white flour, I used 1 1/2 cups Sucanat instead of 2 cups of granulated sugar... and I found out that I could have used less sugar in the topping after baking it, so I will do that next time. It turned out very moist and light, and so yummy! I love to find fun feast day ideas for baking, but I also have the dilemma of not wanting to provide sweets to my kids too often (especially if it is baking a cake, since sharing a whole cake between four people makes for lots of cake per person!), so I am frequently trying to modify things so they are a bit more in line with my typical way of cooking. Hmm, maybe I should categorize some of my past blog posts as "healthy feast day cooking."

Back during E week along the Alphabet Path, I began an embroidery project of St. Elizabeth of Hungary... I had never embroidered before, and so silly me, I thought maybe Caroline could do a bit of it along with me. It turned out not to be difficult at all, but too tedious for a five year old, in my opinion. So I worked on it here and there, and I finally was motivated to get it done near St. Elizabeth's actual feast day (a few days after, that is...). The pattern comes from the Saints n' Stitches patterns so kindly created and shared by Charlotte on Waltzing Matilda. They are all so cute, and now I am considering making a couple more as stocking stuffers or maybe for Epiphany gifts. There is a St. Clare I could do for CC, and Caroline would like the St. Therese pattern, I am sure.

Here is the embroidery, all finished before turning it into a stuffed doll. St. Elizabeth was said to have taken food to the poor, and her husband (a King, remember) didn't think this was the sort of work a Queen should be doing. When he opened her cloak in which she was carrying loaves of bread, he found roses instead. The pattern depicts both the bread and the roses inside her cloak in order to depict the story.

And here's Caroline holding up the doll... the only problem was that the girls fought over it a bit! Cecilia enjoyed carrying it around a lot, but I didn't end up with a photo of her with it... I think these would be really fun to make and give as gifts for namedays, Baptisms, First Communions, or as a gift from a godparent to a godchild... lots of possibilities!

So, while it took me a really long time to complete it, the finished product was worth it in the end, and I could complete others more quickly now that I have a bit of experience... although I really don't know if I am doing it completely right. For instance, surely there is an easier way to thread an embroidery needle... or a needle with a larger eye, perhaps? I kept unraveling my embroidery thread each time I tried to get it through the needle. I also have some things to learn about using a transfer pencil... I don't think it came out dark enough, and it actually looked like it faded over the weeks, because by the time I got to the bread and roses, I couldn't even see enough of the faint marking to follow it, and so I made up the roses and bread by myself as I stitched. But these were just minor issues I had - overall, it is very easy to embroider when you are following a pattern!

1 comment:

mel said...

This is great! I've been looking for something to make as a homemade gift for Tess and Henry, these will be perfect.