Category Archives: Lammas/Lughnassadh

The Wheel Turns to Late Summer…….

Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
           –  Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown 

Merry Meet my friends!  I am long in writing a post here and have no excuse other then a busy Summer, home improvements, family in from California for 2 weeks, and my own lack of thinking what I could write about. 🙂  I appreciate so much the messages I’ve received wondering if I’m ok…it means a lot to know that you missed me here. All is well!!

It’s Saturn day, a quiet one here at my house. My daughter Sara isn’t feeling well so we are being lazy and resting today.  Here in Ohio, as I know many of you have experienced also, we have had a fairly mild Summer and in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a taste of early Autumn, it’s been quite cool and gorgeous!   I have LOVED it!  As you know of course, Autumn is my favorite time of year, but I have no complaints about this wonderful Summer we’ve had.  My gardens have loved this weather, my grandkids thrive playing outside when it’s not so hot, and I too, have loved hanging clothes on the line, working in my garden or reading on the patio.  It’s been wonderful!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Lughnasadh.  I did, though my Circle wasn’t able to meet. My fault, I had the flu 😦  I did make bread and berry flavored water and we had a simple dinner that included tomatoes and cucumbers from my own garden. It was a beautiful night.  I have not yet harvested my herbs or the last of my garden as some of them are still growing strong. Some are finished for the season though and I’ll clean them up this weekend.

16126594

While I’m talking about Lughnasadh, I’d like to let you all know about a great book.  Witchy Magick by Australian Witches Lucy Cavendish and Serene Conneeley.  I LOVE this book for more reasons then one (which I’ll get to in a minute). This is a very complete book that I think EVERY Witch should own and read.  It starts out with interviews with about 20 of our prolific Witches who are authors, heads of covens, healers, herbalists, young and old alike.  Interviews on what being a Witch means to them.  Then it goes into lots of Witchy info, from the history of witchcraft, myth busting, the how to’s, rites and rituals, and a great amount of info, recipes etc on the Sabbats.  It’s really a wonderful book!  I again highly recommend it!  Oh, and if you happen to get to the recipe section….on Lughnasadh…pages 364 and 365…you may recognize …me!!  Yes!  I am in this book…a bit about me and a couple of my favorite bread recipes for Lughnasadh! I’m not bragging please understand, but I was most honored to be asked if I could be included in the book.  Thank you Serene and Lucy!!  Let me know readers what you think of the book, because I KNOW you are going to want to get it and dive into it! 🙂

The end of Summer is almost always a joyful thing for me as I thrive in the cooler air of Autumn and I always look forward to Winter as well.  This year, I have a vacation to look forward to in mid September.  A much needed trip for my husband and I…yes, just the two of us! A rare thing!  I could use some time on the beach, for my inner Sea Witch to come out and relish in the beauty, sounds and scents of  Mother Ocean.  I’m excited about it and so is my husband.  We are celebrating 34 years married, tomorrow actually, so it will be a grand anniversary present to each other 🙂

seista key beach 2

By the time we get home, Mabon and Autumn will be arriving.  It will be time to get the chimney cleaned, order our cord of wood, clean out the garden beds, pull out the Fall decorations and hit the garden centers and pumpkin farms for pumpkins and mums and such.  *sigh*..that will be grand!

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back into writing here more.  I plan on doing a LOT of baking and cooking in the next few weeks…I’m involved in a very cool project, where I am the kitchen Witch, sharing my recipes.  I’ll tell you about that in my next post, and share a recipe or two for the upcoming Autumn season!

Until next time, enjoy the last of Summer….don’t wish away these last days, these  lazy, hazy, crazy last days of Summer.  Go barefoot lots, enjoy fresh veggies from your gardens or the Farmer’s market,  put your feet in a body of water, lay under the Moon and Stars on a hammock or blanket, invite friends over for a end-of-Summer cook-out, read a book in the shade or just sit on your patio and listen to the birds, crickets and cicadas.  Make the MOST of it for it will be gone soon!

1149050_383878825068105_552977293_n

Many Blessings and Love

Autumn

*Pictures from the internet.

