May 172017
 

On this date in 1902, archaeologist Valerios Stais found among some pieces of rock that had been retrieved from the Antikythera shipwreck in Greece 2 years earlier, one piece of rock that had a gear wheel embedded in it. Stais initially believed it was an astronomical clock, but most scholars at the time considered the device to be an anachronism of some sort, too complex to have been constructed during the same period as the other pieces that had been discovered with it (dated around the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE). Nope !! What is now called the Antikythera mechanism is, in fact, an ancient Greek analogue computer and orrery used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes, as well as a four-year cycle of athletic games that was similar, but not identical, to an Olympiad, the cycle of the ancient Olympic Games.  Nothing like it would re-emerge in Europe for 15 centuries. There is so much about the ancient world that remains a mystery (Stonehenge, the Pyramids, etc.).

The Antikythera mechanism was found to be housed in a 340 mm (13 in) × 180 mm (7.1 in) × 90 mm (3.5 in) wooden box but full analysis of its form and uses has only recently been fully performed.  In fact after Stais discovered it, it was ignored for 50 years, but then gradually scientists of various stripes, including historians of science, looked into it, and research into the mechanism is ongoing. Derek J. de Solla Price of Yale became interested in it in 1951, and in 1971, both Price and Greek nuclear physicist Charalampos Karakalos made X-ray and gamma-ray images of the 82 fragments.

The mechanism is clearly a complex clockwork device composed of at least 30 meshing bronze gears. Using modern computer x-ray tomography and high resolution surface scanning, a team led by Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth at Cardiff University were able to look inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism and read the faintest inscriptions that once covered the outer casing of the machine. Detailed imaging of the mechanism suggests it dates back to around 150-100 BCE and had 37 gear wheels enabling it to follow the movements of the moon and the sun through the zodiac, predict eclipses and even recreate the irregular orbit of the moon. The motion, known as the first lunar anomaly, was first described by the astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes in the 2nd century BCE, and so it’s possible that he was consulted in the machine’s construction. Its remains were found as one lump later separated into three main fragments, which are now divided into 82 separate fragments after conservation work. Four of these fragments contain gears, while inscriptions are found on many others. The largest gear is approximately 140 mm (5.5 in) in diameter and originally had 224 teeth.

It is not known how the mechanism came to be on the sunken cargo ship, but it has been suggested that it was being taken from Rhodes to Rome, together with other looted treasure, to support a triumphal parade being staged by Julius Caesar. The mechanism is not generally referred to as the first known analogue computer, and the quality and complexity of the mechanism’s manufacture suggests it has undiscovered predecessors made during the Hellenistic period.

In 1974, Price concluded from the gear settings and inscriptions on the mechanism’s faces that it was made about 87 BCE and lost only a few years later. Jacques Cousteau and associates visited the wreck in 1976 and recovered coins dated to between 76 and 67 BCE. Though its advanced state of corrosion has made it impossible to perform an accurate compositional analysis, it is believed the device was made of a low-tin bronze alloy (of approximately 95% copper, 5% tin). All its instructions are written in Koine Greek, and the consensus among scholars is that the mechanism was made in the Greek-speaking world.

In 2008, continued research by the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project suggested the concept for the mechanism may have originated in the colonies of Corinth, since they identified the calendar on the Metonic Spiral as coming from Corinth or one of its colonies in Northwest Greece or Sicily. Syracuse was a colony of Corinth and the home of Archimedes, which, so the Antikythera Mechanism Research project argued in 2008, might imply a connection with the school of Archimedes. But the ship carrying the device also contained vases in the style common in Rhodes of the time, leading to a hypothesis that the device was constructed at an academy founded by the Stoic philosopher Posidonius on that island. Rhodes was busy trading port in antiquity, and also a center of astronomy and mechanical engineering, home to the astronomer Hipparchus, active from about 140 BCE to 120 BCE. That the mechanism uses Hipparchus’s theory for the motion of the moon suggests the possibility he may have designed, or at least worked on it. Finally, the Rhodian hypothesis gains further support by the recent decipherment of text on the dial referring to the dating (every 4 years) of the relatively minor Halieia games of Rhodesl. In addition, it has recently been argued that the astronomical events on the parapegma (almanac plate) of the Antikythera Mechanism work best for latitudes in the range of 33.3-37.0 degrees north. Rhodes is located between the latitudes of 35.5 and 36.25 degrees north.

