Monday, August 07, 2006

Taillte's Lammas



The whole August is dedicated to Taillte, the Fostermother of Lugh, Sun God. Not much is known of her, though.

Tailtiu (Tailltiu, Tailte, Teia Tephi) is the name of a presumed goddess from Irish mythology and the town in County Meath that was named after her.

According to the Book of Invasions, Tailtiu was the daughter of the king of Spain and the wife of Eochaid mac Eirc, last Fir Bolg High King of Ireland, who named his capital after her (now Teltown, between Navan and Kells). She survived the invasion of the Tuatha De Danann and became the nurse of Lug. Lug established a festival, Áenach Tailteann in her honour, which continued to be celebrated as late as the 18th century. She died after clearing the plain of Breg in County Meath, and Lug instituted funeral games in her honour at the festival of Lughnasadh.

Lammas

What to eat on Lammas and the rest of the August then?

Now, Lammas is the first of the three Wiccan harvest feasts, and the Harvest feasts usually are only vegetarian
- this is the hottest time of the year, and meat gets easily bad.
But if you have to have meat, try poultry. As rooster is Lugh's bird, you can eat chicken.

What is not to be forgotten from the table at any time during Lammas is bread.

Also other food made of or with grain is good.

How many different sorts of cereals did you know of?
Wheat, corn, barley, oat, rye, rice... any more?
There is buckwheat(tattari), quinoa and spelt, amaranth, sorghum(hirssi) and millet and teff,
then there is durum wheat and Kamut wheat and there is triticale (rye-wheat-cross)
http://www.switcheroo.com/FGGrains.html

Some recipes: http://dmoz.org/Home/Cooking/Grains/

Some Lammas Recipes:
Any recipes on bread
Blueberrypie, blackberrypie and anything else made with berries
Try making some beer.
Try cooking with beer
Anything with pasta, rice and noodles - try out some Jewish Kugels
Epicurious - the world's greatest recipe collection
Just search (recipes - browse - search) with "beer" "kugel" "bread" or "blueberries", "blackberries" or just "berries"
You can also search with any of the grains mentioned earlier ;-)
Recipe Source - same search words
Also All recipes gives some ideas

A Lammas bowl - blend 1 part lemonade, 1 part vodka and 1 part beer - a lot of ice

Food Network has also nice recipes

Like "Beer for Breakfast"

Janette's Buckwheat Blueberry Beer Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Syrup:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup sugar-free blueberry jam
2 tablespoons blackberry brandy
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pancakes:
1 cup light beer
1 egg white
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buckwheat pancake mix
1 cup fresh or frozen (do not defrost) blueberries

To make the syrup:
Combine the blueberries, jam, brandy and maple syrup in a small saucepan.
Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until blueberries start to pop, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Keep warm.

To make the pancakes:
In a mixing bowl, whisk the beer, egg white, honey, and vanilla.
Stir in the pancake mix and blueberries.

Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray the skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
Working in batches, pour in about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.
Cook until browned on the bottom and bubbles begin to form on the top.
Turn the pancakes and cook until browned on the bottom. Serve immediately, with the syrup.

And Martha Stewart.com - Recipes
finally BBC Food - Recipes
They have even a quick link to "Rice and grains" :-)

Old World Lammas Feast


Frytour of Erbes
salad with Blackberry Vinegar
Herbed Trout and Armoured Turnips
Covenstead Bread
Fig Pudding with a Red Wine Sauce
serve with currant or apricot wine or apple cider


Frytour of Erbes (Herb Fitters)
This recipe is from Julie R. from the Pacific Northwest.
"This is from 14th Century England. Use fresh herbs."
Makes about 3 dozen 2-1/2" fritters.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/8 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying
2-1/2 teaspoons chopped sage
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme
6 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoons chopped oregano
honey, to top fritters

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water.
Add salt to flour; when yeast is foamy, add yeast and rest of flour to water.
Let sit while you chop and ground the herbs.
Divide batter in 4 portions.
Add one kind of herb to each portion, (or add four times as much of any one of the herbs to the whole batter).
Fry in 1/4" deep oil by the 1/2 tablespoonful.
Serve with honey.

