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Blessed Samhain 2016….and recipes!

“I see the turning of a leaf dancing in the autumn sun,

and brilliant shades of crimson glowing when a day is done

-Hazelmarie Mattie Elliott-

A-BLessed-Samhain-To-You

Merry Morning and Blessed Samhain my friends!  The glorious day is finally here! The Witch’s favorite Sabbat!  Our New Year!  Here in Ohio it’s a cool, blue sky, sunny day.  We’ve had some overly warm days here lately…too warm in the upper 70’s for my taste, but today it feels like Fall again.  The skies are inky black as we’re in our New Moon which adds magick to our new year and new beginnings!  Winds are brisk and leaves are falling fast, chipmunks and squirrels gather food for the winter, birds are busy at the feeders, pumpkins are grinning from porches  and children ready their costumes for trick or treat!  The veil thins and there is a mystical feel to the Air! Autumn is in full glory!

My coven gathered Saturday night.  We had soups, breads and desserts. As it was warm, we spent time outside.  A few of our sisters didn’t make it this year and the rest of us were more quiet and subdued. Perhaps the thinning veil making us not feel up to par, tired and moody I think.  Speaking for myself, that was the case.  How does the thinning veil affect you?  I’ve had times of high energy, and times of melancholy and low energy too.  Today, I feel great!

I’m harvesting the last of my herbs today. Then tonight is our Beggar’s Night.  This year we’ll be home passing out candy as we spent time with my grandkids yesterday.  Keeping dinner simple with soup and sandwiches.  I’m also burying new witch’s protection bottles, making an offering to Mother Earth and tonight a fire and spending time with my ancestors. I am a journaler and I’ve been journaling my thoughts and wishes for a wonderful new year to come.  I look back on this last year with fondness and feelings of how blessed I am. and forward with the same.  What will you be pleased about in your past year

and what changes will you make in this next year to improve on it?  These are the things I think about today.

I promised some recipes and better late than never.  So here a few new ones!

cider

Samhain Spiced Cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 large orange, quartered with peel

2 quarts apple cider

*use a gallon of cider and double the rest!

Place in a dutch oven on the stove on low heat or a slow cooker on low all day! So yummy!  I made this for my coven saturday night and they loved it!

pumpkin soup

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Tb butter

1 Tb olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-5 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash

4 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp dried sage

3/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot; cook and stir until tender.  Add garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in squash, stock, sage, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer, covered 20 minutes or until squash is tender.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Process in a blender until smooth.  Serves 6

Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed

2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 Tb sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Streusel topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350*.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly.  Press into a well-greased 13×9 inch baking pan.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread over baked crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer.  In another bowl, mis streusel topping until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apple layer.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set.  Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Refrigerate for 2 hours at least.  Cut into bars and serve.

Yummy…I love Autumn baking especially.  Don’t you?

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain.  May your ancestors smile upon you and impart words of wisdom, joy and a sense of peacefulness to you in the coming year.  Goddess Bless you all!

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail! We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
– Lore of the Door

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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Blessed Samhain 2015 and Recipes!…………

Merry Meet my friends!  It’s Thursday morning and Samhain is Saturday. I can’t believe how fast October has flown by! Too fast!  I’m sitting in my family room, listening to a Halloween Radio staA-BLessed-Samhain-To-Yoution on Pandora, watching leaves blowing around my yard, the Sun shining and birds at the feeders and chipmunks and squirrels gathering.  It’s a gorgeous day after two days of much needed rain.  Quite cool, quite autumnal, and I’m feeling happy and blessed.

My gardens are a wild mess. The last of the Autumn flowers are spent.  The tall grasses are brown and dry.  Some herbs have re-bloomed like parsley, thyme and lemon balm.  (I’ll be grabbing those yet)  My rosemary and lavender are still healthy and useful as I trim some rosemary for my ancestor altar and Ancestor Supper table. There are dried leaves gathered in the beds that will remain to keep warm the plants over the long Winter, and fresh, bright colored leaves are still falling, littering the ground and beds with reds, oranges, and golds. I took a walk in my favorite park that has a beautiful pond.  Watching the geese fly over under blue, clear skies,  the leaves floating in the pond, the bright trees and Sun casting mirror images on the water, I’m reminded of how Mother Earth is winding down to the dark, stark season in a blaze of color and beauty. I never have the feeling it’s a death and dying thing..but a show of how beautiful the seasons are.  No matter the season, they each have their own beauty.  While Autumn to me is the most beautiful, Winter too can be stunningly filled with beauty and I am not sad that Winter comes.

