Category Archives: Spice

I’m back…..And The Wheel turns to Mabon 2017…

Merry Meet my friends!¬† I’m back. ūüôā¬† I’ve been very neglectful of writing in my blog due to multwelcome septemberiple reasons.¬† None of which are important enough to talk about.¬† I think ultimately, I just lost interest.¬† I’ve been through a lot in the last year….health issues for my daughter and I, busy being a homekeeper, mom, grandmother.¬† You all know how you have to set priorities and my blog became much less of a priority.¬† But recently, the writing bug has bit me again so here I am.

As you all know, this time of year is my very favorite!¬† My energy, mentally and physically start increasing so much!¬† I thrive in the cooler weather, the change in the path of the Moon and Sun, in harvesting my herbs, in my kitchen, at my altar etc etc.¬† I’ve been doing my Fall cleaning…..purging, organizing, deep cleaning.¬† I’ve been perusing my Autumn recipes and cookbooks.¬† Pulling out warm throws and pillows, washing up sweaters, coats, flannel sheets…..getting ready for those cozy, cold, colorful days of Autumn.

First off, I must introduce you to a new family member….at least part time. lol.¬† My sister adopted a darling Maltese pup back in March.¬† However, she works out of town during the week.¬† So Yuki (Japanese for snow) has become my part time pup.¬† He’s a busy boy, adorable and we’ve become quite attached.¬† And, he keeps me busy too ūüôā

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One of the things that was going on with me is that I had another ankle surgery at the end of July. I was in a wheelchair for a few weeks, then crutches, and now a brace and I’m able to walk, though I’m uncomfortable still and it’ll take 3-6 months to be completely healed.¬† Because of this, my herb bed was very much neglected..the herbs left to their own natural growth as I couldn’t really get to them.¬† Yesterday, I finally went out there expecting to find lots of dead and overgrown herbs.¬† But to my great delight, I got a wonderful harvest this year.¬† They are now hanging, smelling delicious, in my kitchen. I’m so happy it worked out!

herb harvest 2017

I also had the great joy of going to my beautiful, magickal Smoky Mountains with my entire family last week.¬† A great way to end the Summer and welcome in Fall.¬† It was fabulous being with my hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and two dear friends there together.¬† We feasted, visited an animal rescue petting farm, went up the mountains for some fabulous time there and picture taking, and relaxing at the cabin where I was able to read, crochet, and rest my ankle.¬† It was a great time.¬† Here are some of the pictures I captured of the beauty of the mountains.¬† Those who know me and have read my blog for a while, know how much these mountains hole my heart ‚̧

 

Now that I’m home again, we’re experiencing Fall weather.¬† Days in the 60’s and low 70’s, and nights in the 50’s.¬† The Full Moon was brilliant, casting such a glow and so much energy.¬† We’ve had fires already, enjoying our new gas logs.¬† Burning wood was just getting too expensive and hard work stacking wood etc.¬† And frankly, I like the idea of saving trees!¬† The process of cutting back our garden beds is started too..flowers spent and dead, or overgrown and no longer pretty and vibrant.¬† There are leaves turning, Fall clothes, mums, pumpkins, and decorations in all the garden centers, craft stores and shops.¬† My mind turns to baking and cooking good hot meals..done with grilling and cold salads etc. The scent of spices, apples, pumpkins, nuts, breads etc are kicking in at my house lol.

My coven has added a new member and still gathering for Sabbats.¬† I’m still a ghost hunter and looking forward to another hunt soon.¬† I shared some recipes for a surprise this October I’ll talk about soon.¬† And I’m preparing for Mabon as are all my witchy friends and sisters.¬† I’ll be back soon with some recipes for Mabon, and some ideas on how I celebrate it.

I’m in the process too of putting out new wards and protections, burying witch bottles, setting up my Mabon altar and working on my BOS.¬† I have to say too…I’m lighting candles day and night and sending out protection with all I’ve got for those of you in the line of harm from fires, floods and hurricanes.¬† Our poor Mother Earth is being ravaged right now and yes, climate change is real!!¬† Many of my witchy friends are talking about feeling edgy, jittery, nervous and unsettled.¬† Many feeling something is coming..maybe something dark and bad.¬† I’m feeling this too.¬† With the chaos in the world right now, both politically, in the division of the people, nature releasing chaos etc…..I hope that those who pray are doing that.¬† I send out my own prayers of safety and love to those in need.¬† It’s all we can do but ride the ride and do our best not to add to it in a negative way.¬† Keep being kind to others, caring for others and for our Mother Earth.¬† I’m speaking to the choir here because I now that you all feel as I do.¬† Whatever is coming….we have support for each other.

