“aestate pueri si valent, satis discunt!”

Friends from Rome are visiting the Sabine Farm. 

Alas, they must drink my poor Sabine wine rather than the Falernian and Caecuban and Formian they are accustomed to quaff.

We do, however, know how to prepare Sabine meats on the grill!

One of the kids (there are four), can’t eat beef.  He got some nice little frenched lamb chops.

There were some fine pork ribs with barbecue sauce.

And the grown ups had T-bones.

It was great to watch someone else at the grill and just have a beer and shoot the breeze.

It was a perfect evening, temperature-wise.  Sunny skies and a breeze.

We started our revels in the late afternoon with Holy Mass in the chapel, with the Votive Mass of Christ the High Priest.

Then we trooped out to the bee hives to bless the bees!

From the Roman Ritual:

O Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth!  Thou didst create all living things for man’s use.  Moreover, thou didst order by the ministry of thy holy Church that candles made from the industry of bees shall burn during the Sacred Mystery in which we consecrate and consume the most holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, thy Son.  Send thy holy blessing + upon these bees and this beehive to make them numerous and productive, and to preserve them from harm, so that their yield of wax can be turned to thy honor, and to the honor of they Son and Holy Spirit, and to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Through the same Christ our Lord.


I am told there are 40k bees in each hive.

They had no comment on the whole affair.

The kids are having a great time: I believe there is a lot of frog catching going on even as I write.

I don’t think a kid has been a kid until frogs have been caught, fireflies captured and put in jars, and dragonflies pursued.

There may even be a measure of chipmunk terrorizing taking place.

I’m with Martial on this one:

Ludi magister, parce simplici turbae:
sic te frequentes audiant capillati
et delicatae diligat chorus mensae,
nec calculator nec notarius velox
maiore quisquam circulo coronetur.
cirrata loris horridis Scythae pellis,
qua vapulavit* Marsyas Celaenaeus,
ferulaeque tristes, sceptra paedagogorum,
cessent et Idus dormiant in Octobres:
aestate pueri si valent, satis discunt.



Penjing has been perfectly fine during my trip eastward.  As usual.

What surprised me was the incredible growth shown by Penzai, the Chinese Elm.

Irohamomiji, the Japanese Maple, is still doing its best to bud, but this tree is pretty slow.  I am wondering if perhaps it was dropped on its head as a sapling.

My rosemary, which survived the winter, is blooming like mad.

From the feeder, there is some news.

The birds seem now to have changed some of their eating habits.  I have noticed that some birds have changed what they prefer to eat.  For example, the Goldfinches, who are getting ready to nest, have been less after the thistle but the other seeds on the other feeders.  On the other hand, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak was hanging out on the finches’ thistle socks.  Odd.

The Goldfinches are really arguing these days.

See?  Mrs. Grosbeak on the thistle sock.  Odd.

Some shots.

But wait!   The Grosbeak is now getting in on the Oriole’s action.

* a very cool verb.  It is sort of the opposite of a deponent, active in form but passive in meaning.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, Lighter fare, SESSIUNCULA, The Feeder Feed. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Mac McLernon says:

    meat on a Friday, Father Z? [Yah… that would be pretty bad! Thank heavens it was Thursday! o{]:¬) ]


    (only kidding!)

  2. Father Z living the good life!!!

  3. James A says:

    Thank you for the Martial, Fr Z. Hadn’t read that since I studied it for my high school Latin.

    aestate sacerdotes si dicunt nigrum, rubrum faciunt, Deo placent.

  4. I like the Purple Finch in flight with the sad finial looking on.

  5. I’m going to be honest, Father, I prefer being at the grill with a beer in my hand to watching someone else grilling. That said, however, good company and good meat on the grill is a great way to spend any evening.

  6. James: Normally I would say the same. But this guy was really good!

  7. Tom in NY says:

    No prayers to St. Lawrence?
    Salutationes omnibus.

  8. I am not Spartacus says:

    My rosemary, which survived the winter, is blooming like mad.

    Fr Z. This was such a charming and beautiful post Thank you.

    I seized on the line I copied and pasted. About 16 months ago, The Bride and I planted a small rosemary plant out in front of our house in Wellington, Florida and now it is three feet high and about eight feet in circumference and all my neighbors have permission to take as much as they want whenever they want.

    Rosemary. I just like to run my hand through it and to be bathed in the oils as I go out to get the mail and I often, like I will tonight, make a marinade for our salmon or steelhead trout that I cook for 10-12 minutes at 500 degrees.

    The marinade is composed of the zest of two lemons (I have a Meyer’s Lemon Tree) extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, garlic, Dijon mustard, S + P.

    Again, thanks for the great post. It was just the tonic I need today.

