There is always room for one more delicious event that helps those who need a hand with groceries. On Thursday, you are urged to attend the St. Augustine Empty Bowl Soup Luncheon in Belleville. Proceeds will benefit the church’s food pantry.
I have written of two other such events in other communities, which were in March. This meal will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church Hall, 1910 W. Belle. Cost is $10, with area restaurants and groups donating more than a dozen types of soups for the occasion. Carryouts are available. Soda, iced tea, coffee and desserts also will be sold as fundraisers.
The first 200 who arrive will get to pick a hand-painted ceramic bowl to take home. They were made by the creative hands of the Ladies Sodality at St. Henry’s Church, St. Augustine’s church choir group and St. Augustine Ladies Sodality and Prayer Shawl Ministry. Supplies were donated by Comanche Ceramics.
“About 10 extra-special ceramic bowls that have been painted and donated by some people with ‘a little more talent,’” will be part of a silent auction, said Wanda Knepper, coordinator of St. Augustine Social Concerns Ministries. You’ll also get to vote for your favorite soup; the donor of that soup will be given a plaque to display in his restaurant or office.
Almond macaroons are traditional Passover food. Really good macaroons are not found in the the supermarket. They need time and care, having to sit overnight to dry and then bake. Much like New York Times food writer Joan Nathan, I prefer my macaroons less sweet and more chewy.
This flourless recipe provided by Nathan is simple to make and has a long history. It comes from Eileen Dangoor Khalastchy, a Jew who traces her roots to ancient Babylonia. She lived in Baghdad until 1974, then moved to London, but remembers making these cookies with her family.
No matter what time of year or holiday, I think these treats would be exceptional.
Almond-Walnut Thumbprint Macaroons
1 3/4 cups blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 scant cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 cup of rose water or water
1/2 cup good quality raspberry jam, or 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1. Put almonds in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until mostly powdered with a few crunchy bits remaining, about 15 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl. Put walnuts in the food processor and pulse until mostly powdered. Add the walnuts to the almonds.
2. Add sugar, cardamom, egg and egg whites to the bowl and, using one hand, mix to combine. Cover with a towel and let the mixture sit for at least 8 hours or overnight to dry out a bit.
3. Heat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pour rose water or 1 cup of water into a small shallow bowl. Dampen your hands with the water and scoop up about a tablespoon of the dough at a time, pressing it into walnut-size balls. Place the macaroons on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart and flatten them slightly. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in the middle of each.
4. Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake 15 minutes, then remove and put either 1/4 teaspoon of the raspberry jam or a pistachio in each thumbprint. Rotate the pans and continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until golden and firm. Cool to room temperature on the baking sheets and serve or freeze. Yield: About 3 dozen cookies.