In the meantime, thank you for those who let me know you missed my writing.  And thank you to my loyal readers who have continued to visit here.  I appreciate it and will vow to get back to my writings.  May Goddess bless you and keep you safe and give you comfort in the tumultuous days.

 

 
“Spring scarce had greener fields to show than these
Of mid September; through the still warm noon
The rivulets ripple forth a gladder tune
Than ever in the summer; from the trees
Dusk-green, and murmuring inward melodies,
No leaf drops yet; only our evenings swoon
In pallid skies more suddenly, and the moon
Finds motionless white mists out on the leas.”
–¬† Edward Dowden, In September

 

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*Pictures are my own.

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Autumn Equinox, coven, Family, Full Moons, Gardens, Goddess, Herbs, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Pagan, Photography, Protection, Quote, Sabbat, Seasons, Smoky Mountains, Something New, Spice, Thank You!, Uncategorized, Witch, Woods

Blessed Mabon 2014…………

 

“Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us …”
Р Autumn Equinox Ritual

 

Merry Meet my friends! ¬†Autumn has arrived here in Ohio! ¬†Even though Mabon isn’t until the 23rd, Autumn is here none the less. I for one, couldn’t be more Happy about it! My favorite time of year!! ¬†Already I feel like a heavy load has been lifted. ¬†The heat and humidity of Summer makes me feel heavy, weighed down, and tired. ¬†I am energized as the cool days and even cooler nights are upon us. ¬†We have had our first (and second and third) fires in the fireplace! ¬†There is nothing more cozy to me than a fire on an Autumn evening.

 

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My oven has been busy with baking. My crockpot is on the counter permanently, garden beds are cleaned up of flowers that are spent and I’m about to harvest a huge amount of herbs..most of them for the last time this year. ¬†Summer couch covers are washed and put away, warm blankets have been brought out, the chimney and furnace have been inspected and cleaned, a cord of wood has been ordered, and Winter clothes are in the closets and Summer clothes put away for next year. ¬†Autumn cleaning is near finished.

We are seeing some color in the leaves already as I showed you on my last posting. ¬†Some trees have lost their leaves completely, but there is LOTS of color still to come. ¬†Bees still abound in my gardens. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other ground animals are gathering frantically. ¬†This morning I had a huge amount of activity at my bird and squirrel feeders. ¬†I had a couple dozen mourning doves, a pair of cardinals, 3, yes 3! male blue jays, a Flicker woodpecker and multiple finches, sparrows and other small birds. ¬†Our white squirrel Luna, other gray squirrels and several chipmunks were also scurrying and gathering! It was wonderful to watch. ¬†I still have my hummingbird feeder up for migrating hummers, but we haven’t seen one for a few days now. If you don’t already, please think about feeding these animals and birds…to help them through the long hard Winter we are being promised again this year. ¬†You will get so much pleasure out of it!

 

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My Mabon altar is set up and plans are made for my Circle/Tribe to meet on Sunday evening here. ¬†There will be an outdoor fire, weather permitting, desserts, spiced cider and good company! ¬†Several of us are also attending our local Pagan festival on Saturday which we are looking forward to. ¬†For several of us, it’s our first time to go! ¬†I am usually on vacation this time of year so haven’t been able to attend. ¬†I can’t wait!

 

Yesterday, I was flipping through a Taste of the South magazine and came across a recipe that sounded so yummy I thought I’d share it here with you. ¬†It sounds soooo spicy and good for Fall! ¬†The picture is theirs as well.

 

orange-cardamom-bread-296x197

 

Orange-Cardamom Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoons salt

1 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoons baking powder

2 1‚ĀĄ2 cups sugar

1 1‚ĀĄ2 cups whole milk

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Orange Glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350¬į. Spray 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat sugar, milk, oil, eggs, zest, vanilla, and cardamom at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
Bake 30 minutes. Loosely cover with aluminum foil, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes more.
Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Drizzle with Orange Glaze.

