Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dreaming of October...

Don't I always wish it were fall? It's not that I'm not enjoying the summer. It's just that I long for the season of the witch, all year long.

We're almost ready for Midsummer! Well, y'all might be, but it's crept up on me again and I don't know if I'm going to have the time and energy to get prepared. I don't even have a menu planned. Can you believe that??

What I DO have, however, is a menu plan for every other sabbat through Yule. Yeah, yeah, I know...Priorities.

As usual, I will share the menus now and promise recipes later. I truly am terrible, aren't I? I will even attempt to get some decent photos. I'm just so ashamed to let anyone see how cluttered this tiny space is!

Anyhell, here are some sabbat menus:

LAMMAS
·         Pork chops (grilled) with orange, cumin, chipotle glaze
·         corn pancakes with whole corn
·         toppings: avocado, green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese
·         frijoles rancheros – pintos with bacon, onion, and jalapeño
·         garden salad with Green Goddess dressing: salad mix, spinach, red onion, orange bell pepper, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, sugar snap peas, broccoli florets
·         cherries jubilee with vanilla ice cream  (cherries done outside)

MABON
·         Baked vegetarian kibbeh  (potato, onion, and bulgar with chickpea-pine nut filling)
·         Yogurt sauce
·         Lemon-herb roast chicken
·         Persephone’s salad
·         Ginger pear upside down cake

SAMHAIN
·         Cornmeal-dredged fried catfish with tartar sauce
·         Hoppin’ John
·         Cornbread
·         Apple crisp
·         Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet tea

YULE
First course:
·         Buckwheat blinis with with duck, red cabbage, parsnip, ginger-cranberry-orange sauce  - lightly sauté cabbage and parsnips

Main course:
·         Maple-mustard glazed pork tenderloin with fruit stuffing
·         Duchess sweet potatoes with garam masala
·         Stuffed onions
·         Swiss chard with curry powder and hazelnuts

·         Persephone’s Salad

·         Butternut Squash Flan

Monday, June 8, 2015

Already Planning for Samhain

My heart is rather heavy as I am called to start making plans for Samhain already.

A few hours ago, I received the call that a sweet friend of mine died by apparent suicide. I am not completely surprised, but I am saddened. I'm also a bit upset that he acted on impulse instead of reaching out, but I understand, too, in a way. I've been on the brink of acting on those same impulses. I weep because I had someone to catch me, and he did not.

I have been focusing on sending him love and light and praying that he is in a place that does not know sorrow, sadness, or loneliness. I have also asked that he visit me this Samhain.

As Bill was a good Southern boy, I believe we'll be having fried catfish. I imagine Hoppin' John, a traditional New Year's dish, will make an appearance, as will some cornbread and, in his word, "tooth-meltingly sweet" iced tea.

Rest for now, Bill. I will always think of you fondly. You are welcome at my Samhain table this year and every year that I'm alive to keep it.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Finally cooking again (a bit!)

I bought two bags of frozen chicken wings at Save a Lot last week, and I've been playing around with slow cooker wings.

Thursday's experiment was a success. I just put today's batch in a few minutes ago, so we'll see.

For Thursday's wings, I have to admit I didn't measure anything. I used a LOT of honey, and a fair amount of harissa powder. Harissa powder can be found here: http://www.spicesinc.com/t-searchresults.aspx?keywords=harissa.  I cooked them for about 3-4 hours on high and added a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce toward the end.

Today, I measured. Here we go:

1/4 cup each Major Grey chutney and honey
Sriracha and salt to taste (I may have gone overboard with the sauce here)
3-4 tablespoons sweet curry powder

I put them on low and am going to keep them there for about 5 hours.  I think they will be delicious. We shall see!

What are you up to in the kitchen?

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Simple Day

This isn't a blog post so much as it is me sharing notes I made yesterday. I am pondering setting aside one day a week or so as sort of a holy day like the Abrahamic folks do in order to work on my spiritual side. I would love some feedback, so leave a comment and tell me what you think.


