Tag Archives: harvest

The Wheel Turns to Imbolc 2016……

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.” 
–  Stanley Crawford

 

imagesMerry Meet!  I hope this writing finds you doing well.  There has been some crazy weather everywhere.  Big snowstorms, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes..you name it..it’s been out there.  We’ve had none of that lol.  As a matter of fact, we’ve had very little snow, still, which is unusual for Ohio and we are warming up into the 50’s for the next few days.  But, still, I know Imbolc comes.  If you truly watch nature..the rising and setting of Moon and Sun, the habits of birds and critters, the trees and plants…you know.

I have been a very busy Witch preparing for Imbolc.  It’s been all about a serious purging of un-wanted and un-needed items from this house.  It feels so good to have less things taking up space in drawers, closets and cupboards. Even knick knacks, things hanging on the walls, and old throw rugs and blankets are going.  I can’t recommend this enough.  I’ve talked about it before, and I’ve done it many times.  But this is the MOST I’ve ever done.  I truly believe I could become almost a minimalist lol.  It’s a great way to cleanse and clean to prepare for Imbolc and well…just Spring cleaning if you prefer.

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I’m unfortunately having that surgery Monday, so I’ll be celebrating Imbolc on Sunday. Imbolc by the way is February 2.  There will be a fire, lots of candles, a feast, and offerings.  I do honor Brighid for this, Her Sabbat, and will do both altar work and another ritual I’ve talked about before.  Before midnight I turn off all the lights in the house and have lots of candles going throughout.  At midnight, I throw open the doors, invite Brighid to come in and bring all the good things that She does…protection, craftsmanship, prosperity, inspiration, healing, growth, renewal and light.  She is always welcome on my Path and in my home.  I then use my broom to sweep out all the negative, old, stale energy from my home and turn on lights as I go along to each room.  It’s such a lovely ritual, gives me a sense of peace and joy. I will often read a bit of poetry, be sure to wear my silver jewelry, and send out healing energy to those I love in need.  Brighid is an amazing Goddess.  If you aren’t familiar with Her, you might want to be.  I’m reading the book “Tending Brighid’s Flame” by Lunea Weatherstone and highly recommend it! You’ll learn a LOT!

The foods that represent Imbolc are seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, flax, sesame. Also raisins, dairy foods, spicy foods, pork, lamb, spiced wines, breads, cakes, muffins, pancakes, scones etc. I would add anything made with milk as Imbolc means “ewe’s milk.”   I’ve posted lots of recipes for all the Sabbats, including Imbolc.  To find them, just use the search box on the right side of this page and type in Imbolc recipes or Imbolc.   I thought I’d share a few more here.

 

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Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400*. In a small bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar and oil; stir in oat mixture. Combine the dry ingredients; stir into batter just until moistened. Fold in raisins.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen.

 

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Slow Cooked Hot Spiced Wine

2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
3 whole cloves
2 bottles (750 milliliters each) dry red wine
3 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place cinnamon sticks and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose seasonings; tie securely with string.

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine remaining ingredients. Add spice bag. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 servings

 

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Honey Wheat Sunflower Bread

2 cups warm water (120° to 130°)
2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup unsalted sunflower kernels

In a bowl, combine the water, 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, yeast and sugar. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. (Mixture will be spongy.)
Stir in the whole wheat flour, oats, milk powder, butter, honey and salt; mix well. Stir in sunflower kernels and as much of the remaining all-purpose or bread flour as you can with a spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves; place in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Cover with foil; bake 15 minutes longer. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

My recommendation…make soup with the breads!  Especially nice on a snowy day, or your Imbolc cleaning day or even just for the day itself.  For some great soup recipes, you’ll find them in that search I talked about for Imbolc 🙂 There is nothing better than the scent of soup and warm baked bread on a Winter day…truly.

I wish you all a very blessed Imbolc for you and your loved ones.  May the rest of Winter be kind to you, may you find peace and joy in the quiet times, and know that Spring isn’t too far away.

 

“I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was not other creature
That saw what I could see,
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.”
– Sara Teasdale, February Twilight

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Books I'm reading, Cleaning & Organizing, Correspondence, Goddess, Holiday, Imbolc, Mother Earth, Nature, Pagan, Protection, Quote, quotes, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Ritual, Sabbat, Seasons, Uncategorized, Winter, Witch

Blessed Lughnasadh, Recipes and a Blue Moon………

3265027486_3541061edf_oMerry Meet!  What a beautiful day it is!  We have had a couple of gorgeous weather days.  Less humidity, sunshine, and nice breezes.  And the Moon…the bright Blue Moon!  She has been amazing!  I’ll be spending a lot of time under Her tonight..absorbing the energy, collecting and energizing Blue Moon water, charging crystals and tools, and drawing Her down.  All by a fire!  I’ll also be putting up fresh wards and protections too, again, using that energy.  I hope you’re taking advantage of it! After all, there won’t be another for some time!

