One of the surprise blessings of homeschooling for our family has been the earnest enjoyment we have experienced in celebrating the liturgical calendar during the school year. Each month, the boys look at the calendar, highlight their favorite saint's feast days or memorials and then we find a special way to celebrate them within our day. Creative meals or unique desserts are definitely tops on our mode of honor.
Yesterday, August 27th, was the Feast of St. Monica and today, the 28th, is the feast of St. Augustine. We love to celebrate these two great saints together. I think most of us, Catholic or not, can relate to and feel encouraged by these heroic souls ~ St. Monica, the mother who prayed fervently for years for the conversion of her son. And, Augustine, the promiscuous, rebellious youth who wrestled for years to find himself, truth and God. He is probably known, most famously, for writing The Confessions of St. Augustine, and for the quote within the text,
“You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our
hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
To honor these two great saints yesterday, we made a special key lime pie. Creating some symbolism with whatever fare you make helps make a memory for the children. For example:
- The pie itself represents the sea of tears (blue color, round shape) shed by St. Monica for her son Augustine, that he may know Christ and so be converted by His love.
- The whipped cream with blue sprinkles represents heaven. St. Monica's sacrifice and prayers were honored by our Lord, and St. Monica and St. Augustine live on in eternity in heaven with Christ.
- The icons placed in the center of the pie were there to give the children a visual of the two saints while I read to them their story.
Key Lime Pie Recipe:
I used an already prepared graham cracker crust, but you can also make one with this recipe:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Press into an 8 inch pie plate and bake until golden, about 12-13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325.
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup freshly squeezed key-lime juice*
1 tablespoon grated key lime zest
4-5 drops of blue food coloring (more or less, depending on the brand)
Combine milk, egg yolks, lime juice, food coloring and zest in a medium sized bowl and whisk together until blended. Pour into prepared, cooled crust. Bake until the center is set, but still quivers when the pan is nudged, about 15-17 minutes.. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until chilled. Top with whipped cream, homemade or Redi-Whip, and garnish with blue sprinkles before serving.
*I have used the bottled key lime juice as well as the fresh juice of regular limes and the pies have turned out just fine.