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Worldwide Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March. Each year a different country serves as the writer of the World Day of Payer worship service.
On March 1, Christian women gathered at First Baptist Church in Elizabethtown for “Let Justice Prevail,” written by the World Day of Prayer Committee of Malaysia. Linda Funk with Church Women United welcomed the women of Hardin and LaRue counties. I was one of the attendees and it was a very emotional service as two refugees from Malaysia spoke to the group in very good English. Thang Sanga and Lal Zan are just two of the more than 1,000 refugees helped by Catholic Charities in Louisville. They receive clothing, food, housing and education to become independent individuals. The love offering taken at the gathering was to be given to Catholic Charities for their work with refugees.
Following the Day of Prayer, ladies from First Baptist Church served a lovely lunch and, as an addition from the country of Malaysia, were foods prepared by Church Women United leaders. The food there was very tasty and I have included the recipes today. If the amounts seem strange, it is because they were converted from metric measurements.
I hope you put on your calendar the 2013 World Day of Prayer. It is the first Friday of March and a prayer service to be followed will be written by French women and the theme will be “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The location will be announced later.
Sweet Potato Balls
1 pound sweet potatoes
¾ c. all purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
3 T. sesame seeds
Oil for frying
Boil sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Peel the skin off the sweet potatoes and discard. Smash the sweet potatoes and combine them with flour, sugar and just enough water to form smooth dough that is soft in texture but not sticky. Divide the dough into small, equal portions and roll them into balls. Coat the balls with sesame seeds. Deep fry the sweet potato balls until they are golden brown. Drain well before serving.
3 large, ripe bananas
1 ½ c. flour
1 T plus 1 ½ t. sugar
Oil for frying
Break the bananas into small pieces and put them into a bowl. Add flour, egg, sugar and just enough water to form soft, smooth dough. Use a big spoon to stir the ingredients so they are well blended. Heat a frying pan and add enough cooking oil for deep frying. Once the oil is heated, scoop a spoonful of batter into the frying pan. Try to shape the batter so it is somewhat round. Deep fry until golden brown. Drain well after cooking. Serves 6 to 8
2 ½ c. all purpose flour
2 T. cornstarch
¼ t. salt
¼ c. confectioner’s sugar
2 sticks butter
2 egg yolks
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for egg wash
2-20 oz. cans pineapple slices
½ c. + 2 T. sugar (more or less to taste)
1 t. cornstarch mixed with 1 t. water
Drain the pineapple slices, and squeeze extra juice from them with your hands. Blend the pineapple until it is mushy, about 10 seconds. Cook the pineapple and sugar over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is golden. Stir constantly, using a wooden spoon, to avoid burning. Taste, and add more sugar if needed. Add in the cornstarch mixture to thicken. Cool in the refrigerator.
To make the pastry, sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a medium bowl. Soften the butter to room temperature. Add the egg yolks and flour mixture. Knead to form the dough.
Divide the dough and pineapple filling each into 24 rounds. Flatten the dough, put the filling in the center, and use the dough to cover the filling. Use your palms to round it up and shape it into a roll about 1 ½ inches long. Use a fork to make criss-cross patterns on the tart, and then brush the tart with the egg wash. Bake tarts at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until light brown. Makes 24.
Nora Sweat is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.