For Latin Rite Catholics around the world, today is more than just the first day of the new year, it’s also a Holy Day of Obligation. Yep, we get up on New Year’s Day and go to mass. And not just any mass, this is the Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God. January 1st is the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. That’s a fancy word for Christmastime or the Christmas Season within the liturgical year. It’s also the 8th day in the life of a Jewish Baby Boy.
For many, Christmas Time or the Christmas Season begins at sundown on December 24th and ends on the twelfth night, January 5th. (There’s that undeniable Jewish influence again – sunset to sunset).
January 6th is the Epiphany of The Lord or Three Kings. It marks the beginning of Ordinary Times within the Church. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Today we celebrate Mary.
We are reminded of the importance of motherhood, the importance of faith, the need to trust outside ourselves and to be humble in all we do. These are mighty resolutions for the new year. When the time comes, we will not be judged by what we had but by how we lived among others.
My resolution for this new year is to live life to the fullest, and that means making the most of God’s Blessing. Doing God’s Work does not mean to sit in judgment or point out the shortcomings of others. For me, it means that I will strive to be His helping hands, reaching out to those in need. That’s such a vague term, those in need. And yet we often think of the downtrodden. Those in need aren’t always the poor, or the homeless or even those who appear lost in the world. Sometimes the most important person in the room is the one in most need of a kind word or genuine smile or random act of kindness without expecting anything in return. Simple acts are often the most profound, having the greatest rippling effect.
Something as simple as baking a cobbler to show that you care can warm the hearts of others for years to come.
Triple Berry Cobbler
1 refrigerated Pie Dough
8 cups Mixed Berries (Strawberry, Blueberry and Blackberry)
2/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons instant Tapioca
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Egg White
Remove pie dough from the refrigerator and allow come to temperature according to package directions. Flour working surface and roll out dough to a little less than a quarter inch thick. Using various size star cookie cutters cut into shapes. Place stars on a cookie sheet and chill until ready to use.
Rinse the berries. Cut the strawberries into quartered pieces. In large bowl combine berries, sugar, lemon juice, instant tapioca, and cornstarch. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes to soften tapioca.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place cobbler in 1 1/2 quart baking dish or several individual oven-safe ceramic bowls. Remove stars from the refrigerator, place on cobbler. In a small bowl, beat egg white until frothy. Brush stars with the egg white wash.
Bake in the heated oven for about 45 minutes or until the stars are lightly browned.
Note: Cooking time will vary depending upon how thick the stars are, how they are stacked or scattered over the cobbler.
If baking in individual dishes, arrange on a heavy rimmed baking sheet. This will make placing and removing the cobblers from the oven easier.
Serve with or without a scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream.