Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima. It marks the first of six monthly appearances of our Blessed Mother to three young children in Portugal. She came to the world during a time of war and upheaval. She promised peace while predicting future wars far worse than the Great War.
While we often think of Our Lady’s appearances to the shepherd children as their only encounters with a messenger from God, there were actually 3 previous visitations by the Angel of Portugal a year earlier. The angel prepared the children for their meeting with the Queen of Heaven that would follow.
The Church has always held to the belief that while the appearance of Mary are very much real, none of the feasts dedicated to our Blessed Mother are actually committed to Church Doctrine. This means Catholics are free to believe or not believe without their choices reflecting on their faithfulness to Church teachings.
I choose to believe. Why? It’s not something I can put into words. It’s a feeling that is pressed into my heart. An inner voice that encourages me to believe. And I am grateful to the Church for allowing me the freedom to embrace or reject Our Lady of Fatima for myself. The message of Fatima is one of peace achieved through prayer. Evil exists in the world, and the greatest Evil of all is war, the spawn of hatred. Be not afraid, for in the end Evil will not triumph.
Dear Lady of Fatima,
We come on bended knee
To beg your intercession,
For peace and unity.
O my Jesus
Forgive us our sins
Save us from the fires of hell
And lead all souls to Heaven
Especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
To honor Portugal and in keeping with the penance of Friday, this one sheet supper is a perfect choice. Enjoy!
Spicy Portuguese Salmon Sheet Pan Supper
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
2 thick Salmon Fillets
1 bunch Asparagus
4 Red Potatoes
Peel and finely mince garlic, place in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Brush spicy mixture over the salmon. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours for flavors to blend.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet, set aside.
Scribe skins of potatoes, cut potatoes into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Spread potatoes out at one end of the baking sheet. Place in the oven to roast for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim asparagus. Cut spears in half. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Remove salmon from the refrigerator. Remove baking sheet from oven. Place salmon in the center of the baking sheet. Season with more pepper to taste. Place asparagus next to the salmon filet.
Return to the oven, continue to bake another 20 minutes or until salmon is flakey, potatoes are roasted through and asparagus are tender.
Serve and enjoy.
Today is also National Apple Pie Day. I haven’t a clue why you would be celebrating Apple Pie Day in May. Maybe as part of the whole 4th of July All American Apple Pie would make sense. But that’s a stretch, especially since apples are a fall crop. At lease around these parts they are. Apple Hill, in the upper foothills, has celebrations and festivals beginning Labor Day Weekend, and ending Thanksgiving Weekend. So while I love apple pies year round, my thoughts wander to apples with the changing colors of the leaves.
This pie recipe is the best of two worlds – Apple Pie and Caramel Apples. What a winning combination!
Caramel Apple Pie
1 box Refrigerated Pie Crust (2 count)
5 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Cane Sugar
4 tablespoons Corn Starch
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 tablespoons Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons Butter
Raw Sugar Crystals, optional
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Soften pie crust dough as directed on package.
Roll out half the pie dough into a large circle, then line a pie plate with bottom crust. Roll out remaining pie dough into a 9-inch square, then slice into thick strips and set aside.
Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Place in a large bowl. Juice half a lemon, sprinkle juice over the apples. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine both sugars, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add mixture to apples and toss. Add vanilla and cream to apple mixture and stir to combine.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet, then add apple mixture and cook for approximately 4 minutes, until slightly softened. Pour cooked mixture into pie shell. Layer dough strips over the apples in a lattice pattern, alternating over and under with each strip.
Whisk egg in a small bowl to create an egg wash. Coat crust with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar crystals.
Place pie on a sheet pan to avoid spillage. Bake in the heated oven for about 45 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through.
Remove from oven, place on a wire rack to cool. Pie may be served slightly warmed or at room temperature.