Today the church marks the celebration of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael with the Feast of Michaelmas.
We began the day with a delicious breakfast of pancakes. Florence Berger shares in her book Cooking for Christ,the tradition of making waffles baked in a Guafrette Iron for Michaelmas Day. My little guys don’t care much for waffles so we settled with pancakes made from waffle batter!
We topped off the pancakes with blackberry syrup as another tradition holds that blackberries are no longer good after Michaelmas day. Joanna Bogle, states in A Book of Feasts and Seasons that “It is a tradition that blackberries are no good to eat after September 29th because ‘the Devil spat on them when he was cast out of Heaven into Hell on Michaelmas!” I guess we are just obligated to indulge then, right? After all, it is a feast day!
After sharing with the children the many symbols of the Archangels and the meaning of their names, they crafted a shield of St. Michael, complete with a fierce dragon since he cast the Devil out of heaven,
and a scroll graced with a fleur de lis stating the proclamation of St. Gabriel to Mary.
According to Fisheaters, “As to foods, geese were, at least at one time, plentiful during this time of year, so roast goose dinners are traditional (eating them on this day is said to protect against financial hardship, according to Irish and English folk belief). It was also the time (at least in Ireland) when the fishing season ended, the hunting season began, and apples were harvested, so eating apples today with that goose would be a nice touch.”
So in keeping with tradition, after cutting the apples to expose the 5 pointed star, the children snacked on them with peanut butter, (I think perhaps next year we will give Sarah’s recipe for apple dip a try.)
For dinner, a roast goose seemed a rather big task for my small family to undertake for a weeknight dinner, so instead, we substituted with chicken. Baked buffalo chicken bites, renamed “Angel Wings” for the occasion, and a hearty tossed salad seemed perfect. In The Catholic Home, Meredith Gould mentions that carrots play a prominent role in Scotland on this feast as Raphael is the patron of eyesight, so we made sure to include lots of shredded carrots into the salad.
Lastly, for desert, a Devils food cake, complete with knives turned swords for piercing, was a big hit, especially with my son!
After the family meal, we prayed the Prayer to St. Michael. A Novena to either one or all of the Archangels would also have been a nice fit.
Happy Feast of Michaelmas!
How did you celebrate?