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Catholic Recipe: St. Martha's Supper for a Warm Day


  • Chilled Vegetable Juice
  • Cold Meat Loaf
  • Olive Potato Salad
  • Sliced Tomatoes and Onions
  • Bottled Italian Dressing
  • Peaches and Cream
  • Packaged Chocolate Cookies
  • Iced Tea or Coffee (see recipe)
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin:

And now for the real saint of the pots and pans . . .

Very little is known about Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary, other than the brief story told by Luke (Luke 10:38-42) in his gospel. There is a legend which asserts that after the Ascension, she accompanied Mary Magdalen to Provence and was the first to found a convent for holy women. We do know that she is the official patron saint of cooks everywhere.

Her special day falls on July 29, in the heat of midsummer. It is likely to be a day when we would do well to remember Martha's patience as she busied herself with "much serving." As she bustled about, her sister Mary sat quietly at the feet of Jesus, drinking in His words.

It was too much for even a saint-in-the-making to bear, and when her patience was exhausted, Martha appealed to Jesus, saying, "'Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me.'"

"And the Lord, answering, said to her: 'Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.'"

Like Martha, we homemakers grow "careful and troubled" about too many things, finding no time for "the best part" — inspirational reading, devotions, and the quiet that induces inner tranquillity.

On Martha's Day, July 29, let us profit by the lesson she was taught by Christ and plan a family dinner that will not put too great a strain on our nerves nor require too much time in a hot kitchen. This is a suggested menu for the summer day.


Make and bake the meat loaf in the cool of the morning. Make the potato salad, but use packaged hashed brown potato mix to save yourself the trouble of peeling and cubing potatoes. Pour dressing over tomatoes and onion slices, and refrigerate with meat loaf and salad.

Now you have the remainder of the day to rest and "invite your soul." All that is left is to slice the peaches and prepare the beverage just before serving.

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