My plans for Lughnasadh are in place.  Tomorrow, I’ll be baking bread and making herbed oils as I do every year. I’m planning on making rosemary olive oil and lemon balm olive oil.  They are my favorites! I’m also going to make my own perfume oils and charge them up under that Blue Moon.  Wearing them will give me that added boost of energy!  If I have time, I’ll be harvesting herbs again as well.  If not, I’ll do that on Sun day.  My grandkids are coming to spend the night on Lughnasadh night, so I’ll have to see how time goes in the morning 🙂  It’s been a while since they’ve spent the night at Nana’s house and we are planning lots of fun stuff to do.  So love having them over, making memories.

I promised I’d be back with a couple of recipes and I found a couple I’ll be trying as well.  You can find all the correspondence relating to Lughnasadh/Lammas if you use the search box on the right here on my blog.  But as a reminder, the foods for Lughnasadh are wheat, oat and corn breads, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, nuts, squash, berries, apples, pears, crab, grapes, beer and cider.  These recipes fit the bill just great!

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Fresh Apple and Pear Salad

4 medium apples, leave peels on and slice thinly

2 medium pears, leave peels on and slice thinly

1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thinly

1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice

1 Tb snipped fresh dill

1 Tb olive oil

1 Tb spicy brown mustard

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, combine apples, pears, cucumber and onion.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour over apple mixture and toss to coat well

Refrigerate.

*Makes 6-8 servings.

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Hot Baked Crab Dip

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

1 cup sour cream

1 Tb lemon juice

1 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp seafood seasoning

1/8 tsp garlic salt

3 (6oz) cans lump crabmeat, drained

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 tsp paprika

assorted crackers

Preheat oven to 325*

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, seafood seasoning and garlic salt.  Fold in the crab.

Transfer to a greased 9″ pie baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and paprika.

Bake at 325* for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Honey Whole Wheat Oat Bread

*makes 2 loaves

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats  plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
3 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining all-purpose flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly butter or spray loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each prepared pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. (Remove 1 loaf from pan to test for doneness. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.)

Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

I think you’ll love these recipes!   I can tell you the crab dip is delicious and so is the bread! The apple-pear salad is a new recipe for me but I’ll be trying it and it sounds delicious!

As the grain dies, it transforms to bread,
and brings us life through the winter.
We bless this bread, and it blesses us in return,
and we are thankful for the gift of the harvest.”
– Patti Wigington

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Lughnsadh and may the Blue Moon shine Her very special energy on you and yours  tonight!  I also want to again thank my readers and friends for all the support for my blog over the years.  It continues to amaze me!  It’s so much appreciated.  I love your comments and when you let me know how my blog may have had some impact on your life, whether you’ve tried a recipe etc.  Thank you so much!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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Filed under Blue Moon, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, quotes, Recipe from my Kitchen, recipes, Thank You!

The Wheel Turns to Lughnassadh 2015…………..

imagesCAO8O6RVMerry Meet my friends!  It’s a very relaxing Sun day here at my house.  We had a wonderful rainstorm early this morning which gave way to sunshine.  Now, it is overcast but it looks like no more rain on the radar for now.  That’s actually a good thing! We have had a LOT of rain. To the point, some of my plants are suffering.  Too much water, yellow leaves, less blooms.  I have completely lost a catmint and several geraniums. But other plants are thriving on the water!

We have also had a lot of cool weather..many days not out of the 70’s with very cool nights.  This..I have loved! Those who know me or read me often enough, know I’m not crazy about really hot weather!  It’s been quite Fall-like on some of the days.  Speaking of Fall, Lughnassadh/Lammas is upon us…this August 1…the First Harvest Festival! The Wheel turns fast does it not?

“The grain to harvest’s cutting falls
to make the bread for banquet halls.
We’ll save some seeds where life’s waiting,
and plant a new field come next Spring.
We shared the work we needed to do,
and now we’ll share the eating too!
Thank you, fruit, and thank you bread,
for making sure that we are fed.”
–  Ashleen O’Gaea,
Celebrating the Seasons of Life

Believe it or not, the days are getting shorter and Autumn is on it’s way. 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. This time of year, though it’s still hot and sultry, it’s also a very busy time of  year for harvesting. For gardeners and farmers alike! We are reaping what we sowed in the Spring.  Our bounty is coming in and needs to be taken care of.  On Facebook, I’m seeing wonderful pictures of veggies, fruits and herbs that my friends are harvesting from their gardens.  The Farmer’s markets and roadside stands are abundant in products from the local farms as well.  Corn is growing to full height and tomatoes are everywhere! It’s wonderful to see.  But I also always keep in mind  our ancestors, and how it wasn’t a hobby, but a necessity of life.  It was their food that would get them through the long, cold Winter months.  Harvesting, putting up, canning, preserving were all very much necessary and hard work!  I always remember this as I give thanks for my small harvest and for the local farmers around me.

