Monday, December 31, 2007

Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense

Artwork: Marilene Sawaf: Blue Afternoon

Soon will be the Day of Three Kings, three wise men but in Goddess Food we'll be talking about Three Ladies, the Phoenician Three Noble Brides. These Goddesses are Pidraya, Aretsaya and Talaya.

Pidraya (Pidray, Pidrai, Pdry) bat 'Ar - Bright, daughter of Light is the Canaanite correspondence to Celtic Brigid, and frankincense. When frankincense is burned with salt, it creates white smoke and 'Ar means also 'mist'.

Pidraya is a beautiful and very curvy Lady, her light making the land flow golden honey and golden cream... She is the Goddess of fertility and lightning Goddess, bringing the spring storms and life.

Talaya (Talay, Talai, Talliya, Tly) bat Rab, Dew, daughter of Rain, is next of these Ladies. She is also a fertility Goddess, responsible for the moistness - and therefore fertility - of Canaan which lies between rivers, mountains and Mediterranean. She corresponds to Persian Ahurani and Vedic Varunani and to gold - riches - of the gifts of the Magi.

“Riches and glory, endurance and vigour of body, a long life and the shining, all-happy abode of the righteous are the boons that the devout ask from her.” Libations of water were also required. Positive words, actions and ideas are also offerings to her. She accepts wealthy donations if a follower worries they have offended her and, as a general rule, offerings could only be made during the day.”

Youngest of these Noble Ladies is Aretsaya (Arsai, Arsay, Arsy) bat Ya'abdar - She of the Earth, daughter of the Broad Land, and she corresponds to Ereshkigal and Akkadian Allatum. Ya'abdar has a lot of significance, and thus her name can refer to Underworld, irrigated fields and sickness-bringing marshes. Aretsaya is the Goddess of death, sickness and health, sorrow, the hidden possibilities and thus corresponds to myrrha - medicine, suffering...

Roscon De Reyes, Spanish Three Kings.

For the cake
3 1/4-3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (1/4 oz) package dry active yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

For the filling
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup diced mixed candied fruit, and peel
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds

For the icing
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoon orange juice
ground cinnamon (optional)
finely shredded orange peel (optional)

1. To make the cake: In a large mixing bowl stir together 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside.
2. In a small saucepan heat and stir milk, butter, granulated sugar, and salt just until warm (120° to 130° F) and butter is almost melted. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; add eggs.
3. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes more. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour until dough forms a solid mass that can be kneaded.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball.
5. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to coat the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1 to 1-1/2 hours). Punch dough down.
6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough into a 20xl2-inch rectangle. Spread with the 3 tablespoons softened butter.
7. To make the filling: In a small mixing bowl combine the granulated sugar and the cinnamon. Add mixed fruits and peels and almonds; toss gently to coat.
8. Sprinkle the mixture onto the buttered surface of the dough. Starting at a long side, loosely roll up dough jelly-roll style. Moisten edges; pinch firmly to seal. Place roll, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet.
9. Bring ends together to form a ring. Moisten ends; pinch together to seal ring. Flatten slightly. Using a sharp knife, make 12 cuts around the edge of the dough at 1-1/2-inch intervals, cutting about two-thirds of the way to the center. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled (30 to 40 minutes).
10. Bake in a 350° F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil after 20 minutes to prevent over browning.) Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.
11. To make the icing: In a small mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough of the orange juice to make an icing for drizzling. Spoon icing over ring. Before icing dries, sprinkle with additional cinnamon and orange peel, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Medieval Cookery: Twelfth Night Menu

Lebanese recipes
Where Phoenicia used to lie lies now Lebanon.
Fattoush, Hummush, Baba Ghanoush and other Lebanese food
Lebanese recipes collected by Abdallah Hayar

Beyond Milk and Honey - Israeli recipes

Palestinian recipes

As you can see, it's all very similar, mostly the same... :-)

Middle Eastern Recipes
Middle Eastern Recipes - there's 20 different categories, so don't forget to check them out!

Canaanite-Phoenician Basic Ritual
P.S. These Ladies prefer WATER as libation... not wine, milk or juice.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Durga Puja - Dashera

Now, most people who know I'm a Goddess believing Pagan, know that Durga is one of my favorite faces of Goddess. Now, on 21st of October is the first day of 9-days feast for Durga :-)
Nine days for Durga!