9 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Books, Books I'm reading, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Grandchildren, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mabon, My Writing, Nature, Ocean or beach, Our Yard, Poem, Quote, Seasons, Summer

Blessed Lughnasadh (and some recipes) 2012………

Merry Meet everyone!   Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas to you and Blessed Full Corn Moon!   What a night we will have huh! 🙂  I always love when there is a Full Moon on a Sabbat…the magick is palpable!  It makes everything we do to enjoy this wonderful Harvest festival..even better!

I have been a busy Witch today.  My plans completely changed today when my day at home turned into a fun day with my daughters and grandkids.  We had a lovely lunch and talked and played with the kids.  After she left..my hubby, who is on his last day of a small vacation…had an early dinner and ran a couple of errands.   Once home, I harvested my herbs…which I’m very pleased with!  I have had to baby these herbs along this year because of our extreme heat and extreme dryness.  I watered and watered and almost gave up..but with the help of a bit of rain last week..and more watering..I have some herbs hanging happily in my kitchen and scenting the whole house with the most wonderful smells :))   Here’s a picture!

I spent some time this evening putting out my Witch’s protection bottles, some wards around my property, smudged the house and am now writing here to you all 🙂   In a while, I’ll be outside, celebrating the Sabbat and the Full Moon with a simple ritual and just bask in Her amazing energy and light!

I found a couple more recipes I thought you all might like…I am anxious to try them myself as they use fresh herbs and wonderful late Summer produce!

Lemon Balm Bread

3/4 cup milk

1 cup plus 2 tbs fresh lemon balm

1 tb fresh lemon thyme

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

zest of one lemon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 – 2 tbs lemon juice

Combine milk, one cup lemon balm and thyme in a saucepan; gently bruise herbs to release the oils.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat; cover and let cool.  Strain and reserve liquid, discard herbs.  Cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture, a small amount at a time, alternating with reserved milk.  Chop remaining 2 tbs of lemon balm and add to batter; blend in lemon zest.

Pour batter in a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 325* for 45 mins or until wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then continue cooling on wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, mix until smooth and pour over cooled bread.

Basil and Tomato Soup

1 large onion, chopped

2 tbs oil

2-3 tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 lbs squash, chopped

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Garnish:  fresh basil

Saute onion in oil over medium heat until tender.  add tomatoes and continue to cook until they become soft, about 5 mins.  Stir in squash and chicken broth; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 mins or until squash is fork tender.  Spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and puree with buttermilk until mixture is smooth.  Sprinkle in basil and stir.  Serve and garnish.

Fajitas and Grilled Vegetables

1 lb boneless sirloin

3/4 cup salsa

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs lime juice

2 tbs tequila

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large red pepper, halved

1 large yellow pepper, halved

4 red onion slices

1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise

1 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise

8   7-in flour tortillas, heated

1 cup mexican-blend shredded cheese

Place meat in a large plastic bag.  Add salsa, oil, lime juice, tequila and garlic.  Close bag securely; turn to combine all ingredients and to coat the meat.  Add vegetables and coat.  Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.  Remove meat and vegetables from marinade. Reserve marinade.

Grill beef and vegetables 4-5 inches from heat for about 5 mins per side or until beef is medium rare.  Remove to carving board; slice beef and peppers into thin strips, squash into slices and separate onion into rings.

To serve, divide beef and vegetables among tortillas.  Heat remaining marinade to a boil and drizzle over beef and vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese; roll and serve with marinade on the side.

*Add sour cream if you’d like!

and of course something light and sweet :))

Lemonade Pie

6 oz can frozen lemonade

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 drops yellow food coloring

8 oz whipped topping

9 inch graham cracker pie crust

Mix together lemonade and milk.  If desired, add food coloring for a lovely lemony color.  Fold in whipped topping, and pour into crust.

Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing 

Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
–  Michelle L. Thieme


Well, I am off to enjoy my bread and my family and then some  time outside.  I wish all of you a very Blessed Lughnasadh/Lammas and a very Blessed Full Moon.  May you have a life filled with Joy and Abundance…always!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

19 Comments

Filed under Family, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Grandchildren, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Summer

The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh 2012………..

