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  • Gloria Hoffner

St. Joseph Day - What's in that cream?

Happy St. Joseph Day! How will you celebrate? Here's a FREE idea from Science for Seniors. St. Joseph’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Joseph, is the feast day for St. Joseph – which falls on March 19th each year. Saint Joseph is believed by Christians to have been the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the step-father of Jesus Christ. In Poland and Canada, it is a Patron Feast Day and is Father’s Day in some Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain. In Sicily, participants usually wear red and build what is known as “St. Joseph’s Table.” This table is often decorated with flowers and candles, and people place wine and foods on it that are considered lucky. Some of these lucky foods include fava beans, lemons, and foods that contain sawdust. All of these foods have symbolic meanings. Fava beans were the only things that survived a drought during the Middle Ages in Italy – which is why it is considered lucky. Breadcrumbs are worked into the recipes of the dishes because St. Joseph was a carpenter and the breadcrumbs represent sawdust. Some people place fish and seafood on the altar as well. However, what is not placed on St. Joseph’s Table is any dish which contains meat. That’s because this holiday occurs during Lent.

It is also customary for people to wear red on this day and to indulge themselves with special St. Joseph Day doughnuts (image below) and crème puffs. Here is an experiment on how much fat is in food. Materials: Butter, margarine, peanut butter, cream, a sheet of paper, pencil, lemon, honey and potato chips. Process: Draw nine circles on the paper. Rub a bit of the food listed above in each circle and write the name of the food under the rubbing. Wait ten minutes and check the paper.

Result: The foods rubbed on the paper contain fat and water. When the paper drys, the water evaporates into the air and the fat globules remain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20%-35% of their calories from fats. At a minimum, we need at least 10% of our calories to come from fat.

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