Durga Puja .org

It's traditional to serve dishes made of cereals, and every day a new kind of sweet is served to Durga, usually including rice :-)

"On the ninth day or Mahanavami day, books wrapped in silk cloth are kept before the Goddess in the form of Saraswati and worshipped. On Dusshera day the books are removed and the children are made to read or write at least one page as a mark of respect to Goddess Saraswati. Also scenes culled from various stories in the epics and puranas are displayed. The sweet dishes offered to Goddess Saraswati are different variations of milk puddings called payasam."
-- Sanjeev Kapoor
I like Saraswati as well ;-) And milk puddings :-D

Yummy Indian recipe blog :-)

Sabudana Batata Thalipeeth
Delicious tea time snack of sago served hot with chutney.
Serves 4

1½ cups Sago (sabudana)
4-5 Potatoes
2 tsps Red chilli powder
2 tsps Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Ghee to fry

Wash, peel and grate the potatoes. To this add the soaked sabudana. Add cumin seeds, red chilli powder and mix well to form a smooth dough. Make small roundels of the dough. Use little water and roll it out evenly with a hole in the center. Roast on a hot tawa by applying ghee on both sides. Serve hot with curd or coconut chutney.

Coconut Chutney (Nariyal Chutney)
Serves: 4

4 tablespoons grated coconut
2 teaspoon(s) bengal gram (chana dal) roasted
1" piece ginger peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves chopped
4 green chillies chopped
1 teaspoon(s) each of mustard seeds and black gram (udad dal)
½ teaspoon(s) asafoetida powder
4 curry leaves
1 red chilli(es) broken into bits
2 tablespoon(s) oil
lemon juice and salt to taste

1. Grind the coconut, roasted gram, green chillies, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste using a little water. Pour the paste / chutney into a bowl and adjust the consistency using suitable amount of water.
2. Heat the oil in a pan on medium level for about 2 minute(s) till it is hot enough. Add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter and then add the black gram (udad dal), red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida powder. Fry briefly till the gram turns red and pour it on the chutney.
3. Add salt and lemon juice to the chutney.

Saffron and Rose Yoghurt Mousse (Rose Shrikand)

Channa Payesh
Bengali "version" of rice pudding. (The name of the cheese is written in different ways - Channar, Chenna, Chennar, Chenar... How to make Chenna and Paneer at home ;-))
Instead of chenna or paneer, you can use cottage cheese or tofu.

1 liter - milk
250 gms - paneer
4 tbsps - sugar
½ tsp - essence of rose
1 tsp - cardamom powder
25 gms - fried and sliced almonds
25 gms - fried and sliced pistachio nuts
25 gms - fried and sliced raisins


1. Grind paneer to a paste.
2. Mix milk with 125 gms sugar and boil over a slow fire till it is reduced to half its original quantity.
3. Mix in the paneer, cardamoms and nuts and cook till quite thick. Remove from and sprinkle rose essence on top.

another version

Channar Payesh

1 litre - wholefat milk
200 gms - paneer or silky tofu
1/2 tin - condensed milk
2 tbsp - sugar
1/2 tsp - cardamom powder
15 to 20 strands - saffron, lightly crushed
2 tsp - milk masala or slivered almonds & pistachios

1. Dissolve cardamom, milk masala(save some for garnish) in 1 tbsp. cold milk.
2. Keep aside till required.
3. Put rest of milk to boil in a large heavy vessel.
4. Grate or crumble paneer, sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over it.
5. Toss to mix lightly, keep aside till required.
6. Take one tsp. of boiling milk, rub saffron into it.
7. Keep aside till required.
8. Add condensed milk, to the boiling milk.
9. Simmer on low for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
10. When milk is reduced to 2/3 volume, stir in dissolved cardamom and masala.
11. Add paneer, stirring very gently, so as to keep crumbs intact.
12. Add saffron, saving few drops for garnish.
13. Simmer further 2 minutes.
14. Take off fire, pour into serving dish.
15. Garnish with splash of saffron drops, and saved slivers.
16. Serve piping hot, or very chilled.

Bengali Recipe: Durga Puja Cuisine

Indian desserts
Traditional Indian Sweets from Menu Today blog
Indian Sweets

Durga Puja recipes - not only sweets ;-)
Dassera recipes

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A couple of food blogs...

