Advent’s Feast of Love

Each of the four candles of Advent represent the light of God’s gifts for His children. Hope is the first light from above. Peace is the second, and Joy the third.

The fourth candle brings the light of Love into this world. For no greater gift is there than love. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. His message from the very beginning has remained constant – love one another as God the Father loves his children. Hebrews 13 tells us to love one another as brothers and sisters. That is to love one another as family. We are also instructed to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, we might be showing hospitality to angels.

As we prepare to light the candle of love in anticipation of Christmas Day, we also turn our hearts with joy to the coming of the Lord. It is then that His kingdom shall have no end. Peace be with you. My peace I give you. Let your hearts be filling with love.

Opening Prayer: Lord God, Lamb of God
Let Yours blessings come upon us
As we light the candles of this Advent wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a symbol
Of Christ’s promise of eternal salvation.

Response: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Light the first Purple Candle (Hope)
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
In the darkness and in the light, Holy is Your Name.
We place our hope in you, Oh Lord,
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of the Lord

Response: Now and forever. Amen.

Light the second Purple Candle (Peace)
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord; God of all creation.
Let your light shine on those who dwell in darkness.
Let the earth receive her King
And fill our hearts with Your everlasting peace

Response: Now and forever. Amen.

Light the Pink Candle (Joy)
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord; God of all creation.
Let our heats be glad as we wait in joyful hope
For the coming of our Lord
Give us a heart, O Lord, that seeks You always

Response: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Light the last Purple Candle (Love)
Prayer: Rejoice, for God so loved the world
That He gave to us His only Begotten Son
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Now and forever

Response: Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel

Advent’s Feast of Love
Garlic-Herb Pork Crown Roast
Sourdough Fresh Herb Stuffing
Simple Thyme-Dill Carrots

Garlic-Herb Pork Crown Roast
The Rub
3 Garlic Cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons Sage
2 springs Rosemary
2 sprigs Thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Orange Zest
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Stack sage leaves, finely chop and set aside. Strip rosemary needles from the stem, chop needles and set aside. Pluck thyme leaves from stems, set aside. Zest orange, set aside. (Reserve orange for later)

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, herbs, and zest. Season with salt and pepper, stir to blend and set aside.

The Roast
8 lb Pork Crown Roast
4 Garlic Cloves
1 small Orange (reserved from rub)
1 sprig Rosemary
1 sprig Thyme
Salt to taste
Fresh black Pepper to taste

Let roast come to room temperature on the counter for 1 hour.

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat oven to 450-degrees.

Peal garlic, cut cloves in half lengthwise, set aside. Cut orange into chunks, set aside.

Season the cavity of the pork with salt and pepper and stuff with the garlic, rosemary sprigs, thyme springs and orange pieces. Shield the ends of the ribs with small pieces of aluminum foil to prevent burning.

Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub the entire outer surface of the meat with the rub. Place roast on the oven rack then carefully pour 1/2-inch of water into the bottom of the roasting pan before closing the oven door.

Cook roast for 15 minutes, reduce oven to 325-degrees. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 145-degrees, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Tent loosely with foil and allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes. To carve, slice between rib bones to separate into individual chops.

Sourdough Fresh Herb Stuffing
1 large loaf Sourdough Bread
4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Butter
8 oz Cremini Mushrooms
1 large Yellow Onion
3 ribs Celery
4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme Leaves
1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh Sage, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh Oregano, chopped
4 cups Chicken Stock

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread out on a baking sheet and set aside for the day to dry out.

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, toss dried bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper. Return bread to the rimmed baking sheet, spread out evenly. Bake in the heated oven until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

While bread is toasting, clean, stem and quarter mushrooms, set aside. Peel onion, dice into small pieces and set aside. Clean celery, trim ends and dice into small pieces, set aside. Peel, thinly slice garlic lengthwise, set aside. Pluck thyme leaves from sprigs. Strip rosemary needles, chop and set aside. Chop fresh sage, parsley and oregano, set aside.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the butter. When butter has melted and foaming subsides, add mushrooms. Cook stirring occasionally until mushroom are browned- about 5 minutes. Add onions, celery and garlic. Cook until onions have just turned translucent and are soft- about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and fold in herbs.

Return toasted bread cubes to the large mixing bowl. Add sautéed vegetables, toss to mix. Add chicken stock, one cup at a time, to the bread mixture. Press mixture lightly between additions of stock to help the bread soak in the liquid.

Pour stuffing into a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole baking dish. Drizzle with any stock left in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Press down on the top of the stuffing gently, set aside for 10 minutes.

Place stuffing into the heated oven (350-degrees). Let bake until warmed through, top brown and crispy, about 25 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Simple Thyme-Dill Carrots
1 lb Baby Carrots
1/4 cup Water
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon Thyme Leaves or to taste
1/8 teaspoon Dill or to taste

Place carrots in a microwave-safe bowl. Add just a little water to the bowl. Place in the microwave on HIGH for about 5 minutes.

While the carrots are cooking, strip the leaves from sprigs of thyme. Dice and set aside. Finely mince some dill. Set aside.

Drain carrots, place in a sauce pan over low heat. Add butter to the pan. Coat the carrots in the butter as it melt. Add the herbs. Stir to blend. Heat over low heat until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl, garnish with a few snips of thyme and serve.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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