Church celebrates Malta joining EU

From left to right: Chantal DesJardin, Lucinda and Bayley Harper, Jonathan DesJardin and Stuart Mosier watch as Fr. Julian presents a slide show of 160 pictures of Malta, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The Eagle/Hilary Miller

More than 120 members of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and the local community joined Father Julian Cassar in celebrating Malta's May 1, accession into the European Union. Malta, an island nation of 381,000 people, is the home of Cassar, who came to John Day in March 2003. Cassar showed slides from his homeland, taken over the past 25 years during visits home. He also invited attendees to sample a snack called "hobz biz-zetjt," (see recipe below) consisting of toast covered with tomato paste and a vegetable spread, and displayed his new Western attire. Cassar was ordained into the priesthood in 1977, and came to the Diocese of Long Island, N.Y., where he served for 22 years until his arrived in Grant County.

Cooking Corner: Hobz biz-Zejt

A Maltese Hors D'Oeuvre

This Maltese snack is known as hobz biz-zejt (literally bread with oil) which is a popular snack in the Matlese Islands. It is served on a slice of toasted bread with tomato paste smeared on it and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The bread is topped with a mixture of thinly sliced and diced vegetables. Everything is tossed in oil and vinegar.

-Father Julian Cassar, John Day

Loaf of French bread, sliced and toasted

tomato paste

salt and pepper

Cut in very small portions (dice)

lettuce leaves

tomatoes

cucumbers

radishes

onion

olives (black and green)

vegetable salad

artichoke hearts (if you like)

garlic

scallions

capers

red peppers

anchovies (if you like)

oil and vinegar

Make sure everything is very small and mixed well. Take piece of toasted bread and smear tomato paste on it. Then salt and pepper on the paste. Take a spoonful of the vegetable mixture and spread on the bread. Eat and enjoy!

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