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I have enjoyed the energy of the Full Moon these last few nights, even though I couldn’t see Her the night she was at her fullest.  The foggy, rainy days reminded me of the thinning veil. The mystical, quietness of this time of year, if you’re still enough to notice it.  I’ve been having strong, vivid dreams and vacillate between sleeping hard and feeling restless in the night. How are you feeling? Perhaps tired and restless?  Or calm and filled with energy? I find I’m energized most of the time in Autumn, but an evening by the fire can make me feel drowsy and content.  I find my loved ones who have passed on are very much on my mind and I’m trying to be aware of any messages they may be bringing for me, to be aware of their being close to me, and to leave myself open to any other guides/spirits who may be needing my attention as well.  I keep a dream journal and I’m jotting down anything I remember when I awake. My scrying mirror, tarot cards and candle and fire flames are readily available to such purposes of receiving any messages. As I said in my last post, I find being still and meditative, even drowsy, can bring me closer, easier to my loved ones.

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My coven gathers tomorrow night. Always such a high energy, loving, magickal night. We’ll be doing an ancestor ritual, welcoming in the New Year together, with feast and fire. While we enjoy every Sabbat gathering, and every other gathering, Samhain is always just the best one.  The energy of Samhain is very much within us as a Tribe.  I love my sisters!

I have been visiting some books lately for the Season.  Classics like Edgar Allan Poe poems and “The Halloween Tree” and getting ready to read “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.  I also have been enjoying movies like “Hocus Pocus”, “Sleepy Hollow”, and “The Good Witch” movies.  My daughter, our friend and I saw “The Goosebumps” movie last night and enjoyed it very much!  I love both books and movies during this entire holiday season, from Samhain to Yule.  Music too.  They just put me in the mood!  What are your favorite spooky books or movies?

Cooking and Baking also is such a big part of the holidays for me.  Autumn is especially lovely with warm soups and breads, apple and pumpkin desserts, and hot drinks with cinnamon and spice.  If you do a search in the box on the right here —–> you can find previous Samhain recipes for the last 5 years.  I’m going to add a couple more today.  Also, if you saw my last post, you may have been checking out Samhain’s Sirens and The Sunday Stew for other recipes from myself and others for the Season.  For many, All Hallow’s Eve will bring to mind a witch stirring her cauldron 🙂 Well, yes, that’s me!  Conjuring in my kitchen! I may have a soup or hot cider in my cauldron, or I may have herbs and a smoking charcoal just as easily. If you don’t have a nice cauldron to actually use in your kitchen..I highly recommend a Potje pot.  They come in all sizes and are wonderful!

As a reminder of the foods for Samhain, they are :  Apples, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea. Here are a couple of new recipes to fit the bill. One is healthy and one is just sweet and yummy!

An_opened_pomegranate

Spinach Pomegranate Salad

3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces spinach leaves (about 2 lightly packed qts.)
3/4 cup finely shredded radicchio (from 1 head)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 large firm-ripe Bartlett pear

In a small saucepan, boil pomegranate juice until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Whisk in lemon juice, oil, salt, thyme, and pepper.
In a salad bowl, gently mix spinach, radicchio, pomegranate seeds, and hazelnuts with dressing. Divide among 6 plates.
Quarter pear and core. Thinly slice crosswise, then stack slices and cut in matchsticks. Arrange pear on salads.

*To make this salad a full meal, add grilled chicken strips onto the salad and a good crusty bread!

