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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 19

ADVENT DAY 19

7 Days Till Christmas

“A Triptych in Verse in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary” by Darren Poley
Read by Darren Poley
Submitted by Darren Poley

Darren Poley is the Scholarly Outreach and Theology Librarian at Falvey Library and he is the second staff member to graciously share some of his personal poetry with us for our Advent calendar. Darren wrote this piece in August of 2014 with the dedication “to my friend Father K. Brewster Hastings Pastor of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Abington, Penna.”


A Triptych in Verse in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary
By Darren Poley

Did It Rain In Galilee?

Holy Virgin do you delight in the rain?
Our heavenly Father sets the waters to move.
The waters are good and bring life from the earth.
They are there in the six days of Creation.
They are there when the earth was flooded.
Theotokos, do you delight in the rain?

Through your son, your only child, all things were made.
Jesus wept.
Daughter of the Father – Mother of the Son – chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit:
Did you weep with joy in Nazareth?
Did you weep with sadness in Jerusalem?
Rachel wept for her children.

Mother of God, mother of all;
Do you weep now for your children?
When you beheld the face of the glory of Israel;
That enlightens the benighted gentiles still:
Did you weep with joy in Bethlehem?
Did you weep with sadness in the cave made into a stable?

Queen of heaven and earth do you weep tears of myrrh?
Pure virgin who is the mother of the incarnate Logos:
Did you watch the Son of Man play in the rain as a child?
Were tears of sadness there because your spirit was pierced by a sword?
Were your tears at the foot of the cross mixed with the rain over Jerusalem?
Were they tears of myrrh?

All of Creation was reborn when your son rose from the dead.
Mary of holy Anne, descendent of kings, Mother of the Redeemer:
Turn your eyes of mercy towards us.
Ever-Virgin: show us the fruit of your womb;
It is a paradox to reason and a cause of delight.
It is the peace which passes all understanding.

It is raining today.
Parents weep with joy for they discover the blessings of children.
They weep with sorrow when they see their children eaten up by pride and hate.
The children fight over nothing.
Mix your tears with the rain.
Renew hope in us.
________________________________________
Weeping in Babylon

A fertile plain between two rivers
Of old, the Amorites built between the Tigris and Euphrates
A holy city for Mesopotamia
Sons of Judah did the new emperor take
Exile was their home

Virgin Mother of the Holy Child, descendant of Abraham
You’re the seal of the Covenant
When the son’s sons of Josiah the king were carried away
Like orphans
How could they know deliverance would come?

Daughter of Zion
You carried and suckled the Deliverer of the children of Eve
You, O’ Lily of Jerusalem
You did become the destroyer of idols
Who is it that is weeping in Babylon?

With holy Joseph to protect you
You went into exile in Egypt with the Christ child
From banishment you brought Him back to His people
A fertile Virgin, pure and graceful
The Father in Heaven chose to bless

In your body God became incarnate
The Incarnation brought us home out of bondage
The wars of men make the widow and the fatherless too soon
The sons of Judah lamented on the Fertile Crescent
Banishment was the punishment for their crimes

Destroyer of paganism, lily of Jerusalem
In concert with the will of the one God
You conquered pride and apathy with humility and love
Love for the one who rules the Universe
Love for the unbegotten Son of God whom you bore
From your life did one nature unite with another?
From you did the one true Messiah come
Out of your life the King of kings took the riches of humanity
To set free the children of Zion
From you arose the New Jerusalem

Holy Virgin Mary, your only son establishes the new heaven and the new earth
You are the tabernacle of the Most High, the holy of holies
You made a place for the Name of God to be praised forever
You direct the renewed people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
To the presence of the Almighty

There is weeping in Babylon
The idols of ancient times are falsely blessed anew
Many drunk on wantonness and blood
The children already delivered wander in a wilderness
Too full and noisy to be recognized as a wasteland

We shall be delivered by the mighty hand of the Lord
His right arm shall be our strength
Mother of Virtue you show us the way to conquer
We are engraved in the hand of God
No one can pluck us from the hollow of it

Blessed Mother, the fruit of your womb
The Son of God, a son of David
He makes for us a new home
With many blessed dwelling places
We shall rest beside quiet waters

“Fallen is Babylon,” He says
“Depart from her my people”
In the midst of the sanctified
There is only one worthy to receive the scroll
And to break open its seals

Mother of God
You are at the right hand of your son
Pray for us
Beckon us to the new inheritance
Of the People of God

It is now that we are exiled by our falleness
It is with you that we shall see God
Where the light never fades
And no tears of sorrow are shed
There will only be joy and peace
________________________________________
Icon of Redemption

Before He laid down the foundations of the Cosmos;
The Lord knew each one of us.
The one, true, and living God foresaw the one full of grace.
God the Father did know a new Eve would come into the world.