 

Orange Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1‚ĀĄ3 cup fresh orange juice
In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and orange zest and juice until smooth.
I will be making this recipe this week. ¬†It sounds yummy! ¬†I think my Circle ladies will like it! ūüôā ¬†I hope you try it too!
I am most anxious for the next couple months of Autumn weather and the first snows of Winter. ¬†There is just something about this time of year to me. ¬†I call it nesting…coming indoors. ¬†Warmth of fire, smell of woodsmoke and candles, something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven, warm beverages, perhaps crochet or a book on my lap (and a cat or two of course) are all just so cozy to me. ¬†I turn more inward, I am a bit less busy, more time for introspection, journaling, writing, reading etc. ¬†Having said that, this is also my favorite time of year to go for a walk, to spend time walking on crisp, bright colored leaves in my warm jacket and gloves, seeing Mother Earth in all her glory….well it’s just a NEED! ¬†I know many of you have the same need! ¬†To grab every minute we can of the beauty that is our Mother.
I’m wishing you all a very Joyful and Blessed Mabon! ¬†To you and yours! ¬†May you find the balance in your life as Mabon, the Equinox, brings balance of day and night. ¬†Prepare yourself for the dark months of the Year. ¬†Blessed Be!
Blessing and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My cats, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Seasons, Spice, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Mabon 2014…………

applesMerry Meet my friends.  Can you believe it? September has arrived! I am so glad!!  We are going through a really hot and humid spell here as I know many of you are as well.  Summers last hurrah I think.  We are very quickly going into my favorite half of the year. I feel a quickness in my step, my energy level is shifting and my mind has turned to cleaning, cleansing and decorating the house, cleaning up the flower beds, harvesting the last of my herbs and veggies, and getting ready to celebrate Mabon.  The 2nd harvest festival!

 

“Mist blankets the morning garden and the empty fields; a last rose blooms slowly over the arbor by the backyard gate.¬† Paintbox leaves fall to the ground under galoshes and the wheels of slicker-yellow school buses.¬† Sweaters come out of cedar chests, soup pots simmer, and wild geese make their mercurial journey southward across the pale autumn sky.”

-from Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan

¬† Mabon which is on September 23rd this year, marks the Autumn Equinox, the balance of night and day and the first day of Autumn. ¬†It is a time for thanksgiving, and rest. ¬†Our ancestors at this point were busy filling the larders with preserved fruits and vegetables, smoked meats, aged cheeses, flour, wheat, cider and wine etc. ¬†The thanksgiving was for the bounty the Summer crops had given them (hopefully) and the “rest” was much deserved. ¬†Great feasts were held with an abundant table of food and drink, dancing and enjoying the last warm days of the year.

¬†For us, it’s also a time to be thankful for our own little garden’s bounty, for what the farmers have grown and harvested for our grocery shelves or farmer’s market, and to know that all the hard work in our gardens is about done for the year. ¬†Putting the garden beds to “bed” for the Winter, depending on where you live, may still be yet to come.

Mabon also means the Goddess is passing from Mother to Crone and the God is preparing for death and re-birth. The trees are starting to change into their Fall tapestry of colors, the nights are colder and longer, the Sun casts long shadows, woodfires are lit, blankets are aired out and thrown on beds and sofas, the oven has something made with apples and cinnamon baking, and the stove top has spiced cider and hot soup simmering. ¬†Sweaters, picking apples, carving pumpkins, hot drinks, warm bread with preserved jams, critters gathering and nesting, birds flocking and filling their bellies, hay rides, corn mazes, nature walks, the Harvest Moon…everything you can think of that is most wonderful about Autumn is upon us!

autumn sunset

My celebration of Mabon is always a thanksgiving ritual, a feast with family and friends, an outdoor fire if weather permits, an offering for Mother Earth and the Fae for all their hard work, and reflection on my year that is ending at Samhain. It’s also about letting go and renewing, re-assessing, and thinking about how I’d like to spend the more quiet months to come in Winter. ¬†And baking..did I say baking? ¬†What is it about this time of year that makes me want to bake? ¬†Breads, pies, cakes, cookies…..things made with spices, apples, pumpkin…..it doesn’t matter, I just want to bake! ūüôā ¬†How about you? ¬†My Circle will gather as well for our celebration too. I’m thinking a soup and bread feast sounds wonderful!

I will be back soon with some recipes to share with you! Remember too that you can go to the Search box to the right here and type in Mabon for the past 4 years of recipes, rituals, information etc! ¬†In the meantime, I’d love to hear how YOU celebrate Mabon! ¬†Have a wonderful week!