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Sour Cream-Apple Pie

a 9″ pie crust…your own homemade or refrigerated store bought

2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped (use your favorite baking apple)

1 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour, divided

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tb ground cinnamon

2 Tb butter

Place pie crust in a 9″ pie plate; arrange apples in bottom of pie crust.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 Tbs flour and salt in a large bowl; stir to mix.  Add sour cream, egg and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Pour mixture over apples.

Bake at 425* for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350* and bake 30 more minutes.

Combine in a small bowl the remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle over top of pie.  Increase heat back to 400* and bake 10 more minutes.  Remove and cool.  Of course, eating it warm is perfect!

*If you’d rather use thinly sliced apples, that is okay too.

Well there you go for a couple of great new recipes.  Again, you can find so many more of my recipes in previous postings.  Whether you’re looking for a simple soup meal, a big feast or just something sweet, you’ll find it here 🙂 Enjoy!

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Samhain and Happy Witchy New Year.  May your ancestors be blessed by how you live YOUR life, how you honor them and how you loved those you knew who have passed beyond the veil.  And may YOU be blessed with a full new year of wonderful things ahead!  Remember to let go that which no longer suits or has meaning or purpose, and find joy in what is to come.  Make it GREAT!

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail! We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
– Lore of the Door

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2015……

“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
― Ray Bradbury  “The Halloween Tree”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Meet my friends!  It’s been a bit too long since I’ve posted anything here on my blog.  As you all know, Autumn is my favorite time of year and I’ve been very much enjoying all the pleasures of this beautiful, magickal season!  We’ve had temps anywhere between cold, frosty mornings to unseasonably warm afternoons..like today! We went from 32* a couple mornings ago, to 74* today! It’s typical here for Ohio though lol.  I love it either way.  We are at peak color or close to it and it’s a brilliant year for color.  The skies have been clear, with star-filled, Moonlit nights that I love so much!   Crisp, autumn days with leaves crunching underfoot and falling in colorful waves upon the ground, pumpkins grinning from porches, and you gotta love sweaters and scarfs coming out again! I’m in my element that is for sure!.  I’m energized and content!

I hope that you all are enjoying the lovely season too!  Whether you are coming into spring in the southern hemisphere or the fall here.  I also hope that you have been reading and enjoying Samhain’s Sirens this month!  You will find amazing bloggers, music, information, pictures, recipes, crafts, give-aways and so much more!  My recipes are there on most days, so if you’re looking for wonderful Samhain recipes, you need only look there.  The link is on the right side of my post over there —–>  You’ll love it!

The veil is thinning as all witches and pagans know.  Our ancestors and loved ones wait to connect with us, to share with us, to impart knowledge and love to us.  We have only to listen.  I have many friends who have lost loved ones recently, as I have, and I know they look forward to feeling them close again.  Even our beloved pets.  It’s what Samhain is all about for me.  That connection to our family, friends, ancestors, and guides.  There are many forms of divination of which to use to this gain….but I find a quiet flame and quieting my mind, opening myself to them, is all it takes.  What is your best way?  Scrying? Tarot? Meditation? ….There are many.  I’ll be setting up my altar with many tools for that purpose, but being quiet and listening is the main thing for success, I have found.  I hope that you are so blessed with a visit from those you seek the most….and maybe you’ll discover someone else who is trying to reach you too!  Be open to all possibilities!

Samhain is also the Witch’s New Year!  We wind down a year of Sabbat celebrations, of Moon phases from new to full to dark. We have gone from cold, long nights to hot, long days.  We’ve had meteor showers, eclipses, Blood Moons, Supermoons and all the magick that we bring to our lives each and every day.  The New Year is a time to celebrate our past year, let go of those things unwanted..both physically and mentally, and look forward to planning our next year.  It’s a time for looking back and looking forward.  I find myself getting ready to nest in.  Even with the upcoming holidays, it’s knowing the dark season is upon us. Being by hearth and fire during long, dark, cold nights can be cozy, introspective, productive and filled with comfort and joy.  Even if you don’t have a fireplace, fill your home with the warmth of candlelight, bake and cook things that scent your home with goodness, have warm blankets and cozy jammies you love, a stack of books by your chair, a project or two you’d like to get done, and maybe something new to learn too.  Your winter will be wonderful.  I always look at it as a time to work on myself, my home and a time to increase my knowledge on something I want to learn!

