Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Starting the New Year with Liturgy and Vasilopita

Happy New Year!  Across the world Orthodox Christian faithful are bringing in the New Year with Divine Liturgy celebrating the 8th Day of Christmas... the Circumcision of Our Lord,  
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.  Luke 2:21
...and the feast day for St. Basil the Great, Vasilios in Greek.  Part of our tradition is we make a cake or bread, both are called a Vasilopita, with a coin in it remembering St. Basil's generosity towards the poor and his desire to share his wealth by hiding money in loaves of bread he offered for nourishment.  The person who finds the coin in their piece is considered to have a blessed year. 

This year I used a cake recipe from Festival of Greek Flavors; A Mediterranean Culinary Adventure , the cookbook from the Philoptochos of the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, CO, a chapter in a national philanthropic organization group of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. 

The cake is a dense pound cake with a hint of orange and a splash of bourbon.  It can be decorated with sifted powered sugar or slivers of almonds. 

I used chop sticks to pick up stray almonds. 

Ready to go into the oven. 

Cooling... we almost didn't get it out of the pan to serve on a platter... I didn't grease the pan enough. 
Next time I will use parchment or wax paper to line the pan.

This year, to honor my patron saint,  I offered a cake to share with the parishioners who attended the service.

The blessed piece!  The gold coin can be purchased at Patmos Press.  A description of the Vasilopita tradition and a recipe for a cake is included in the packaging.   Or you can wrap a quarter or dime in aluminum foil. 

Wishing You and Yours a Blessed New Year
and all Your Heart Desires! 

No comments: