Merry Meet my friends. I know…you are probably thinking..where have you been? I know I know! I’ve been very neglectful of my blog and I’m sorry. I could tell you everything that has been going on in my life…..but frankly, there’s so much going on in the World these days..it would just sound like petty reasons. I have missed writing but at the same time I tossed around the idea of not writing here for a while. I guess I accomplished that…a needed break. But I’m back I think and look forward to writing here again. I thank you for your patience..if you have indeed been wondering 🙂
I HAVE been busy …as many of you have been, I know. My gardens are keeping me happily busy….planting, mulching, weeding, watering, thinning, deadheading etc etc. ….but I find that a lovely chore 🙂 My in-laws have moved from California to be near us, as my FIL is developing dementia and my MIL requires more help. This has been a challenge I won’t go into, but we are managing to the best of our ability. I’ve been still recovering from two surgeries in February that rocked my world too. Suffice to say that I don’t think I’m going to get back all the way to where I was, but I’m doing as good as it gets lol. Nothing serious, just irritation stuff. I have a lot of irons in the fire, and that is why, mainly, that I haven’t written. It was just an iron I let go for a while.
Let’s see, I haven’t written since Ostara. Wow. So I missed Beltane and Midsummer postings but to my delight, I see that many have still come to read my posts and snatch up some of my recipes etc. I’m glad! There is some great info there in the last 6-7 years. I plan to continue sharing recipes as those seem to be my most popular posts.
Now, we are moving quickly toward Lughnasadh or Lammas on August 1st. I so love this Sabbat as it’s that first sign that my favorite season, Autumn, is coming fast! The first Harvest festival! It’s been so hot here lately with way more high temps coming yet, that it especially makes me long for cool, crisp days and knowing they are coming soon makes me happy! I have already been perusing recipes..mostly recipes for breads, fresh veggies, canning, and uses for my herbs in oils and vinegars.
Many of us are harvesting yummy produce from our own garden beds. Red tomatoes, green peppers, peas, beans, zucchini, squash, melons etc etc. Also, I don’t know about you, but I’ve harvested some of my herbs more than once already! Big bundles of lemon balm, fever few, catnip, oregano, mint, parsley, sage etc are hanging and scenting my kitchen in a lovely way. My coven sisters have benefitted a bundle or two as well 🙂 For those who don’t have big gardens of veggies, like me, a farmer’s market is the perfect place to stock up! They are abundant around your town I’m sure and farm stands dot the corners as well. Be sure to indulge yourself this time of year.
I have already made a couple of new recipes I’d like to share. One is for a simple yummy bread that I’m now calling biscuit bread! The other, a delicious cheese-filled mushroom appetizer, however, it would make a lovely light lunch too. I think you’ll like them!
Butter Crust Beer Bread
2 cups self-rising flour
3 Tbs sugar
12 oz regular beer (not light)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350* In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and beer until well blended and a sticky dough forms, about one minute. Spoon dough into a greased 8″x 5″ loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; pour melted butter over the top. Return to oven and bake 30 minutes more, until lightly golden. Cool bread in pan before removing.
Cheesy Mushroom Caps
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (the good stuff, not shaker)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp garlic salt
24 large mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned (I used baby portabello)
1/2 cup butter, melted.
Preheat oven to 350* In a bowl, combine cheeses, whipping cream and garlic salt; blend well. Fill mushroom caps with mixture. Dip bottom of mushrooms in melted butter and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.
*The cheese mixture would fill more than 24 of the baby portabellos. If you use a larger mushroom, it may fill less than 24.
I have put together for the most part my Lughnasadh altar. The harvest altars are always my favorite to do. I love the warm colors of browns, golds, rusts, reds, and oranges. This is my altar this year. 🙂
Lughnasadh or Lammas is all about the last days of Summer, the coming of Autumn, the first harvests, the days shortening, and a reminder for us to appreciate the warmth of the Sun, while it may be too hot some days to be out under that same Sun. Our ancestors had more to do and worry about…putting “up” food for the winter, praying that Mother Earth, the Goddesses and Gods smiled on their crops and brought abundant enough food for them to survive the long, cold Winter. A good crop and storing said crops was hard work and meant life or death! For us, putting “up” food perhaps reminds us of our grandmothers or mothers who fantastically canned tomatoes, sauces, veggies, jams/jellies, pickles etc and filled their pantry with colorful jars all in a row. I sure have memories of my grandmother, in her ever constant apron, doing just that…with grandchildren underfoot trying to help and learn. To this day, I still like to do some canning…..even if it’s just apple butter or strawberry jam. It’s lovely sitting on the shelf, to pull out in the middle of a cold Winter day , and slather onto a piece of homemade, hot bread. Sigh..so good.
Don’t forget to use your fresh herbs to make lovely flavored oils and vinegars. Baking bread is a big part of Lammas/Lughnasadh as well. Watch the sunrise or set, sit under a tree and watch the Sun dapple through the trees. Garden and feel the warmth on your back. Have a picnic with your family. Take a walk and enjoy the brilliant flowers in full glory. Heck…even play Pokemon Go if you want…just be sure that you’re walking to catch those little monsters and enjoying being outdoors. There will come a time when you’ll be indoors watching it snow and you’ll be glad you enjoyed that warm Sun!
Blessed Lughnasadh my friends. May the Sun warm you. Oh and Blessed Full Moon too! May She shine on you also. Also, if I may say a word, in this very angry, sad world we seem to be living in right now…..open your heart to others, spread love, be kind…don’t judge. Be part of the cure, not the problem. We are all just here to live our lives, in our way, with respect and love for others. Blessed Be.
“Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
ripening fields lush-bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn”
-Michelle L. Thieme, August’s Crown-
Blessings and Love,