Yesterday, my daughters and grandkids and I did something together that was so simple and so fun. We made homemade applesauce.  A really, yummy, cinnamon-y applesauce.  The kids got involved by learning how to use an apple slicer, stirring in brown sugar, measuring out cinnamon etc. They loved it as did my daughters and I.  It so brought to mind for me doing that very thing with my grandmother when I was a child. And while I don’t remember making applesauce with my girls when they were young, we certainly did a LOT of baking and cooking together.  Seeing my daughter teaching her children what she learned from me…well…it’s a special thing.  I can’t wait to tell my grandma, when I hear from her through the veil on Samhain night, all about it!  ❤

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I thought you might enjoy trying the recipe too since apples are abundant right now…. so here you go!  This is not the canning type of recipe.  This is for immediate use. Jarred up, it should last a while in your fridge.

 Cinnamon Applesauce

6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 slices (use your favorite kind..we used cortlands)

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

3 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup packed brown sugar. (we added 2 Tbs more)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Use a masher to mash down any chunks.  If you like it super thin, run it through a blender or food processor (we liked the texture without doing that)

Store in covered jar or plastic container.

So easy and you will love it!  Would be great in recipes calling for applesauce as well!

I am in the process of working on getting my altar set up.  I got my Mabon altar taken down, cleansed and cleaned my table and it’s ready to set up.  Samhain is my very favorite altar to do..well, I think it is. I love most of them. I’ll post a picture here as soon as it’s done.  I’ll also be back in a few days with more recipes as my recipe posts are my most popular 🙂

My coven of wonderful sisters will be gathering on the 30th.  Samhain night is Beggar’s Night here…so we have chosen the night before so we could be with our families for Trick or Treat with our kids and grandkids.  We will have a feast, a hearth fire, a ritual for our loved ones who have crossed the veil, and we will be in full Witch regalia which is so so fun!  I so love celebrating Samhain with them.  That includes those sisters I hold dear that live in other states….they know who they are ❤

Samhain is a magickal time. To me, the most wonderful time of the year.  (now that song is going through your head right? LOL!)  However you celebrate it, whether quietly or with full All Hallow’s Eve celebrations…enjoy it!!  I’ll be back soon!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

*All pictures are my own.

 

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, coven, Daughters, Family, Friends, Grandchildren, Holiday, New Year, Pagan, Photography, Quote, Recipe from my Kitchen, Sabbat, Winter, Witch

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2014……….

imagesCA0GN85BMerry Meet my friends.  I have been so busy I’m very late coming to my blog to write about my favorite Sabbat!  It should come as no surprise to anyone that it’s my favorite.  I’m a Witch after all!  Samhain is the Witch’s New Year, the night the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, the night we can commune with our ancestors who have passed on, and of course, it’s the night many Witches love to put on all of their witchiest clothes, jewelry and of course our pointy hat! For me, this year, it’s also Beggar’s Night. Little ones will be coming to my door looking for candy (my grandkids will be doing that here too!)  The leaves are falling, the nights are cold and crisp, the wind blows, pumpkins are lit, adults and kids alike shiver with both a little bit of excitement and a little bit of something magickal!

For Samhain night, my family will gather here  for dinner, a fire and of course to pass out candy and for the grandkids to go trick or treating in my neighborhood.  After the little goblins have gone home with their parents, I will do my own quiet ritual. Divination to hopefully have my ancestors come thru to me will be done.  Also, an offering to Mother Earth as she slowly quiets and goes to rest for the Winter.  I also always express my gratitude to God and Goddess for the abundant Summer and beautiful Autumn season of growth and harvest both in my garden beds but within me as well.  As the Wheel turns, I too change and grow…no matter how old I am…I still do.