Blesssings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Friends, Gardens, God, Goddess, Holiday, Mabon, Mother Earth, My Writing, Nature, Quote, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons, Spice, Summer, Winter

Happy Sun Day!…………..

sunflowersGreetings my friends!¬† I’m hoping this writing finds you all doing well.¬† How is your weather?¬† Are you experiencing cooler weather?¬† Here in Ohio as I’ve said before, we are having an extremely nice Summer.¬† Hot days have been rare, and we’ve had many days that were Fall-like in temps and feel.¬† This last week has been wonderful with 70’s during the day and as low as 50’s as night.¬† This has brought on many changes already.

Along with the shorter days/longer nights we have leaves already changing on the trees and  bushes, some trees like dogwood and crabapple have their berries,  the birds, squirrels and chipmunks are preparing for cold weather already, the gardens have lost some of their flowering beauty and my husband is mowing a bit less now. The Sun casts longer shadows in the morning, A/C is turned off and there seems to be a constant soft breeze.  We could use more rain here but had some yesterday so that was great!  Part of being a Witch, is feeling the changes in the Seasons.  Feeling the Wheel turning.  Many of us I know, have felt the change happening since before Lughnasadh, and no wonder! as it seems to be coming so much faster this year!

“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

I’ve been really busy with writing for both The Sunday Stew and Samhain’s Sirens. I’m studying a book with a book club, working on my herbalist certification when I have time, keeping up with my herbal shoppe and of course all the things you all do too.¬† Family, friends, house, grocery, cooking, my Circle gatherings, reading, etc etc.¬† A busy Witch am I!¬† I have to admit that I’m feeling about done with working in my gardens etc.¬† I’m ready to just enjoy the coming Autumn season.¬† I’ve been burning my favorite scents of apple, pumpkin, cinnamon and such already! ūüôā ¬†I’ve also been in the mood to bake and cook!¬† How about you?¬† There is just something about this time of year I want hot comfort foods, sweet baked goods, ¬†homemade breads and good things from the last harvests of the gardens.

Last week I made my amazing Red Hot Chex Mix and can’t remember if I posted the recipe here…so I’m going to share it¬†with you now! ¬† Quick and easy, hot and spicy…you’ll love it!!¬† It gets inhaled around here! This is NOT the one on the back of the chex cereal boxes!

 

chex mix

 

Autumn’s Red Hot Snack Mix

*This is one of those recipes that I honestly have no measurements.  But it’s easy to make so I’m passing it on!

*Preheat oven to 250*

In a large roasting pan (I buy one of those aluminum throw away ones..so easy and no clean up!) place a stick of butter or margarine and put it in the oven to melt while the oven’s heating up.

When butter is melted, add to pan any of the following to fill the pan full…not so full you can‚Äôt stir it up but full!

1 box wheat chex
1 box corn chex
1 box rice chex
1 box cheese crackers
1-2 cans or jars of peanuts

*Now…this is up to each of you to do as you please. ¬†You can do different cereals (not sweet ones) like Cheerios or any other corn, wheat or rice cereal. ¬†You can use other things besides the crackers or other kinds of cheese crackers like goldfish, or you can use bugles, pretzels, corn chips, sun chips, sesame sticks, melba rounds etc etc….it‚Äôs endless. ¬†I use cocktail peanuts or dry roasted peanuts…you can again use as you want. ¬†But fill up the pan!!

Now give it all a good mix to coat with the butter.

Now add these seasonings…heavy handed!!

Worcestershire sauce
Red Hot Sauce
Lowry’s seasoning salt
garlic powder.

You can’t really do too much of this LOL.  The more the better!

Now don‚Äôt stir it….pop it in the oven for 20 mins.

Remove from oven, give it a stir, add seasonings again…yep…again….and put back in oven.

Do this 4 times!  The last time I may or may not add anymore of any of the seasonings.  If it’s looking well coated it’s done except for oven time.  If it still looks like it could use more..go for it!

After 4 x 20 mins of baking…dump the pan out onto a brown paper bag to cool.

This will make 2 gallon sized bags full!!

 

There is enough to share with someone or a couple someones so DO!¬† I’ll be back soon with info about another herb and soon….Mabon!¬† Hope you all are having a Magickal Sun day!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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Filed under Autumn, Flowers, Friends, Gardens, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, Mabon, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Seasons, Spice, Summer

Simmering Magick…….

imagesCASSB72UHello again my friends!¬† Yep…it’s me…back again..2 days in a row.¬† Hope your Saturn Day is going great!¬† Mine is!¬† It’s gorgeous out…Sunny, blue blue sky, and in the mid 40’s.¬† I have spent the day Kitchin Witchin and thought I’d share with you one of the things I love to do to bring magick into my home.

