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Woman Finds God in a Goldfish Cracker

Woman Finds God in a Goldfish Cracker

Miracle Goldfish cracker printed with a star and cross

Wikimedia/Evan-Amos

If you eat 2,000 slices of toast a week, sooner or later one of them is probably going to look a little bit like Jesus if you squint at it the right way. People see God in all sorts of things, even on food like the humble Goldfish cracker.

Patti Burke of Melbourne, Fla., eats three pounds of Goldfish crackers a week. But she found one recently that stood out from the pack. The miracle fish was emblazoned with a star and a cross, and was probably extra cheesy. Because she found it during Holy Week, she thought it must be a miracle.

According to Gawker, she first checked with the Goldfish cracker company to see if they were intentionally marking the fish with religious symbols in honor of Holy Week. Pepperidge Farm told her there was no way they'd printed a Jesus cracker at the factory, which to Burke meant there was only one logical solution:

“I believe that it’s a sign, a sign from God, that ... he is still in our life every day and he wants to show that to his people,” Burke said. “And it’s something that happened right here at Easter."

Her pastor, Scott Worth, says it's not necessarily a miracle per se, but it's somewhere in the vicinity of miracledom.

"I think it’s a sign," he said to Florida Today. "I think it points to, I would hesitate to call it a miracle, but I think it points to the miracle, which is Jesus Christ defeated death. And that’s what Easter is all about."


Florida Woman Finds Goldfish Cracker with a 'Cross' and 'Crown' Claims It's a Sign from God

"When I picked this one up, I knew he was special," Patti Burke told Florida Today.

And she would know: The Melbourne, Florida, woman admitted to consuming up to three pounds of Goldfish crackers in a single week.

But her habit of consuming the snack in order of saltiness paid off during Holy Week when Burke stumbled upon a strangely spiritual specimen.

A Jesus Goldfish, if you will.

"He had a cross on him, and he had a crown circle up by his head," she said. "Something I've never seen before out of all the Goldfish I've eaten."

Burke immediately placed the "Christ cracker" in a padded earring box and phoned up Pepperidge Farm to see if perhaps they were issuing a limited edition Pareidolia-themed variety of their classic snack to coincide with Easter.

"They called me back and said there's no way this could have been printed like that in the factory," she recalled.

Which obviously left her with only one conclusion to jump to.

"I believe that it's a sign, a sign from God, that . he is still in our life every day and he wants to show that to his people," Burke said.

And her pastor, D. Scott Worth, concurs.

"I think it's a sign," he told Florida Today. "I think it points to, I would hesitate to call it a miracle, but I think it points to the miracle, which is Jesus Christ defeated death. And that's what Easter is all about."


Florida Woman Finds Religious Imagery on a Goldfish Cracker

Courtesy of ClickOrlando.com

A Florida woman recently noticed something fishy in her bag of Goldfish crackers.

Melbourne, Fla. resident Patti Burke told Florida Today that she found a sign from God on one of the cheddar crackers while she was eating lunch last Wednesday, just as Christians worldwide were beginning to celebrate Easter Holy Week, WKMG Local 6’s ClickOrlando.com reports.

“When I picked this one up, I knew he was special. He had a cross on him, and he had a crown circle up by his head. Something I’ve never seen before out of all the Goldfish I’ve eaten.”

Burke has eaten a lot of Goldfish in her lifetime she reportedly consumes “two or three pounds” per week, savoring each baked orange cracker one by one. At Melbourne’s Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd on Easter Sunday, Pastor D. Scott Worth’s sermon about fish as a symbol of Christianity only confirmed to Burke that her orange fish was special. Could this Goldfish be a miracle, just as Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish in the Bible?

“I believe that it’s a sign, a sign from God, that … he is still in our life every day and he wants to show that to his people,” Burke told Florida Today.

At first, she thought that the cracker was part of a special promotion by cookie maker Pepperidge Farm, but the company said the factory could not possibly have manufactured a cracker like that. For now, Burke keeps the “miracle” fish in an earring box cushioned with gauze.


