‘Cooking With Father Cooper’ and Becky Delatte — Plus a Recipe for Cookies
A cooking show originating from a parish in the Archdiocese of New Orleans is a hit on the internet.
For anyone searching the web for Catholics who cook, a short scroll will turn up ‘Cooking With Father Cooper’ — a Facebook Live cooking show.
Standing in Becky Delatte’s kitchen is Father Robert Cooper, pastor of the Divine Mercy church in Kenner, Louisiana. He was teaching 4-year-old Lucy Delatte how to make “Monstrance Waffles” for the video that aired June 4, 2021. This particular project, Father Cooper explained while spraying a circle of whipped cream on the center of each waffle, is that it helps to reinforce the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and introduce the concept of Eucharistic Adoration to children.
The driving inspiration behind these 12 food-and-faith videos is Becky Delatte, who has filmed each in her kitchen and showcasing Father Cooper and her daughter. Becky, who is the Director of Communication and Media in her parish, came up with the idea when the pandemic first hit. She consulted with Father Cooper about ways that parents could do something to make the Triduum special without having to risk exposure to COVID-19. She came up with the idea of making a Lenten version of a Jesse Tree.
During Holy Week, she also prepared Holy Week eggs, and as Holy Thursday approached, she mentioned to Father Cooper about making Resurrection Rolls. “He said, ‘Sign me up, I’m in,’” she noted.
“Lucy was live with him in my kitchen,” she said. “It was hilarious and a learning curve. The next day after parishioners did the Stations of Cross, they ran up to Father Cooper and said, ‘We must do this again for Divine Mercy Sunday.’”
As she said, parishioners loved the cooking video so much that they wanted another cooking video. Father Cooper was the one who wanted to keep the momentum going by doing one for the following week, Divine Mercy Sunday, which was perfect time for the parish’s namesake.
A native of Ohio and now living in Louisiana with her family, Becky was raised in an active Catholic family. And as a real benefit for her, her parents were very creative. “We have the faith envelop all our life. The last CCD class before Easter, my mom talked about how to go to heaven. She made her Resurrection Rolls. Jesus is the marshmallow and is wrapped in dough and when it comes out of the oven the marshmallow has melted so the tomb is empty. I try to do this with my daughters.”
Although their series is live on Facebook and YouTube, Father Cooper and Becky do not know the future of the show, especially since the parish and many parishioners sustained major damage from Hurricane Ida this past August. But Becky said the show has influenced many people.
“The show has been a fun way to get parents involved in their child’s faith formation, since more formal classes can be intimidating,” she said. “Besides, kids like to make cakes and cookies and this way it gets parent and grandparents involved. The parish and the school are now more connected to each other. The series has developed a healthy relationship between priests and kids, and Father Cooper, who is so in love with Jesus, is so passionate and cute with the kids … very healing and restoring.”
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Recipe: Snake Cookies
(A lesson on sin, concupiscence and our need for a Savior)
This yields about 3 dozen cookies depending on how long you make the snakes. This particular recipe was done during the summer to help provide busy parents with a fun family activity when boredom set in for the kids. It was the first of a three-day series on salvation history (the second being the Incarnation and the third on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit’s activity even today).
- Sugar Cookie Dough (we used Pillsbury Ready To Bake Refrigerated Cookie Dough, 16.5 oz but you can use homemade dough, if desired)
- Black gel food coloring
- Candied eyes
- 1 bag of white chocolate
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Unused small watercolor-sized paint brushes
- Other food coloring (if desired)
- Parchment paper or wax paper to cover your work station
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for non-stick pans)
Roll the cookie dough out and ask your kids to describe the color of the cookie dough (it should be white). Have them roll it around to soften it up some. Talk about how God created Adam and Eve as perfect, with no sin (Genesis 1:27).
Once softened, add a dime-sized squeeze of black gel food coloring (the black gel represents sin). Mix up the cookie dough with your hands and watch how the black coloring completely changes the white dough. Just as the cookie dough was completely changed, so were Adam and Eve when they chose not to listen to God. (The story of the Fall can be found in Genesis 3 which can be read while you are mixing the dough.) You can add more black gel as you go, showing how once we sin it makes us want to keep sinning (concupiscence).
Once the color is mixed well and the dough is a dark grey/black color, you are ready to roll your dough into snakes. Have your snakes be the same length and thickness of a pencil, forming them into an “S” or wavy “W” shape. Allow space between each cookie as they will expand when baked. Place in preheated oven for roughly 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cookies. Allow to cool.
While cookies are cooling, melt the white chocolate chips with 1 tsp of coconut oil (if using a microwave, heat in 30 second increments, stirring each time).
Once cookies are cooled and the chocolate is melted, use your clean paintbrushes to decorate the cookies to look like snakes by adding two drops of chocolate to one end of the snake cookie and placing the candied eyeballs to each drop. With the leftover white chocolate, you can divide into various bowls and add food coloring, using this chocolate to decorate the snake with stripes, polka dots, or whatever design you would like.
Right before you eat the cookie, remind your child that even tough Adam and Eve sinned and brought evil into the world by disobeying God that evil does not have the last word. Bring out a statue of Mary or pull up a photo of Mary on your phone like this one. Ask your child what is underneath Mary’s feet. The snake being crushed under Mary’s feet points to the Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15) where her obedience to God breaks the bonds of Sin and Death that Eve brought. We have hope through Jesus because He is stronger than sin and death! Your child can now snap the snake cookie in half (because Jesus is stronger than the Devil and Sin). Enjoy!