NWK

NWK

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturn and The Sun

Foods ruled by Saturn are used for magical changes and include beets, cheese, tamarinds, quince and vinegar.

Foods ruled by The Sun are used for healing, protection, success, magical and physical energy, strength, health and spirituality. This list includes alcohol, believe it or not, along with bammboo, bay, cashews, chestnuts, dried foods such as fruits, grapefruit, hazelnuts, honey, kumquats, lime, raisins, red wine, rice, rosemary, saffron and sesame.

Source: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Weekend and Venus

Friday is ruled by Venus. Energies include love, of course, along with beauty, prosperity and friendship.

Saturday is ruled by Saturn. Energies include removing obstacles, magical cleaning, and addressing issues or problems.

Sunday is ruled by the sun and energies include authority, success, and goal achievement.

Foods ruled by Venus:
alfalfa sprouts, apples, apricots, cherries, guavas, licorice, nectarines, oats, peas, peaches, pears, avocados, barley, blackberries, persimmons, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, rye, spirulina, strawberries, Brazil nuts, cardamom, carob, sugar, sweet potatoes, thyme, tomatoes, truffles, vanilla and wheat.

Make a strawberry smoothie with some spirulina for love and good health. Share with your love.

To attract love, carve a heart into an apple. As you eat it, visualize yourself in a loving relationship.

Make a fruit salad using whatever is in season.

Bake a cherry pie for love and beauty. Offer some to Venus.

Notice that a lot of these foods are good for hair and skin. They promote beauty on the inside and the outside!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thursday is ruled by Jupiter. It is a good day to work for Abundance, Luck, Prosperity and Health.

The foods of Jupiter are useful in promoting money, employment and overall prosperity. Foods ruled by Jupiter include:

allspice, anise, buckwheat, cloves, dandelion, eggplant, endive, figs, macadamia nuts, mace, millet, nutmeg, peanuts, sage and spinach.

Expensive foods such as caviar are good for abundance and prosperity, as are rich foods such as chocolate mousse or fois gras. These things are out of the price range of most of us, however. Meats such as beef, pork and chicken are also good for abundance and prosperity and don't typically cost an arm and a leg.

Splurge on a good cut of beef, or make a stir-fry with Chinese five-spice powder and a cheaper cut of meat. Five-spice powder includes star anise.

Make roast pork with dried fig sauce (Giada DeLaurentiis has a good recipe for this on foodtv.com)

Make eggplant parmesan.

Serve my Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon.

Charge a handful of peanuts with your intent and visualize as you eat. Do the same with macadamia nuts, or make some macadamia nut cookies. Eat before a job interview.

Happy Mabon!

In lieu of posting new recipes (because I've been busy and haven't been in the kitchen as much as I'd like and I've no one to feed!), allow me to recommend a few favorites from past posts.

http://witchsrecipes.blogspot.com/search/label/mabon

http://witchsrecipes.blogspot.com/search/label/autumn

http://witchsrecipes.blogspot.com/search/label/spinach (This includes an Imbolc recipe that would also be good for Mabon, or Ostara for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere)

The black bean soup is delicious and creamy, with flecks of cilantro running through it. Make it as a starter to your harvest feast. Serve it with the cornbread for a full meal.

The corn chowder is nice a hearty and would make a meal on its own with some homemade bread and wilted greens

I hope everyone has a blessed Mabon and I hope that all your harvests are successful.

Happy Ostara to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere! A blessed spring to you all.

http://witchsrecipes.blogspot.com/search/label/ostara

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday - Mercury

Wednesday is ruled by Mercury. The magical energies for this day are for communication, travel, wisdom, intelligence, and creativity. This Wednesday is also the day before the full moon.

Foods ruled by Mercury are useful for strengthening the conscious mind, divination, studying, self-improvement, communication and wisdom. These foods include:

almonds, beans, caraway, celery, chervil, dill, fennel, marjoram, may apple, mulberry, mung sprouts, oregano, parsley, pecan, peppermint, pistachio, pomegranate, turmeric


Ideas for foods to eat on this day would be fish (a brain food) paired with chervil, dill, femmel, marjoram, parsley, and/or oregano.