Merry Meet friends.  Hot, Humid and Dry.  Pretty well sums up the end of June and all of July here in Ohio..as I know many of you are experiencing the same thing where you live.  Those who know me, know I’m not a fan of Summer…and this oppressive weather makes that even more true. lol.   I’ve heard so many talking about it being the hottest, driest Summer they can remember for a while..and I thought the same thing.  Until I went back and read my Lugnasadh post from last year at right about this same time.   What was I talking about?   How hot and dry it was!   Just goes to show how quickly we forget from year to year.  So I will wait this out, try to find something good about it..and keep sweating and lagging along til it cools off. 🙂  We are expecting some rain tomorrow..that will go a long way to making things better!

I have really struggled to keep my flowers and herbs alive this year.  Despite watering constantly, they are not all lush and green like usual.  Water from a hose just is not the same as a good fresh rain.  Our grass….pretty well looks dead…but with a good soaking I’m sure it will come back.   I feel so badly for the farmers and their crops and the poor animals who must be struggling to find water.  I have put out big bins of water..keeping them filled…and I’ve seen everything from birds to groundhogs and possums to deer drinking from it.  Seeing deer drinking from it…amazing!  Made me feel good to see it….like I am doing a good thing 🙂

I can’t believe it’s the middle of July already.  Lughnasadh is not far off..August 1….and tonight is the New Moon as well.  I will be doing a small ritual ..for new beginnings on my new project.  Well kind of new.   I have started an online business…something I’ve wanted to do for 2 years now…and something has kept me from doing it for that long…my own hesitations..and my recent illness..but I have finally got the show on the road.  Verbena Lane Botanicals is my herbal products business.  I make bath, beauty and healing products.  Right now we have a facebook page and we are selling from it  (we being my daughter Kate and I).  She is very busy being a mom of 2 little ones, studying medical billing and coding, and being pregnant with baby #3 :))) Yes, I’m going to have another grandchild in January..I’m thrilled!  Anyway I digress LOL.   So I have taken over the business pretty much for now.  I’m listing new products each week and orders are coming in nicely and keeping me busy.  An etsy shop will be our next step as well.   Check it out if you’d like 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/VerbenaLane

I’ve received some wonderful messages asking how I’m doing.  I’m happy to say that just in the last couple weeks, I am feeling much much better.  My energy level is returning, my headaches are better,  and I continue to improve some of the cognitive problems I was having.  I feel sharper mentally.  I still get tired and am still remembering what I told all of you…to put myself first more often..to take care of myself…to rest when I need to etc.  I thank you all again for your prayers and well wishes.

Back to Lugnasadh.  There is not much more I can say about this first Harvest Sabbat that I haven’t said in previous posts from the last 3 years.  It is one of my favorite Sabbats simply because it is the first Harvest one!  Harvest..what a wonderful word. It implys the end of the Summer. Coming soon, my favorite Season of Autumn.  Harvest..meaning farm stands will be full of produce, grown by Mother Earth with the help of hardworking farmers and gardeners.  Harvest….time to cut my herbs, dry them, and enjoy my own harvested work.  Harvest..reminds me of my grandmother, canning and preserving all the bounty from her own gardens, with me by her side, doing what I could and watching her, learning.  Harvest..animals gathering, nesting, hustling.

 

Lugnasadh for me is baking homemade, grain-filled breads.  It’s making herb infused oils and vinegars so I can enjoy my herbs all Winter long.  It’s enjoying the last hot, hazy days of Summer…family cook-outs, family vacation, tending gardens and herbs, making some jams to go with that great homemade bread, time outdoors, porch sitting,  and starting to think about cooler days. I love to pull out my Autumn cookbooks…start perusing recipes I want to try this year..putting me in the mood for Fall and good hot meals…and lets not forget mid August brings back football!!   (Go Bengals!)

I hope that all of you have some plans made for Lugnasadh.   I usually light candles all over the house in the evening, enjoy a glass of wine and dream of bright colored leaves falling from trees, pumpkins, mums, woodsmoke and fires, good foods made with apples,  sweaters and crisp air.  Lugnasadh reminds us that the season will be changing soon 🙂

I will come back soon and post a couple of recipes from those cookbooks I was talking about.  In the meantime, I hope you have a Blessed New Moon!

