Merry Meet friends! Hope that you are all well. Things are very busy in my house these days as Thanksgiving is at my house this year and my granddaughter Lily’s 2nd birthday party is the Sunday after! The Fall decorations are down and I’m ready to put up the Yule/Christmas decorations. There is much more going on I won’t go into here but it has been a bit stressful and chaotic at times..which I don’t like at all! I like things calm and peaceful.
Today we had rain all day long..and it was wonderful! We have been in very bad need of a day like this, we haven’t had a good rain in months. It was dreary and cold and rainy. I spent the day at my daughter’s and granddaughter’s house..had a very nice time. When I got home and puttered in the house for a bit, I decided to get a little something to eat and to have some green tea. Humm, what to have…of course, a true comfort food for me…cinnamon toast! You know what I mean, the kind your mom or grandma used to make on a cold winter morning with some hot chocolate? I love cinnamon toast. So thats what I had. While I was eating it I was reminded of a few things I have read about the spice..cinnamon… and thought I’d write about it a bit.
Cinnamon is the 2nd most used spice in American kitchens. Cinnamon is the dried bark of Asian evergreens that belong to the laurel family. Sri Lanka is the major source of cinnamon and Portuguese who settled there did so to exploit the rich resource of cinnamon. The British followed the Portuguese to continue the exploitation started by the Portuguese. The tree is indigenous to the island and its bark is harvested twice a year during the rainy season. The inner bark is bruised, slit and then carefully peeled off to dry; it then curls forming the sticks as we know it. It of course can be bought ground as well. Cassia is another name for Cinnamon..depending on where the cinnamon comes from.
Cinnamon is mentioned in Chinese writing going back 2800 years. In the Bible, cinnamon is mentioned several times and referred to as an ancient spice. Cinnamon was among the Queen of Sheba’s gifts to King Solomon, and Emperor Nero was chastised for burning a year’s supply in his wife’s funeral pyre. Cinnamon was also used for embalming in Egypt.
Witches and Pagans use Cinnamon for many reasons as well. Besides using it in cooking, we may add it to other herbs and spices to make a loose incense..(smells delicious with sage and rosemary) and we may use it in spells. The Magickal Properties of Cinnamon are Spirituality, Healing, and Psychic Powers. You can also use Cinnamon for Protection, Love and Knowledge. Cinnamon is masculine and is ruled by the Sun. Its element is fire. Its magical properties are used to help in spiritual quests, augmenting power, love, success, psychic work, healing and cleansing. It is used in incense for healing, clairvoyance and high spiritual vibrations. Use it in prosperity charms. It is an excellent aromatic and makes a good anointing oil for any magical working. I love to use Cinnamon alot at my altar…especially in my loose incense recipes. Here’s a great recipe for loose incense I love….smells delicious!
1/4 oz Benzoin
1 oz Lavender
1/2 oz Cinnamon
1 oz Rose petals
1/4 oz Patchouli
1/4 oz Sandalwood
Cinnamon has many medicinal uses also. In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used for colds, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation. Cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds also. For diabetes it has been shown that 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp per day, lowers the blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides. It’s a common ingredient in chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has lots of great uses!
So some ideas on how to use cinnamon…of course mix it with sugar and put it on your toast, grapefruit, warmed apples, applesauce, hot or cold cereal, in your coffee or tea. Of course it is used in baking pies, custards, breads and rolls, granola, cookies, cakes and pastries. With the holidays here, I thought I’d post a delicious Wassail Recipe…for adults by the way!
8 sticks cinnamon
1 lemon, washed and sliced
1 orange, washed and sliced
1 Tblsp. whole cloves
1 Tblsp. allspice
1 gallon white wine
2 cups rum