Make a trail mix with dried fruits and almonds, pecans and pistachios. Eat while studying or before taking an exam.

Monday, September 20, 2010

For Mars and Tuesday

The energies of Mars rule Tuesday. Tuesday is a day for working on passion, discipline, athleticism, bravery and courage.

Foods ruled by Mars include:

Artichokes, asparagus, bananas, barbecued foods, basil, beer, black pepper carrots, chili, chile rellenos, chives, chocolate, coffee, coriander, cranberry, cumin, flaming foods (Crepes Suzette, anyone?), fried foods, garlic, ginger, horseradish, leeks, mustard, pine nuts, poke, prickly pears, radishes, salsa, spicy foods, tea, tempura, and watercress.

Ideas:

Mix up a curry with garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin. The spice mix will inflame the senses and increase passion.

Go out for Mexican food and order a chile relleno. Eat plenty of chips and salsa.

Mix up a batch of basil pesto with pine nuts.

Just eat a chocolate bar. It will calm your nerves and increase bravery. Visualize this happening as you savor it.

For athleticism, first hit the gym, then have a nice granola bar with chunks of chocolate in it. You'll feel invincible!

It takes not only courage to eat spicy foods, but also the discipline to get used to the heat and build up a tolerance. Start slowly if you aren't used to spicy foods, or just use the spices listed above if you can't eat hot foods.

The Moon's Foods

The following foods are ruled by the moon and are useful for stimulating your psychic awareness. They are also utilized in healing, purification, promoting sleep, love, friendships, spirituality, fertility, peace and compassion.

Blueberry
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Butter
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chickweed
Coconut
Cucumber
Egg
Grape
Grapefruit
Ice cream
Lemon
Lentil
Lettuce
Melon
Milk and milkshakes
Mushroom
Omelet
Papaya
Passion fruit
Poppy
Potato
Pumpkin
Seaweed
Souffle
Soup
Soy
Watermelon
White whine
Yogurt

Ideas:

Pumpkin pie smoothie - Mix 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup pureed pumpkin, 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk and some ice cubes in your blender

Mushroom soup or a mushroom omelet

Lentil or potato soup

A salad with lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower dressed with lemon juice and olive oil

Sushi

Source for foods: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Happy Monday!

Monday, the Moon's day, is for your creative endeavors. If your creative endeavors involve trying for a baby, here are some foods to help you on your way.

Figs
Grapes
Mulberries
Pomegranates (beautiful little symbols of the womb!)
Barley
Eggs
Egg breads such as brioche
Hazelnuts
Milk
Poppy seeds
Rice
Sesame - seeds and paste (tahini)
Watercress
Rabbit

Today would be a good day to make that kabak tatlisi I posted the other day. Eat it before starting your next creative project and visualize!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sun and Moon Dessert

This is a Turkish recipe that combines elements of fire with water. It features pumpkin, which is perfect for Mabon and Samhain. Eat it at the equinox to celebrate balance. It's good any time you want to balance masculine and feminine energies.


Kabak Tatlisi

Ingredients:
1 smallish pumpkin*, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (Moon, Earth, healing, money)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water

* you want a good pound of pumpkin pieces. You can also use butternut squash, which is also a Sun-ruled vegetable.

Crushed hazelnuts (Sun, Air, wisdom, conscious mind, fertility)
Tahini (sesame paste) (Sun, Fire, Sex, fertility, money, protection)

Place the chunks of pumpkin in a large pot. Sprinkle with sugar. Let this set for several hours, until some of the liquid from the pumpkin has drained. Add extra water if needed.

Cook the pumpkin uncovered on medium-low heat until tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. The pieces of pumpkin will be darker in color and most of the liquid will be gone.