101 Cookbooks
52 Cupcakes
80 Breakfasts
A Cat in the Kitchen
A Hunger Artist
A Veggie Venture
Accidental Hedonist
All Things Edible
Amateur Gourmet The
An Obsession With Food
Anne's Food
Bake & Destroy
Bake or Break
Baking Bites, former Bakingsheet
Becks & Posh
Brown Bag Blues
Brownie Points
Canadian Baker The
Candy Blog
Chef Ledarney
Cherry's English Kitchen
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Chopstick Cinema
Chubby Hubby
Cleaner Plate ClubThe
Clivia's Cuisine
Cloudberry Quark
Coconut & Lime

Confessions of a Cardamom Addict
Cook Almost Anything Once
Cook and Eat
Cook Sister!
Cookie Madness
Cookie Recipe Blog, The
Cooking with Amy
Cooks Cottage, The
Cracked Cauldron Spillings
Cream Puffs in Venice, used to be Cream Puffs in Venice
Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Culinary in the Desert
Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit
Cupcake Frenzy
Daily Tiffin
David Lebovitz
Definately Not Martha
Delicious Days
Dessert First
Dispensing Happiness
Dorie Greenspan
Eat Local Challenge
Eating Liberally
English Patis
Fancy Toast
Farmgirl Fare
Fatfree Vegan
Food & Thoughts
Food Beam
Food Blogga
For The Love Of Baking
Global Gastronomy
Gluten-Free Girl
Great Big Vegetable Challenge The
Green Olive Tree
Gruel Omelet
Habeas Brulee
Hooked on Heat
How to Eat a Cupcake
Humble Pie
I like to Cook
Il Forno
Jaden's Steamy Kitchen, used to be Jaden's Steamy Kitchen
Jam Faced
Janet is Hungry
Jesuit Gourmet The
Journal of a Girl who likes to cook
Jumbo Empanadas
Just Hungry
Kalyn's Kitchen
La Mia Cucina
La Tartine Gourmande
Lick The Spoon
Lily's Wai Sek Hong
Lucullian Delights
Lucy's Kitchen Notebook
Malaber Spices
Matt Bites
Milk and Cookies
My Dhaba
Nami Nami
Naughty Curry
News for Curious Cooks
Nosh With Me
One Hot Stove
Our Patisserie
Paper Palate
Passionate Cook The
Perfect Pantry The
Persnickety Palate The
Pioneer Woman Cooks The
Puu Cooks
Quirky Cupcake
Rasa Malaysia
Real Epicurean
Rice and Noodles
Running with tweezers
Sailu's Food
Sassy Radish
Scent of Green Bananas The
Serious Eats
Seriously Good
Simply Recipes
Smitten Kitchen
Soul Fusion Kitchen
Sour Dough The
Sustainable Table
Tea and Cookies
Thorngrove TableThe
Tigers & Strawberries
To Short Term Memories
Too Many Chefs
Travelers LunchboxThe
Use Real Butter
Vanielje Kitchen
Vanilla Garlic
Vanille & Chocolat
Vegan Feast Kitchen
Vegetable Adventures
Veggie Venture
Veronica's Test Kitchen
Village VegetableThe
Wandering Chopsticks
Wednesday Chef
Well-seasoned Cook the
What We're Eating
What's For Lunch, Honey?
Who Wants Seconds?
World On A Plate
Writing at the Kitchen Table
Xochitl Cooks
You Are What You Eat
You Gonna Eat All That?
Zinfully Delicious

Sunday, July 08, 2007


LOL Yes, yes, I know... this is the Goddess Patricia Telesco gives for today, July 8th.
Who is this Buddha Bodhi Prabha Vasita?

"Personifies spiritual regeneration and the power of light to overcome any darkness in our lives.
She has the ear of Buddha, making her a mediator and teacher of universal truths.
Go through your living space making lots of noise to banish negativity within.
Turn on all the lights to literally "turn on" this goddesses power to overcome any problems, tensions and residual bad feelings.
Wear something yellow to invoke Buddhabodhiprabhavasita's insight within yourself.
Use any wheel as the focus for your prayers. {write your needs on your car tires, or attach to bicycle spokes so that each time the wheel goes around, your prayer goes out to Buddhabodhiprabhavasita!"

Buddha and Bodhi are basically the same - Bodhi means enlightenment and Buddha The Enlightened
Prabha is the Universal Light and one of the names of Lakshmi
Vashita is the Goddess of Air and communication - she controlls the senses and thus can make you see and hear what ever she wants. (Vasitas are minor Buddhist Goddesses)
So Buddhabodhiprabhavasita is one of Lakshmi's aspects, the Light and Air that carries communication - that makes communication possible.

I find it very interesting that the rune for wheel, Rad, stands for travel of mind and body - communication, advice, council...