I have several cauldrons for stove top cooking… potje pots!¬†¬†I just love them.¬† One was a gift from my¬†daughter Sara and¬†recently I got¬† a smaller one….Size 1 I believe if you look up the pots.¬† Perfect for making simmering herbs and spices on the stovetop.¬† I have done this for years…like 20 years!¬† Some of you may have done it too.¬† Mostly at Yule I would imagine.¬† You know….you put water in a pot on the stove..set on low.¬† Add apple cider, orange and lemon slices, cinnamon and clove etc…smells like¬†Wassail or a clove-studded orange all over the house….Love it!!¬† I had a simmering pot going when perspective home buyers came thru my home I was selling recently as well.¬† I got a LOT of feedback on how great the house smelled!

In recent years I have taken it a step further….adding herbs and other spices..using their magickal properties to make a simmering pot of magick. Whether to calm the house, banish negativity, energize, protect. For abundance or prosperity or health.¬† This morning I put together a pot just for calm, relaxation, peace and threw in some protection as well.

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I started with water….and if you keep the pot going all day, you’ll have to add more along the way.¬† In the bottom I place a couple of small crystals..a clear quartz and an amethyst.¬† Now be careful with this…The heat can ruin crystals..I put in small pieces that it won’t bother me if they are no good anymore.¬† Next..just for scent..I added slices of citrus fruits..orange, lemon, grapefruit lime..whatever you like.¬† I had a lemon and a pink grapefruit in the house so thats what I used.¬† Apples are great too..especially if you cut them sideways to show the pentacle in the center!¬† Then I just added in spices and herbs that did what I wanted the simmer pot to do.¬† I added in cinnamon sticks, cloves, lavender, chamomile and rosemary this morning.¬† The combination smells divine and in the process it banishes negativity, calms and soothes, protects and brings a sense of Peace to the whole house.¬† Say a few words over the pot, to manifest what you want¬†it to do for you.¬† Stir in a pentacle and you’re good to go!!

Try it sometime.¬† If you want a reference….Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery by Kris Bradley…. has a lot of recipes for this very thing.¬† I was thrilled when I got her book to see them.¬† It’s such an easy way to bring magick into your home.¬† As I said yesterday..my Craft is most magickal when it’s simple and easy.

Oh..here is the link for the potje pots!  You can get them thru Amazon and other sites too.

http://potjiepotusa.com/potjie-pots-plat-flat-bottom-best-duty.html

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!  Make it magickal!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

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Filed under Bits of Magick, Herbs, My Favorite Things, Photography, Protection, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spells, Spice

Yule Recipes for Altar and Kitchen……..

Merry Meet my lovely friends.¬†It is a chilly night..I’m sitting in jammies by the fire, sipping on egg nog and focusing on the upcoming Winter Solstice.¬†¬† Yule is less then 2 weeks away and Christmas just a few days later. ¬† I am about done shopping and my thoughts are turning to my kitchen and my altar.¬† I love cooking yummy, great smelling foods for my family to enjoy and I love “cooking” up sweet smelling oils and incenses for my use at my altar…. to anoint candles or myself,¬† for spells and ritual.¬† So thought I’d post some recipes for fun!¬† Some of these I have made and some I am looking forward to trying for the first time!

First some recipes for magickal workings.

Winter’s Night Yule Incense

2 parts Juniper berries

2 parts mugwort

1 part cedar

1 part pine resin

1 part laurel leaves

1 part chopped sweetgrass

¬Ĺ part rosemary

This is one I have not tried yet..but look forward to making in a few days!¬† Can’t you just smell the pine, rosemary and cedar..must smell like a Yule tree farm!

Christmas Incense

3 parts Frankincense

2 parts Myrrh

2 part Cassia

2 part Mace

1/2 part clove buds

*from Pagan Christmas

If you don’t know how to make or burn loose incense…there is a post here on my blog about how to¬†do it. ¬† I love the loose incense..the smell is richer and lasts longer…and I feel very “witchy” when making it and burning it! ūüôā

Winter Solstice Oil Blend

 4 drops Pine

  2 drops Orange

  2 drops Cedar

 2 drops Juniper

 2-3 lumps finely ground Frankincense

This I have made and it is wonderful!¬† I like to mix it with olive oil to give it a green look!¬† The smell of orange and pine is just luscious…for extra special scent..add a bit of ground clove too…smells like an orange pomander sitting on a bed of evergreens! ūüôā

Ok..now lets head to the kitchen for some favorite Yuletide season recipes!¬† This is the time of year to NOT be on a diet! LOL!¬† Women (and men) have gathered in their kitchens for hundreds of years, cooking up feasts for their loved ones.¬† From ham to pie, from wassail to sides…the kitchen is full of delicious smells, the warmth from the oven and hearth,¬†and the laughter of the family and friends who have gathered there.¬† This is the¬†REAL reason for this season…..the love shared at this time of year.¬† In my family, my daughters learned to bake at an early age and my granddaughter Lily is learning¬†already! ¬† Giving a plate of homemade yummy goodness makes the receiver and the giver feel great!¬† So here is a few favorites to enjoy with your family!