To serve, plate up the pumpkin pieces, pour on tahini and sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts.

This can also be served with clotted cream and grated pistachios in place of the tahini and hazelnuts, but this is the version I prefer.

"Lady of the silver moon
Lord of the golden sun
I take both energies within me
And make them one"

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Apple, Part II

In folklore, apples have many different powers. These include immortality, eternal youth, love and divination.

On All Hallow's Eve, it is believed that an apple peel thrown over the shoulder will land in the first letter of the name of your suitor. Another method of divining the name of one's suitor is to name apple seeds for each suitor. The apple seeds are then placed on the forehead or cheeks. The last seed to fall represents your love.

As Witches know, the apple has a five-pointed star within. Slice the apple horizontally and place in a cup of warmed apple cider to add a little extra oomph to this warming love potion. Add cinnamon and cloves for extra warmth.

More apple lore from homesteadarts.org:

# The golden apples of the Hesperides were sought by Hercules for their ability to give immortality. In Scandinavia, the perpetual youth apples were kept by Idhunn in Asgard.

# An apple tossed to Conie, son of Conn, by the woman from the Land of the Living provided sustenance to him for a month, but made him long for her and her land, as was her plan.

# Gna, messenger of the Scandinavian Frigga, dropped an apple to King Rerir who ate it with his wife, who then bore a child. Frey sent eleven golden apples to Gerda as a marriage offer.

# The Greek goddess Atalanta was won by a suitor who threw down golden apples to distract her from their race, which he then won.

# An apple in the Arabian Nights cured every ill.

# In Black American folklore, apple-shaped birthmarks can be cured by rubbing with an apple and eating apples.

# In Danish, German, and English folklore, and in voodoo, apples are used as love charms.

# A Danish fairytale uses an apple as a chastity test. The apple fades if the owner is unfaithful.

# Apples are used in divination in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. In fact, the custom of diving for apples and catching one on a string is a remnant of druidic divination.

# The Apple of Discord, inscribed For the Fairest, was given by Paris to Aphrodite, causing a quarrel among the goddesses and helping to bring about the Trojan War.


Mulled Cider

1 gallon fresh, unfiltered apple cider
1 orange, washed and sliced
1 apple, washed and sliced horizontally to reveal the star
15 cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4-5 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)

Pour the cider into a pot and heat on medium-high. Stud the orange slices with cloves. Add the fruit, cinnamon sticks and spices. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Strain to remove any sediment. Serve with a cinnamon stick in each cup, if desired.

For the adults: Add a touch of rum or brandy.

Food of Love: The Apple

Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Energies: Love, health, peace

Apples have been eaten since the Paleolithic era. To the ancient Egyptians, they were a highly valued food. Baskets of apples were offered to Hapy, the Egyptian god of the Nile. Iduna, a Norse goddess, guarded a store of apples that, when eaten, gave the gift of perpetual youth to the other goddesses and gods. The Yoruba still offer apples to Chango.

Apples are linked with spirituality in the British Isles, particularly with Avalon.

Apples were once rubbed before eaten in order to move the demons or evil spirits that were thought to reside within. The mere smell of a fresh apple was once thought to betwoe longevity and restore physical strength.

For love, carve a heart into the skin of a fresh apple before eating it. Visualize yourself attracting love and being in a loving relationship. Share an apple with your lover. Bake a cinnamon-scented apple pie or drink cold or warm apple cider.

This Samhain, or even Mabon, whip up a batch of love-red candy apples or beautiful, creamy caramel apples to share with loved ones. Inscribe symbols of love into the candy or caramel coating before hardening.

Candy Apples:

8 medium sized apples, preferably one with firm, crisp flesh (Granny Smith is my favorite)
8 wooden sticks
3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

Wash and dry the apples. Remove any stems or leaves and insert a wooden stick into the end of each apple. Set apples aside.

Heat and stir sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the syrup reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until a little syrup dropped into cold water separates into breakable threads.

Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and food coloring, if using.

Dip one apple completely in the syrup and swirl it around a little with the stick to coat. Hold the apple above the saucepan to drain off excess. Place apple, with the stick facing up, on a well greased pan.

Repeat with remaining apples. If syrup thickens or cools too much, simply reheat briefly before proceeding. Let cool completely before serving.

Variation: Before completely cooled, dip the apples in some heart-shaped sprinkles for love.


Caramel Apples:
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
8-10 wooden sticks
8-10 medium tart apples

Wash and dry the apples, removing any stems. Insert a wooden stick into the end of each apple.

Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 30 to 40 minutes, or until syrup reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage) on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Dip each apple into the caramel mixture, swirling to coat. Set apples on wax paper to cool completely before serving.

Sources: Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen
allfreecrafts.com

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pine Nuts

Planet: Mars
Element: Air
Energies: Money, physical strength, love

Pine nuts have long been an important food source for many. They have been and are eaten in the Mediterranean, and were an importance source of essential fats for American Indian tribes.

Eat pine nuts for money or love. Make stuffed vine leaves with rice and pine nuts for a triple dose of money magic, or make basil pesto with pine nuts for love.

Pecans

Planet: Mercury
Element: Air
Energies: Money, employment

Eat pecans when seeking employment.

Pecans are falling from the trees here in the South. It's time to pick up a sack and start collecting! Imagine a warm, gooey homemade pecan pie devoured at the next new moon. What a delicious way to stir up some money magic! I also added pecans to my Prosperity Shortbread.

Pecan Pie recipe from www.simplyrecipes.com


Ingredients

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1 9-inch pie shell, chilled for an hour if freshly made, defrosted for 10 minutes if frozen.
Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.

2 Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to use a pie crust protector, or tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning.

3 Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Serves 8.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Autumn's Bounty: Squash

Information courtesy of Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Energies: Spirituality

Lore: Squash was cultivated in the Americas as early as 4000 B.C.E. Several Indian tribes honored this plant. One striking Hopi kachina is depicted with a squash head, and squash blossom necklaces are modern reminders of the original sacredness of this simple plant.

Magical uses: Eat this vegetable in dishes designed to increase awareness of the nonphysical reality around us. It is a fine spirituality-inducing food. At least for magical purposes, a squash is a squash, baked or fresh, acorn, hubbar, or zucchini.

Many people, of course, dislike squash. If you're one of them. avoid this food or eat sweetened zucchini bread.

My favorite zucchini dish is mucver, a Turkish zucchini fritter.

Recipe from almostturkish.blogspot.com
http://almostturkish.blogspot.com/2009/07/zucchini-fritters-mucver.html

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Sad Day at Koc

Today I learned that one of my former students collapsed and died during the TOEFL exam at Koc University. She will be buried tomorrow. She was maybe 20 years old. I don't know what happened yet, but I hope it will become more clear. Please keep the family of Gamze Kadriye Ertici in your prayers. Thank you.

Libations for Mabon and Samhain

I'm not a mixologist, but I'm damn good at googling things. Here are some recipes for drinkies to serve those of legal drinking age. Why stop at plain ol' apple cider (delicious though it may be)?

Herb's Harvest Cocktail
(cocktails.about.com)

* 2 parts Herb’s Rosemary vodka
* 1/2 part pear puree
* 1/2 part lemon juice
* 1/4 part almond syrup
* 3/4 part cranberry juice (optional)
* sprig of rosemary for garnish

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Shake well.
3. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
4. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.


This would be perfect for Samhain, as rosemary is an herb for remembrance. You could mix up a pitcher and use it to toast your ancestors.

For Mabon - Fall Spice Cordial (cocktails.about.com)

* 1 oz Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur
* 1 oz Bourbon
* 3/4 oz Chipotle-orange syrup (recipe below)
* 2 Dashes Regan's Orange Bitters
* Orange peel, for garnish
* --
* Additional ingredients needed:
* water
* Chipotle pepper
* fresh orange peel
* sugar

Preparation:

1. Mix together all ingredients except for the orange peel.
2. Shake together with ice and strain into a martini glass.
3. Garnish with the orange peel.

