Today is the Feast Day of The Holy Innocents. For those unfamiliar with this Holy Day, it was originally a day of great mourning and fasting within the Christian communities, a day of remembrance for the Slaughter of Innocence. Although the date is unknown, on December 28 the church mourned the children who were said to be massacred in Bethlehem by King Herod the Great in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus.
In medieval England, children were reminded of the mournfulness of the day by being whipped in their beds. As unbelievable as it seems, this disturbing custom survived into the 17th century. Today the day is observed as a religious feast day and a day of merrymaking for children. Rather than mourn the loss, remember the joy of a child. After all, children are the most precious gift from above.
The primary reason for the Feast Day of The Holy Innocents is to honor the children who have died and continue to die as a result of evil in this world, and to comfort their grieving mothers for a loss so profound we cannot begin to comprehend it. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
When good people do nothing, nothing good gets done. To be a good person, you must do good deeds. That does not mean achieve greatness. A smile is contagious. A gentle word goes a long way. Sometimes the simplest acts of kindness are the most profound. Don’t let the giving end with Christmas. When you give of yourself even in the smallest of ways, the reward to the spirit is amazing.
Wow, got a little deep there. Since this is a day to celebrate children, I wanted to share two popular kid-friendly dishes in one awesome casserole. Kids love Sloppy Joes. It’s the messiness that really gets them. And they love tater tots. Anything that they can eat with their fingers, right? So why not put the two together? A real twist is the pickles on top. I love the surprise crunch of dill pickles.
Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole
1 cup White Onion
1 lb Ground Beef
1 can (16 oz) favorite Sloppy Joe Sauce
1 tablespoon packed Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 bag (32 oz) frozen Tater Tots
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded (8 oz)
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13-inch by 9-inch glass casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. Peel and dice the onion, set aside.
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and onions, and cook for about 8 minutes. Stir often with a wooden spoon, breaking up the ground beef into small pieces as it cook. Drain well, return to skillet, place skillet over medium-high heat.
Stir in the sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and salt. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until boiling.
Place half of the frozen potatoes in single layer in bottom of baking dish. Pour all of the beef mixture on top. Top with 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese, then the remaining potatoes, then remaining 1 cup of cheese.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and potatoes are lightly browned. Top with chopped pickles.