God In Goldfish? Patti Burke Says Cross, Crown Appeared On Cracker (VIDEO)

Move over, communion wafers. There's a new holy cracker in town.

Patti Burke, from Melbourne, Fla., thought Pepperidge Farm was running some sort of special promotion when she spotted a crown and cross imprinted on a Goldfish cracker.

(Story Continues Below)

“They called me back and said there’s no way this could have been printed like that in the factory," she told Florida Today. "They said it sounds like something miraculous happened."

Burke found particular significance in her discovery because she made it during Holy Week, the week before Easter in the Christian religion. Also, the fish symbol holds prominence in the Bible, where it's written that Christ fed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread and referred to his disciples as "fishers of men."

Sacred sightings like Burke's have popped up in all forms. In February, one man from Ohio claimed an image of Christ appeared in bird poop splattered on his windshield. Another man in Texas said his burnt breakfast taco displayed Jesus' face.


Quick Overview of WW Points

If you're not familiar with the Weight Watchers (now known as WW) SmartPoints system, here's a quick orientation to get you started. WW uses its algorithms to assign you a personal SmartPoints budget you can eat anything you want as long as your total intake stays below your points budget for that day.

You can calculate any food's SmartPoints value by using the WW mobile app or, if you prefer, using an online Weight Watchers points calculator. Foods that are low in sugar and saturated fat score lower in the SmartPoints ranking, whereas processed foods that are higher in sugar and saturated fats — including many types of crackers — rank higher.

Is the effort of tracking your points worth it? According to a systematic review published in an April 2015 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, it can be. The researchers evaluated 39 randomized, controlled clinical trials and found that Weight Watchers participants consistently lost more weight than control participants or those who received weight-loss education only. That said, it's worth noting that some of the studies on Weight Watchers efficacy received funding from, or authorial credit to, the Weight Watchers organization.

But in more general terms, the SmartPoints system is a way of encouraging appropriate calorie restriction which, as the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute points out, is a big part of what most people need to lose weight. The other part of the puzzle is increasing your physical activity, which Weight Watchers also helps you track using something called FitPoints.


About Me

I’m Lori Fogg, A Coalcracker In The Kitchen! I was born in 1960 and raised in western Schuylkill County (Pa.) in the Anthracite Coal region. I have been cooking and baking Coal Region comfort foods since 1965 when I could reach the stovetop alongside my Nana (grandmother) and Mom.

The condensed version…

So, you have questions. Who is this woman who calls herself “A Coalcracker In The Kitchen? So, she is in the kitchen, but can she really cook? What does she know about the Anthracite Coal Region and its foods? Come on in, hang out here for awhile and I’ll answer your questions and give you a glimpse into this “Coalcracker In The Kitchen”.

If you are looking for authentic Coal Region recipes celebrating the blended heritages of Eastern European and Pennsylvania Dutch in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. some sweet memories, and anecdotes that will tug at your heart-strings about comfort food and life in the Anthracite Coal Region, you have knocked on the right kitchen door!

I was born in 1960 and raised in Schuylkill County and was surrounded by some truly great cooks throughout my life. I have decades of cooking and baking experience in creating Coal Region favorites, having started helping my Mom and Nana in the kitchen at five years of age.

The recipes here are for many of the foods loved by us “coalcrackers“. If you misplaced your family recipe, or perhaps your Grandma never wrote hers down, you will likely find something familiar here. My wish for you is to not only find information and recipes for the foods you know and love, but to have them conjure up memories of the good times and the special people in your life.

These recipes are a collection of beloved Coal Region comfort foods passed down through generations so they have been well-tested. How many times have you looked at a recipe in a cookbook and wondered “if it will work”? The great majority use ingredients you are familiar with, most likely already have in your pantry, or are easily obtained at the supermarket.

Pull up a chair and join me at the old chrome and vinyl kitchen table and chairs for some laughs, maybe a few tears, and a whole lot of good food.