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
–  Michelle L. Thieme,

Love and Blessings, Autumn

*Pics of bread, oils and jams are my own. 🙂  *ok..for some reason the oils and jam picture won’t post…I’ll try again tomorrow 🙂

27 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mother Earth, Nature, New Moons, Photography, Quote, Summer

Blessed Lughnasadh 2011…..

Merry Meet my friends!  Chances are there are some of you out there having the same weather I’m having here in Ohio!  Sweltering heat for a few weeks now! It is Hot Hot Hot!!  Though we’ve had some rain, our grass is brown and burnt from the heat.  My gardens…well some of it’s doing well and some of it not so much.  Even with watering, things are dying out.  I’ve never been a big fan of Summer because I don’t like it when it gets too hot, but this Summer has been one of the hottest I can remember for a while.  Because of this, my thoughts have turned to Autumn, my favorite time of year.  I’m dreaming of cool crisp mornings, leaves falling, pumpkins, apple picking, and warm things coming from the oven and the slow cooker 🙂 

Well…Lughnasadh, the first Harvest festival is upon us on August 1 and that just makes me smile!  Though we are in the midst of this heatwave and the peak of Summer…I can feel a bit of a shift around me.  The Sun is rising later and setting earlier, corn is tall and ready in the fields, the breeze feels different and our gardens are full and ready for harvest.  Stores even have their Autumn/Halloween decorations out on display! *sigh*  I love it!!

Today I was able to get my Lughnasadh altar ready.  I love the Autumn themed altars..more than any other.  The I kept in mind the Correspondences for Lughnasadh when putting it together and I was happy with the simplicity of it and how pretty it looked. 

Oh…the sunflower plate will hold my cakes of course! The crystals are any that are of the colors of Fall!  Green, gold, orange…aventurine, citrine, carnelian!  I have gold, orange and brown candles.  I wanted sunflowers but not luck finding them around here unless I raided somebody’s yard! LOL.  So I picked out some soft orange, purple, & yellow flowers and I LOVE the ornamental cabbage they stuck in the bouquet! The crow…well, crow’s and corn just go together 🙂  My “cakes and ale” will be homemade honey oatmeal bread, or corn bread, and a nice glass of red wine to represent the grape harvest.  I can’t wait to work at this altar.

Today I also put together a couple of herbed oils and an herbed vinegar.  I did a rosemary/olive oil, a basil olive oil, and a lemon balm/apple cider vinegar.  I lightly warmed the oils since I was using fresh herbs from my own garden.  I can’t wait to use them.  I’m going to use the basil olive oil on tomato/mozzarella stacks, the lemon balm vinegar in salad, and the rosemary oil will be great on grilled veggies and meats.  Yummy!  I really need to get more of these bottles too..I think they’re so pretty, inexpensive, and look great sitting on the counter.  Would make nice gifts as well. 

Now I’m going to be upfront and tell you that I do NOT have a formal ritual for Lughnasadh.  I’d like to write my own and frankly just haven’t had the time.  If you research it online, you will find the same 2-3 rituals written over and over again.  Scott Cunningham’s being one of them of course.  Though I don’t have one to share here with you, I can most definitely give you some ideas.  Doing a Blessing and a prayer of thanks for the bounty and abundance of the Harvest would be a perfect quiet celebration.  You can do this while eating the bread you have baked or even while mixing the ingredients to make it.  You can Honor the Sun God who is dying, to be born again by his lover, the Goddess, who is pregnant with him.  A great time to do that would be as the Sun is setting on Lughnasadh night.  Light a fire, burn some of your harvested herbs..and reflect on your year so far.  What bad habits would you like to let “die”?  What new things would you like to manifest..to grow in your life…as the Goddess is growing the God?  Smudge your house and throw open windows to allow good energy in and the negative out.  Really, I smudge for every Sabbat!  Harvest your herbs and can your veggies from your garden or make jams from the bountiful fruits that are ripe like berries, peaches and plums.  Go take a walk, enjoy the Sun while it’s still hot..you’ll remember the warmth in the dead of Winter.

I have decided to bake my breads on the weekend and I’m looking forward to it.  There is nothing better then the smell of bread baking and the taste of it warm, slathered with sweet butter…it makes my mouth water just thinking about it 🙂  I’ll be making the crab dip and the pear salad for sure as well.  Don’t forget to check out my recipes I posted in a previous post..let me know if you try them what you think! 