Using analysis of existing fragments various attempts have been made on paper, and in metal, to reconstruct a working model of the mechanism.

Some of the earliest Greek recipes extant mention the use of cheese. In book 9 of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus meets the Cyclops Polyphemus in cave who, on returning with his sheep and goats from the fields, milks them and makes cheese with the milk. Feta is made from sheep’s milk or a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk, so some food historians conjecture that feta or something akin may date from the 8th century BCE (Homer’s era).

One of the oldest Greek recipes, although hard to interpret accurately, calls for fish baked with cheese and herbs.  I don’t have the necessary ingredients to hand to experiment at the moment, and recipes for baked or fried fish and feta that I have available, all call for New World ingredients such as tomatoes and zucchini. My suggestion would be to coat a roasting pan with olive oil, lay in some Mediterranean fish fillets, and top them with crumbled feta mixed with either yoghurt or breadcrumbs seasoned with dill, salt and pepper. Garlic and onions would make good seasonings as well. Bake at 375˚F for 20 to 25 minutes and serve with boiled potatoes and a green salad.

If you don’t want to be quite so adventurous, fill halved pitas with a mix of feta, chives and herbs, drizzle with olive oil, and grill briefly until the pitas are golden and the feta is soft.

Mar 252014
 

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The Feast of the Annunciation marks the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he told her that she would be the mother of Jesus. It is celebrated on 25 March each year. It is a principal Marian feast.

Here is the relevant passage in Luke’s gospel (1:26-38):

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34 Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35 The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38 Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Here is the Annunciation hymn “The Angel Gabriel” sung by King’s College choir, Cambridge.  It is usually sung at Christmas but, in a liturgical sense, belongs here.

The celebration of the feast of the Annunciation goes back to the fourth or fifth century. The first certain mentions of the feast are in a canon, of the Council of Toledo (656), where it is described as celebrated throughout the church, and another of the Council of Constantinople “in Trullo” (692), forbidding the celebration of any festivals during Lent, excepting the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and the Feast of the Annunciation. A Synod of Worcester, England (1240), forbade all servile work on this feast day.

In the Catholic Church, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgical calendars, the feast is moved if necessary to prevent it from falling during Holy Week or on a Sunday. To avoid a Sunday before Holy Week, the next day (March 26) is observed instead. In years such as 2005 when March 25 fell during Holy Week, the Annunciation was moved to the Monday after the Octave of Easter, which is the Sunday after Easter. The Eastern churches (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental and Eastern Catholic) do not move the feast of the Annunciation under any circumstance. They have special combined liturgies for those years when the Annunciation coincides with another feast. In these churches, even on Good Friday a Divine Liturgy is celebrated when it coincides with the Annunciation.

The date is close to the (northern) vernal equinox, as Christmas is to the winter solstice; because of this the Annunciation and Christmas were two of the four quarter days in medieval and early modern England, which marked the divisions of the fiscal year (the other two were Midsummer Day, or the Nativity of St. John the Baptist—June 24—and Michaelmas, the feast day of St. Michael, on September 29). When the calendar system of Anno Domini was first introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in 525, he assigned the beginning of the new year to March 25, since according to Catholic theology, the era of grace began with the Incarnation of Christ.

In the western liturgical year, Lady Day is the traditional name of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin in some English-speaking countries. Because Lady Day is one of the four traditional English quarter days it has a secular function as well as a liturgical one.  As such Lady Day never moves like its liturgical counterparts. The “Lady” is the Virgin Mary, of course. The term derives from Middle English, many of whose nouns had no  genitive inflections.

In England, Lady Day was New Year’s Day up to 1752 when, following the move from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, 1 January became the start of the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom’s tax year, which starts on 6 April, that is, Lady Day adjusted for the lost days of the calendar change (until this change, Lady Day had been used as the start of the legal year). This should be distinguished from the liturgical and historical year. It appears that in England and Wales, from at least the late 14th century, the historical New Year’s Day was celebrated on 1 January as part of Yule.

As a year-end and quarter day that conveniently did not fall within or between the seasons for ploughing and harvesting, Lady Day was a traditional day on which year-long contracts between landowners and tenant farmers would begin and end in England and nearby lands (although there were regional variations). Farmers’ time of “entry” into new farms and on to new fields was often this day. As a result, farming families who were changing farms would travel from the old farm to the new one on Lady Day. After the calendar change, “Old Lady Day” (6 April), the former date of the Annunciation, largely assumed this role. The date is significant in some of the works of Thomas Hardy, e.g., Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.