Pull up a chair and share a cup of coffee around the Coal Region Campfire as I chat with podcast host Alfredo Mercuri about my background, history, and how A Coalcracker in the Kitchen came about. Yes, there is a coal miner’s daughter behind it all…

Always feeling like a fish out of water in “the great north woods”, I had previously satisfied my longing to see friends back home and visit the beloved places so familiar and comforting to me by packing up my 2005 windveil blue Mustang, along with my best buddy, Tyler the Pomeranian, and driving to “the Skook” periodically. (Sadly, I lost my beloved fur-buddy to kidney disease one month after Peg passed away in 2013.) I sold my Mustang when my mobility issues dictated I needed another means of transportation — which translates into mini van with a lift).

After Peg’s passing, the trips “home” came to a halt and within a very short time after that, going back to Schuylkill County dropped completely off my “to-do” list due to the challenges my physical condition presented to travelling solo.

I just wanted to go “home”

As time passed and my disconnect with old friends and Schuylkill County grew, the yearning to embrace my roots became stronger with each passing day. For years I had wanted to move back to Pennsylvania but circumstances wouldn’t allow it. I could not visit home, I could not move home, but I could enjoy the TASTE of home!

Out came my collection of several hundred community and ethnic cookbooks and my dinged up metal recipe box with cards so splotched with drips and grease spots they were in danger of becoming un-decipherable. As I paged through those books and cards, familiar words leapt out at me “Chicken Pot Pie!”, “City Chicken!”, “Halupki!”, “Pierogi!”, “Ham and String Beans!” Oh, how those names of beloved dishes brought back fond memories of home…lines for bleenies, pierogi, and Yuengling (beer) that stretched around the block at the church picnics and fire company (“hosey”) block parties of my youth.

A deep connection

But none conjured up my connection to my Schuylkill County home and evoked such strong memories as the cards written in my late Mom’s handwriting. As I held each one and read it, in that instant in my mind’s eye, she was right there beside me – she in her cotton apron and me, nine- or ten-years-old, standing on an over-turned wooden crate, peeking around her carefully observing how she cut, and stirred, and rolled. “Mom, Mom, let me do it!”

And let me do it, she did. Alongside my Mom and her Mom, my Nana, I learned to knead dough for homemade bread, chop and cook vegetables for mustard chow-chow, peel and can baskets of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and pints of homemade chili sauce. I grated and squeezed dry potatoes for bleenies (potato pancakes), rolled, stuffed, and pinched closed tender pierogi, cored and cooked cabbage for halupki, and learned that scrapple cut thin and fried to a crisp, golden brown was nothing to fear.

Finding common ground

I had seen requests for recipes from The Coal region on Facebook pages and realized others shared my love of these foods and that there might be a lot of ex-pats who could no longer get their childhood favorites easily or those who would make them in their own kitchen if they could, but either lost the written recipe or never had it. “My Gram never wrote it down – she made it by memory!”

In an effort to nurture the connection to home I so desperately needed and to reach out to fellow “coalcrackers” to share some favorite foods, I set up a section for recipes on an existing site I had been running, “Tribute To The Anthracite Miners” – a site dedicated to my Dad and Grandfathers along with all the other Anthracite miners and their families in The Coal Region. I started to receive email requests for Coal Region recipes and decided to dedicate a site just to the comfort foods of the area — “A Coalcracker in The Kitchen” was born!

The recipes section is no longer part of the “Tribute To The Anthracite Miners” page, but a handy link is provided on that site to this one. “Tribute To The Anthracite Miners” contains a wealth of information, much of it Schuylkill County-centric, focusing on mining and area and Anthracite history.

Finding a following on Facebook

To reach even more Coal Region folks and those searching for their own connection to “home”, I set up a corresponding Facebook Page on which to share recipes. The response has been amazing!

One of the more popular aspects has been the accompanying memories that I post with many of the recipes so many tell much more of a story than just the food itself does in my life and I enjoy sharing those with my readers. I often receive heart-warming messages from fellow “coalcrackers” who connected with a particular food, recipe, or memory in their own life. Those make me smile, make my day, and make the work that goes into maintaining this and the Facebook page worthwhile.

Sometimes in life, we do get what we long for.

