Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Review: Saints at the Dinner Table

Last fall I signed up to be a book reviewer for The Catholic Company. Once they accepted my application, I was able to choose a book to review from a number of options.

As most of you know from my posts here and at my other blog, I love finding cookbooks and recipes that tie in the celebrations of the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year, and so I was excited to be able to choose: Saints at the Dinner Table by Amy Heyd.

Saints at the Dinner Table contains twelve menus, in honor of twelve different saints. Each menu (which has it's own chapter) includes a brief introduction, a reflection, what inspired the menu, the actual menu with all original recipes, a meal prayer in honor of the saintly hero, and questions for dinner conversation.

I was pleased to see that the "Featured Saints" include both my daughter's patron saint and one of my own Confirmation saints. (Being as indecisive as I am, I choose two!) Here is a list of the saints included:
Saint Joseph, Saint Andrew the Apostle, Saint Martha, Saint Brigid of Ireland, Saint Isadore the Farmer, Saint Margaret of Scotland, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Clare of Assisi, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint Notburga, Saint Didacus of Spain, and Saint Josephine Bakhita.

The author recommends using the book for special family dinners, dinners with friends (Saint Club), and to find out more about the saints. Personally, I prefer to celebrate the saints with the Church, on their feast days, and my favorite cookbooks have been those that are based on old traditions and the actual liturgical calendar. However, I am sure that when these feast days roll around, I will be incorporating some of the author's recipes into our celebrations!

In fact, there is a recipe for Saint Joseph's Rocky Road Cake which I am planning to make on March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph. The author, Amy Heyd, says that, "The Rocky Road Cake is symbolic of the difficult roads, both literally and symbolically that Mary and Joseph had to travel during Mary's pregnancy and throughout Jesus' childhood." It includes pecans, cocoa and marshmallows, and sounds delicious!

The recipes seem relatively simple to make and call for ingredients that are easily obtainable.

"I aimed to create recipes that would appeal to most people, would not require a master's in culinary arts to prepare and that would entertain as well as inform. My hope is that you feel inspired too and that this book serves as a friendly guidebook in your own quest to connect with—and even break bread with (as our Christian tradition calls us to do)—some of our most beloved saints! Prepare the meals with your family and bring the saints alive at your dinner table." ~ Excerpt from the Introduction in Saints at the Dinner Table by Amy Heyd

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Saints at the Dinner Table.


  1. I would love to check out the St. Josephine Bakhita chapter. Just so you know, I have two Confirmation names too! :)

  2. This may be the silliest question, but how did you change the color of your Saints of the Day widget. I installed it on my blog, but sadly, it is black and I am a pink person.

  3. Jessica,

    Thank you so much for this review! I'm reviewing for The Catholic Company, as well, but this wasn't on my list of available choices, and it's a book I'm extremely interested in! Looks like I need to add this one to the family cookbook shelf!

    Thanks again!

  4. I loved reading the review! Sounds like an interesting book.

  5. Mimi ~ I actually changed the color to match my blog in the actual html code. If you look in the code, you should see "borderColor=" and then after that change that to the color code that you are wanting. I hope that helps!

  6. Charlotte ~ I am glad I am not the only one!!! =)


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