The logic of using Lady Day as the start of the year is that it roughly coincides with the equinox; many ancient cultures still use this period as the start of the new year, Iran for example. In some traditions the A.D. years are counted from the moment of the Annunciation, which is deemed by the church to be the moment of the conception of Jesus, and as such the moment the “word became flesh.”  Thus, theologically speaking, the Annunciation supersedes Christmas as the point of Christ’s arrival on earth.

The Annunciation has been one of the most frequent subjects of Christian art. Depictions of the Annunciation go back to early Christianity, with the Priscilla catacomb including the oldest known fresco of the Annunciation, dating to the 4th century. It has been a favorite artistic subject in both the Christian East and as Roman Catholic Marian art, particularly during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and figures in the repertoire of almost all of the great masters. The figures of the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel, being emblematic of purity and grace, were favorite subjects of Roman Catholic Marian art, where the scene is also used to represent the perpetual virginity of Mary via the announcement by the angel Gabriel that Mary would conceive a child to be born the Son of God.

Works on the subject have been created by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Duccio, Jan van Eyck, and Murillo among others. The mosaics of Pietro Cavallini in Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome (1291), the frescos of Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (1303), Domenico Ghirlandaio’s fresco at the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence (1486), and Donatello’s gilded sculpture at the church of Santa Croce, Florence (1435) are famous examples.  Here’s a small gallery of some of my favorites.

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annun5  The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896

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There are so many traditional recipes associated with the feast of the Annunciation across Europe.  Here is a sampling.

In Swedish the word våffla (waffle) is attested since 1642 and derives from the German Waffel, but is also associated by folk etymology with Vår Fru (The Virgin Mary). Waffles are served in a large number of Swedish households on Våffeldagen, that is to say, on Waffle Day, or Virgin Mary Day. Here is a traditional recipe for Swedish waffles for the Annunciation. They are traditionally eaten with whipped cream and berry preserves, cloudberry or lingonberry.

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Swedish Waffles

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups heavy cream, well-chilled
1 ? cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup cold water
3 tbsps melted unsalted butter

Instructions

Whip the cream until stiff.

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the water to make a smooth batter. Fold the whipped cream into the batter. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat the waffle iron. (If it is well seasoned, it will not need to be greased.) Fill the grid surface about two-thirds full of batter. Bake until golden brown.

Place on a rack to keep crisp while you make the rest of the waffles.

Serve with whipped cream and berry preserves.

Yield: about 8 waffles

During the feast of the Annunciation, in most Greek homes they prepare Bakaliaros Tegantos kai Skordalia (Fried Salted Cod and Garlic Sauce) for the holiday meal.

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Μπακαλιάρος σκορδαλιά (Fried Salted Cod And Garlic Sauce)

For the salt cod:

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds dried salt cod
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
? cup cold water
¼ teaspoon baking powder
vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Cut the cod into 4-inch sections. Place in a glass or earthenware bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 12 hours in the refrigerator. You may want to change the water 2 or 3 times during the soaking period. Drain and discard the water.

Put the cod in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and lift out the cod with a slotted spoon. Remove the bones and the skin, and carefully pat dry with paper towels.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, water and baking powder to make a thin batter. Dip the cod in the batter and shallow fry in hot oil (about 1/2 inch deep, in a medium-hot cast-iron skillet) on both sides, then lower heat to medium and cook until tender, turning once again. Serve hot.

For the gravy
(makes 2 cups )

Ingredients

1 pound peeled red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
10 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp kosher salt
4 tsp chopped fresh chives

Instructions

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Drain potato mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid. Place potato mixture and reserved liquid in a food processor; add oil, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse until smooth.

Serve warm or cover and chill overnight.

Sprinkle with chives before serving.

Dec 042013
 

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Today is the feast day of Saint Barbara, (santa Barbara), venerated in both eastern and western churches as a saint and martyr. Accounts place her in the 3rd century in Nicomedia, in present day Turkey or in Heliopolis in Egypt. There is no reference to her in authentic early Christian writings, nor in the oldest version of Saint Jerome’s martyrology. Her name can be traced only to the 7th century, but veneration of her was common, especially in the East, from the 9th century. Because of doubts about the historicity of her legend, she was removed from the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite in 1969 in Pope Paul VI’s motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis, which eliminated a host of saints, many of whom, like Barbara, were widely venerated.