GINGERBREAD CAKE 
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 c. boiling water
1 3/4 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. molasses
1/2 c. shorteningMix all dry ingredients, cream sugar, shortening, add molasses, blend all together.Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan, bake at 350¬įF for 30 minutes or until center springs back. Cool in pan, cut into squares.¬† I love making gingerbread cake and serving it warm with Lemon Sauce or Caramel Sauce..you can also make this into loaves to give away as gifts!LEMON SAUCE1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
3 tbsp. lemon juice

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in rest of ingredients. Serve over gingerbread.

Now¬†that you have your delicious cake you might want something hot and warm to go with it to drink.¬†¬†Hot spicy drinks are the perfect thing for this time of year…to sip, to make you feel warm and cozy inside!¬† Here’s a couple¬†that might just fill that order!

 

 HOT BUTTERED RUM
 1 c. softened butter
1 1/3 c. light brown sugar
6 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanillaMix all together. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, place 2 heaping tablespoons in each mug of hot apple cider and add rum to taste.¬† For even more great taste..add a spiced rum like Captain Morgans…Yum-O!! ūüôā

HOLIDAY HOT WASSAIL
 4 c. apple juice
3 c. pineapple juice
2 c. cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
Lemon slicesCombine all ingredients in a large kettle and simmer. ¬†Serve hot.¬† You might need to double this if it’s for a holiday party…and of course you can add brandy or spiced rum to this delicious holiday punch as well!One more recipe…and I confess I haven’t made this one though I’ve made something like it.¬† I think this would make a wonderful gift to give to neighbors, co-workers, your paper boy or mailman or UPS guy..(I know mine by first name! LOL).¬† I also think it would be delicious to have on Yule morning or Christmas morning while opening gifts!

CHERRY EGGNOG BREAD2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 c. eggnog
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. nuts, chopped
1/2 c. cherries, cut upMix dry ingredients. Add eggnog, egg and oil. Mix well. Pour into greased bread pans. One large or two small.¬† Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.¬† I think this is a recipe that will be doubled or tripled right off the bat!¬† Wrap it in red or green plastic wrap, tie a silver or gold bow around it and it will make a beautiful gift.I hope you all will try and enjoy these recipes.¬† Money is tight for everyone this year and there may be some feelings of discontent or sadness in so many who have lost their jobs or can’t celebrate the season like they want to.¬† Serving delicious food and making cakes, breads, cookies etc¬† will put the cheer back in your heart and the skip in your step.¬† Make each meal a celebration of love and joy and savor the taste and the time with family and friends!¬†

May Peace and Plenty be the first to lift the latch of your door

and Happiness be guided to your home by the candle of Yule

-An Old Irish Blessing

 

Wishing you warm wishes for a joyful Yule season!  Autumn

 

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Filed under Family, Loose incense recipe, Oil Blend Recipe, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spice, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas

Rainy days and cinnamon toast…..

   

¬† 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!

Ingredients:
1 gallon apple  cider
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
Directions:
Simmer the nonalcoholic ingredients together for 1-2 hours, then add the wine and rum about 10 minutes before serving  hot.  Great to keep in a slow cooker all day long! 
    
¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†Another thing I love to do with cinnamon is to make a stove top potpourri that simmers all day long to make your house smell wonderful!¬† I just slice down an orange and a lemon and put in a small saucepan.¬† Add a few sticks of cinnamon, some cloves, some allspice, and anise stars.¬†cover with water and simmer all day long.¬† Add water as needed.¬† I have added apple cider to this as well.¬† It makes your house smell like you’ve been baking all day!
     So you can see what a great spice Cinnamon is..keep plenty of sticks and powdered in your home and use it often both for taste, healing and magick!
Now, I’m off to finish my tea and toast, curled up in front of the fire.¬† Enjoy your evening!
Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Loose incense recipe, Recipe from my Kitchen, Spice