The 22 of May the celebration of Sanit Quitery in many towns of our region is celebrated. Perhaps the place which better conserves this tradition is the town of Bolea. In the century XII we can check that people ate the fricassée that day.
During all the week people are of preparations. They gather the firewood to light the fireplace, clean and clean up the rooms, buy all ingredients for the stew...
Is the day before when the ceremony of the preparation of fricassée begins, around the 12 o´clock at night. It is an organized work in which every year two cofrades are in charge of everthing prove weell. The two members of the brotherhood are chosen each year. In case one brother can´t make this work or if he does not want this responsibility he must pay 30,000 pesetas ( 180 € ). Only people who are brothers of Saint Quitery brotherhood have right to participate in this banquet but each one can invite two guests.
The brotherhood has 116 brothers nowadays. The annual membership fees and membership fees of inscription are destined to conservate the enclosures where the event is developed and now I am going to describe for you.
In the outskirts of Bolea is the hermitage dedicated to Sanit Quitery. Next to it there is a closed enclosure that is the place where the tradition is developed. When you enter first you can see is an ample dining room crossed by great extended tables where brothers extend their table cloths to reserve a site for the following day. Next to this room is the kitchen. There all the components of the stew are kept: meats, chickpeas, etc. The third room is closed and is the place where a centered and big fireplace in the room is located. In this fireplace great amount of firewood and it produces an enormous frame-up. Around the fireplace on some benches of stone are the kettles that will be used for the elaboration of the stew. In these dependencies a precious set of dishes of white stoneware is conserved. It has a blue edge and in the center of the plate the name of Saint Quitery is recorded. This set of dishes was used long ago for the occasion.
Around one o´clock in the morning the fricassée begins to be prepared.
Chickpeas are in soaking from the previous day. They are strained and in the same saucepans of porcelain covered with water they are put round the fire. Next saucepans of mud are removed and there pieces of lamb meat will be colocated. They will be covered with water and will be put in the fireplace near to the saucepan of chickpeas. Other six or seven kettles are prepared for put the stewed one. They are chosen the pieces of meat so that each container takes the same amount and a several things. The powered spices are added: pepper, cinnamon, clove and two cloves of garlic by saucepan. Olive oil is warmed up and it is lied down as a lightly fried on food. All that is also covered with water and taked to the fireplace.
Around five or the six in the morning the embers of the fire is approached the saucepans so that food is cooked. I imagine that this one will be the trick of the stew, it is made slowly. Next they cut the salt flitch of meat which will added with some hard pork sausages to chickpeas.
A good atmosphere exists where the good humor reigns. Histories about the past are counted simultaneously the fire is not neglected and the cook is is helped. Boot with a good wine is passed between all the assistants and between a drink and other one, they also eat something. For the following mornig they have intention to prepare a fried dish with "glandoletas" of the lamb and onions.
Everything is prepared. The heart, the lung and the blood of the lamb are cooked and tritured. The liver of the lamb is crude and it is only crushed. Everything will be put in the saucepans and they will be put in the fire. The stew will be seasoned with spices: cinnamon, clove, pepper and salt. Grinded hazelnuts will also added and, as a attachment, the yolks of eggs will be incorporated to the stew. All these ingredients will be cooked with the broth of pieces of meats and chickpeas which are in the fireplace. Without stopping to remove it we will get the stew is ready.
A soup of rice quite thick is prepared with the remaining broth . The stewed meats of the different forms and the chickpeas will complete the set meal of the day of Saint Quitery. This food will be accompanied with a pickle made with pepper and cabbage that each person will bring of his house, oil cake and as dessert the famous cherries of Bolea.
Rest people of Bolea who don´t belong to the brotherhood can approach this place too to venerate Sanit Quitery and attend the mass which is celebrated in the hermitage. Some of them have a meal with food they have carried from their house in the outskirts of the hermitage.