St. Martha of Bethany: friend of Jesus, sister of Lazarus and Mary, famous complainer, patron saint of cooks, legendary dragon-tamer, original Joy of Cooking covergirl, and now . . . featured on a spoon rest.
White ceramic spoon rest, with gold-tone screen-printed design. 4 1/2″ W x 9″ L. Food-safe. Hand-washing recommended to preserve artwork.
Luke 10:40-42 tells us: Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
According to The Golden Legend, a collection of hagiographies (saint stories) that was second in popularity only to the Bible in late medieval Europe, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus later moved to France, where a monster, called “the Tarasque,” was a constant threat to the population. It is described as “a beast from Galicia; a great dragon, half beast and half fish, greater than an ox, longer than a horse, having teeth sharp as a sword, and horned on either side, head like a lion, tail like a serpent, that dwelt in a certain wood between Arles and Avignon.” Holding a cross in her hand, Martha sprinkled the beast with holy water. Placing a leash around its neck, she led the tamed dragon through the village.
Because of the above, when Irma Rombauer’s daughter was designing the cover of the original 1931 The Joy of Cooking, she chose to represent St. Martha “slaying the dragon of kitchen drudgery”! See it here.