I wish each of you a Blessed Lughnasadh and May the Sun God shine on you and the Goddess surround you with Love. 

Autumn

*Sources…my pictures.  🙂  My words.

16 Comments

Filed under Altars, Autumn, God, Goddess, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Photography, Ritual, Summer, Sunrise/Sunset

Lughnasadh Recipes………

 Merry Meet my friends! We are having a beautiful sunny and HOT day here in Ohio. This morning it was really quite lovely..not too hot yet..I went out and watered the gardens and just had a cup of coffee and listened to the birds for a bit. Here we are past 4th of July already and for me Summer seems to be going quite fast. I am..yes..already thinking about Autumn..as it’s my favorite time of year…as those who know me already know that 🙂 Lughnasadh or Lammas is approaching quickly also. I have my altars to do, some bread baking to do, I want to make some herbal oils and vinegars also. I plan on making rosemary infused olive oil to use on salads and to marinate meats etc. It’s delicious and I can use my own rosemary thats growing in my own pots.

Ok..on to the recipes…I always like to post my magickal recipes for Sabbat oil and loose incense first…so here is the recipes for those….

Lughnasadh Oil Blend

2 drops Peppermint

3 drops Pine

1 drop Fir

1 drop Hazelnut

Use 1/8 cup Corn Oil for Base

*If you can’t find these oils..just substitute for other scents you like…you can use my Correspondence to find other scents that are great for this Sabbat!

Lammas Incense

1 part basil

1/2 part cinnamon bark

1 part coriander

2 parts goldenrod

1 part heather

1/2 part rosemary

2 parts Sweet Annie (you can use dried apple blossoms if you don’t have Sweet Annie)

1 part yarrow

*Again, substitute if you don’t have all the ingredients or just use some of them 🙂

Ok, now on to the stuff that is Yummy for our Tummys! Remember that this is the first Harvest Festival..so you want to use lots of your fresh veggies from your gardens..start thinking about Autumn and apples and pears …warm breads from the ovens…late summer squash etc.

Spiced Apple Cider

2 qts. apple cider

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tb sugar

2 tsp whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum (or more! )

Warm up all the ingredients except the rum…add the rum at the very end so that you don’t cook away the alcohol….(that would be very sad)…This makes enough for several mugs….enjoy!

Oat Nut Bread

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup honey

1 tb butter

1 tsp salt

2 cups boiling water

4 cups unbleached flour, divided 1 packet dry yeast

1/4 cup water, 90 degrees temp

1 cup pecans, broken

Place oats, honey, butter, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over them and stir well. Stir in 2 cups of flour. While this mixture cools, dissolve the dry yeast in 1/4 cup of 90-degree water. After about 10 minutes, stir the yeast mixture into the oat mixture, mixing thoroughly. Stir in 1 cup of pecans. Work in 2 cups of flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured board, and with floured hands, knead the dough for 8 – 10 minutes. Keep enough flour on the board and your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down, and turn it out onto a floured board, this time kneading it for about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into two equal-sized loaves, place them in two greased loaf pans. Let the loaves rise, covered with a damp cloth, in a warm place until they have doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool. Let loaves cool completely before wrapping to store.

Sweet Corn Bread

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 egg 1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Raspberry and Pear Salad with Candied Walnuts

For Candied Walnuts:

2 tsp butter

1 tb sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tb water

2/3 cup walnuts, halved

For Salad Dressing:

3 tb raspberry vinegar

1 tb honey

1 tb cooking oil

2 tsp sesame oil

For Salad:

3 bunches of lettuce

2 asian pears, cubed

8 oz rasberries

1/4 of a red onion, chopped

8 oz blue cheese, crumbled

In a small skillet, melt butter. Add sugar, salt, pepper and water and stir til smooth. When it’s bubbling, add walnuts and stir until well coated. Cook for about 5 minutes until walnuts are carmelized.  Set aside and cool before putting on salad.

Whisk honey and vinegar until until smooth. Add oils and stir until creamy.

Mix Salad ingredients together into large salad bowl.  Add walnuts.  Then toss in dressing.

