April 2023

Unleavened Bread

March/April: Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday 

During the first year of the pandemic, we were unable to physically attend Holy Thursday mass and participate with fellow parishioners in communion. So during lockdowns we wanted a quick symbolic wafer to eat with a little wine at home while watching the livestream of the Eucharistic rites online. 

True unleavened bread only consists of flour and water (no leavening agent like yeast to make it rise), much like the fire cake recipe. But this recipe was suitable for our purposes for commemorating the Last Supper of Our Lord at home. It tastes like a not-so-sweet simple shortbread cookie. Smaller rounds may be cut from the dough so that all members of the family can partake with their own wafer.

Making unleavened bread is a great opportunity for family togetherness and a teachable moment about Jesus the Bread of Life, especially on Holy Thursday as Christians begin observing Paschal Triduum traditions.


(Adapted from Catholic Cuisine)


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk


In a large mixing bowl, combine the two flour with the sugar. Add the butter and with a pastry blender and mix until incorporated. Add the milk to moisten the dough.

Knead until a dough sticks together and is well blended. Roll into a ball and place on a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Place on a parchment paper over a baking sheet.

Use an 8-inch round board or plate and trace around to cut off edges. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Break off pieces and serve with grape juice or wine.


Zrodiya Mcharmla

(Algerian-Style Carrots)

April 4: International Carrot Day

Around Eastertime, we always wonder what to make for dinner, especially since we are not traditionalists who eat ham or lamb. We remember as children Highlander’s family would eat roast beef and Islander’s family would order Chinese takeout for Easter! Sure, our families would cook the occasional ham dinner. But in our married life, it was not one we really cooked for ourselves. Sometimes when we get invited to friends’ homes for Easter, ham is what they would serve, and we would graciously eat it.

But carrots frequently find their way on our Easter menu when we do cook at home. Somehow this orange veggie seems right with all the Easter bunnies and their stereotypical food. The recipe we decided to try is from an Algerian friend, Raida S., who served zrodiya mcharmla (also known as carottes au vinaigre) as a side dish when we visited her and her husband, Sido, our university dormmate, and their twin daughters in Dubai, UAE. We ate al fresco in their back patio on that one mild spring evening in March. We asked for the simple recipe and made it at home when we came back from our Middle Eastern trip.

International Carrot Day falls around the Easter season. Algerian-style carrots would make a great dish for carrot day as well.

(From Raida S.)


  • 1 pound bag of baby carrots
  • Water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Put the carrots in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Drain the water in a colander and place the carrots in a bowl.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the olive oil with vinegar, minced garlic, ground cumin, caraway seeds and Italian parsley. Pour this dressing over the cooked carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. May serve hot or cold.


  • Large instead of baby carrots may be used. Wash and peel around 3 large carrots. Slice them diagonally in 1/8 inch thickness. Prepare in the same method as baby carrots.
  • Some baby carrots may be steamed in the bag, depending on the brand, making for a quicker preparation.
  • The juice of half a lemon may be used in place of the vinegar.

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