Celebrate the Presentation of Mary with a Feast

Much like the Old Testament story of Hannah and her son Samuel, tradition holds that Mary, as a little girl of three years old, was given to God to be educated and raised in the temple as a result of a promise made between God and Saint Anne while she suffered from a long period of infertility. Mary came to her at a time that was beyond child bearing years.

The celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of Mary was first documented in the 11th century within the Byzantine Catholic Church. It was introduced into the Roman Catholic Church in the 15th century by Pope Gregory XI, then removed from the calendar by Pope Pius V in the mid 16th century. Pope Sixtus V later reestablished the feast in 1585. It has been celebrated each year since then. The feast commemorates the faith of her parents, Saints Joachim and Anne, and the purity of Mary.

We are all presented to the Lord through Baptism. Like Mary, we are given the opportunity to rise up and dedicate our lives in the service of the Lord. Not everyone is called to be as an ordained servant. Mary served the Lord through motherhood. Motherhood is a calling. Marriage and family are calling. Showing kindness and compassion is serving the Lord.

Feasts dedicated to the saints, and to Mary serve as reminders that ordinary people are capable of amazing goodness. It is within all of us.

A Feast for Mother Mary
Tomato-Mushroom Italian Chicken Skillet
Simple Spinach Fettuccine
Italian Bread with Garlic Balsamic Vinegar

Tomato-Mushroom Italian Chicken Skillet
8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
14 oz Grape Tomatoes
4 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Lemon
6 thin-cut boneless Chicken Breasts
Dried Oregano to taste
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Flour
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Olive Oil
1/2 cup White Wine
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
Handful Baby Spinach

Clean mushrooms, trim and slice. Set mushrooms aside. Cut tomatoes in half, set aside. Peel and mince garlic, set aside. Cut lemon in half at the middle, set aside.

Pat chicken cutlets dry. Season on both sides with dried oregano, salt and black pepper.

Place flour in a shallow dish or pie tin. Add Italian Seasoning to the flour, whisk to blend. Dredge chicken in the seasoned flour; dust off excess. Set chicken aside.

Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet with a lid. Brown the chicken about 3 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer chicken to a warm plate, cover and keep warm.

To the now empty skillet, add more olive oil if needed. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about a minute over medium-high. Add the tomatoes, garlic. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Scatter about 2 teaspoons of flour over the mushroom mixture. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, stirring frequently.

Add white wine to deglaze the skillet. Simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly. Juice half a lemon over the skillet. Add chicken stock.

Bring the liquid to a boil, return chicken back to the skillet. Cook over high heat for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 8 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Remove from heat, scatter spinach into the skillet. Cover and let spinach wilt. Serve directly from the skillet.

Simple Spinach Fettuccine
8 oz Spinach Fettuccine
2 Shallots
6 Garlic Cloves
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta al dente as directed.

While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, peel and finely mince shallot. Set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Cut tomatoes in half, set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Lower heat to medium-low. Add the garlic; continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture is soft and golden without browning, about 4 minutes longer. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

Drain the fettuccine, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

Increase the heat under the shallot-garlic mixture to medium; add the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved pasta liquid; simmer just long enough for the tomatoes to soften, about 2 minutes total.

Place fettuccini in a large serving bowl. Pour tomato mixture over the pasta, toss to mix together. Serve.

At the table, finish plate serving a drizzle of olive oil, fresh black pepper and a scattering of Parmesan cheese.

Italian Bread with Garlic Balsamic Vinegar
1 loaf Italian Take and Bake
4 tablespoons Minced Garlic
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
8 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Open bread loaf, place in the center of the oven directly on the rack.

Bake for 15 minutes. Slice, place in a bread basket. Serve warm.

While the bread breaks, place minced garlic and Italian Seasoning in a shallow bowl. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with fresh black pepper.

Serve dip with bread to use as desired.

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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