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Faith, food and family formation

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Tania Chahoud with contributors Charlotte (kindy) and her brother Henry McCarthy (Year 2) who shared their favourite blueberry pancakes recipe. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Faith and food have come together in a delicious book for cooking up the liturgical calendar featuring recipes highlighting the significance of each season.

In what’s believed to be an Australian first, the cookbook produced by St Ambrose Primary School at Concord West, aims at nourishing not only people’s bodies but also their souls.

Called Soul Food for the Seasons, it contains more than 120 sweet and savoury recipes courtesy of the families from the school complete with an explanation of why they are so significant in bringing the family together.

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Italian, Greek, Indonesian and Irish recipes feature heavily reflecting the rich multicultural school community.

The book is divided into four sections and represented by the colours of the liturgical seasons, each chapter is explained in detail and then suggested recipes given to celebrate them while highlighting Catholic teachings, beliefs and traditions.

Related article: Six life lessons from cooking for kids

Advent and Lent (purple) is a time of preparation through fasting and prayer and contains seafood and vegetarian recipes, Easter and Christmas (gold) is a time of celebration and contains desserts, Passion Week and Pentecost Sunday (red) is a time associated with those who have made great sacrifices and contains recipes utilising fruit and sweets and finally Ordinary Time (green) which is the longest time in the Liturgical year contains a wide and varied menu of all foods.

Family educator and brainchild of the cookbook Tania Chahoud said she hoped the reflective recipes not only helped explain each liturgical season but also helped strengthen families faith in the home.

She said its aim was to provide nourishment for “bodies, hearts and minds”.

Family Educator Tania Chahoud who has cooked up an inventive way to teach students and their families about the Liturgical seasons

“The book was created from a desire to acknowledge the significance that coming together around a table has in our faith,” she said.

“At the Last Supper, Jesus gathered around a table with those closest to him, where he broke bread and shared wine. He taught us a key element of our faith in that when we share a meal we gain nourishment from the food we eat and from the words and love that we share.

“Using the colours of each liturgical season, we hope families can celebrate more fully the significance and importance of the colours displayed in our prayer spaces and worn by our clergy.

“This is not an ordinary cookbook, but one which brings us energy and strength based on one essential ingredient – cooking with the love of God in our souls.

“We hope everyone enjoys not only the delicious recipes but also the significance behind each one and why they are encouraged to be eaten in each liturgical season.”

For further details about how to purchase the book contact St Ambrose Primary School at Concord West.

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