Saint Barbara is often portrayed with miniature chains and a tower. As one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Barbara continues to be a popular saint in modern times, despite the pope’s injunction. She is best known as the patron saint of armorers, artillerymen/women, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives, because of her old legend’s association with lightning. She is also patron of mathematicians.

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According to the hagiographies Barbara­­­­­­­­­­­­ was the daughter of a rich pagan named Dioscorus who kept her locked up in a tower in order to preserve her from the outside world. Having secretly become a Christian, she rejected an offer of marriage that she received through him. Before going on a journey, he commanded that a private bath-house be erected for her use near her dwelling, and during his absence, Barbara had three windows put in it, as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, instead of the two originally intended. When her father returned, she acknowledged herself to be a Christian. Upon hearing this he drew his sword to kill her, but her prayers created an opening in the tower wall and she was miraculously transported to a mountain gorge, where two shepherds watched their flocks. Dioscorus, in pursuit of his daughter, was rebuffed by the first shepherd, but the second betrayed her and was turned to stone and his flock changed to locusts. Dragged before the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who had her cruelly tortured, Barbara held true to her faith. During the night, the dark prison was bathed in light and new miracles occurred. Every morning her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally she was condemned to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death-sentence. However, as punishment for this, he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body was consumed by flame. Barbara was buried by a Christian, Valentinus, and her tomb became the site of miracles.

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According to Legenda Aurea her martyrdom was December 4 “in the reign of emperor Maximianus and Prefect Marcien” (r. 286–305); the year was given as 267 in the French version edited by Father Harry F. Williams of the Anglican Community of the Resurrection (1975). Various documents, including two surviving mystery plays, differ on the location of her martyrdom, which is variously given as Tuscany, Rome, Antioch, Baalbek, and Nicomedia.

Saint Barbara is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Her association with the lightning that killed her father has caused her to be invoked against lightning and fire, and, by association, with explosions, and hence, artillery and mining. Her feast on December 4 was included in the Tridentine Calendar, having been introduced in Rome in the 12th century. In 1729 that date was assigned to the celebration of Saint Peter Chrysologus, reducing that of Saint Barbara to a commemoration in his mass. In 1969, because the accounts of her life and martyrdom were judged to be entirely fabulous, lacking clarity even about the place of her martyrdom, it was removed from that mass. But she is still mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, which, in addition, lists another ten martyr saints named Barbara.

In the 12th century, the relics of Saint Barbara were brought from Constantinople to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, where they were kept until the 1930s, when they were transferred to St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in the same city. A small part of St. Barbara’s relics were brought to the United States by Patriarch Filaret of The Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyivan Patriarchate in November 2012, they are permanently on display for veneration at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Bloomingdale, Illinois.

The Spanish santa bárbara, the corresponding Italian santa barbara, and the French sainte-barbe can be used in those languages to signify the powder magazine of a ship or fortress. It was customary to have a statue of Saint Barbara at the magazine to protect the ship or fortress from suddenly exploding.

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Saint Barbara’s Day, is celebrated in the armed forces by the British (Royal Artillery, RAF Armourers, and Royal Engineers, Australians (Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, RAAF Armourers), Canadians (Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians, Canadian Air Force Armourers, Royal Canadian Artillery, Canadian Military Field Engineers, Royal Canadian Navy Weapons Engineering Technicians), and New Zealanders (RNZAF Armourers, RNZA, RNZN Gunners Branch), as well as by Irish Defence Forces Artillery Regiments, Norwegian Armed Forces Artillery Battalion, the United States Army and Marine Corps Field and Air Defense Artillery, Marine Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians in many countries, and other artillery units. The units and sub-units celebrate the day with church parades, sports days, guest nights, cocktail parties, dinners and other activities. She is also the patron of the Italian Navy. Several mining institutions also celebrate the day, such as some branches of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Although they do not celebrate her saint’s day, she is the patron saint of US Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Ordnance.

In Greece, the day is celebrated by the Artillery Corps of the Greek Army and the Cypriot National Guard. Artillery camps throughout the two countries host celebrations in honor of the saint, where the traditional sweet of loukoumades is offered to soldiers and visitors, allegedly because it resembles cannonballs. Saint Barbara is also the patron saint of the northern Greek city of Drama, where a sweet called varvara, which resembles a more liquid form of koliva (a sweet wheat porridge with fruit), is prepared on her feast day. The Spanish Artillerymen also venerate her as patron saint of their branch, and parades, masses and dinners are held in her honor and on behalf of those serving in the branch.

