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COOKING CLERICS

Providing more than food for the soul, Idaho priests share favorite recipes.


The following story appeared in the May 28 Idaho Catholic Register.


By Emily Woodham


Few things can conjure comfort like a good recipe. Recipes handed down through generations become family heirlooms – testaments to the love poured into elevating food from the mundane to delectable bliss. To share a recipe is a sign of an open-hearted person, and among the most open-hearted people I know are our very own priests of the Diocese of Boise. Thankfully, many of them love to cook.


Sixteen priests from across our Diocese, including Bishop Peter Christensen,

contributed to the Priests’ Feasts Cookbook, compiled by the Vocations Team of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Boise.


The books are available for purchase during the Cathedral Street Fair just outside the Cathedral on Sunday, June 6, from 1 to 8 p.m. All proceeds go to the Diocesan Seminarian Endowment Fund, which assists seminarians with education and housing costs.


The cookbook project was proposed two years ago by the Cathedral Vocations Team, but put on hold due to the pandemic. Last December, the team received approval to move forward with the project and invited all priests in the Diocese to submit recipes. A generous family at the Cathedral helped offset the costs of producing the books.


The cookbook is divided into several sections: Appetizers and Relishes, Breakfast and Brunch Dishes, Soups and Salads, Vegetable Dishes, and Entrees, including meats, poultry, fish and pasta. The recipes vary from the very simple to the intricate. Some recipes are treasures from the priests’ families; other recipes were crafted and perfected by the priests.


The Cathedral Vocations Team did not edit the priests’ recipes. Instead, the recipes were kept in the friendly manner in which they were written, which really adds to the cookbook’s charm. Some of the recipes are more formal with exact measurements and procedures. However, a few recipes have approximate or no measurements, written with the assumption that the cook is skilled enough to figure it out.


Even the more obscure recipes are enjoyable to read and definitely worth trying. For example, Father Bruno Segatta, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake in McCall, provided a recipe for spaghetti gennaro from Naples, Italy. He gives no measurements. Instead, in true fashion of the best chefs of Italy, it is assumed that one will use as much garlic and tomato as your taste buds desire.


Father Brad Neely, pastor of All Saints in Lewiston, submitted 14 of the 32 recipes. His humor is delightfully peppered throughout. His love for cooking shines through, and he offers many helpful tips. His honey-pepper figs with goat cheese sounds difficult, yet it is so simple. I am also intrigued by his baked halibut, which includes sour cream and Swiss cheese.


Father Mariusz Majewski, rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, shared his traditional Polish paczki (doughnuts) recipe. He gives detailed ingredients and precise steps to create the yeast dough, rolling it out and frying it. Having worked a lot with yeast doughs, I can assure you that this is an excellent recipe. Even if you are a newbie to yeast doughs and frying, if you follow his directions, you can make these scrumptious confections. I can’t wait to see how these stack up against the kolaches (baked, not fried, sweet yeast dough) of my Czech heritage.


Bishop Peter shared his recipe for gazpacho. This zesty, cold soup is perfect for summer. Fresh herbs and vegetables are steeped in a symphony of tomatoes and sauces in the refrigerator until they are nicely chilled. This is sure to make a hot day more refreshing!


Tucked in among the genuine recipes is a joke. I won’t spoil the fun of finding the joke yourself. However, I will say that the most accurate aspect of the recipe is its title.


Other priests who contributed are Father John Worster of St. Mary’s Boise; Father Nathan Dail, All Saints Lewiston; Father Dominique Faure of Verbum Spei; Father Jerry Funke of St. Agnes, Weiser; Father Caleb Vogel of St. Paul’s, Nampa; and retired priests Father Thomas Loucks, Father Joseph Muha, and Father Enrique Terriquez.


A $10 donation is suggested to purchase the cookbook, although larger donations are appreciated to help support our seminarians. These would make great gifts for graduates, newlyweds, and others setting up a new home, for those who simply love the joy of a new recipe, or for those who can’t cook but love the Church and her generous priests.


If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.

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FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

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