On Saturday night, my Circle will gather in full Witch regalia for fire, feast, and ritual.  Dressing the part is such fun for Samhain, as of course, we don’t walk around in black dresses, striped socks and pointy hats on a regular basis 🙂  We will honor our loved ones who have passed on, including our beloved pets. We also will have quiet discussion together on what the past year has brought for each of us, and what we look forward to in the next year.  On Sunday evening, my hubby and daughter and I will have a Dumb Supper or Ancestor Supper. This will be a quiet and introspective evening for me especially.  I always look forward to the fun and busyness of this Sabbat…but it’s the quiet times that have depth of meaning.  The quiet can bring messages from our ancestors, from Goddess and from our own conscience.  Always find time to be quiet and still and to listen.

One of my most popular blogs here over the years, has been my Samhain Recipes.  I’d like to go ahead and give you a few this year too.  If you have been following Samhain’s Sirens this year (button on the right side here) you will have already seen these recipes…but I will share them again here for those who haven’t.

 

cider

 

Autumn’s Spiced Apple Cider

*The perfect Samhain drink….add rum or vodka if you wish 🙂

 

1 gallon apple cider

15 whole cloves

10 whole allspice

1 TB candied ginger

12 cinnamon sticks

1 cup packed brown sugar

Combine all ingredients except sugar and bring to a boil in a large pot on the stove.  Lower heat, add sugar and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Strain and serve or place in a thermos for your picnic or drive.  You can keep it warm on the stove or crockpot all day long.  Store the leftovers in the fridge.

*If you like, place orange slices in the pot too..adds a sweet bit of tang!!

 

finished

 

Apple-Brie Crostini

These little toasted Crostini are a wonderful appetizer to serve for any Samhain gathering!   They are sweet and wonderful.   Great for an after dinner treat too!

 

1 loaf French bread, thinly sliced

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

13.2 oz pkg Brie cheese, thinkly sliced

3 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

Arrange bread on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 350* until lightly toasted. Set aside.

Mix together butter, sugar and walnuts.  Top each slice of bread with a cheese slice, an apple slice and a teaspoonful of butter mixture.

Return to baking sheet; bake briefly until cheese melts.  *Makes 24-30

**Variations….a sugared pecan with a drizzle of honey to top it…or a nice dollop of apple butter!

 

Farmer’s Market Autumn Stew

*A great way to finish up your Summer harvest or that last visit to the Farmers Market veggies!

 1/2 lb stew beef, cut into small cubes

2   1/2″ thick boneless pork chops, cubed

1 TB olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 apples, cored, peeled and cut into small cubes

2 TB quick-cooking tapioca, uncooked

1 cup apple cider

1 cup water

2 tsps beef bouillon granules

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Salt to taste

Brown beef and pork in oil in a large skillet over medium heat; drain.  Place vegetables and apples in a slow cooker; sprinkle with tapioca. Add beef and pork.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl; pour over beef and pork. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Add salt to taste before serving.

*Makes 6 servings

 

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

 

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

2 tsps baking soda

2 tsps ground cinnamon

12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350* In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar.  Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Stir in half the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan.  Sprinkle remaining chips over batter.

Bake at 350* for one hour, or until golden brown and inserted toothpick tests clean. Cool then remove from pan.  Top with fresh whipped cream to serve if you wish.

*Makes 12-16 servings.

Hope you enjoy the recipes if you try them.  I think you will!

 

I have gotten my Samhain altar done finally today. I particularly love Samhain altars.  This one literally gives me goosebumps.  Most of the time my altars are outdoors…simple and only a few necessities, but for Samhain, I love to go all out!  As you can see 🙂

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I’m working on writing up the rituals for my Circle gathering, and have a few cards to do yet.  But I am also very relaxed, using the fire in the fireplace to help me meditate, and again…..finding quiet time.  I hope you’re doing the same.  What loved one do you hope to hear from? What will you decide to let go in the old year and bring forth in the New Year?  Think on these things my friends.  Witch or not!

And finally, a favorite poem….I’ve posted it before but wanted to share again. Can’t you just feel the magick when you read it?   Blessed Samhain to you all…..Happy New Year!