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I love that we still can our bounty from our gardens. I love when I hear of someone “putting up” the veggies and fruits, making jams, jellies, sauces and preserves.  Freezing what can be frozen and preserving for Winter’s use.  It takes me back to my childhood when I helped my grandmother do this.  I was a very happy little girl when it was canning day.  I do some of it to this day, but not like she did.  But I believe there are still many of us who do this, despite the fact food is readily available at the store.  There is nothing like the freshness of something we grew, harvested, preserved. Way better in most cases than what can be found in a store!

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There are 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.  Have a picnic!  Lay on a blanket under the stars and find the constellations, watch for shooting stars.  Catch fireflies and let them go. Listen to the crickets, hug a tree and enjoy the fresh taste of a warm-off-the-vine tomato!

If you don’t have a garden of your own, offer to help a friend harvest or can..I bet you’ll be sent home with lots of goodies.  Or visit a farmer’s market and stock up on veggies and fruits there to do your own canning and freezing. I love to make flavored oils and vinegars from my homegrown herbs. They will give your salads, meats, egg dishes etc  that fresh herbal taste all winter long. Baking bread is a huge part of celebrating Lughnassadh/Lammas. 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 dollies or Brighid’s crosses from corn stalks. Have a family game day with the kids and grandkids.  Plan a “tournament” of corn hole for the kids, or croquet, or kickball…playing games is just what the Celts did for Lughnassadh…called the Lugh games. So so much to do for this first wonderful Harvest festival!

Lughnasadh is a great time to start your Autumn cleaning.  There are things to do to get your house ready for Winter now while it’s still warm out. Clean your carpets, curtains, and windows. Have your furnace checked. Clean your coats and winter clothes and hang them out on the clothesline for that yummy fresh, clean scent. Wash your linens and hang them on the line too! Get your fireplace checked so it’s ready for the wonderful fires you’ll have soon. Order a cord of wood and get it stacked. I actually LOVE Fall cleaning…I call it nesting 🙂  Preparing to be indoors, while you can still be outdoors, just makes sense.

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But for now, Summer is still in full swing. Spend time outside.  Feel the warmth, feet on the ground, back against a tree.  Feel the breeze, hear the birds, watch the squirrels, daydream, doze….rest.  They say summer days are lazy, hazy and crazy.  I say that sounds wonderful too!  But yes, bring on the harvest and the Autumn..my favorite time of 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

Oh, July 31 is a Blue Full Moon!  Be sure to use that power! A Full Moon so close to a Sabbat always means lots of energy is swirling! I’ll be back soon with a couple recipes.  Also, be sure to check out the Lughnassadh issue of Imramma Magazine on July 26th! You can click on the icon on the right of this post. I’ll have some recipes posted there too. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

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Filed under Autumn, Blue Moon, Cleaning & Organizing, Family, Flowers, Gardens, Herbs, Lammas/Lughnassadh, quotes, Sabbat, Summer

October and Samhain’s Sirens……….

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Merry Meet everyone!  I hope that you all had a very Blessed Mabon and that Autumn has finally come to your neck of the woods.  I love October! It’s my very favorite month of the whole year lol..as all of you who know me or have read anything here know.  My name ought to give it away as well.  I come so alive when Autumn comes…my heart is brighter, my steps are lighter, my energy level is high and I relish every moment of this most wonderful time of the year! How does it make you feel?  Are you loving every minute or are you just dreading that Winter is coming?  I sure hope that you are all loving it!! Most of my Witch friends of course, are loving it! 🙂

“Crispy air and azure skies,
High above, a white cloud flies,
Bright as newly fallen snow.
Oh the joy to those who know October!

Scolding sparrows on the lawn,
Rabbits frisking home at dawn,
Pheasants midst the sheaves of grain,
All in harmony acclaim, October!

Brown earth freshly turned by plow,
Apples shine on bended bough,
Bins o’erflowed with oats and wheat,
And satisfaction reigns complete. October!

Radiant joy is everywhere.
Spirits in tune to the spicy air,
Thrill in the glory of each day.
Life’s worth living when we say, October!”
–   Joseph Pullman Porter

Here in Ohio we are finally having Fall weather.  Nice days with cool nights.  We were very dry but finally, yesterday and today, we got some rain.  The leaves are changing color…brilliant reds have started and some trees are losing their leaves like crazy already.  We are having fires in the fireplace (so so cozy!), the crockpot is in action and I’m in the mood for homemade breads, baked goods with apples and pumpkin, and soup!  Today, it didn’t get out of the 40’s and I had to wear a sweater!! Yay!!  I have decorated the house for Fall, my spice scented candles are lit often, and wood is stacked at the back door, ready to give us cozy, warm fires for the next few months.