A child of good people, Joachim and Anne;
You are the fruit of a marriage both unitive and procreative.
You are the Immaculate Conception.
Because, while altogether human, sanctifying grace did you regain.

You did not die and rise with Christ crucified;
But the merit of your son’s agony and triumph was granted you when you were created.
Immaculate Mary, the Holy Spirit is in every fiber of your being.
You were and are forever without sin.

Where the favor of God reigns;
No disobedience can ever exist.
Free obedience, born from charity, is the blessing of life in Christ.
He did not think even divinity a thing to be grasped.
Like the bush burning, but not consumed;
You are there on holy ground.
There where wanderer, shepherd, and murderer comes face to face with He who is.
To the consubstantial trinity of divine persons, who with one voice say “I AM,” you guide us.

Queen of prophets and of martyrs;
True witnesses reflect you.
You are the beacon from which heavenly light from the Image of the Father shines.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the everlasting light.

Holy Virgin Mother of God;
You are the ark of the new and everlasting Covenant.
Your son is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
It is through you that the Alpha and Omega chose to assume humanity unto Himself.

They who are one in being;
He is the source of all that is.
When we follow in your train, we see the blessed Vision of the deity, face-to-face.
Written humbly, you forever point us back to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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‘Cat in the Stacks: Christmas Playlist

Cat Music

I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.


It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas! Finals are winding down, and it’s time for a break! Exclamation points for everyone!

Elf Snuggle
You know I love playlists, so here is what I made for you! If you are planning to have any sort of Christmas gathering, Christmas dinner, Christmas party, Christmas meditation, or just like really, really joyful and seasonally appropriate instrumental music, then these tracks should fit the bill. This list doesn’t have any classic songs that you have probably already listened to ad nauseum (or is that just me?), but in my opinion, these songs capture the classic Christmas feeling without being necessarily mainstream.

“It’s the Season for Love,” Two Steps

Suite from Polar Express

“Buddy and Santa’s Flight” from Elf

Instrumental of “What’s This?” from The Nightmare Before Christmas

“Spirit of the Season” from Polar Express

“Christmas at Hogwarts” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“O Come, Emmanuel,” PianoGuys

“Angels We Have Heard on High,” PianoGuys

“Carol of the Bells,” Trans-Siberian Orchestra

“Carol of the Bells,” Mannheim Steamroller

These songs all inspire that unique sense of wonder and excitement the holiday season brings. As we gather with our families in warmth and love, no matter what we’re celebrating, we kindle that holiday light in our hearts to hold onto through the rest of the year.

Rudolph

Merry Christmas, Wildcats!

 


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 18

ADVENT DAY 188 Days Till Christmas

“The Lady of Shalott” by  Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Audio created by Robert Nichol AudioProductions London all rights reserved 2000
Submitted by: Sarah Wingo

“The Lady of Shalott” was written by  Alfred, Lord Tennyson around 1832 and then published in slightly varying forms in 1833 and 1842, and is loosely based on the Arthurian legend.

I chose to share this poem because it is one of those pieces of literary cultural currency that, at least for me, crept into my general awareness at a very early age.

My first encounter with“The Lady of Shalott” was through another piece of literature altogether in Anne of Green Gables, both the book and then again in the 1980’s television mini-series starring Megan Fellows. I also have vivid memories of my father playing Loreena McKennitt’s hauntingly beautiful adaptation, which is on her 1991 album The Visit.

Later in school I would encounter Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott,” and his other poems in a far more academic contexts, but as is often the case it is my earliest experiences with “The Lady of Shalott” that secured its place in my heart.

Audio Poem:

Loreena McKennitt song:


 

“The Lady of Shalott”
By  Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Part I

On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro’ the field the road runs by

   To many-tower’d Camelot;

The yellow-leaved waterlily

The green-sheathed daffodilly

Tremble in the water chilly

   Round about Shalott.

 

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.

The sunbeam showers break and quiver

In the stream that runneth ever

By the island in the river

   Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers

Overlook a space of flowers,

And the silent isle imbowers

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Underneath the bearded barley,

The reaper, reaping late and early,

Hears her ever chanting cheerly,

Like an angel, singing clearly,

   O’er the stream of Camelot.

Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,

Beneath the moon, the reaper weary

Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis the fairy,

   Lady of Shalott.’

