Thursday, January 6, 2011

Toastmasters: Word of the Day

I recently became a member of the Toastmaster's club here in Wilkesboro. I am really enjoying it.

This week I am serving as Grammarian. The Grammarian records grammatical errors and reports these at the end of the meeting. In addition, I get to select the word of the day.

For today's word I have selected: Epiphany. defines Epiphany as a noun

1. (initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.

2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.

3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.

Growing up in my family, we always referred to the feast of Epiphany as little Christmas. The day is significant because this is the day that the Three Wise Men (Magi) visited the baby Jesus bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus. St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

Historically this was the gift giving day for our family, with little cakes and candy and small gifts. If it fell on the weekend we would also have a big meal, like a Christmas dinner type feast.

My family has tried to continue that tradition; this weekend we will have a nice turkey dinner. A few years ago however, we had a massively large tasting menu Twelfth-Night at a friend's house. In all honesty, we were inspired by the SCA. They have a massive feast for Twelfth Night every year and I wanted to replicate it for my friends.

We made a tasting menu of epic proportions, divided into courses with dishes that included Italian Wedding Soup, Baba Gannoouj, Spring Rolls, Loin Lamb Chops with grilled pita and Tzatzaki, Croustini, Black Beans and Rice, Chocolate Cups with Nutella Filling, Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream, and lots of other things.

Only one recipe this time.

Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream


3 cups milk
2/3 cup cream
3 tablespoons glucose
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg yolk
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds


Bring the milk, cream, glucose and half of the sugar to a boil. Mix the rest of the sugar together with the egg yolk. Pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture.
Roast the black sesame seed lightly. (Just to bring out the aroma). Let it cool down before grinding it. Add the black sesame seed into the cooled mixture.
Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine. When finished, refrigerate it.

'Til next time,

Peace, Love, and Hollandaise Sauce!

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