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Good morning, GUSpope-a-philes!!!!!  StateOfGrace didn't get her Pope diary out quickly enough so I stole her spot now that interest seems to be waning.  Nooooooo!!!!  Let's enjoy some Pope recipes.  Not that the Popes made any of them, mind you, but they sure ate enough.  A friend gave me a fun book years ago:  Buon Appetito, Your Holiness: The Secrets of the Papal Table by Mariangela Rinaldi and Mariangela Vicini.  What are the chances that two women with the same pretty name would collaborate on a book.

I know you can't wait to get to another Popalicious diary but you'll have to wait for who we are and why we are here.

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All blockquotes and recipes are from Buon Appetito, Your Holiness.
 So, let's start with the first guy who didn't have a popemobile, Swiss Guards or Vatican City.

St. Peter's feast day is always associated with food.  In some agricultural areas, such as the territories south of Mantua.  June 29 is harvest day for succulent pears known as "St. Peters," small fruit as yellow as honey, soft, juicy and fragrant, excellent as a snack with hearty flakes of locally produced hard cheese.

. . . .

Many cookbooks give recipes for fish bearing Peter's name.  One fish in particular, as tasty as it is ugly, was classified by Linnaeus in the eighteenth century as Zeus faber, but is more commonly known as St. Peter's fish or John Dory.

St. Peter's Fish with Herbs

Ingredients for 6

1 tblsp minced tarragon
1 tblsp minced tarragon
1 tblsp thyme
1 tblsp parseley
1 tblsp basil
1 clove garlic
pinch of ground ginger
4 tblsps breadcrumbs
1 St. Peter's fish (John Dory) weighing roughly 3 pounds, filleted
2 eggs, beatenall-purpose unlbeached flour
oil for frying
10 tblsps butter, melted in a frying pan2 tblsps dry white wine
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Use all fresh herbs.  Combine the herbs, garlic and ginger in a mortar, crush, then add all but 2 tblsp of breadcrumbs.  You can also just smash the garlic and add the herbs together in a mini-mincer or chop with knife if you don't have a mortar.   Coat the fish fillets with the egg, then dredge in flour and fry in the oil.  When the fillets are done, drain on absorbent paper.  

Melt butter in frying pan, add herb and slowly add the wine and lemon juice.  Blend vigorously together on low heat until the mixture is well amalgamated.

Set the fillets on the serving dish, sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs and serve still warm, with hot sauce.

Wow, first time I looked at that recipe and hoping the following aren't as badly presented.  I had to change most of the directions because no one actually edited or made this recipe.  It made zero sense.

Pope Joan!!!! 855-858.   Yeppers, many references to her and my best friend has an ancient Latin manuscript which details the rise and fall of Pope Joan.  Authentic story or just a cautionary tale made up by men who wanted to make sure women didn't get too hoity-toity.

It was food that sealed the fate of Joan, the "angelic woman Pope," whose undoing was her prolonged intake of exotic, flavorsome, spicy and, according to rumor-mongers, aphrodisiac dishes.  Between love affairs and theological disputes, there could be no other end for the only woman ever to be Pope.
Several sources give variations on this following theme:
Sigebert asserts that the name Joan does not feature among the official list of Popes becaause of the shock and shame felt by the Curia and faithful alike on witnessing her give birth to a bonny little boy slap bang in the middle of a procession.

. . . .

Many sources recount events in her life with too much detail for fiction, and they agree that she was stoned to death immediately after her public birth in an alleyway between San Clemente and the Coliseum, known today as Vicolo della Papessa.

I'm thinking the translator wasn't super concerned about proper grammatical constructs.
Pope Joan's Fruit Salad

Ingredients for 6

4 apples
3 clementines
7 dried figs
7 dates, pitted
1/2 cup raisins, soaked and squeezed dry
1/4 cup shelled pistachios1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tblsps sugar  (might be able to eliminate because of so much sweetness)
juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 tblsp runny honey
1 small glass of kirsch
1 cup yogurt or whipped cream

Peel and cut the apples and clementines into small cubes; slice the figs and dates.  Put all the fruit into a large bowl.  Add the pistachios and walnuts.  Sprinkle with sugar, if you are using and bathe with the citrus juice.  Lastly, mix together the honey and kirsch and add to the fruit salad.  Leave to flavor for a short while.  Before serving, to crown off the dish, pour over the yogurt or whipped cream.

