“O Come, Let us adore Him” with the Christmas Crèche



The St. Anne's Scoop


Pictured here is a 65 year-old nativity scene, or crèche, which Sr. Elaine Marie, bookkeeper at St. Anne’s received for a Christmas gift at nine years of age.  As she grew up, she and her parents would set it up on their farmstead each year.  More figures, such as a deer, Santa, some of the angels, and, of course a dog, where added to the original set over the years.  Even after Sr. Elaine entered Religious Life in the late 1950s, her parents continued to put up the set at Christmastime.  When they moved to live and work at St. Anne’s some years later, they brought it with them; her mom continued setting it up in her apartment here.  Today, this crèche sets on top of a file cabinet in the main office here at St. Anne’s, where staff can be reminded of the miracle of the first Christmas.

Sr. Elaine's mother set up the scene in her room. Sr…

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Nuttier than a Fruitcake?

Sometimes around St. Anne’s, we’ve said “It’s nuttier than a fruitcake around here.”  Now, as Christmas approaches, these words hold true once again.


But during this ‘National Fruitcake Month’ we might ask: Just how nutty is a fruitcake?  Recipes for this holiday treat vary.  A variety of ingredients can be used, and substitutions may be made.  The one caution given is that the original proportions be maintained when making substitutions (e.g., if you substitute mango for pineapple, use the same amount as that given in the recipe.)

Another thing to keep in mind is the need to make the cakes ahead of time.  Fruitcake should age for at least a month.

Sr. Rebecca, our administrator, remembers her mother making up fruitcake around Thanksgiving. Her mother would wrap the cakes in cheese cloth that she had soaked in brandy and let them set until Christmastime.

Interestingly enough, fruitcake is baked on a low temperature, no higher than 325 degrees.

One shocking aspect of fruitcakes is that they can be eaten long after they were first made; one source mentions up to 25 years later!


Although fruitcakes have a reputation among some people as being something awful-tasting that you certainly don’t want around for Christmas, experiences at St. Anne’s tell us otherwise.  A friend of ours, MaryAnn Votava, kindly brings us her delicious homemade fruitcake each December.  Her holiday treat shatters any presuppositions one might have about fruitcake being unsavory holiday fare.

If you’re interested in more fun fruitcake facts, check out this site.

Other Resources:



Cottage cheese, if you please!


This past Monday was one of a few times during our five-week menu cycle at St. Anne’s that our residents are served cottage cheese, in some form. The evening’s selection was ‘cottage cheese with pear half.’

Our poodle, dodge, really enjoyed it, to our surprise. He was in the Sisters’ dining room at suppertime, and Sr. Christina allowed him to lick out her cup with its cottage cheese residue. He ‘really went to town’ with it, getting his nose down into the cup. He even moved it around a bit trying to get to the creamy remnants.

Although it’s doubtful that this dog is health-conscious, he was actually on to something!  Cottage cheese has some definite health benefits.

For one thing, it has a good protein content, to give you energy, without tons of extra calories; it also offers amino acids.  It has less calories than most other cheeses.  Cottage cheese also is a source of calcium and phosphorus for your bones.  It also has vitamin A, which helps your cells and B vitamins.  Some other helpful trace elements are also found in Dodge’s creamy treat, including iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

image2Substituting cottage cheese for other proteins may help you lose weight.  Being a dairy product with calcium and vitamin D, cottage cheese may also reduce risk of breast cancer.

There are a few concerns, though, to keep in mind with cottage cheese, including the sodium and cholesterol content, if you are on a diet for high blood pressure.

Have you ever wondered where cottage cheese got its name?  You’re not alone; but answers aren’t that easy to come by.  According to some online sources, cottage cheese is thus named because, in times past, it was made in cottages using leftover milk.

It can be enjoyed on crackers, in a salad, or even with a pear half, like we have it here, every fifth Monday.



Celebrating “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”

Publication1We published this last year, but had forgotten all that was written. We thought it wouldn’t hurt to share it again.

Have a happy St. Nicholas Day!

The St. Anne's Scoop

Walking through the hallway outside our nurses’ office, I asked our residents in the med. line if they had celebrated St. Nicholas Day as children, putting out their shoes.  To my surprise, none of them had.  As a child, St. Nicholas visited our home every year on the eve of his feast in early December.

Last year, we at St. Anne’s had an 18-year old German girl, Antonia Kerl, stay with us for about three months.  This included St. Nicholas Day.  On that occasion, she did a program for our residents on “Christmas in Germany,” sharing German food and customs with our residents.  For the December issue of our newsletter, The Broadcaster, she also contributed a little article, featuring St. Nicholas as our “Saint of the Month.”  It ran as follows:

St. Nicholas was born in 270 AD and died on December 6, 343. He was the Bishop of Myra (what…

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