 

The little isle is all inrail’d

With a rose-fence, and overtrail’d

With roses: by the marge unhail’d

The shallop flitteth silken sail’d,

   Skimming down to Camelot.

A pearl garland winds her head:

She leaneth on a velvet bed,

Full royally apparelled,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part II

No time hath she to sport and play:

A charmed web she weaves alway.

A curse is on her, if she stay

Her weaving, either night or day,

   To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be;

Therefore she weaveth steadily,

Therefore no other care hath she,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

She lives with little joy or fear.

Over the water, running near,

The sheepbell tinkles in her ear.

Before her hangs a mirror clear,

   Reflecting tower’d Camelot.

And as the mazy web she whirls,

She sees the surly village churls,

And the red cloaks of market girls

   Pass onward from Shalott.

 

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,

An abbot on an ambling pad,

Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,

Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,

   Goes by to tower’d Camelot:

And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She hath no loyal knight and true,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror’s magic sights,

For often thro’ the silent nights

A funeral, with plumes and lights

   And music, came from Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead

Came two young lovers lately wed;

I am half sick of shadows,’ said

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He rode between the barley-sheaves,

The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,

And flam’d upon the brazen greaves

   Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d

To a lady in his shield,

That sparkled on the yellow field,

   Beside remote Shalott.

 

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,

Like to some branch of stars we see

Hung in the golden Galaxy.

The bridle bells rang merrily

   As he rode down from Camelot:

And from his blazon’d baldric slung

A mighty silver bugle hung,

And as he rode his armour rung,

   Beside remote Shalott.

 

All in the blue unclouded weather

Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,

The helmet and the helmet-feather

Burn’d like one burning flame together,

   As he rode down from Camelot.

As often thro’ the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

   Moves over green Shalott.

 

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;

On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;

From underneath his helmet flow’d

His coal-black curls as on he rode,

   As he rode down from Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flash’d into the crystal mirror,

‘Tirra lirra, tirra lirra:’

   Sang Sir Lancelot.

 

She left the web, she left the loom

She made three paces thro’ the room

She saw the water-flower bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

   She look’d down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack’d from side to side;

‘The curse is come upon me,’ cried

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale yellow woods were waning,

The broad stream in his banks complaining,

Heavily the low sky raining

   Over tower’d Camelot;

Outside the isle a shallow boat

Beneath a willow lay afloat,

Below the carven stern she wrote,

      The Lady of Shalott.

 

A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight,

All raimented in snowy white

That loosely flew (her zone in sight

Clasp’d with one blinding diamond bright)

   Her wide eyes fix’d on Camelot,

Though the squally east-wind keenly

Blew, with folded arms serenely

By the water stood the queenly

   Lady of Shalott.

 

With a steady stony glance—

Like some bold seer in a trance,

Beholding all his own mischance,

Mute, with a glassy countenance—

   She look’d down to Camelot.

It was the closing of the day:

She loos’d the chain, and down she lay;

The broad stream bore her far away,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

As when to sailors while they roam,

By creeks and outfalls far from home,

Rising and dropping with the foam,

From dying swans wild warblings come,

   Blown shoreward; so to Camelot

Still as the boathead wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her chanting her deathsong,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,

She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her eyes were darken’d wholly,

And her smooth face sharpen’d slowly,

   Turn’d to tower’d Camelot:

For ere she reach’d upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died,

   The Lady of Shalott.

 

Under tower and balcony,

By garden wall and gallery,

A pale, pale corpse she floated by,

Deadcold, between the houses high,

   Dead into tower’d Camelot.

Knight and burgher, lord and dame,

To the planked wharfage came:

Below the stern they read her name,

      The Lady of Shalott.

 

They cross’d themselves, their stars they blest,

Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.

There lay a parchment on her breast,

That puzzled more than all the rest,

   The wellfed wits at Camelot.

‘The web was woven curiously,

The charm is broken utterly,

Draw near and fear not,—this is I,

   The Lady of Shalott.’

 

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One Hundred Years Ago – The World War I Christmas Truce

Christmas Truce 1914, as seen by the Illustrated London News.

The Illustrated London News’s illustration of the Christmas Truce: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”

In December 1914 conditions for soldiers on both sides of No Man’s Land in Flanders were dreadful – water logged trenches, mud, cold rain, and dead bodies in various states of decomposition lying unburied in the land between the lines. Out of this misery came the Christmas Truce, a truce that evolved from the lower ranks upward. Earlier, Pope Benedict XV had asked for a Christmas cease-fire, but both sides rejected his request.