 

The wheel has turned, the wheel of light

 stoke the fire and make it bright

Samhain call, Samhain come

 feel the rhythm , hear the drum

The veil it thins, the veil it shrouds

 the spirits rise upon darkened cloud

The time of orange , time of black

 time to move forward and not look back

Pumpkin lit , with candle burn

 away dark spirits this guardian turns

Night of the ancients, night of the olds

 remembered in stories now to be told

The Crone doth rise upon this night

 look into the shadows without a fright

Rituals and rites across the lands

 empowers the soul where they stand

 Trick or treat, heal or curse ,

 the hand should be crossed from a silver purse

The Wheel begins its time anew,

 the release of the old for the knowledgeable few

The time to scry to see the path we must take

 and of the choices we need to make

She comes to us in many guises

 the Crow and the owl her favourite disguises

The Earth gives us her last to give

 the bountiful harvest so we can live

We feast and drink in a sacred space

 behind samhain masks to hide our face

Through darkened day and moonlight night

 All hallows Eve is a beautiful sight!

(C) Copyright Phiona Hutton July 2010

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Altars, Autumn, Bits of Magick, Family, Friends, Goddess, Grandchildren, Holiday, Mother Earth, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, New Year, Photography, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons, Winter

The Wheel Turns to Samhain 2013……………….


 

“Between the heavens and the earth
The way now opens to bring forth
The Hosts of those who went on before;
Hail!  We see them now come through the Open Door.

Now the veils of worlds are thin;
To move out you must move in.
Let the Balefires now be made,
Mine the spark within them laid.

Move beyond the fiery screen,
Between the seen and the unseen;
Shed your anger and your fear,
Live anew in a new year!”
–   Lore of the Door

     

Merry Evening dear readers!   Has Autumn arrived in your neck of the woods?  The Season of Autumn I mean *giggles*  (yes, I LOVE my name this time of year…it’s so much fun!!)   Well, Fall has arrived here big time.  We are near peak in color..though I will say it’s not the most brilliant color I’ve seen.  We have cool, breezy days, and cold nights. We’ve had some rain and some crisp, blue skies…and OH the Nights! Inky black with twinkling stars and  the Blood Moon has been brilliant…big and bright and beautiful!  It’s been cold enough for the heat to go on, the fireplace to have a roaring fire, and sweaters and jackets pulled out of closets.  My crockpot and oven are hot most of the time, and I constantly want to go for a walk, or cook something with apples, or pick up perfect leaves to press and save.  I’ve got a stack of books on one side of me, and a basket of crochet on the other.  I am one happy Witch!  After all, it IS my Season! 🙂

Samhain is coming upon us fast. The Witch’s New Year…the night we all anticipate all year long.  It is the Most magickal, the Most emotional, and the Most busy night of the year for many of us.  There are gatherings to plan, rituals to prepare, feasts to cook, fires to tend, ancestors to await a visit from, and quiet introspection and divination to be done.  For many, there is also trick or treat night, costume parties, houses to decorate to the delight of children and adults alike, and finding the perfect Witch hat or cape to please ourselves!  Whew….no wonder October…the best month of the year..flies by so fast!!   They say Time flies when you’re having fun…and October is proof of that!

Last year, my Samhain was a bit thrown together and scattered…..because I was in the process of selling our home.  This year, I’m working and planning ahead.  I have a Circle of Witches now who will gather here on Nov 3 for our fire gathering and feasting.   I have Beggar’s Night on the 30th which I’ll spend with hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids and whoever else happens along. There will be soups in the crockpot, bread in the oven and a yummy apple dessert to share.  Samhain night is our Ancestor Supper and a solitary ritual for myself. Oh and of course a fire!!  Speaking of desserts..I have to share a new recipe I came across!!  So simple and soooo yummy!!

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Country Apple Dumplings

2 baking apples of your choice, peeled, cored and wedged into 8 wedges per apple ( 16 total)

2 cans of crescent rolls

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

12 oz can of Mountain Dew or Sprite  (yep..you got it) LOL

Preheat oven to 350*  Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish

Cut each apple as above and set aside.  Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in the dough starting at the smallest end.  Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.   Pour over the dumplings.  The pour the citrus soda over the dumplings.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

*I understand this recipe is All over Pinterest! LOL.