Blackberry Vinegar
Often used as a beverage this makes a nice salad dressing.

blackberries, clean and dry
malt vinegar
granulated sugar

Place berries in an earthenware vessel.
Cover with vinegar.
Let stand three days (this will draw out the juice from the berries).
To strain place cheesecloth over a bowl, pour in the mixture.
Let strain several hours.
Measure the amount of liquid you have (discard berries).
You will need 1 pound of sugar for every pint of liquid.
In a pan boil vinegar with sugar gently for 5 minutes.
Cool.

Herbed Trout
Use fresh herbs any will do but these are recommended.

4 small fresh trout, cleaned
4 sprigs rosemary
10-12 mint leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 sage leaves
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place a spring of rosemary down the center of the trout.
Chop the remaining herbs and blend them into the butter along with the salt and pepper.
Coat the trout on both sides with the herbed butter.
Barbecue or bake fish until cooked through and the flesh flakes easily.
Every now and then brush the trout with the butter.

Armoured Turnips
This recipe is from Julie R. from the Pacific Northwest.
"This is from 15th Century Italy."

1 pound turnips (about 5 little)
10 ounce cheddar cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Boil turnips about 30 minutes.
Peel and slice thin.
Layer turnips and cheese in a 9" x 5" baking dish.
Sprinkle each layer with spices and dot with little butter.
Bake 30 minutes.

Covenstead Bread
Printed with permission from Spirit Online
If you don't have citron available use a combination orange and lemon peels.

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup finely chopped citron
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons anise seeds
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
Add honey, citron, sugar, and anise seeds.
Stir until the sugar completely dissolves and then remove from heat.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, and fold into the hot honey mixture.
Turn the batter into a well-greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.
Bake one hour.
Turn out on a wire rack to cool.
This recipe yields one loaf of bread, and improves in taste if allowed to stand for 24 hours.

Fig Pudding with a Red Wine Sauce
pudding
2-1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup molasses
2 cup finely chopped dried figs
grated zest of 1/2 lemon or orange
1 cup buttermilk
sauce
1/2 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cups dry red wine
grated zest of 1/2 lemon or orange
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Make the pudding: Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease a baking pan.
Combine baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, set aside.
Cream butter until soft.
Beat in eggs, vanilla, and molasses until fluffy.
Stir in figs, lemon zest and buttermilk.
Stir in the dry ingredients.
Pour into baking pan and bake about 1 hour or until done.
Make the sauce: Cream butter and sugar until light.
Beat in the eggs.
Stir in the red wine, lemon zest and nutmeg.
Just before serving, beat sauce over hot water in double boiler. Heat thoroughly.

Serve over with hot pudding.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Beltane with The Great White


Bealtaine, the Bright Fire, the Feast of White Goddess.
Beltaine is the last of the three spring fertility feasts and the last day of spring, and the first day of summer.

Here's a French site about Beltaine :-)

In Finland mild mead is made a week or two before Beltaine, and then doughnuts are fried on the evening of Mayday, which is called Vappu in Finnish.

It is a nice idea to eat food with flowers and fresh herbs.

Got Mead's mead recipes

Finnish recipe for Mayday fritters (dropbread) and mead (sima)

Mayday rolls à la Tallyrand

About Mayday celebrations in Germanic countries and a recipe of maywine :-)

Beltane Cakes - notice where the recipe is... ;-)

About Beltane and a recipe of Beltane chicken

Goat cheese and spinach turnovers
Asparagus with chives and blossoms

Creme brulee :-)

Cream pie

Beltane Marigold Custard

Flowers as Food
Flowers for Food
Edible flowers and recipes
working with flowers and food

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Birthday with Rangda

Image after Matt Wyatt

Wednesday was my birthday, and Patricia Telesco's "365 Goddess" gives the Balinese witch Goddess Rangda as the Goddess of my 19th of April. It suits me very well :-)

Wikipedia tells this about Rangda:

"Rangda is the demon queen of the leyaks in Bali, according to traditional Balinese mythology. Terrifying to behold, the child-eating Rangda leads an army of evil witches against the leader of the forces of good - Barong.