Both the German and English troops had received Christmas packages, some from families and friends and others, official gifts from their governments. The English soldiers received “Princess Mary boxes”: metal boxes engraved with an outline of the princess, daughter of King George V. These gift containers were filled with butterscotch and chocolate, tobacco (cigarettes for the soldiers and cigars for officers), a picture of Princess Mary and a greeting from King George V, “May God protect you and bring you safely home.” Germans received their gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II. Each soldier received a meerschaum pipe and their officers received cigars. The German troops were also given small Christmas pine trees with candles and decorations. And by Christmas Eve the rain had stopped and skies were clear.

Thus a sense of goodwill had spread through the trenches by Christmas Eve (and Weintraub, p. 3, explains, “… the ordinary British soldier had no strong feelings about fighting the Germans …”); in one area Germans sent a chocolate cake to the nearby English soldiers, accompanied by a request for a truce so that the Germans could celebrate their captain’s birthday. They planned a concert for that evening and would place candle-lighted trees on the parapets of their trenches. The English accepted the German proposal and offered tobacco as a gift. At 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve the Germans began to sing; both sides applauded each song and the English were invited to join the Germans in singing.

On Christmas Eve at Lille the British Royal Flying Corps flew over the German airfield and dropped a well-padded Christmas pudding. The following day, a German pilot bombed the English with a bottle of rum.

On Christmas day, soldiers exchanged newspapers, cigars and cigarettes; held joint religious services in No Man’s Land; buried their dead; and talked to each other in English and broken English (few English soldiers spoke German, but many of the Germans spoke at least some English, having worked in England before the war). Soldiers exchanged food, sang, took photographs of each other and played soccer. They also drained and repaired the trenches, repaired wire entanglements and brought ammunition and other supplies to their front lines.

On the day after Christmas, Boxing Day in England and St. Stephen’s Day for the Germans, some areas continued to observe a truce, but generally hostilities were reluctantly resumed. The war, which both sides had expected to be brief, continued into 1918. There were no more Christmas truces. But for one short time there was “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” Today, a wooden cross set in a concrete base surrounded by poppies that bloom in season commemorates the Christmas Truce.

On December 12, 2014, the Duke of Cambridge attended an English dedication ceremony for a monument to the Christmas Truce. The monument is located in the National Memorial Arboretum, a 150 acre site in Alrewas, Staffordshire. The memorial is funded by the Football Remembers partners; it is part of a series of events being held in December.

Dig Deeper
For a comprehensive examination of the truce see Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub.

Articles:
In December 1914, German and British Soldiers Took a Brief Christmas Holiday from World War I” by Leslie Stuart Carter.
Christmas Truce” by Peter Hart.
The Christmas Truce” by Kristof Grievas.

For general information about World War I, see any of the numerous histories in Falvey’s collections. A few are listed below.
Almanac of World War I by David F. Burg.
World War I: A History
World War I: Encyclopedia
The First World War by Ian Cawood.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 17

ADVENT DAY 179 Days Till Christmas

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson
Read by Jean Aked
Submitted by Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews is Falvey’s Library Events and Outreach specialist, and she submitted “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” saying,

“Although somewhat cliché, I like Emily Dickinson. It seems like she was a real legit lady that didn’t care what other people thought. I like that. My mom introduced me to this poem several years ago. I like it because hope is such a magical thing and when I read this poem it makes my heart smile.”

I too like Emily Dickinson very much, and I’m pleased to share this poem on our advent calendar.

Read by Jean Aked:


“Hope” is the thing with feathers
By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

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Distractions From Finals

As finals come into full swing, the Library can provide you with many places to study but also many opportunities to procrastinate. Take a break from that mountain of schoolwork. Sure you should be studying right now, but let’s not kid ourselves; this is what really happens when you open the textbook:

 

Here are some more productive ways to put off studying for finals as long as possible. Enjoy your break:

Movies/TV Shows

Falvey has a vast array of movies and TV shows that are free to check out, from new hits such as Gravity to classics like Casablanca. Re-watching the entire series of The Wire seems like a perfect excuse to stop studying. I am sure your professor will award you extra points when you explain the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg by comparing it to policing strategies in Baltimore.

 

Discover your family tree

Be honest: what sounds more interesting, studying for economics or finding out your ancestors were Vikings? Lucky for you the Library subscribes to Ancestry.com, which encompasses a vast collection of genealogical data which traces the history of millions of individuals going in some cases as far back as 1300.”

 

 

Learn a new language

What if your history professor throws a curveball and writes the final in Italian? Good thing Falvey has an enormous amount of resources dedicated to help you learn foreign languages. Among the languages with guides are Spanish, Italian, French and German. Worst case scenario you can order that hard-to-pronounce pasta dish from Bertucci’s like a champ.

