Saturday, June 26, 2010

St. Gertrude of Nivelles (626 to March 17, 659)

I'm extremely fortunate to have a good paying full-time job. But, sometimes, when things gets stressful, I imagine I work for myself.
After sleeping for as long as I want, I awaken as an herbalist. I have a breakfast parfait of nonfat strawberry yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola, and an iced coffee, Then I begin my day.
My gardens have the herbs that I need to supply my store. It's just like the one that Sandra Bullock works at in the movie "Practical Magic." And, I spend my days in a gratifying job helping appreciative people who do not scream at me to approve their work when they have not met their deadlines.
Now, I come back to reality.
St. Gertrude of Nivelles is the patron saint of herbalists. She was born in 626 in Landen, Belgium. St. Gertrude was a Benedictine abbess at a monastery in Nivelles.
There were many saints in her family including St. Itta (mother), St. Begga (sister), and St. Gudula (cousin).
When the son of a duke asked to marry St. Gertrude of Nivelles, she replied that only Jesus would be her bridegroom.
She died on March 17, 659 and her feast day is March 17.

Try this delicious ice cold limeade with mint in honor of St. Gertrude of Nivelles. It's green, of course, because of her feast day.

6 cups water, divided
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
10 mint sprigs and 10 lime slices (for garnish)

Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and chopped mint in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until sugar dissolves, stir frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and discard solids.

Combine the remaining 4 cups water, sugar syrup, and lime juice in a large pitcher, stirring well. Serve over ice; garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices, if you'd like.

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