Boniface VIII (Benedetto Caetani) 1294-1303

Lots a odious Popes but Boniface VIII was particularly scummy.  Born to high wealth, he liked the continued high living provided by the Church.  He succeeded Celestine V (a hermit) by forcing him to resign.  Ancient intrigue!!!!!!  Boniface VIII laid his table (or his servants did) with gold flatware and cups, crystals, gorgeous linens, etc.  He loaded up his fiefdom with riches and entertained royalty, ambassadors and cardinals.  

Oddly enough, he had an elevated table for himself above his guests.  Jeebus.  

He had many detractors because of his decadence.

Jacopone da Todi . . . describe[d] him as:

A brand new Lucifer
In the papal seat
A blasphemer's tongue
That has poisoned the world.

Dante was more careful since Jacopone was thrown into prison for his views and Boniface VIII was still alive.  The most he could say was "May evil take the evil priest."

I'm happy to report he died a miserable, abandoned old man in the end.


Roast Lamb in the Style of Pope Caetani

Ingredients for 4

1 leg of lamb weighing roughly 2 pounds
1 slice pork fat, finely chopped1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
a pinch of salt
2 tblsps olive oil
freshly ground pepper
1 glass of red wine

Make incision in the leg of lamb, mix the pork fat, garlic and rosemary and stuff the mixture into them.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the meat on a baking tray with quite high sides, rub the oil on the meat and cook in a medium oven (375 degrees) for 30 minutes or so.

When it is brown on top, baste with the red wine and continue cooking at the same heat for another 15 minutes, until it is done.
Serve garnished with roast new potatoes or a nicely dressed fresh leaf salad, and to pay homage to the "Holy" Father, accompany with a nice bottle of Cesanese del Piglio red wine.  (Or something from a box)

Sixtus IV (Francesco Della Rovere) 1471-1484

Sixtus was into diets.  Actually not crazyness it seems.  He was a huge advocate of bitter and sweet herbs and loved watercress.

Since the fifteenth century, watercress sellers have been a common sight in springtime, hawking their produce with the colorful cry, "Crescioni, crescioni, per chi vvo' ffa la piscia fresca!"  ("Watercress, watercress, if you want fresh piss!")
The story of Sixtus IV's is inextricably bound up with that of his evil nephews.  Despite his substantial commitment to defending the Church, Sixtus shamelessly dedicated himself to aggrandizing his own family.  Politically, he was known as a martinet, ever ready to plunge into bloody deeds.  These include the plot of the Pazzi, in which Giuliano de' Medici, Lorenzo's brother, was assassinated; the overambitious Crusade against the Turks; and his excommunication of former ally Venice, after an unethical switch of allegiance to Naples and Ferrara.
Jewish Artichokes

This is a typical Roman Jewish dish, in which the trick is the preparation of the vegetables.  Take small young globe artichokes - dark or violet, it doesn't matter -- cut to leave a stalk about 1 1/2 inches long and peel away all the outer leaves.  Once this is done, use a small, sharp knife to chop across the top of the artichoke head, paring away all but the tenderest leaves at the center.  When this process is complete, the artichokes should resemble a flower.

Ingredients for 4

8 fresh globe artichokes
water with the juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
sunflower seed oil

Prepare the artichokes as described above and leave immersed in the acidulated water.  Remove and dry with a kitchen cloth.  Beat them down on a hard surface so that the flowers open up a little, wash them and put some pepper inside.  Pour oil into a high-sided heat-proof earthenware dish, and when it begins to bubble throw in the artichokes with the stalks upwards.  Once they become golden, turn them carefully so that the stalk is facing downwards.  Turn once more and press the leaves against the bottom of the dish so that the artichokes take on the appearance of a chrysanthemum.  Bring a bowlful of water close to the earthenware dish, dip a hand in and then sprinkle a few drops of water into the oil.  This is the secret for giving the artichokes that extra final crispness.

Ok, I'm tired now and have to go into the office early tomorrow so I'll stop now.  I may add more in the comments as the day goes on.
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Ok, I do have to make sure our resident egocentric and abuser of StateOfGrace gets his billboard effect since it isn't in the list:  citizenx

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