“On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 9 ladies dancing.” – Frederic Austin
Dancing, an outward expression of the joy within, not only serves as a perfect implementation of your new year’s workout program but as a means of celebrating our existence.
Music might be my favorite outlet for expressing gratitude, hope, sorrow, or whatever I am feeling at the moment. I am not the most excellent dancer, but I sure do love to sing, and joyful movement does not require skills, just joy.
Two famous theologians, St. Basil The Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, convey their delight in God through prayers that lead them to music and singing.
Enjoy their prayers below.
Have some friends over for a dance party and celebrate the 9th day of Christmas by feasting on this leg of lamb with Sicilian-style white beans and toasty bread as you celebrate.
Ingredients For The Lamb:
- Leg of lamb (1.5 – 2 lbs. – size may cause the cooking time to vary.)
- 1/2 can of tomato paste
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. Rosemary
Instructions For Lamb:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove any rope or netting around the lamb and score the lamb’s fat.
- In a food processor or blender, blend tomato paste, fillets, and all of the seasoning until combined into a slightly chunky paste.
- Rub the paste all over the lamb.
- Place lamb fat side up on a pan with a rack (so the skin underneath does not get soggy while cooking.)
- Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 130 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the fattest part of the lamb.
- Tip: If the lamb’s skin starts to burn, cover it with tin foil to avoid too much charring.
Ingredients For The Beans:
- Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a saucepan)
- 1/2 of a sweet yellow onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 can crushed tomatoes with garlic and basil (15.5-16oz.)
- 2 cans of white beans (cannellini or great northern)
- 4-5 ritz crackers
- Fresh Parmesan
- Fresh basil (optional)
Instructions For The Beans:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Dice Onion and add to heated oil. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize.
- Crush cloves in a garlic press or chop very finely and add them to your pan. Sauté for one more minute.
- Add your seasonings and white beans. Sauté for one minute.
- Add crushed tomatoes with garlic and basil.
- Allow to cook down for about 5 minutes.
- Pour bean mixture into a baking pan; crush crackers and grate parmesan cheese on top.
- Cook alongside the lamb for the last 30 minutes of the cooking process.
- You can broil the beans at the end if you like a more toasty flavor and add fresh basil if you desire.