 

Audio Books

Around finals time many students have the feeling of too much to do and not enough time. How does your professor reasonably believe all this work can be completed unless you forgo exercise, eating and sleeping? Enter Falvey and its collection of over 2000 audio books. Having trouble finding the time to finish Pride and Prejudice? Just pick up the audio book from the Library and you will be multitasking your way to an “A” in no time.

 

However you study for finals, just remember to stay calm and collected. You made it to the last week of the semester, your sanity and your lack of sleep will eventually recover. Good luck and have a great break!

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The Highlighter: Can you guess the frequently underused library resource in the photo?

It’s finals week, and you need to concentrate, concentrate, concentrate

Q—What frequently underused library resource

- is relatively quiet,
- is next to windows, and
– provides 32 computer workstations
        each able to send work to Falvey’s printers?

Here’s a clue! … look familiar?

Griffin Instruction Room - 3

 

A— The Griffin Room, to the rear of Falvey’s first floor, serves as an open computer lab when it isn’t being used for instruction.

Griffin Instruction Room

 

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 16

ADVENT DAY 1610 Days Till Christmas

“Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath
Read by Natalie Clark
Submitted by Kallie Stahl

Kallie Stahl is a first-year communication graduate student and joined the Falvey Scholarly Outreach team as a Graduate Assistant at the start of the fall 2014 semester. Kallie is a big Sylvia Plath fan and explained that she has always liked the way that this particular poem addresses the struggle between the fantasy and the reality of love.

Plath wrote “Mad Girl’s Love Song” in 1951, while she was a student at Smith College. It was first published in the August 1953 edition of Mademoiselle, where Plath was working as a Guest Editor.

Read by Natalie Clark:


“Mad Girl’s Love Song”
By Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

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The People’s Home Journal – Plum Pudding

Plum pudding is a new recipe for me, and using a recipe from the year 1900 was especially challenging. The snippet from the Villanova Digital Library‘s December issue of “The People’s Home Journal” was scant at best. After reading Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” and after watching the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim, I was worried, like Mrs. Cratchit, that something would go wrong. Was there enough flour? Did I steam it long enough?

plum pudding people's home journal

I had to find the right cookware and ingredients, and after doing some research, I ordered a steamed pudding mold online and found a food store that has fresh suet. I also checked some trusted sources to fill in the blanks on the directions.

My local natural food store allowed me to order fresh suet, which the butcher collected during her morning preparations. She didn’t charge me for it, but I’ve heard that some stores do. When I was ready to start the recipe, I first had to sort out only the very cleanest bits of suet. The next step calls for grating the suet or chopping it very fine. It was hard to work with so I decided to chop it.

Now I had to figure out how to steam a pudding. Luckily, the Internet came to the rescue. I buttered the inside of the pudding mold generously, filled it with the pudding batter, and then placed it inside a large pot of boiling water so that the water was halfway up the side of the mold.

pudding mold

It’s important to keep checking the pot to ensure that it stays at that level. I used my smartphone timer to remind me of the task every 20 minutes. Also, when adding water, it has to be boiling, so I used an electric kettle to refill the steam pot when needed.

Since the pudding mold can’t be opened until the end of three hours, and because there wasn’t the slightest aroma in the house, I was almost afraid to open the steaming aluminum beast.

“Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in… Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper which smells like a washing-day. That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that. That was the pudding. In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered — flushed, but smiling proudly — with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.” (“A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens)

pudding mold cooked pudding plated

It turned out well, and tastes like an intensely flavored gingerbread while the sauce leaves you with a buttery, sherry finish. Keep in mind, the pudding must be served warm. If you have the will power to save some, wrap it in foil and reheat later in the steam pot.

(Why, you may ask? Because the high melting point of suet means that once the pudding cools, it no longer looks as pretty, if you get my drift.)

I hope you enjoy this project or other baking projects over the holidays. As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, everyone.”

By Luisa Cywinski, writer on the Communication & Service Promotion team and leader of the Access Services team.

 

 

 

 

 

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 15

ADVENT DAY 1511 Days Till Christmas

“Animal Rhymes” by William L. Greene, Jr.
Read by William L. Greene, Jr.

Little did I realize when I proposed this project that we had so many talented poets in our midsts right here at Villanova. William L. Greene, or Bill as we know him, is an Access Services Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library and he submitted several of his own poems for our advent calendar.

The first installment from Bill is set 6 of fun and cheeky rhymes that Bill was kind enough to read for us: Animals

Dec 14 Bill Animals

Image provided by William L. Greene

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Last Modified: December 14, 2014