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.

3 comments:

goooooood girl said...

Good good good......

Dan n Kai said...

Aloha Ketutar,
thank you for your wise words of wisdom you left on my blog..I like how you think :)
PEace, Kai

sampada said...

I'm visiting your blog first time...i can certainly appreciate the way you write...cake sounds delicious...i'll try it...uphere in U.S. i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients...one of my friend introduced me to a great resource www.myethnicworld.com and i thought that i pass great along as well.