Chipotle-Orange Syrup

* 2 Cups water
* 1 Chipotle pepper
* 2 Strips fresh orange peel
* 3/4 Cup sugar

1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Reduce to a simmer and add the chipotle pepper and orange peel.
3. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain with a fine-mesh sieve and add the sugar.
4. Return to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.
5. Remove from the heat and let cool.
6. Pour the syrup into a container and keep in the refrigerator.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This Week's Festivities

The following festival information comes from The Wicca Book of Days by Gerina Dunwich. Food suggestions are from my mind, and any recipes are from teh interwebz.

Sept. 4

At sunrise on this day, the Changing Woman Ceremony is held annually by the Native American tribe of the Apache in Arizona. The rite, which lasts four consecutive days, marks the coming of age of a pubescent girls, who ritually transforms into the spirit-goddess known as Changing Woman and blesses all who are in attendance.

Food suggestion to mark this event: I recommend making a batch of Cait Johnson's Three Sisters Harvest Stew. Squash, corn and beans are important plants to many Native American tribes.


Three Sisters Harvest Stew by Cait Johnson (Witch in the Kitchen)

2 tablspoons olive oil (TB)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lg. carrot, ch9opped into 1-in. pieces
3/4 cup butternut squash, cubed
1 can beans, drained (pintos, for example)
1 cup giant dried white corn, soaked overnight in cold water and then simmered in boiling water until tender, or 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. crumbled dried sage
sea salt
1 chipotle pepper (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Water or vegetable broth, as needed

In a large stew pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and stir to coat with the oil.

Saute until golden, then add the garlic, carrot, squash, beans, corn, sage and sea salt to taste, and the chipotle pepper, if you desire. Though the pepper is optional, the smoky taste is reminiscent of the first hearth fires of the season, perfect for autumn.

Simmer the stew, adding the water or broth as needed, until the squash is tender, then add the parsley and stir thoroughly. Serve piping hot.


Sept. 5


In ancient Rome, the Roman Games, in honor of the god Jupiter, begin annually on this date and lasted until the thirteenth day of September.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of good luck and prosperity, is honored on this day throughout Indian with a parade and a festival of rejoicing.

Recipe suggestion: Muttar Pulao (recipe on my other blog). This is a dish of peas and rice. Rice is a good food for prosperity, and peas are for love.


Sept. 6


An ancient Inca blood festival called Situa was held annually on this date to ward off the evil spirits of illness and disease. As part of the ceremony, parents would eat a special cake consecrated with the blood of their offspring.

Recipe suggestion: Make thumbprint cookies with your children. Eat the cookies that have been consecrated with the thumbprint (and fingers) of your precious ones.


Sept. 7

Healer's Day. This is a special day dedicated to all women and men who posesss the Goddess-given gift of healing and who use it unselfishly to help others.

Daena, the Main Goddess of the Parsees, is honored on this date each year with a religious festival India.

Recipe suggestion: For Healer's Day, make and share chicken soup with your friends and family.

Chicken Soup (from homecooking.about.com)


* 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 medium onions, chopped
* 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
* 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
* 1 (6- to 7-pound) chicken
* 2 quarts chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth
* 1 quart cold water, or as needed
* 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
* 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 bay leaf
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups egg noodles
* Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Heat the oil in a brothpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. If there are any pads of yellow fat in the tail area, do not remove them. Add the chicken to the pot and pour in the broth. Add enough cold water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Add the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf.

Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is very tender, about 2 hours.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the parsley and thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Let stand 5 minutes and degrease the soup, reserving the fat if you are making matzo balls.

Discard the chicken skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Add the noodles and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Stir the meat back into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot. (The soup can be prepared up to 3 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months.)

Yield: 12 to 14 servings