Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meet Me In St. Louis~ Celebrating St. Louis' Feast Day

Saint Louis of France- King, Husband, Father of 11

Yesterday marked the Feast Day of King Saint Louis (read more about him here). This had significance for our family since he is Brian's patron saint. We feel fortunate to live close to St. Louis, Oregon & the pioneer-era St. Louis Church.

St. Louis Church-
built 1847
We have attended numerous Saturday morning Masses at St. Louis & we knew we would want to attend for sure yesterday. Father Eric Anderson celebrated a beautiful Mass in the second oldest Catholic Church in Oregon with the church almost full to capacity. We then went out to breakfast at the Sassy Onion and had a fun surprise as my folks along with sister Dawn & bro-in-law Jeff happened to be there too. I think Brian was wondering if I had planned to meet them, but since Josh was the one to choose the restaurant, he figured out it truly was a surprise. We all had delicious breakfasts as well as some really good coffee (Josh liked it so much, he ended up drinking four cups). I am always pleased to be able to have a good cup of coffee when I am eating out, and Sassy Onion does a great job with a good "cup of joe"!

We also stopped at a new favorite place to get groceries~ Cash & Carry~ for a few things. I have been going there for quite a number of years to do large meals such as Great Expectations & different retreats for which I have cooked. A few months ago, I realized their prices are very comparable with Costco, and the service is terrific. Knowing this, plus the fact that they have a great website with all of their prices and specials listed (not to mention the easy grocery list I can make on their website), we have started shopping there fairly regular. We did pick up some essentials along with some tea for Josh to take back to school next week, Chai (enjoyed by most of the family) & a large wheel of Brie to make my "Father Todd's Baked Brie" this week sometime before Josh heads off to Thomas More again.

I also planned on making a special meal to celebrate Brian's "Patron Saint Celebration" as we call it in the Keatley family.

Since St. Louis was French, I went with a bit of a French-themed meal with a few variations thrown in for fun. We ended up eating a bit later than I had wanted, due to the lamb taking a bit longer than expected~ that's what I get for roasting an 8 pound boneless leg of lamb late in the afternoon. I wanted to serve the lamb French-style, so I just added lots of fresh herbs, a bit of olive oil & roasted it in a 375 degree oven for about 2 hours. Along with the lamb, I made cheesy grits (okay, not too French, but really tasty), green beans & salad with homemade honey-dijon dressing. This was served with the Willamette Valley Vineyards Oregon Blossom wine (one of my new favorite summer libations)~ great with the lamb!

Sel Gris- adds a crunchy, salty goodness to
lots of things, including desserts!

Mary had made meringues that we were going to fill with whipped cream & fruit. The strawberries that we had made the week before had gone bad, so we poured caramel sauce over the whipped cream instead. Keeping with my French theme, I sprinkled some sel gris (grey sea salt from France) over the cream~ mmm, thus calling it "Meringue avec Caramel et Sel Gris"
Crispy meringue topped with whipped cream,
caramel & sel gris~ a perfect way to end the day!

Here is the recipe for the meringues. They look a lot harder to make than they are! We also like to top them with fresh fruit and whipped cream or even ice cream!

3 egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar


1.In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in sugar until very stiff and glossy. Using spatula and spoon, spread mixture onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, forming 4" circles (you can get about 6 on each large sheet). Make
a small indentation in the center of each meringue.
2.Bake at 190 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 2 hours. Turn oven off, and leave meringue in oven for 1 hour. Cool on baking rack for another hour. Store in air-tight container.

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