In mid-2018, fate allowed us to move back to Pennsylvania. But this time, I traded the hard coal region for the soft coal (bituminous) region – Johnstown, Pa. I feel very much at home here. The city offers me the ability to access many of the services and amenities I now need that were not easily available (if available at all) in rural New Hampshire and the people, sights, and foods mimic those of northeast Pennsylvania very closely. Johnstown faces much the same issues as do the towns in the coal region that were built on a single industry then suffered when that industry failed or moved away.

Other things that pique my interest

Cooking serves many purposes for me it comforts me to create dishes with a connection to memories, it soothes my angst when something is on my mind, it helps pass the time at 3 a.m. when a “just can’t sleep” night is at hand.

As much time as I spend cooking, baking, and developing, I still manage to fit in other activities and interests. Physically, much has changed for me the amputation of my leg coupled with some other health issues means that I either skip some activities now, or more importantly, have adjusted how I tackle them. The one thing I do not do is curl up and hide!

I truly enjoy pets “animal lover” is at the top of the list when I am asked to describe myself. At one time in NH, we had 4 miniature horses and three Nigerian Dwarf Goats along with several adopted Siberian Huskies and, after the Huskies passed away, rescued/adopted Pomeranians! Now, our “fur-kids consist solely of a bunch of spoiled Pommies, several of who are aging and the reality of their loss is never far from the surface in my mind. But my philosophy is to enjoy the time you can.

Learning from the best

My Nana (grandmother) worked in a clothing factory like so many women of the time did in the Coal Region during my childhood in the 60s. She taught my Mom to sew who in turn, taught me. My Barbies were the best dressed in the neighborhood! For many years, I created clothing and accessories for our home using a trusty straight-stitch only Singer. Once I was able to treat myself to a “new fangled” machine that did decorative stitching AND one-step buttonholes, there was no holding me back!

My most extensive project – and the one I am proudest of – was my handmade wedding gown and headpiece. I lost track of the hours that went into it, but it was all worth it. Today, a case of Rheumatoid Arthritis limits the detail work I can do, but I still enjoy dreaming about new designs for the art quilts and painting projects I am convinced I will be able to coax these fussy fingers into completing someday

Can’t keep a “coalcracker” down

One of the things I enjoy most in life is the ability to get out and around. Although the loss of my leg means I have a “new normal” where much is concerned. I detest sitting around not being productive – I always did. I immediately searched for mobility solutions when I came home after my amputation. Enter the mobility scooter! This baby became my legs and allowed me to go long distances I otherwise would not be able to handle.

My husband has one, too, because he finds himself in the same situation regarding issues with walking any distance and they have been a godsend. Thanks to Craigslist, we were able to find a “set of wheels” for both of us and we haven’t looked back. Much of the city of Johnstown is accessible to us via scooter, including the entire downtown. There are well maintained trails throughout the city where we can ride and explore.

So, there you have it. Way more info than you probably need, but I like to share!

Drop me a line

I love to hear from my readers! Send me a message and let me know how you enjoy this blog, the recipes, and memories!

PLEASE NOTE: I no longer accept requests for recipes not already on my blog due to high volume of requests and time constraints. You are welcomed to suggest a recipe you might like to see on the blog in the future. My blog currently contains 200+ free recipes, is searchable and has a handy recipe index. New content is added on a regular basis.


Hook, Line & Sinker

Create an adorable and tasty school of fish to help you tell about Jesus’ miracle in feeding the 5,000.

Best for Chefs Ages 4 and Up

Stock Your Pantry

  • dried apricots
  • mini pretzel twists
  • cream cheese
  • mini chocolate chips
  • 1 plastic sandwich bag

Simmer and Sauté

Beforehand, slit one end of the dried apricots. Have the kids insert a mini pretzel twist into each apricot, then pinch the fruit together to hold it in place. Fill a plastic sandwich bag with cream cheese, and snip the corner. Pipe a small dot of cream cheese onto each apricot to create a fisheye then have kids press a mini chocolate chip into the cream cheese.