 

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A beautiful “Autumn Blaze” Maple

 

Our garden beds are cleaned up of all the flowers that are spent or ready to be cut back.  I harvested the last of almost all my herbs.  Fennel seeds are still maturing and I always leave some lavender and rosemary for my Samhain altar and Ancestor supper table. I got more then three harvests from my herbs this year. I so loved it and will miss my herb bed over the long Winter.  But I have lots of dried herbs for cooking, my herbal potions and products and of course, for Magick!

 

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My wonderful last harvest of herbs!

 

I’m late doing this but I wanted to let my readers know that it’s time for Samhain’s Sirens!  An online blog written by many wonderful Witch friends of mine.  It started on October 1 and will continue through Samhain.  You will find lots of wonderful Witchy things…blog posts, crafts, music, drink recipes, Remembrances, altar pictures etc etc…and oh….lots of recipes from ME!  I dug out some of my best and favorite recipes to share with you!  Come follow the fun and try to win a give -away too!  The link is on the right here on this blog…look for the icon that says Samhain’s Sirens. Just click on it and it’ll take you there. Once there, you can sign up to follow it so you see the post each day.  You’ll love it! It’s all about putting us in the mood for this wonderful Sabbat!

Mercury has gone retrograde today (uh oh) and we are waxing to the Full Blood Moon.  The veil is thinning..can you feel it?  The wheel is spinning fast to Samhain.  Too fast!  September flew by and I want time to slow down now so I can savor every moment of this delicious Season.

 

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I’ll be back soon to talk about Samhain, share some recipes and have a visit.  In the meantime, throw on a sweater and go outside. Breathe in the crisp air and scent of woodsmoke,  listen to the wind through the beautiful colored leaves of the trees, look for that waxing Moon, feel the Earth beneath your feet before She’s covered with snow, and have a taste of tart cider or apple.  Be grateful for the beauty of this time of year!  Mother Earth is giving us quite a show before She goes quiet to rest.  Blessed Be!

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*All the pictures are my own.

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Filed under Autumn, Full Moons, Gardens, Herbs, Mabon, My Favorite Things, My Writing, Nature, Photography, Poem, Samhain, Seasons

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 …”
–  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.

 

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Orange-Cardamom Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

2 1⁄2 cups sugar

1 1⁄2 cups whole milk

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Orange Glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350°. 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
1⁄3 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! 🙂  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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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! 🙂  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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The Wheel Turns to Lughnasadh/Lammas 2014……

Merry Meet my friends!  How are you all this fine day?  How has your Summer been so far? My Summer has been wonderful really.  We have had numerous days that stayed in the 70’s giving us a reprieve from the normal HOT and Humid days of July. We’ve had a good amount of rain, so lawns are still green and growing like crazy.  I’ve done two harvest on my herbs already and they are growing strong still…heading to a 3rd harvest.  Our garden beds and veggies have loved the rain and the cooler nights too so our flowers are still budding and blooming.  The SuperMoon was pretty amazing too…such energy!!

 

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Now…can you believe it…we are just 11 days from Lughnasadh/Lammas! The first Harvest festival!  Have you noticed that the wheel is turning to Fall?   The nights are getting longer again, the Sunlight has changed, the critters are gathering, even some of my bushes/plants leaves are changing colors already.  Corn is high is the fields, sunflowers are blooming, and yes, Halloween and Fall stuff are coming out in the craft shops 🙂  While we have a bit of Summer left…the subtle changes are there.

“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.”

-Simple Wicca by Michelle Morgan

 

For Lughnasadh, I love to do a few things.  Harvest my herbs (which I’ve just done), make herbed oils and vinegars, and bake bread!!  Making breads from good grains to celebrate the harvest is a favorite thing to do for me.  And the scents that come from that put me in mind of Autumn immediately!  It won’t be long before apples and pumpkins will be everywhere and that just makes me want to bake too!

Magickally, I do a simple outdoor ritual to honor the first harvest, keeping in mind that our ancestors were VERY busy at this time of year to ensure that they had ample food for the Fall and long Winter that was to come.  Planting, tending, harvesting, and storing food took a great effort in order for them to eat when they could not just go to a grocery store like we do.  I love to do some canning this time of year too….this year I’m thinking apple butter, strawberry jam and I might try my hand at pickles 🙂  Seeing pretty jars of colorful goodness in my pantry just makes me happy..and reminds me how Blessed we are in our time.  Kitchen Witchin too makes this Witch very happy!