It is suggested that Rangda may be derived from the 11th century Javan queen Manendradatta who was exiled by the king, Dharmodayana, for allegedly practising witchcraft against his second wife. The tale surrounding this is that she proceeded to take her revenge by killing off half the kingdom, which by then belonged to her and Dharmodayana's son Erlangga, with plague before being overcome by a holy man. The name Rangda means "widow".

Rangda is important in Balinese culture, and performances depicting her struggles with Barong or with Erlangga in that tale are popular tourist attractions as well as tradition. She is depicted as a scantily clad woman, with long and unkempt hair, and claws. Her face is traditionally a horrifying fanged and goggle-eyed mask."

She sounds like a combination of Lilith, Hel, Kali and Medea, all my favorites :-)

The thing with Demon Queens is that people usually don't understand what it is all about. People don't like things like getting consequences for their actions - that Lilith was hunting men who were being nasty to women, or rescued children getting abused or neglected, that's a little detail often ignored. People just talk about how the children vanished and what horrible things happened to the men. If someone even cares to ask "why?" the answer is immediate: "Because Lilith is an evil bitch!" It's like with Lorena and John Bobbitt... he is an abusive asshole, but when he gets what's coming to him, she gets charged and the police goes out immediately to find the cut off penis - which they don't do when a child or a dog has been thrown from a car... Interesting priorities the society has... :-D

Well... as long as the society has these values, as long will the Goddesses like Rangda, Kali, Lilith and Hel be needed.

Now, the dinner with Rangda... is for witches and bitches, of course. No men are allowed. Have a round, red dinner, decorated with yellow flowers.
As this is a birthday dinner, the desert will be a cake, and I love chocolate, so it will be a red velvet cake with chocolate frosting. Not with white frosting. It might be good, but this is not Christmas. You can also make Devil's Food Cake (with chocolate frosting, of course).

To begin the dinner we'll have watermelon balls with ham... ;-) Usually a cantaloupe or honey melon is used, as they are not as juicy and sweet as watermelon, but watermelon has the same melon taste, and is very good with ham too. You can also use any smoked, salty meat, like turkey or... uh, now I have forgotten what the salty, dried beef thing is... it's not prosciutto, but it reminds it a lot. :-)

And as main course... Spaghetti with a lot of fricadellis :-D Do it by your favorite recipe, and make the meatballs just as you like them, and have a good tomatosauce with it, and eat as piggy as you wish. (You can try to make it Balinese by making this tomato sambal and making the meatballs with lamb and spicing with garlic, chili, ginger and coconut...;-))

Here's some other Indonesian recipes:
http://www.indo.com/restaurants/recipe.html
http://www.baliguide.com/balifood/basic_recipes.html
http://www.99bali.com/food/recipes/

Monday, April 03, 2006

Find a rainbow day with Iris


Iris is the Goddess of rainbows and has given name to the rainbow within us all - the iris of the eye.

This picture of Iris is by Josephine Wall. I like her art very much.

Iris is there to remind us all of that all colors matter, not only those on the rainbow, but also the gray clouds, without whom the rainbow would be rather dull indeed... So - try to remember that the sad moments of our life are there to make the happy moments mean more.

There's quite a lot written about the colors, color therapy, chakras and colors' influence in our lives.

Foodways color has been found to be rather important - if you eat all the colors of the rainbow, you can be certain of that you get all the necessary vitamines and minerals your body needs. Also, the human physiology is so created that we eat more when there are all kinds of colors on the plate - our body tries to get to all the vitamines and minerals there are by wanting to eat all the colors.

Eat red tomatoes and sweet pepper, yellow corn, greens, blueberries and grapes, purple aubergine, brown bread and potatoes, white milk... look at the colors of the food you eat. The more colors the better. (Just as long as they are natural colors LOL)

Think about it a little... why is there so little true blue food?


Eat Your Colors
- a scientific answer to the question "isn't the color food idea just pseudo science?"

5 A Day The Color Way
- more practical site - with examples of all the color groups and with recipes and menus

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Crostini with goat cheese and red and yellow tomatoes

Curried Chicken and Vegetables with yoghurt sauce

Colorful fruit soups to dessert


My inner Goddess color is Violet!
© What's your Inner Goddess Color?? © Jen

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ostara


Ostara by Cynthia Rudzis

I would like to make Easter Tarot deck... you know, like the Halloween tarot by another great artist, Kipling West.