Hot Crab Dip

1 can crabmeat, drained

1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 tb horseradish

1 tb minced onion

1 tsp worchesteshire sauce

salt & pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients together and place in a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 325* for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

*Great with grainy crackers, veggies etc.

Corn on the Cob with Basil-Parmesan Butter

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic

4 ears corn, husked

In a small bowl, mash together butter, cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Brush about 1 tablespoon of seasoned butter over each ear of corn. Grill directly over medium heat until browned in spots and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serve warm with remaining butter.

*I think this would be really great with rosemary instead of basil or cilantro!  With cilantro, you can squeeze some lime juice on the corn as well…yummy! I’ll be trying that soon!

Oven Roasted Summer Vegetables

1 med zucchini, sliced

1 med summer squash, sliced

1 med red bell pepper, chopped

1 med yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 lb fresh asparagus,  cut in 1 inch pieces

1 med red onion, chopped

3 tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450*

Put all veggies into large roasting pan and cover with other ingredients

Spread evenly in pan

Roast for 30 min.s, stir occasionally until lightly brown

*Use more oil if you’d like 🙂

Potato/Zucchini Grill Pockets

Using heavy tin foil, tear off however many pieces you need, one for each person, and enough to make a rectangular tin foil packet.

Slice one potato, thin, for each packet

Slice about 1/2 zucchini, thin, for each packet

Slice yellow onion, in thin rings, and put desired amount in each packet

salt & pepper to taste

Top with pats of butter and/or olive oil

Seal packet by closing sides and rolling across the top

Place on a med temperature grill and cook for about 30 minutes..until everything is soft.  Really fresh and delicious.

Grape Salad

2 lbs white seedless grapes

2 lbs red seedless grapes

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz sour cream

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans, crushed

Wash grapes and remove any stems, and set aside.

Mix cream cheese and sour cream with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix Well.  Stir in grapes. Top with brown sugar and pecans.  Refrigerate overnight.  Sounds yummy doesn’t it! 🙂

Caramel Apple Walnut Squares

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cold butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

20 caramels

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 21 oz can apple pie filling   * I see no reason why you can’t just thinly slice fresh apples and sprinkle a little sugar on them for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 375*.  In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking soda and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Reserving 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture, press remainder on bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.  Bake 15 mins.  Add walnuts to reserved crumb mixture.

In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with condensed milk, stirring until smooth.  Spoon apple filling over prepared crust, top with caramel mixture, the top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 20 mins or until set.  Cool.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired. 🙂

All of these recipes either sound delicious..or I know for a fact they are ….as they are from my own kitchen!  Many of these will be just as wonderful in November as they are in August.  Let me know if you try any..I’d love to know if you did.  When I do research online, I often find the very same recipes posted on hundreds of websites or blogs…for my own feasts, I prefer to come up with my own recipes that make sense to me..that work for the season …that are fresh and delicious etc.  Use mine or use your own from your own recipe box..you can’t go wrong.  There is nothing less magickal about doing that then using the recipes everybody else is doing.  Make what YOU like!

I’ll post a ritual and my altar pics soon..until then, continue having a beautiful summer….make the most of it!

“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.”
– Michelle L. Thieme

Blessings and Love, Autumn

19 Comments

Filed under Lammas/Lughnassadh, Loose incense recipe, Oil Blend Recipe, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Summer

Countdown to Lughnasadh……….

Merry Meet my friends!  Hope you all are well and enjoying your Summer (or Winter depending where you live 🙂 .  We have been having an amazing couple of weeks of cool, breezy, gorgeous weather.  I am not a fan of HOT weather so I am loving this so much.  We have had a nice amount of rain here too..enough to keep everything green and lush, growing and blooming.  I love sitting out on the porch in the evenings with a glass of wine and watching the fireflies flitting, hearing the frogs croaking and crickets chirping, the windchimes softly chiming.  The nights feel soft and gentle to me and all seems right with the world in that moment. 

 

“The summer air is hot and still, the afternoon hazy; crickets call relentlessly from among the brown grasses, and ears of corn are the same heavy, burnished gold as the late-day sun. Hawks circle in the blue-white sky overhead, and seedpods ripen where flowers bloomed just a month before. But shadows begin to lengthen along the garden wall, and the nights come, just a bit cooler, perhaps; a settling begins in the Earth, a gathering, a slow, quiet turning toward the coming darkness.”

From Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

Believe it or not, the days are getting shorter and Autumn is on it’s way.  Soon, on  August 1, we will be celebrating the first Harvest festival of the Wheel of the Year.   It is Lughnasadh (prounounced loo-na-sa), known also as Lammas, or Lammastide, the first of three Harvest Festivals.   This Sabbat marks the ending of summer and the first harvest of the grain. It was known as the time when the plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.

Lughnasadh is named for Lugh, the Celtic deity who presides over the arts and sciences. According to Celtic legend, Lugh decreed that a commemorative feast be held each year at the beginning of the harvest season to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu. Tailtiu was the royal Lady of the Fir Bolg..an older race that was defeated by the Tuatha De Dannan.  After the defeat, she was forced by them to clear a vast forest for the purpose of planting grain. She died of exhaustion after it was completed.  She was buried beneath a great mound named for her,  the hill of Tailtiu.   The very first feast of Lughnasadh was held in there.  At this gathering there were  games and contests of skill as well as a great feast made up of the first fruits of the summer harvest.

When Christianity arrived in  the Celtic lands, the old pagan  festival of Lughnasadh took on Christian symbolism. Loaves of bread were baked from the first of the harvested grain and placed on the church altar on the first Sunday of August. The Christians called this feast Lammas or “loaf mass”.   

With the coming of Autumn, the Sun God is aging and he loses strength as the nights grow longer.  This  is a  time for giving thanks for summer’s bounty. Harvesting the fresh fruits and vegetables and herbs and feasting on them, thanking the Sun God for his transformation into the soul of the harvest.  This is the time of year that so many women are in the kitchen preserving and canning the produce from their gardens..putting it away for the long winter.  My daughter and I have just in the last couple of years tried our hand at canning and we are loving it 🙂 

Lughnasadh Correspondences

 *Element/Gender-Fire/female

 *Threshold-Noon

 *Symbolism- Celtic grain  Festival,  first harvest festival,  The aging of the Sun God,  Autumn’s arrival. 

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations- Corn, cornucopias, red & yellow flowers, sheaves of grain,  First fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, cauldron,  Sickle, scythe, harvested herbs, bonfires, sacred loaf of bread.

 *Herbs- All grains, heather, apples, pears,  cornstalks, frankincense, sunflower, wheat,  oak leaf, hollyhock, myrtle.

 *Incense/Oils- Wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn,  passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood.

 *Colors- Red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray.

 *Crystals/Stones- Aventurine, citrine, peridot, yellow diamonds and citrine, carnelian.

 *Customs/Activities- Breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for  charms/rituals, feasting, gathering flowers, handfastings, games,

 *Foods- Loaves of homemade wheat, oat & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, nuts, acorns,  summer squash, wild berries, apples, pears, elderberry wine, crab, grapes, cider, beer.

 *Gods-Lugh, John Barley Corn, Dionysus, Lieu, Dagon, Vegetation Gods

 *Goddesses-The Mother, Dana, Demeter, Ceres, The Barley Mother, Isis, Luna

 *Spellwork/Ritual- Astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, finishing projects

There is so many ways to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.  Have a feast with your family and friends..outside while the weather is still nice.  Fix lots of fresh veggies and fruits, they are great grilled on the grill 🙂  Have a bonfire, drink wine!  Go to a medieval fair or craft show..this time of year they are everywhere.  Go on a picnic and enjoy the warm weather.   Lay on a blanket under the stars and find the constellations, watch for shooting stars.  Catch fireflys and let them go. 

Don’t have a garden of your own, visit a farmer’s market or produce stand!  Make a big bouquet of flowers and bring it in or better yet, give it to an elderly neighbor to enjoy.   Harvest herbs from the garden, and make flavored oils and vinegars to keep a taste of summer in your pantry all winter long.  They would make great Yule gifts as well.  Have a bread baking day with your family.  Put  grains, fruits and nuts in the bread  and send a loaf home with everyone.  Make corn dollys.  Make fresh fruit jams, jellies or preserves, or can veggies.  Plan a “tournament” of corn hole for the kids, or croquet, or kickball…playing games is just what the Celts did! 