 

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Having said that, I know that some people aren’t as well off as others. There are people who don’t have enough food.  Keeping this in mind, donating to food pantries or your own neighbors who may need a little help, is a kind thing to do.  Share your harvest if you can.  I often pass tomatoes and fresh homemade bread over the fence to my neighbor, Jane.  No, she’s not hungry…but she lives alone and she is always thrilled to get something I pass over to her.  It makes me happy to do it too.

I thought I’d share a recipe with you for a muffin that is wonderful this time of year. I made them the other day, when we were cool and I was thinking about Fall all day 🙂  Filled with apples and cinnamon and crunchy topping..they are a huge hit at my house!

 

Autumn’s Apple Crunch Muffins

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup soft butter

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced (or your favorite apple )

 

Topping

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

*Blend these ingredients in a small bowl.

 

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Cut in butter until fine crumbs form.  Set aside.  Combine milk and egg and add to dry mixture.  Blend well.  Stir in apples; blend well.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full.  Sprinkle with brown sugar topping mix.

Bake at 375* for 25 mins or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

*makes 12

**ok…it says it makes 12…I only got 8 nice big muffins.  If you want more….I suggest you double the recipe.  Then take some to your neighbor 🙂

 

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These muffins will put you in a Lughnasadh state of mind…I promise 🙂  I want to wish you all a very Blessed Lughnasadh.  I hope your Harvest is abundant, your Joys plentiful, and that Goddess Blesses you this day and every day!

Oh…don’t forget that you can find the past 5 years of Lughnsasadh/Lammas postings, recipes, info etc by typing it in the search box on the right side here 🙂

 

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Pictures are my own.

 

 

 

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The Harvest Moon and Mabon 2013…..

The Harvest Moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky,
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn season is giving birth.
 ~Pearl N. Sorrels

Merry Meet!  I hope this post finds all of you well and looking forward to the start of my favorite season…Autumn!!  I am so happy that it’s upon us.  In the last week or so, except for today and yesterday, we have had a taste of Autumn weather. And after a couple of Summer-like days, it is going to rain and bring in the cool weather again this evening.  I love it!!  There is something about the end of a long, wonderful Summer..when the weather starts subtly changing, the nights get longer, the gardens are about finished up, and you can open the windows and air out the house again. 🙂 My energy level increases, my soul lifts and my mind turns to Fall activities!

Last week I was in Florida, a vacation for just my hubby and I, and my Sea Witch self had a wonderful time.  I had the pleasure of meeting up with a Witchy Sister and we hung out on the beach, feet in the sand and talked and talked. It was exactly as I knew it would be! True sisters in heart and Spirit (love you Dory!)  Hubby and I did the same thing, every day and night, watching as the Harvest Moon waxed to Full over the beach.  It was just perfect!  I was home for Full Moon and Her pull was the same.  No matter where I am, She is beautiful and magickal. 🙂

Now we move on to Mabon..on Sun day.  My Circle will be meeting here at my house for some feasting, fire, and making corn dollies.  I’m making veggie soup and chili, bread and we’ll have wine and grapes and apples  to celebrate the end of Summer’s bounty and the Harvest of it.  The magick and love will flow between my Sisters and the Goddess who is always with us!

My gardens are pretty much finished for the year. I have a few peppers still growing and my garlic is coming up but otherwise they are finished.  Rosemary and lavender is still doing well in the garden beds but all the rest of my herbs are harvested and hung to dry.  The flower beds are still in bloom and looking great, we have some time with them yet 🙂 I plan on planting Spring bulbs soon as there are none in our new yard and there are lots of places to put them! How are your gardens doing?

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So now my thoughts turn to Autumn….of sweaters and jackets, crisp, clear nights and breezy, blue sky days. Brilliant color on the trees and harvested, fallow fields.  Chipmunks and squirrels gathering, birds migrating.  Of woodsmoke and gold/red flames, cider and apples, pumpkins and mums, walks with leaves crunching underfoot, and the Sun rising late and setting early, casting longer shadows and of the Moon, oh our lovely Moon, shining bright on an ink black, starry sky. *sigh*…there is nothing like this Season in my mind.

“Autumn:  bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves, as they spark into wild color just before they die, are the world’s oldest performance art. Everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white and silence of winter. Fall is begging for us to dance and sing and write with just the same drama and blaze.” ~Shauna Niequist

Pretty much sums it up for me 🙂  How about you?  For past postings on Mabon, including recipes etc…just type in Mabon on the search box on the right side of my blog. There are lots of great things in my past postings, including about what Mabon is all about etc.  I’ll be back soon to tell you about something fun I’ve the pleasure of being a part of.  In the meantime, make the most of the First day of Autumn.  It’s after all, about Balance…day equals night.  Stop and think about your life..is it in balance?  Does something need fixed?  Mabon is a great time to focus on that and make some changes if it isn’t!  Many Blessings to you all! Have a great Harvest festival!