For me, what really represents what Samhain  is all about…. Is the thinning of the veil..the chance to communicate with those who have passed thru the veil….The Ancestor Supper, Soul Supper, Dumb Supper.  Whatever you call it, it represents a meal with your ancestors.  Lighting candles and setting a place at the table, and inviting those who have passed over to come and partake with you,  is a lovely and meaningful ritual.  If you are truly quiet in mouth and mind, you may hear what they have to say to you….they DO want to communicate.  They want to know how we are doing as much as we want to know how they are doing.  It’s our chance to express that they are missed, that they are still loved, that they will never be forgotten.  They may have words of wisdom for us as well.  One of the things I do, is place Rosemary in pots at their place setting.  Rosemary is for remembrance.  Another thing to do for yourself, write them a note or letter and place it at their seat.  Often, one seat at my table, represents All my ancestors..those recently passed and those long gone.  What is your practice? Do you have a Dumb Supper, divinate or scry at your altar, burn letters?  All are wonderful ways to honor our Ancestors on this night.

My Soul Supper Table 2011

My Soul Supper Table 2011

So you busy Witches, smile while you’re busy flying around on your brooms preparing for this most magickal of Nights!  Whether your Night is solitary and quiet, or a huge gathering, or something in between….there is no doubt that you will Feel your most Witchiest, your most magickal, and your most Joyful!  For the muggles, it’s just about costumes and candy…for Us!  It’s sooooo much MORE!!!  Many Blessings for a wonderful Samhain.  May your Path be filled with Mystery and Magick!

*oh…no drinking and flying  LOL!!

Blessings, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Family, Full Moons, Holiday, New Year, Poem, Recipe from my Kitchen, Ritual, Samhain, Seasons

Blessed Samhain 2012…………..

 

 

Merry Samhain evening my friends!   It’s here….the night Witches wait for all year long…The most magickal, spell-binding, veil-walking night of the Year….Samhain!

The weather here fits the night!  Gloomy, drizzly, windy and cold!  A perfect night for a fire, lit candles, warm food on the stove or in the oven, and a nice glass of belly warming wine..or two.  I’ve had the feeling for a while….you know what feeling I’m talking about.  Some say  “like someone is walking on my grave.”   That tingly, sure feeling you get..that knowing that someone is with you…not of this world.  Tonight, the veil opens all the way. To allow our ancestors to be with us….to converse, teach, guide and to just share love with us.  All we have to do is quiet ourselves, breathe…..and listen!

A place will be set at my dinner table for any guest from the other side who cares to join us.  I have smudged the house, swept out the old and negative and left room for the positive for the New Year.  I feel content and Blessed and ready for all the exciting things coming my way for my family, friends and I.   I hope you all feel the same!

So raise a glass on this night of Samhain, the Witch’s New Year….this magickal night of Nights and send Thanks and Love to the Goddess for the blessings of the past and the blessings yet to come.  Have a very Blessed Night!

 

 

Samhain is here, cold is the earth,

as we celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth.

Tonight we speak to those through the veil,

the lines between worlds are thin and frail.

Ghosts and spirits in the night,

magical beings rising in flight,

owls hooting up in a moonlit tree,

I don’t fear you and you don’t fear me.

As the sun goes down, far to the west,

my ancestors watch over me as I rest.

They keep me safe and without fear,

on the night of Samhain, the Witch’s New Year.

-Author Unknown to me-

Love, Autumn

Sources….Poem was in my BOS and I’m afraid I don’t know who wrote it.  Altar pic is my own.

 

 

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Filed under Altars, Family, Goddess, Holiday, Poem, Samhain, Seasons

Samhain Recipes 2012…….

 

 

Happy Sun day my friends!  My favorite day of the week…especially in the Fall 🙂  It’s been a busy day here. I got dinner in the crock pot..a yummy roast.  Then I spent some time packing up boxes for our move.  Got 10 boxes packed from pantry and kitchen and a few other things that don’t require a box.  They’ll go off to the storage room tomorrow.  After that…I have been reading, watching Miss Marple movies (Sara and I love them!) and crocheting a bit.   I’m about to start a fire as well. 🙂

We had a gorgeous day!  Woke  up to thick fog, the red leaves on the trees had an eerie glow.  Eventually the Sun came up and burned off the fog and we now have beautiful blue skies, an early Moonrise, and a bit of a breeze.  Leaves are lazily blowing here and there, birds bathing in the pond and feeding at the feeders and a deer walked across our yard a bit ago…enjoying the weather too.  A day to remember and enjoy!

