Saint Bartholomew (also called Nathanael in the Gospel of John) was one of the first of Christ’s disciples. After Jesus ascended into heaven, Bartholomew went to preach about Him in India and Armenia, which is in the Middle East. Some people believed and became Christians, but some people didn’t want to listen to him. They tortured him by cutting the skin off of his body until he died.
People all over the world celebrate Saint Bartholomew’s day in different ways. In Kent, England, there is a children’s race around Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital, and each child gets a current bun. In Austria, people bring butter to church to be blessed. In other places, people eat spiced nuts and gingerbread, possibly because he preached in India where there are many spices. The gingerbread is usually decorated with icing and sometimes gold. Here’s an easy recipe for gingerbread that you can bake. When it’s cooled, cut it into pieces and have fun decorating!
• 3-1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon ginger
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
• ¾ cups sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1-1/3 cups milk
• White icing, gold decorator dust, etc.
1. Sift the flour, ginger, and soda together.
2. Cream the butter with the sugar; add the eggs, then the sifted flour, and finally the milk. Mix well.
3. Let dough rest for a half an hour while you preheat the oven to 350° F. Gently move the dough into a greased 13x9 pan, level it and bake for about thirty-five minutes.
Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951