 

 

 

Lughnasadh is a good time to start your Fall House cleaning, to finish projects you wanted to do over the Summer. Get your carpets cleaned, windows cleaned, take down and wash your curtains and linens.  Get your fireplace checked so it’s ready for the wonderful fires you’ll have soon.  I actually LOVE Fall cleaning…I call it nesting 🙂  Getting ready to be in, be home, be cozy, be more lazy 🙂

I will be posting recipes, rituals etc over the next few weeks for this Blessed Sabbat!  For now, Summer is in full swing so enjoy every minute of it….I hope your gardens are blooming, that you are active, outside, feeling energized, enjoying the Sun every chance you get!  Remember that time flies, so savor every moment 🙂  Grab onto that Sun and don’t let go!!

Blessings and Light, Autumn

*Sources  Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan, my BOS, the internet.  Pics from the internet..Jam jar picture is my own.

9 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, Garden, God, Herbs, History, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Quote, Summer

Blessed Lughnasadh 2010………

Merry Meet my friends.  Today, August 1 is the first Harvest festival on the wheel of the Year…Lughnasadh or Lammas…it is a celebration of the coming harvest season, the days getting shorter, the crops at their full bounty and the cooling weather.  In the southern hemisphere it is Imbolc (for my aussie friends !).  In ancient times the God of Grain, or John Barleycorn as legend knows him, sacrificed himself so that the people would have plenty of food for the coming winter.  In some Traditions, the Goddess becomes the Reaper, and presides over the passing of the God, who willingly gives his life to bless the harvest.

Lughnasadh is a time of giving thanks for summer’s bounty, and of completion, and of finishing projects begun in the spring.  It is also a time of ritual housecleaning in preparation for the nesting energies of fall and winter.  Symbols of the Sabbat include sheaves of grain, garlic braids, sunflowers and corn.  The colors of Lughnasadh are the golds and dusky hues of the turning Earth.

 Celebrate this time by feasting on fresh corn, vegetables, and berries, thanking the God for his transformation into the soul of the harvest.  Lammas is a time to rid yourself of negative thoughts, emotions, or behaviors.  Go to a farmers’ market  and enjoy the abundant harvest of the local artists and growers. 

Harvest herbs from the garden, and make flavored oils and vinegars to keep a taste of summer in your pantry all winter long.  Ritually bake and bless a special loaf of bread, using grains native to your home, and share the bounty of the first harvest with family and loved ones.  Be outside!!  Play in nature, feel the breeze, hear the wind, feel the warmth of the sun, smell the grass, spend time with your loved one.  Honor the God for his sacrifice and the Goddess as she ages into her Crone stage.  Be One with Nature!!

Yesterday I baked a loaf of Herb and Crunch Wheat bread…using my own dried herbs that I grew myself..and yes, I did use my bread machine as I was very busy yesterday and couldn’t attend to making bread from scratch..that is fine.  If you have to go buy a good bakery bread..that is also fine!

Herb and Crunch Wheat Bread

2 lb loaf recipe

1 1/2 cup water

2 cups bread flour

2 cups wheat flour

2 tb sugar

2 tb dry milk

2 tb butter, softened

2 tsp salt

2 tsp dried basil leaves

1 tsp dried thyme leaves

2 tsp quick active yeast or bread machine yeast

2/3 cup dry-roasted sunflower seeds

This is a really good flavorful bread, great as a grilled sandwich!  Try it!!

My altar is done and decorated in red, green, gold, rust..the colors of late summer.  I have an offering of blackberries, blueberries, apples, bread and honey.  I am using a green candle for the Goddess and a red candle for God.  Sandalwood incense, sunflowers and dried wheat.  You may use any bounty of late summer such as squash and corn to decorate too.  Make it beautiful!

My family and I will have a feast tonight and partake of the bread.  A bonfire will be had and I will offer the bounty to the God and Goddess as an offering and thanks for the season and harvest to come.  May the Lord and Lady bless you with a bountiful season of abundance, love, light, family and joy.  Blessings to you all.

Autumn

7 Comments

Filed under Lammas/Lughnassadh, Recipe from my Kitchen