Tibetan food is similar to Chinese, but because Tibet is so high in the mountains, it's always warm and warming :-)

Here some Tibetan recipes. Don't forget to try the Butter Tea.
Milk products and meat are very important in Tibet, perhaps because there isn't much else to eat. Most old style Tibetan's don't eat "grass" - vegetables.
In Tibet the meat is most often cooked whole, pot roast.
Here's a couple more of Tibetan recipes and here yet a couple. Here's quite a many, among them desserts.
Recipezaar has 9 recipes claimed to be Tibetan.
Here's a vegetarian suggestion for the roast.

Then I suggest you make some doughnuts, which really have nothing to do with Buddhabodhiprabhavasita, except that they are round and very good ;-)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Columbia and Libertas

It's the American Independence Day. I doubt ANYONE can miss that little piece of fact... so I present two Goddesses especially important to Americans.

Columbia is USA personified, Libertas (Lady Liberty) is the personification of freedom.

There are several personified countries as Goddesses - The Maiden of Finland, Mother Svea in Sweden, Britannia and the French Marianne. There are several pictures with these national personifications depicted in different situations, like the painting of Libertas Marianne leading the revolutionary people by Delacroix, or several cartoons with the Mother of the Country either disciplining some politician or being bashed by the enemies of the country etc.

Libertas is the most commonly used Goddess to "double" as the National Personification among countries that have fought for their independency.

So - what to eat on the USA Independence Day?

It is tempting to concentrate on junk food - the fatty, salty food, high of refined carbs, white wheat flour and sugar... The American food is sweeter than food anywhere else. But the truth is that even though USA made fast junk food world famous, that's not all what the American cuisine is about. USA has a wonderful food culture, and it's a pity that has been buried under hamburgers, pizza and French fries. (No, not "Freedom Fries". That's just STUPID!!!)

So - I'll give you just one link - to my "Holidays" group in Care2, and the American Independence Day thread there... If you are not inspired and positively surprised by the fact that there's a LOT more than fat and sugar in USA, then you are probably American ;-) :-D

Have a lovely Independence Day, Yankees and Dixies :-)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Benzaiten and Bento

Benzaiten or Benten is a Japanese Goddess, associated with Goddess Saraswati. She's the Goddess of Music, Poetry, Learning, Art and the Sea and Protector of Children, the only female among the seven lucky Deities. She is associated with snakes and dragons.

"Her temples and shrines are almost invariably in the neighborhood of water -- the sea, a river, or a pond. She is the patroness of music, the fine arts (dancing, acting, visual), and good fortune in general, and is often shown carrying a biwa (Japanese mandolin) or playing a lute. She is often represented as a beautiful woman with the power to assume the form of a serpent, or shown seated on a dragon or serpent and playing a lute. In fact, the snake is almost always associated with Benzaiten, who was originally a Hindu deity (Sarasvati) who represented learning, music and poetry. Such artistic learning and wisdom often bring prosperity, hence her inclusion in the Japanese group of seven luckies. She also has a jewel that grants desires. Some say it is a jade, while others say it is a pearl."

I think the Bento boxes fit perfectly with Benten - Bento is Japanese lunch box, usually seafood and often made for children, and the name reminds also of the Goddess :-)

Visit Bento Corner, a blog committed to Bentos :-)
Also, you can admire the imaginative Bentos at Flickr
Sakurako Kitsa's Jaws Bento
Cooking Cute, a site about Bentos with recipes, gallery and bento suggestions.
and Bento Box is a really cute and concise site :-)

Some hot dog cutting instructions

Monday, January 22, 2007

Saint Agnes - Annis the Black Hag

"Some say that the legend of Agnes sprang from the cult of the Danish goddess Yngona."

St. Agnes by Shonnie Scarola
St. Agnes by Catherine Fournier

One of the biggest insults the Christianity has offered to Paganity is "Christening" the Pagan Gods. Annis, a strong and independent Virgin Goddess was made on the one hand into a hideous blue-faced crone, and on the other into this innocent and pure child. Both ways made that the Pagan Goddess was reduced.

Interesting little detail here is that in Swedish, the place where all the witches go to dance on Beltane is called "Blåkulla" "Blue Hill". "Kulla" also means "girl". In Finland this hill was said to be made of glass and so polished only virgins could get up there. So there's a nice correlation between the Agnes, protector of innocent girls, and the hideous blue witch Annis. I'm sure to anyone who was trying to violate virgins, a meeting with Annis was horrifying experience, and afterwards the reason to the meeting was played down, and the hideousness of the avenging and protecting Goddess was played up. And, sure, if you don't know that a person is being punished for rape, the punishment might seem unfair and evil.

nnis day feast

Perfect Entertaining: Six Course Rack of Lamb Menu
Hinamatsuri - Girls' Day in Japan