    God Bless.

  9. DJY says:

    A sadly appropriate prayer in the light of recent bee troubles across the country.

    That said, is it wrong that my first thought was:

    “Were not the other 40,000 cured? Have none of the others returned?”

  10. Pes says:

    What a delightful post. Father, we should all decamp to the outskirts of your farm and start a Catholic colony. Are you willing to be responsible for this outpouring of utopian urges? Next you’ll be saying those cuts of meat were accompanied by gremolata.

    Prepare for pilgrims.


  11. This reminds me of Gretel the goldfinch, whom Pius XII’s gardener found injured and brought to the Holy Father, who took her in. There is a lovely picture of her perched on his finger. He would give her the freedom of his apartment when he was at home, and when he took his meals, she had a little dish of seeds on his table. I love the story of how, when he was working late one night, she kept parking herself on his papers, and he kept brushing her away until finally, he decided she was right and went to bed.

    May the holy and completely adorable Pius XII be raised to the altar soon!

  12. Mariana says:

    Delightful, indead!
    God bless you again and again!

  13. Dove says:

    Lovely pictures. Makes me want to get a bird feeder and bees. Father, what kind of plant is Penjing? I know it’s a bonsai, but what is it? If anyone knows, please post the name.

  14. David O'Rourke says:

    Hmmmm Father! I see you have no scrupple about leading the flock into temptation by showing those ictjures on the grill on a Friday.

    I must do some checking. Putting myself on Standard time would be counter productive but perhaps by resorting to either Mean Local or True Local time I might be able to dig in a bit earlier.

    Back in the Latin days of my youth the Archdiocesan Ordo always supplied such information. If it was an Ember Saturday evening, you were going to a party and the Eucharistic Fast started at midnight, using the different time systems could get you that all important 10 or 15 minutes to chow down some meat.

  15. Laura Lowder says:

    Please give the Fabrizios my very warmest regards. I don’t know which I envy more – them for the visit with you, or you for the visit with them!

  16. Mac McLernon says:

    “Thank heavens it was Thursday!”

    Ahhhhhhh !

    And there was I thinking that you were celebrating the Octave Day for the Sacred Heart or something!

    Never mind. I tucked into my pasta with tuna and sweetcorn, and looked at the photos of the grill and tried to pretend mine was better…



  17. Kathi in TX says:

    Thank you for this most excellent entry. It was just a delightful read about the simple joys of life.

    A day at the Sabine Farm would be a homeschool field trip extraordinaire! It’s a complete package- Holy Mass w/Fr. Z’s amazing voice to listen to (Your podcasts are enjoyable for that quality alone), botany lessons, birds, frogs, dragonflies, fireflies, bees & chipmunks! And then all that grilled meat, all but the vegetarian teenage daughter would be loving that — I suppose she could make for herself your eggplant recipe that you posted over lent that we love so much.

    And an upper mid-west summer day to boot (vs. a 103 degree TX one) – what a great memory maker day for you & your friends.

  18. John Enright says:

    Classic post, Father! Bravo! BTW, stop showing the food you cook! It’s an occasion of sin! LOL!

  19. Penjing is a Fukian Tea Tree.

  20. Roland de Chanson says:

    Zee keeds are catching zee frogs? Ah, merveilleux. Cuisses de grenouilles sur le barbecue! J’arrive tout de suite!

    And those ferulae tristes, the sceptra paedagorum, are the reason I transferred out of the parochial school! (tantum per iocum).

    Excellent point about « vapulavit. » Just goes to show how different languages think differently. Nu, so what’s with the Scythian pelt? ;-)

    And may you and your ospiti Romani avoid the mal aria or swamp fever that afflicted Martial’s schoolboys. Buon appetito!

    P.S. En fait, moi je déteste les cuisses de grenouilles. Ça, c’est un barbarisme.

  21. Nan says:

    Anita Moore,

    Is “adorable” part of the criteria for Causes for Canonization? Recently saw millefiori cross with photo of, I think Pius XII at center.

  22. Is “adorable” part of the criteria for Causes for Canonization?

    Couldn’t hurt.

  23. Mr. H. says:

    What a wonderful post!

    Sometimes, it is the simple things that most capture the joy and beauty of life.

    Mr. H

  24. ssoldie says:

    What a great post, everything that one would want for happiness in this world, good company, good food, good wine, good views of nature, how very wonderful. P.S. wish I could grill like that.

  25. Dove says:

    Thank you Father Z.

  26. irishgirl says:

    I second Pes’ suggestion about a Catholic colony at the Sabine Farm!

    Oooo, all that meat cooking on the grill looked sooooo yummy!

  27. Carol says:

    “perhaps it was dropped on its head as a sapling.”

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