Blessings and Love,

Autumn

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The Witches Sabbat……Samhain!

Merry Meet!  It is October!..the favorite month of the Year for most Witches, including this one!  The wheel of the year has turned, Mabon has passed and October has come, bringing cool crisp days, brilliant foilage of reds, golds, rusts and browns, jackets and sweaters are coming out of the back of the closets, garden centers are loaded with Mums, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks, the smell of woodsmoke hangs in the air, and the Witch’s heart and soul quickens…for Samhain is coming, the New Year…the thinning of the veil….and there are things to be done for the favorite night of the year! I’m so excited!

 

       “A white lace of frost webs the sidewalk a kaleidoscope of leaves.  Hillsides are ablaze with flame-colored trees, fields lie fallow and dark, and cornstalks dry to the color of bone in the low golden sun.  The sky promises rain tonight and winds rise to torture the clouds.  Fog swirls down the darkened street, shrouding the candlelit grin of a glowing jack-o-lantern, and the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead grows as thin and insubstantial as the mist.”      from Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

 I love this description…it is so perfect for this time of the year.  Samhain (pronounced Sow-en)  known also as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween  is the third harvest festival of the year.  The God has died, returning to the Underworld, to wait to be reborn at Yule.  The Goddess is a Crone, mourning for him, leaving the world in darkness for a time. It is  a time to honor our departed loved ones and the night when  it is believed the veil between the material world and the Spirit world is at its thinnest and that the dead return to commune with the living.

In ancient times,  Balefires burned on every hillside and great feasts were held.  A place was set at the table for family members who had passed on to the Spirit world.   For the Celts, tis was New Year’s Eve.  In some traditions, Samhain marked a “time out of time,” the ending of the old year, the new year not beginning until the Sun’s rebirth at Yule. Samhain is considered the oldest and most sacred of the Sabbats because it honors the cycle of Life and Death. 

Samhain Correspondences

*Element/Gender— Water/Male

*Threshold— Midnight

*Symbolism— Death and transformation, Witches New Year, wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, Honoring our ancestors, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects, Magick, knowledge.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations—  Jack-O-Lanterns, Balefires, Masks, Besom, Cauldron, the Waning Moon, black altar cloth, oak leaves, acorns, straw, black cat, Crescent Moon, grain, bare branches, pictures of ancestors, candles.

 *Herbs— Allspice, broom, comfrey, dandelion, deadly nightshade, mugwort, catnip, ferns, flax ,mandrake, dragon’s blood, sage, straw, thistles, oak, wormwood

 *Incense/Oils— Frankincense, basil, yarrow, lilac, camphor, clove, wood rose, wormwood, myrrh, patchouli, apples, mint, nutmeg, sage, ylang ylang

 *Colors— Black, orange, indigo,

 *Stones/Crystals—  Black stones, jet, obsidian, onyx, carnelian

 *Customs/Activities—  Carving jack o’lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, costumes, divination, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apples, tricks, bats, cats, ghosts

 *Foods—  Apple, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, cranberry muffins, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea.

 *Gods—  Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Osiris, Hades, Loki, Arawn, Anubis

 *Goddesses—  The Crone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Caillech, Baba Yaga, Bast, Hel

 *Spellworking/Ritual—  Honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, foreseeing the future, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall.

 How can you celebrate Samhain?..besides of course trick or treating, visiting corn mazes and haunted houses, hayrides and Halloween parties?  One custom  of this Sabbat that I love is the “Dumb Supper.”  This is setting a place for the spirit of your departed loved ones at your table and lighting their way to your hearth with carved pumpkins and candlelight. I have done this for several years now and it’s really a special thing to do.  You can set a picture at the place setting or settings of the person you are inviting to join you.  Turn off all the lights and just have candles lit at the table.  Make it a silent meal..no talking….just focus on your loved one you are remembering, and maybe THEY will have something to say to you! 

Dress up for the occasion..whether you wear a costume or put on your best witchy clothes, hat, robe…  It’s your night…dress for it!  Have a bonfire under the Moon.  Throw your dried harvested herbs in to make the smoke even more magickal.  All forms of divination are paramount on Samhain Eve.  Dark mirrors for scrying, Tarot cards, runes, or pendulums are all perfect tools to take advantage of  the heightened spiritual energies at this Sabbat. Set up a table by the fire and do some tarot or rune readings for your friends and family or just see what the Universe has to say to you on this night.  If you are blessed to have some time alone, contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns.