Now for those recipes…I have been perusing the Fall magazines and my cookbooks and came up with a few I thought you all would enjoy.  So here we go!

Hot Spiced Cider

*I love the citrus and maple flavors of this cider!

1 gallon apple cider or apple juice

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

4 cinnamon sticks

2 teaspoons whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole allspice

In a Dutch oven, combine the first five ingredients. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add to the pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until flavors are blended (do not boil). Discard spice bag. Yield: 4-1/2 quarts

Harvest Pumpkin Soup

2 TB unsalted butter

1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 15-oz can pumpkin

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 pint heavy cream

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.  Add potato and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 mins.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until potato is tender, 10 to 12 mins.

Stir in pumpkin.  Using an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. (You can use a blender too) Stir in 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil.  cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 mins. Stir in cream and heat thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings

Harvest Salad

1 large butternut squash

2 TBs olive oil

2 Tbs honey

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 8-oz bottle poppy seed dressing

1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

8 oz mixed greens

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400* Peel and seed squash, cut into 3/4 inch cubes.  Toss together squash, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Place in a single layer in a lightly greased, foil lined jelly roll pan.  Bake 20-25 mins until squash is tender, stirring once halfway thru.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10-15 mins.

Meanwhile, pulse poppy seed dressing and cranberries in a blender 3-4 times or until cranberries are coarsely chopped.  This will be your dressing.

Toss together squash, salad greens, goat cheese, bacon and pecans in a large serving platter.  Serve with dressing.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 cups all-purpose  flour

2 teaspoons ground  cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking  soda

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups canned  pumpkin

1-1/2 cups canola  oil

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and  baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.    Makes 2 loaves (16 slices each)

Herbed Pork and Apples

1 teaspoon each dried sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 bone-in pork loin roast (about 6 pounds)

4 medium tart apples, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup apple juice

2/3 cup maple syrup

Combine herbs, salt and pepper; rub over roast. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 1-1/2 hours. Drain fat. Mix apples and onion with brown sugar; spoon around roast. Continue to roast 1 hour or until meat thermometer      reads 160°-170°. Transfer the roast, apples and onion to a serving platter and keep warm.

Skim excess fat from meat juices; pour into a heavy skillet (or leave in the roasting pan if it can be heated on stove top). Add apple juice and syrup. Cook and stir over      medium-high heat until liquid has been reduced by half, about 1 cup. Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Apple Sweet Potato Side

5 medium sweet potatoes (2-1/2 pounds)

4 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 4 medium)

3/4 cup thawed apple juice concentrate

1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold water, divided

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

7-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup butter, cubed

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice potatoes.

•Place apples in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Place apples and sweet potatoes in a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish.

In a small saucepan, combine apple juice concentrate, 1-1/2 cups water, sugars and salt. Combine cornstarch with remaining water until smooth; gradually stir into apple juice concentrate mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from the heat; stir in butter until melted. Pour over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

Apple Crumb Bars

3 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/4 cups cold butter, divided

5 to 6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda; cut in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 2 cups for topping. Press remaining crumbs into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Arrange apples over top; set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, vanilla and remaining butter. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly; spread over apples. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Makes3-4 dozen.

I hope you enjoy them, try them.  Let me know if you do! Well, my dinner is ready and I want to start a fire.  The Sun is setting on a beautiful evening.  Nightmare Before Christmas just came on and I want to watch it with my daughter. “This is Halloween This is Halloween!:  :))   I wish you all a Blessed Night!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

Sources:  Recipes from my kitchen, Southern Living and Country Living magazines.

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Filed under Autumn, Holiday, Recipe from my Kitchen, Samhain, Seasons