Scrumptious Seconds

Use this same snack when teaching children about the calling of the disciples who were fisherman (John 21), Jesus paying taxes with the coin in the fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:24-27), and Jonah and the big fish (book of Jonah).


Woman finds 'sign from god' in goldfish cracker

It’s a fishy story, but the woman telling it believes it's pure gold. The Florida resident says the markings she found on a Goldfish cracker are a direct message affirming her Christian faith.

“I believe that it’s a sign, a sign from God,” Patti Burke told WKMG. “He is still in our life every day, and he wants to show that to his people.”

It's not quite manna, but in Burke's eyes it's a manifestation of her faith.
The cracker in question has two markings, or imperfections, on its surface. Burke says the first marking is of a cross with a circle around it. The second marking, near the head of the fish, represents a golden crown.

“When I picked this one up, I knew he was special,” she said. “Something I’ve never seen before out of all the Goldfish I’ve eaten.”

Burke admittedly has been working from a large sample size, consuming between two and three pounds of the crackers per week. She says she eats the small crackers individually, examining each one for the optimal amount of savory coating.

Burke now carries her special cracker in an earring box padded with gauze. But she wasn’t immediately convinced it was a sign from God. At first, she thought maybe she had won a special promotion from cracker manufacturer Pepperidge Farm.

“They called me back and said there’s no way this could have been printed like that in the factory,” Burke told KSAT. “They said it sounds like something miraculous happened and we don’t know how it happened.”
(That comment has not been confirmed by Pepperidge Farm.)

No one can say exactly when people started seeing notable figures in their food, but it’s a phenomenon that has made headlines in the modern era. Last year, a Nebraska woman sold a Chicken McNugget on eBay for $8,100 after becoming convinced it contained the visage of George Washington.

After becoming convinced that the cracker in fact possessed a deeper, spiritual message, Burke brought her sign of faith to her pastor, D. Scott Worth.

“I think it’s a sign,” Worth told WKMG. “I think it points to, I would hesitate to call it a miracle, but I think it points to the miracle, which is Jesus Christ defeated death. And that’s what Easter is all about.”

Of course, not every piece of food contains divine inspiration. Just pray you don’t end up with a toaster possessed by the Devil .


Goldfish Are Apparently Soup Crackers, Because, You Know, They Can Swim

Every once in a while we discover a mind-blowing fact about an everyday food that's so common we just assumed we already knew everything there was to know about it. Hawaiian pizza was invented by a Canadian, Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian, bananas are technically berries and fortune cookies are not Chinese. If you're ready to move on from all of these surprising revelations, prepare yourself to learn something new about another completely unsuspecting food: Goldfish Crackers. Those addictive little crackers that you've been eating your whole life have a little secret you may never have known. Original Goldfish Crackers are soup crackers. Goldfish go in soup, because obviously. They can swim!

When we noticed the soup cracker label on the Original Goldfish Crackers package, it was one of those crazy "ah-ha" moments.

It's beyond perfect. Maybe you've been privy to this maybe you've been letting your Goldfish swim in soup for years. We haven't, and we decided we had to get to the bottom of this discovery. Are Goldfish shaped like fish because they're meant to be put into soup? When did they start being called "soup crackers?"

We found out that only Original Goldfish Crackers are called soup crackers, and much to our disappointment, the fish shape doesn't have anything to do with it. The folks at Pepperidge Farms told us that they're merely similar in flavor and texture to soda and oyster crackers, which are typically eaten in soup, and they left it at that.

The inspiration for the fish shape, Pepperidge Farms told HuffPost Taste, actually came from astrology, of all things. The first Goldfish crackers were made in Switzerland in 1958 by a biscuit-maker who was making a birthday present for his wife. The biscuit-maker's wife was a Pisces (whose symbol is fish), and he baked her crackers shaped as lucky, golden fish. He called them Goldfish. When Pepperidge Farms founder Margaret Rudkin visited Europe in the 1960s, she was enamored of the adorable crackers and brought them to the United States. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, while Goldfish crackers may not have been shaped as fish for the purpose of putting them into soup, we're still blown away by the concept, and plan to only eat Goldfish in soup from now on.

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