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Catholic Recipe: Welsh Rarebit


  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • few grains cayenne
  • Details

  • Serves: 6-8
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Wales

The story of St. John the Baptist is well known, but how many are familiar with some of the quaint customs developed in many lands to honor the forerunner and baptizer of Our Lord?

Once upon a time, huge bonfires were lighted on the eve of this feast on June 24, symbolizing St. John as the light that illuminated Christ's coming for a darkened world. June weather may be too warm for us to light a blazing fire, but perhaps we could have supper around a grouping of patio candles to commemorate the day.

Of all the countries that observe St. John's Day, Latvia alone made it a national holiday, honoring every man or boy named John. Every family held open house, and all visitors were welcomed to a table laden with food and a special sweet beer. Carolers went from door to door and were greeted by the housewife at the door with bread, cheese, and mugs of this beer.

Why not bring this Old World custom up to date and invite a few friends in for a supper of Welsh Rarebit and ice cold beer on the eve of St. John's?


Melt butter or margarine in top of double boiler. Stir in beer. When beer is warm, stir in cheese. Stir constantly with fork over hot water until cheese is melted. Stir in slightly beaten egg; mix thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients; blend well. Serve at once on hot toast. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965
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