Ostara is the Western aspect of the Great Goddess Astarte. Another aspect of this Goddess is the Jewish Ester, who is celebrated around Ostara, on Purim. Purim is on the 15th of Adar month, which this year was on 14th of March - about a week ago.

Ostara is called "The Lady Day" as well, and the Xians call Virgin Mary's Annunciation to Lady Day too. It's 25th of March - about a week after Ostara. The Xians started to celebrate Annunciation in the 5th century of the reckoning, and at that time Ostara was about that date, so it's clear that it's just Ostara in disguise.

So - what would the Lady like to eat with you? Ostara is a feast of liberation and life. The land is liberated from snow and new life is born everywhere. From green leaves and grass to yellow ducklings and chiklets and fuzzy little bunnies and lambs. The colors of Ostara are yellow and green - and all the bright, light pastel colors. The classic Ostara food is eggs and sweets.

So - nine course meal to celebrate Ostara.

We start with an alcoholic aperitif :-)
This is Easter Bunny by "Tiggerwildcat"
You shake three parts Creme de Cacao and one part vodka with ice and strain that on an old-fashioned glass. The you float one teaspoon chocolate syrup over that, and one teaspoon cherry brandy over that. Chocolaty sweet drink to get you going.

You could also take an Easter Egg - pour one part Chambord raspberry liqueur in the class, top that with one part Tia Maria coffee liqueur and on top of it all one part cream. *yum*

You can also make an eggnog.

As hors d'oeuvre
deviled eggs :-) You can also try these baked eggs.

Soup with wild nettles - or use spinach if you can't find nettles.
You can have these bacon - brown sugar -crackers to go with the soup.

Pan-Roasted Salmon With Citrus-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Eat it with selected greens - asparagus is good with salmon, but so are almost all green things - the different lettuces, spinach, herbs, bok choy, endives, cabbage...
Here's a nice recipe "Salmon with Wilted Greens"

As entrée, cold chinese chicken salad

Lamb roast - in Greek way - with potatoes and artichokes baked with the lamb.
You can also serve Moussaka with the lamb.

Then a little salad here in the middle
Watercress, pecan and blue cheese salad

3 C watercress, trimmed and washed
2T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
1/2 C toasted pecans
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
Serves 6

Place watercress in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and olive oil. Divide among 6 plates and garnish with toasted nuts and blue cheese. Add salt and pepper if desired, but taste first as watercress tends to be naturally peppery, and the blue cheese may provide all the salt necessary.

Then some cheeses and fruits.

Dessert: Of course Paschka! It is VERY HEAVY - so just a little bit is very satisfying.

Coffee and maybe some easter candy, if anyone has any room left LOL Maybe you could make some cute petit fours?








Friday, January 06, 2006

Eat like an Egyptian with Isis



In the beginning of the year Isis is being celebrated. Isis is one of the best known Goddesses. She is the main Egyptian Goddess, who was worshipped all over the Roman empire, and who is the main model of Virgin Mary mother of Jesus. Isis is a foremost symbol of motherhood, wifehood and sisterhood, and thus she is the Goddess of Women. Some women don't like the submissive trait in Isis, and choose to worship another face of Goddess. But there is a lot more about Isis people would need to know and find out...

"Isis rules life, magic, fate, civilization, spells, motherhood, maternal love, Nature, Egypt (especially the Nile Delta and the city of Alexandria), growth, decline, decay, regeneration, spirituality, laws, wind, rivers, sleep, dreams, serpents, daytime, moisture, storms, thunder, lightning, secrets, initiation, agriculture, orchards, cycles, war, peace, necessity, navigation, seaports, anchors, sea breezes, the sea, the heavens, outer space, stars (especially the northern constellations), material reality, solid form, the year, conjugal love, household arts, writing implements, medical schools, the Mysteries, and human affairs. She also rules mooring poles, travel by sea, Words of Power, breeze from the North, the breath of life, the crashing of waves, the sprouting of seeds, the unfurling of leaves, the opening of flowers, the waning and waxing of the Moon, the ebb and flow of tides, the cresting and flooding of rivers, and the entire Universe. Isis is the matron of widows, single mothers, and travelers."