Leave some bread and wine outside as an offering to the wandering souls and the Faeries.  Make sure you have some jack o-lanterns or luminaries lighting the way for them to your home!  The grinning pumpkins provide protection as well 🙂 

One of my favorite things to do just before Samhain, is to have a Harvest Soup Party.  I invite some friends and family over, telling them to be sure to dress warm.  I set up about 3-4 crockpots of different soups…like chili, veggie, potato, and corn chowder.  I have bowls of toppings such as crackers, shredded cheese, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, sour cream, croutons.  I have a pumpkin tureen filled with warm spiced cider..some vodka or rum can be added for the adults.  A couple of desserts such as pumpkin pie and apple crisp round off the menu.  A bonfire is going, bales of hay with fleece blankets are great for extra seating, and bandannas in orange, black, brown and red are great to use as napkins!  You can have a table set up for pumpkin carving for the kids..with the adults help of course. Tell ghost stories and roast marshmallows to finish up the evening.   Everyone loves a great night outdoors with good food and good company….they will look forward to your party every year!

I’ve got my Autumn decorating mostly done today…decided I needed to shop for a few new things for the house and the weather will be perfect this week to go pumpkin and mums shopping and apple pickin is on the agenda too. I’ll be making my famous Amish Apple Pies this next week as well.  Yummy!!

October is a wonderful month and it seems to go so so fast..at least for me it does. LOL!  Be sure to enjoy every minute of it…take a walk or a drive and take in the brilliant color. Visit an apple farm and have a caramel apple or sip on some apple cider. I love to bake and cook this time of year.  When you do cook or bake, make up some extra and take it to a neighbor or someone you know would love it.  Don’t forget the critters! Put out Indian corn, peanuts, and bird seed for those who are gathering for the long winter ahead.  Bring in the last of your harvest before the first frost.  I have herbs to get in and I need to do it tomorrow as we have frost warnings already! 

I’ll post blog soon with some of my favorite Autumn recipes.  In the meantime, enjoy the cooling weather and the change of the Seasons….Happy October!

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
Humbert Wolfe

 

 

Bright Blessings, Autumn

*Sources..my BOS & Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan.  Pictures from the internet. 

 

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, God, Goddess, Quote, Samhain

Mabon Recipes…………

Merry Meet on this last day of August!  I’m sure  you all are enjoying the last of the Summer days.  I hope everyone is ok after both the Earthquakes that hit even my area (I didn’t feel it but heard the rumbling and didn’t know what it was) and Hurricane Irene that was so widespread all along the East Coast….worse in some places then expected and not as bad in others as expected.  I have several facebook friends who were impacted and though they have had some trials with flooded basements, downed trees, and massive power outages….everybody is ok I’m happy to say. 

I am also happy to say that Summer is about over here in Ohio.  This has been one of the hottest Summers on record here…way too many days over 90 degrees in July and August.  Here towards the end of August we have had some delightful days that have given me over to thinking about Autumn as you can tell from my last post. There are some signs of Autumn around my yard and around my town as well.  The stores have started decorating for Fall, some trees have started getting some color, the sedums are changing color, mums are in the garden centers, apples are heavy on the trees.  Ground critters are gathering, deer have full antlers, birds are busy at the feeders and geese are gathering.  I just love it!

So as I said in my last post, I’m going to give you some recipes that I think are perfect for Mabon.  Some I have made and some I plan on making.  These are all from my own recipe box or cookbooks.  You will see a theme going I think when you peruse them….:)  I just love cooking and baking in the Fall.  There is something so cozy about the house scented with good foods in the crock pot or the oven or the stovetop.  So here you go with a few wonderful recipes!

Oh, I always start with an oil blend and loose incense recipe for the Sabbat:

Mabon Oil Blend   

 4 drops Rosemary

 4 drops Frankincense

 2 drops Apple

 1 drop Chamomi

  Use 1/8 cup Almond Oil for Base

 

Mabon Loose Incense

2 parts sandalwood

2 parts pine

1 part rosemary

1 part cinnamon

1 part dried apple

1 part dried oak leaf

This Mabon incense recipe is one of my favorites…it just smells incredible!

Ok, now onto the good stuff for our stomachs!

 

Hot Berry Cider

1 gallon apple cider

32 oz bottle cranberry juice cocktail

8 allspice berries

8 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks, halved

Combine all ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 mins.  Strain to remove spices; serve. 

 Makes 20 servings.

 

Apple Walnut Coffee Cake

 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ cup brown sugar, packed

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 egg

¾ cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped

 Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter with a fork until crumbly; stir in nuts.   Divide mixture in half.  Press one half into the bottom of a buttered 9 ½” springform baking pan to form crust; set aside.  Add baking soda, cinnamon and salt to remaining crumb mixture; mix well.  Make a well in the center; set aside.  Beat egg with sour cream and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth; add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.  Fold in apples; spread batter evenly over crust. 

Bake at 375* for one hour and 20 minutes or until cake tests done; cool in pan on a wire rack.  Makes 12 servings. 

