This week Matt Swaim, Sonrise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio, talked about the 3 wise men who are depicted in our manger scenes bringing gifts to Baby Jesus. Here’s some “legends” about them:
They are often depicted as representing 3 races, 3 ages of adult men and 3 different areas. There are lots of different accounts as to who’s who.
The first was called Melchior, and according to tradition, he was king of Persia, around 60 years old. He was an old man, with white hair and long beard; He offered gold to the Lord. Gold symbolized royalty so was a perfect gift for the future king. He looks very middle eastern to me.
The second, Gaspar/Caspar by name, fairly young, middle age, around 40, beardless, of ruddy hue, offered to Jesus his gift of incense. Frankincense symbolized divinity (represents life and was used to anoint newborns).
The third king was black,, with heavy beard, was the youngest, about 20, and was called Balthazar; He is depicted as coming from Africa. The myrrh he brought was obtained around Yemen. Myrrh symbolized Jesus’ future death, as it was an ingredient used in embalming at the time to keep away the smell.
How about these 2 fun gifts for you to make and give in the spirit of the 3 magi?!
Wms Sonoma peppermint bark clone
This costs a bit more to make but when you think Wms Sonoma is around $25 or so per pound, you’ll have a quality gift from the kitchen.
Use good quality bar chocolate, both for white and dark. Don’t use “chocolate flavored” bar or morsels.
One more thing: a little less, or more of any ingredient is OK. I’ve shared this recipe a bunch of times before, but the most important things are good quality chocolate and don’t let the bark get rock hard cold before trying to cut/break into pieces.
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
12 oz. white chocolate — first ingredient should be sugar, second cocoa butter, chopped
1/2 teaspoon real peppermint extract or couple drops food grade peppermint oil
1/2 cup or so crushed peppermint
9×13 pan, lined with foil and sprayed
Melt semisweet chocolate over very low heat in nonstick pan. Take it off the burner when there’s still a few chunks unmelted. The residual heat will melt the rest when you stir it. Stir in extract or oil.
Pour into pan and smooth out.
Now here’s the tricky part: you can either let it set at room temperature until it looses its sheen and is firm or put it in the refrigerator until it looses its sheen and is firm. This takes about 15-20 minutes. The goal is to have the first layer firm but not stone cold – that’s what causes layers to separate.
Melt white chocolate the same way. Let it cool a little to the point where it’s still pourable.
Pour over dark chocolate layer and smooth out.
Immediately sprinkle with peppermint and if necessary, pat the mint down into the white chocolate.
Let sit at room temperature until white chocolate layer is hard.
Cut into pieces. Store in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before eating.
GINGERBREAD PLAY DOUGH
No worries about kids eating this. It tastes just like regular play dough that you make – super salty! But the aroma is yummy and so is the color.
Fun to roll out and to cut into holiday shapes and decorate with beads, buttons, etc. Poke a hole into each one, let air dry or bake in low temperature oven and insert a ribbon to hang on the tree as ornaments.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice or combo of cinnamon and ginger
1 cup water
Mix everything together. Let the little ones help.
Put in a saucepan and, over low heat, stir continually until it forms a ball.
Remove from heat, dump onto parchment or wax paper or even the counter. When it’s cool enough to touch, knead until smooth.
Pack into airtight container. Keeps 2 weeks.
Thanks to the listener who shared this adapted recipe from: Buggy and Buddy