A Pagan Holy Day
-          An experiment in which I attempt to keep up with a plan I make.
-          Also a chance to try to connect more with the Divine within and without
-          Must be a weekend because of our work schedules
-          Martin works every other Sunday
-          Could be once a week or once a month
-          Blog posts/vlog posts

·         Rest and reflection
·         Prayer
·         Fasting  before breaking fast with special meal
·         Rituals
·         Connecting with the Divine
·         Tarot
·         Little to no Internet distraction
·         Music is fine
·         Workshops? Belly dancing, women’s topics, drumming, etc.
·         Little thought of the work world
·         Connecting with friends

Saturday or Sunday?  Once a week or once a month?

Pros:
·         A change to turn off and breathe
·         Simplicity
·         Relaxation
·         Recharging of batteries, both physical and spiritual
·         If held once a month, less pressure to get everything in place
·         Once a month could be the whole weekend
·         Could include camping in the summer (at least in the yard)

Cons:
·         Getting all the cleaning done on Friday night
·         Holding it on Sunday but only every other week (could be a pro?)

·         Once a month might defeat the purpose of trying to get into a habit of doing this 

What else can you think of? I hope to hear from you! 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hummus

The hummus recipe I took to the picnic was inspired by Jamie Geller's Lemon Lovers Hummus   recipe.

1 15-oz. can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tahini (or more if you're like me)
1 large clove garlic
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4- 1/3 cup water to make a smooth paste

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor, adding the water as needed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Check for seasoning. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour hummus into a shallow dish, creating a well. Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle on Israeli zaatar and hot smoked paprika   (use this sparingly because it is HOT).

Serve with pita, vegetables, whatever. I gave some to a coworker who used it as salad dressing.

...It's Beltaine. Use your imagination...  :D


Inching Toward Summer - Beltaine!

Beltaine! Already! I don't know where this year has gone. A new semester starts next week. We're all exhausted, but we have to keep plodding through the days, weeks, and months of the semesters. I plan to take a couple of long weekends to use some of my vacation time. Maybe a 4-day weekend if my friend Author T.A. Woods can come for a visit.

I thank the gods several times a week for the glorious spring weather. It's cold and rainy right now, though, but some days were absolutely gorgeous. I am trying to take stock of the things I have to be thankful for and think less about the things I don't have. Being a better daughter, girlfriend, teacher, and all-around person is the goal. We shall see.

It's nice to be able to cook with a wider variety of ingredients again. Winter can be very limited in certain areas, especially if you are on a budget. I'm addicted to roasted asparagus and have to eat as much of it as possible while it's in season.

I attended a faculty picnic last weekend. I took my  Gobi Manchurian and rice, some lemony hummus (recipe on the way), a big salad with homemade creamy Italian dressing, baked beans, Buffalo turkey meatballs, and corn and green chile casserole. I prepared for two days. There was a buttload of food at the picnic, and of course my lap band wouldn't let me eat properly. I honked.

Speaking of that sumbitch, I see a surgeon on Wednesday. I have to go to Ashland, Kentucky. It's not that far from here, but I have never been there. I have to go alone, and I am super anxious about it. I am going to give myself plenty of time. The GPS isn't always clear to me. I don't always know what's going on. Anyway, let's hope the surgeon is willing to discuss solutions to this gastric band problem. I've had it since 2009. I got it put in when I lived in Istanbul, and other doctors here don't really want to touch it. Assholes.

I doubt my insurance will cover it, but maybe I can at least get him to take out any saline that's in there so I can eat normally. I miss fruit. I'm craving fresh fruit like crazy, but it's too acidic for my pouch right now. I want to eat more raw food, but I can't right now. Grrrr. Let's hope something positive comes of this. If you want to throw any positive energy my way, that would be super duper.

That's about it for now.