Father Edward Hathaway — and a Recipe for Crescent Breakfast Tarts

“The culinary variety is also an expression of the rich culture of peoples and nations around the globe,” says the Virginia priest, “some of which I have been privileged to visit over the years.”

Father Edward Hathaway
Father Edward Hathaway (photo: Courtesy of Father Hathaway)

Scrolling through the internet often turns up remarkable and appealing websites or videos. And for food-centric Catholics, what a treat to find a priest’s cooking video, such as this one. Of course, family members and his friends and parishioners at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Alexandria, Virginia, must understand this about Father Edward Hathaway: He is a gourmet, with a discerning palate.

When he travels on pilgrimages to various countries, he is delighted to sample different cuisines.

“Blessed with a sanguine temperament, I have always been open to exploring God’s wonder as revealed through the food and cuisine of different regions of the world,” he said. “The culinary variety is also an expression of the rich culture of peoples and nations around the globe, some of which I have been privileged to visit over the years.”

And as Father Hathaway recounted, “When one returns from traveling abroad, such as a trip to Spain or Italy, preparing and enjoying a native dish is one way to remember the pilgrimage. For example, on the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, enjoying a good French white wine and sole à la Normandy, is a fun way to honor the saint and enjoy the fellowship a good meal brings.”

As it turns out, he explained, his food and cooking passion began in his childhood. He grew up in a household with a large family and a stay-at-home mom. It was from watching his mother cook, he said, he learned many cooking skills. Father Hathaway recalled that for brunch after Mass, his family would be in the kitchen making brunch items, such as eggs with bacon and English muffins.

“My mom was a good cook,” he said, “and as teenagers, we could make cookies … and help to make homemade pizzas. We ate together as a family at dinner. … The connection to food was especially important on Sundays.”Cooking and sharing a meal have certainly brought Father Hathaway enjoyment, and he has found that cooking itself can be relaxing.

Inspired by watching various cooking shows, “I decided to film, as a lark, the making of tiramisu with a brother priest,” he said, “and it was a bit of hit with my friends. I have made 10 or 15 videos here at St. Mary’s and that started after making tiramisu for a Christmas party for staff here. Many people loved the video, so I decided to mix in cooking with the liturgy.

“I think that a video is a way to be present to people,” he said, “and people love to see their priest doing normal things. This creates a personal connection because we all have to cook and eat … and when they see us [priests] doing normal things, it brings us together.”

As a priest, Father Hathaway understands how God created humans with the need to eat every day, and how God offers himself to mankind in Holy Communion.

“Jesus comes to us in the bread and wine when receiving the Eucharist,” he said.

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Recipe: Crescent Breakfast Tart

This recipe is featured in Father Hathaway’s Christmas video and would be delicious any time of the year. The recipe was published originally on March 2, 2021, in delish.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 can crescent dough
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cup white cheddar
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 400° and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Place crescent dough on baking sheet and pinch seams together.

Fold edges of dough in to create a crust. Crack eggs onto crescent dough and sprinkle with cheese. Place bacon on top and season all over with salt and pepper.

Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until crust is golden and egg whites are set, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with chives. Slice into squares and serve warm.

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