I am very interested in ancient cooking, so Isis is going to serve an ancient Egyptian dinner to her servants.
The poor people usually ate bread, beans, garlic and beer, but Egypt was a center of culture already when Isis was openly worshipped there. There were fruits, oil and wine from all around the world - people even suspect that there was a trade route to South America, because they have found traces of cocaine in some mummies... and cocaine exists only in South America. There was a great variety of meats, cattle, mutton, camel, birds of all kinds (not chicken, though...) and a lot of fish. Even pigs were eaten at Nile delta. Milk products were also present. As Egypt was the center of wheat farming area, the baking skills were very high, and all kinds of breads and cakes were served.

Ancient Egyptian recipes
Modern Egyptian recipes

Ancient Egyptian date candy

And here's Nancy's Egyptian Resources, for more recipes, but mainly for entertainment for Isis' dinner - among other things; how to pronounce ancient Egyptian...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Japanese meal with Benten


Benten - a Hindu Goddess who invaded Japan

Benten, Benzaiten or Bensaitensama is the best known Japanese Goddess - she is even more popular as Amaterasu. She is actually Sarasvati who moved to Japan with Buddhism and was recognized as the Shinto Goddess Itsukushima Hime.

Benten is a dragon Goddess who is remembered at New Year. She is a water goddess - Sarasvati was originally mother of all rivers, but there are not so many rivers in Japan, and by emerging with Itsukushima Hime (Ichikishima-Hime) Benten become a sea Goddess. Ocean is the Mother of all things, the Universal Womb, and so is Benten. As such She is also the Goddess of all creation, and especially arts and crafts. In Japan technology is seen as a craft and all science is brought forth from arts. So Benten is also the Goddess of technology and science. Just like Sarasvati.

Benten is often seen as the creative force of Nature - shakti, as it's called in Hinduism - and this forms an idea of that the Pantheistic nature of Shinto makes it actually a Goddess religion. It has quite a lot in common with general Neo-Paganism... no holy scriptures, no absolutes, free individual moral code, Divine Couple, pantheism... there's even a "cast" of "high priestesses", mikos. "Shinto emphasizes right practice, sensibility, and attitude."
About Shinto at ReligiousTolerance.org

Then the food:
I am not very fond of Japanese food. My husband on the other hand is.

Japanese New Year's Food - osechi-ryori
A Japanese Cuisine Dinner Club Menu
Traditional Japanese Food Recipes
Japanese food by Setsuko Yoshizuka
A typical Japanese home meal - Ichiyu Sansai - soup and three

Monday, January 02, 2006

Peacock with Jana



Jana - the Goddess of the New Year

I am very fond of food blogs. I love cookbooks and books about and with cooking, and I love writing too - and then I'm a Pagan too, who loves myths and legends - and Goddess. I think this is a great opportunity to combine it all.

Jana was an ancient Roman moon Goddess. She is the "foremother" of both Juno and Diana - these two better known Roman Goddesses were born with dividing Jana into two, and adding Hera to one part and Artemis to the other.

Jana had two faces, just like her husband Janus - and she could see everything. Her animal was the peacock, with hundreds of eyes in its tail. Jana, as the moon Goddess, used also moon as her eyes, and all the reflecting surfaces, water, shining metal - mirrors. Mirrors are sacred to Jana. At New Year people did a lot of mirror magic, and the most popular entertainment at the change of year was scrying. Jana, the Goddess who sees all, was the Goddess of divination as well, and scrying from water and mirrors are her gift of vision to those who honor her.

Jana's food:

Cooking peafowl
It is interesting how the mere idea feels uneasy... I understand that a peacock is just a bird, not much different from a chicken, duck, pheasant or any other fowl - but I suppose the beauty is meant to be alive... At the medieval times, peacocks were often served with the skin put back on the roasted bird. (Here's a medieval recipe and a modern variant)

Flannery O'Connor's Peacock Chili

Recipes with Moon
It is interesting how much the moon inspires people...

Moon pudding

Eggless Peacock Green China Grass Delight
This is a very fascinating Indian milk pudding spiced with cardamon