St. Joseph’s Altar Ideas

We’re preparing our St. Joseph’s Altar for tomorrow, and we’ve been working on something I’d like to share!

Traditionally on St. Joseph’s Altar, there are symbolic pastries made in the shapes of crosses, ladders, staffs, sandals, doves, flowers, fish, and more! They’re decorated with dry fig, and are not always eatable. Here is an example of the ‘real thing’ (You can find a recipe here)

So we made our own simple version using fig newtons :-)
Here’s How:
Cut your symbol in with a little knife. (use caution
when working with knives)
Then pry out the unwanted area.
Keep picking out the remaining crumbs with the end of
the knife until leaving only the dark fig. Voila!
I made a cross, fish, monstrance, heart, and chalice.
If I were you I’d keep the designs simple. I don’t think that little kids could do this, but older kids could.

Have you heard of fava beans? They were food for cattle, but in times of famine one was considered lucky to have them to eat. They’re very traditional to have on St. Joseph’s Altar. We don’t actually have any real fava beans, but we did make this craft:

Great northern beans worked well because they’re light in color. It would have been good to have something bigger. Suggestions? Be sure to use card stock because regular paper is really too flimsy. For younger kids, write “FAVA” in glue first and just let them stick on the beans.

Come back tomorrow to see our whole altar, or head over the Evann’s St. Joseph’s Altar Blog Fest tomorrow- we’ll be there! :-)

Comments

  1. Gwen (mom)Wise says:

    The Fig Newton symbols are brilliant Lacy! We can do that!

  2. I love those "design-your-own" fig cookies! Great idea, Lacy!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can get dried large lima beans at my store…bigger than great northern white and light-colored.

    Another option would be to order a packet of fava bean seed from an heirloom seed store on-line and grow more for next year. ;)

    From the history, "After paying homage to St. Joseph, they distributed the food to the less fortunate." A food pantry donation would be a great thing to do in honor of St. Joseph!

  4. You can find fava beans are international grocers/markets.

  5. You can also find fava beans in the seed section with other veggie or flower seeds. You can actually plant them this time of year (early spring) for a wonderful flowering plant -and later edible bean – in your garden. Fun growing project because the beans are pretty big.

  6. This year will be our 4th St Joseph’s alter. I am so excited about the fig cookie idea! We do add italian fig cookies, but your idea will be a wonderful addtion. I also found plastic atrichokes, lemons and limes as we found by day 9 some of our fruits and vegitables look pretty bad.
    Thank you for sharing!
    mj