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The city of Santa Barbara, California, located approximately 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, is named for the Mission Santa Barbara. The Franciscan mission was dedicated to her in 1602 after Sebastián Vizcaíno survived a violent storm just offshore on the eve of her feast day. Other Spanish and Portuguese settlements named Santa Barbara were established in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Philippines. Many churches in Russia are dedicated in her name, including one in Moscow, next to Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and in Yaroslavl.

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In the Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian religions of Santería, Candomblé, and Umbanda she is syncretized with Changó. Changó (Shangó) is the deity of fire, lightning, thunder, and war, but he is also the patron of music, drumming, and dancing. He represents male beauty and virility, passion and power.  His colors are red and white, and his eleke (sacred necklace) is made of alternating red and white beads.  He is syncretized with Santa Barbara because she is portrayed in Catholic lore as a fiercely independent and brave young woman, dressed sometimes in a red and white costume, holding a sword and wearing a crown like Changó. The feast day for Changó/ Santa Bárbara is December 4, one of the most important festival days in Cuba.  It may seem surprising that such a powerful masculine Orichá is syncretized with a female saint, but there are underlying links between their stories.  For example, Santa Barbara’s father was struck down by a lightning bolt, which is Changó’s favorite weapon.  And according to a patakí (sacred story) about Changó, one time he had to dress in women’s clothes (lent to him by Oyá) in order to escape undetected from his enemies.  Santa Bárbara’s association with Changó shows that females and males alike can wield Changó’s power.  Both male and female initiates can be crowned with Changó, making him their father in the religion.

In Georgia, Saint Barbara’s Day is celebrated as Barbaroba on December 17 (which is December 4 in the old style calendar). The traditional festive food is lobiani, bread baked with a bean stuffing.

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In Macedonia Saint Barbara’s day is celebrated as ??????? (Varvara) on 17 December. Some Macedonians celebrate with their closest family and friends at home, while others refrain, believing that people who step in their house on Saint Barbara’s day will give them either good or bad luck for the rest of the year.

In the mining town Kalgoorlie, Australia, as patron saint of miners she is venerated in the annual St. Barbara’s Day parade.

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The United States Army Field Artillery Association and the United States Army Air Defense Artillery Association maintain the Order of Saint Barbara as an honorary military society of the United States Army Field Artillery and the United States Army Air Defense Artillery. Members of both United States Marine Corps and United States Army, along with their military and civilian supporters, are eligible for membership. There are two levels of membership in the order, The Ancient Order and the Honorable Order. The most distinguished level is the Ancient Order.

Saint Barbara’s day or Eid il-Burbara is celebrated in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine among Arab Christians annually on December 4, in a feast day similar to that of North American Halloween. The traditional food for the occasion is Burbara, a bowl of boiled barley, pomegranate seeds, raisins, anise and sugar offered to masquerading children. The general belief among Lebanese Christians is that Saint Barbara disguised herself in numerous characters to elude the Romans who were persecuting her.

Here is a recipe for loukoumades so you can celebrate in Greek style.

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Loukoumades

1 packet (7 g/2¼ oz) active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups warm water
3 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1 tsp vanilla extract
vegetable oil
honey
powdered cinnamon

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix the yeast and sugar with ½ cup of the warm water.

When the mixture turns foamy (about 5 minutes), stir in the remaining 1½ cups of warm water along with the flour, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla. Mix until the batter is thick and smooth.

Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the batter rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 1–1½ hours. (It should be very soft and bubbly.)

Pour vegetable oil into a deep fryer, or saucepan making sure there is at least 2 inches between the oil surface and the top of the pot. Heat the oil to 350°F/.

Working in batches, slide dollops of the batter (about the size of a heaped tablespoon) into the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Dollops will puff up and float to the surface. Turn occasionally, until the balls are a crisp, golden brown on all sides, about 3–4 minutes.

Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on wire racks. Repeat as many times as is needed. Place drained puffs on warm platter and keep warm.

To serve, drizzle honey over them, and dust generously with powdered cinnamon.

Loukoumades are best if eaten warm, the same day they are made.