Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord, bringing to close the season of Christmas.
“The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ, might have the power of baptism.”
-St. Ambrose of Milan
Words can hardly express how much we have grown as a family, and also as a Church community, during these last 44 days [of Advent and Christmas]. In the waiting, we experienced the joy of expectation. In following the star, we found the courage to carry on. In gazing into the newborn Jesus’ eyes, we witnessed the fulfillment of a promise. In the waters of Christ’s baptism, we begin anew.
And to sweeten the renewal of our faith, here is a traditional Greek recipe for Diples (more popularly known as Christ’s Diapers):
- 6 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Grated rind of 1 orange
- Vegetable Oil or shortening for deep frying
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Chopped pistachio nuts
- Confectioners’ sugar
With an electric beater, beat the eggs until light and fluffy.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually stir the flour into the eggs.
Turn the dough onto an unfloured board. Add the olive oil, a little at a time, and the grated orange rind. Knead the dough until it is smooth—about 10 minutes.
Roll the dough out paper thin on a well-floured board. Cut it into squares about 1 1/2 inches across. Fold these into triangles, then join the ends to form diapers. Press the corners together gently but firmly. (If you don’t press the corners well, the diapers will come undone!)
Drop the diapers, a few at a time, into hot fat (360º-370º F. on a deep-fat-frying thermometer). Turn once or twice and fry until golden brown. Drain thoroughly on paper towels.
Bring the honey and water slowly to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the cinnamon and lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes.
Dribble the honey syrup over the diapers, and sprinkle them with chopped pistachios, then with confectioners sugar.
When the diapers are fully dry, pack them in a tin and cover tightly. These keep well, if well covered.
Continual Feast, A by Evelyn Birge Vitz, Ignatius Press, San Francisco , 1985