 

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon

2 cups white sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat an oven to 325*  Line the bottom of two 9×5-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Beat sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl, and stir in zucchini and pineapple. Gradually pour in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in raisins and walnuts, mixing to evenly combine. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Working with one loaf at a time, hold the pan on its side and gently tap the sides of the pan against the counter to loosen it. Cover the pan with a cooling rack, and invert it to tip the cake out of the pan and onto the rack. Peel off the parchment paper, and allow bread to cool completely.

 

Maple Autumn Squash Soup

1 lb butternut squash, peeled, cubed and boiled

½ cup butter, divided

¼ cup maple syrup

3 Tb brown sugar, packed

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

3 Tb all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1 cup Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped

2 cups light cream

Salt and pepper to taste

 Combine squash with 4 Tb butter, syrup, brown sugar and spices; mash well and set aside.  Melt remaining butter in a large pot over medium heat; add flour and cook for 3 mins, stirring constantly.  Blend in broth and cook until soup thickens.  Stir in squash mixture, applesauce and apples.  Cook over medium heat until warmed through, stirring often.  Add cream and heat just until soup begins to bubble around the edges.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.  Reheat over medium heat until warmed through.  Makes 6-8 servings.

 

Autumn Tossed Salad

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 bunch romaine, torn

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup unsalted cashews

1 medium apple, chopped

1 medium pear, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries

 

 

In a blender, combine the lemon juice, sugar, onion, mustard and salt. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds. Transfer to a small pitcher or bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, cheese, cashews, apple, pear and cranberries. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Makes 10 servings.

 

Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin

 

1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin

2 Tbs cornstarch

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbs brown sugar, packed

2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 Tbs dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the pork tenderloin in a roasting pan or casserole dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir. Spoon the apple mixture around the pork tenderloin. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove the lid and spoon the apple mixture over the tenderloin. Return to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until pork tenderloin is browned and cooked through. A meat thermometer in the center should register at least 150° to 160°.
Serves 4

 

Apple-Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

½ cup apple juice

¼ cup butter, melted

¼ tsp. nutmeg

2 Tb brown sugar, packed

1 tsp orange zest

2 tart apples, cored and sliced

 Place squash cut side-up in a 13” x 9” baking pan; pour apple juice on top and set aside.  Combine butter, nutmeg, brown sugar and zest in a bowl.  Divide apple slices evenly among squash halves; pour butter mixture over apples.  Cover and bake at 375* for 45 to 50 mins.  Serves 4.

 

Apple Cake with Butter Sauce

¼ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

2 tart apples, cored, peeled and grated

Cream butter and sugar together.  Beat in egg and vanilla and set aside.  Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Fold in apples.  Pour into a greased 8” x 8” baking pan.  Bake at 350* for 40 – 45 mins.  Serve warm with Butter Sauce.  Makes 12 servings.

 Butter Sauce

½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup half and half

Melt butter in a saucepan; stir in sugar, brown sugar and half and half.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

 

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

1-1/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1 unbaked pie crust (9 inches)

 

TOPPING

 

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Whipped topping or ice cream

 

In a bowl, blend sugar and spices. Beat eggs; add milk and vanilla. Combine the sugar mixture. Stir in potatoes; beat until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Combine topping ingredients. Remove pie from the oven; sprinkle with topping. Bake 10-15 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Store in the refrigerator. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream.

6-8 servings.

 

As you can see, these recipes use a lot of apples, squash, nuts, sweet potatoes…foods that are abundant this time of year.  Now I doubt you will want to make all of these for one meal LOL  but there are plenty to choose from in different combinations.  Have fun with them, add just one thing to what YOU like to fix.  Remember to think about the fact that this is a Harvest festival and give thanks and blessings for the food on your table and remember the hard work that goes into getting in there..including YOUR hard work preparing it 🙂

Have family or friends over for a nice meal, start a bonfire and roast marshmallows outside or have the warm cider after you eat by the fire.  Put out bales of hay with old blankets thrown over them for everyone to sit on.  A soup party is sooo much fun to have this time of year.  When light jackets or sweaters will do the trick on a cool Autumn night.  Just make  2-3 different types of soups and keep them warm in crock pots.  Add lots of toppers for the soups, some homemade bread, sweet cider and something made with apples for dessert and you have the makings of a great Mabon!  Light candles in jars or lanterns to add ambiance.  Use Fall colored bandannas as napkins.  Give everyone a small mum to take home as a little gift or bake a loaf of bread for each family or give them a jar of apple butter or apple sauce you made yourself.  The ideas for this Sabbat are endless! 

To me Autumn is the most beautiful time of year but also the season that always seems to be the shortest..so be sure to make the most of it before that first Winter Snow 🙂 

Until my next post, hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and that you all have a relaxing long weekend and if its not relaxing..well then I hope it’s fun!

Blessed Be, Autumn

*Sources…Recipes are from my own cookbooks and my own recipe box.  Pics are from the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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