Sunday, June 22, 2014
Autumn is truly the season of the witch, and although I love cooking dishes using summer's bounty, I look forward to the harvest holidays the most. Autumn is the time I enjoy most of all, before the biting, bitter cold of winter. It may seem like the season of dying for some, and I suppose it is, but it is when I come to life. It is when I feel the strongest connection to the earth, when life turns inward for a season of introspection and inner growth.
Then there is Samhain...Ah, Samhain. Beautiful, wonderful Halloween/Samhain, followed closely by the Day of the Dead. It's a time of remembrance and feeling a stronger connection with those who have come before. It is a time to revel in the mysteries of the wise and aged, a time to take their wisdom to heart and put it into practice. Plus the cobwebs and dust in my house look like decorations! Ha!
What season do you like best?
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Now, on to the noodle salad!
This makes a LOT. I'm going to a potluck, so I needed a good amount.
* 1 package extra firm tofu, pressed, dried, cut into cubes
* oil for frying
* 1 cup shredded carrot
* 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
* 1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into small-ish pieces
* 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
* 1 16-oz. box angel hair pasta
* 1/3 cup lite soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
Put the garlic and ginger in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine.
Cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain. I rinsed mine a bit, but you don't have to.
If you are using the tofu (and you can certainly leave it out), deep fry in oil until cubes are crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels.
In a very large bowl, combine the vegetables, pasta, and tofu. Toss with the dressing.
Optional: Add a tablespoon or two of furikake (Japanese rice seasoning). There are many varieties available. I used one with toasted sesame seeds in with the seaweed.
Feel free to use gluten-free pasta.
I'm about to start potluck preparations. I decided to take some chicken legs and a noodle salad. The noodle salad will be vegan because there are a few vegetarians in the group. I am going to do an Asian-ish noodle salad. The idea is in my brain, but I don't have the exact measurements yet. I will post the recipe once I work things out outside of my mind.
The chicken legs are going to get coated in a sesame-orange-ginger-pineapple glaze. The noodle salad will be made with regular ol' angel hair pasta and cubes of fried tofu, some Napa cabbage, shredded carrot, red bell pepper, green onions, and sugar snap peas. I'm going to make a sesame-ginger dressing for it, and I will probably sprinkle on some furikake, too. Mmmmm! I'm excited to get the cooking started!
I hope you all have a lovely celebration, whatever you do!
Friday, June 20, 2014
In the past, I have written about ways to save money in the kitchen, and I do my best to use a lot of those methods. Still, there isn't much I can do to make my electricity bill lower (I've tried) or the cell phone plan, or, or, or...
I looked at my bank account this morning and saw that the car insurance had cleared. The water bill is next. I barely have enough to get gas in the car and a few crappy grocery items. Payday for the Aussie is the 26th. For me, it's the 30th. What's a girl to do?
Sometimes people turn to magic to help with money woes. I do and don't. I've been known to whip up a batch of Prosperity Shortbread Cookies from time to time (actually my go-to "get a job" cookie recipe), but as for doing spells to get money, I steer clear. Why?
Well, it has been my experience - and that of others I've spoken to - that the Universe is not particular. You can be specific, but it still does what it wants. If you're not specific, look out! You might be in for quite a ride. No, the Universe isn't terribly particular in HOW it helps when you ask it for help.
To illustrate further, a dear friend related a story to me of a man who needed a certain amount of money. He prayed. He did spellwork. He did this and that to get this amount of money, and it worked. Sort of. It worked in such a way that it made me want to avoid money magic for the rest of my life. Let's just say it involved a horrific auto accident in which he remained in the back seat, while his legs joined the driver in the front seat. He got his money, but at what cost?
I don't do spellwork for money because the money might come from a source I'd rather it didn't. An inheritance, for example. I'd rather not have anyone die just so I can get a few extra dollars. I'd rather not win a settlement from an accident that leaves me disabled, either. I'm gonna pass on that and just rearrange my retirement funds to get the money I need in order to get caught up on the bills, bills, bills.
If you are in need of a small amount to help you get through the month, I think it's all right to burn that green candle. Leave out a dish of sesame seeds. Plant a money plant. Visualize a little extra coming in from somewhere or something. Then, you must take some action to make it happen. Again, the Universe ain't too damn particular, so you kind of have to take matters into your own hands for those small amounts. Have a yard sale. Put something on eBay. Practical steps of that type are what you need to take to make it happen. Don't depend solely on magic for anything, really. That's been my stance for a very long time.
Also, evaluate your reasons. Why do you need the money? Were you frivolous earlier in the month? Or did something big and unexpected come up, like a car repair or a home repair? Did a pet have to go to the vet? For me, it's a chiropractic bill that my insurance didn't fully cover. It's a cancelled satellite bill (Suddenlink finally came through and I was able to drop that awful Frontier bullshit). It's home repairs and owing my parents back payments for the trailer because the Aussie was out of work and I wasn't able to give them anything. I haven't been buying crazy shit that I don't need; I've just been trying to survive. (Okay, maybe Internet isn't a necessity, per se, but I do have to work at home sometimes, so it sort of is...)
Anyhell, it boils down to this: Avoid the temptation to do money spells for big amounts. Little bits of prosperity magic should be fine. Just remember to do your part, too. Don't leave it all up to magic.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
I will really, truly need recipe testers at some point, but I don't know when.
Before that can happen, I need to finalize the sections so I can get organized. I am going to list the proposed sections of the book so you can (hopefully) give me some feedback. I am conflicted in some areas. I just don't know if it would be worthwhile to include them. That's where you come in.
Help? Please? With a cherry and sprinkles on top? :)
Sabbats (organized by season)
Esbats (organized by season or month)
And then I want to move on to Life Events. This is where I need help.
Celebrating the Maiden - This is the section that is causing the most problems. I want to include a section on celebrating a young woman. This might include *gasp* menarche. What do you all think? How do you feel about celebrating such an event? It doesn't HAVE to include menarche, per se, but have any of you or would any of you celebrate the maiden aspect of the goddess? It doesn't even have to include an actual, physical maiden; it could just be honoring that aspect of the Triple Goddess.
From there, we would go to:
Celebrating the Mother (I wouldn't leave out fathers!) - This would include baby blessing or naming events.
Celebrating the Crone
Passing Beyond the Veil - This would include foods to take to the grieving families as well as foods for remembrance at Samhain, so it would sort of go along with the Samhain section.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thank you so much!
Friday, June 13, 2014
If you are single and looking:
Light a pale yellow candle to match the color of the moon, or rely solely on moonbeams. Grab a heart-shaped strawberry dipped in honey. Gaze at the moon for a while and think about what it represents to you. What do you see on the surface? Some see a man in the moon, while others see a lady or a rabbit. (Hey...rabbits...fertility...)
Close your eyes and meditate on finding your perfect match. Again, you do not want to think of a specific person; you want to think instead of the qualities that work with your own. Talk to the Divine. Let the universe know you are ready for your love. Your heart, mind, and soul are ready and willing to receive love. You are worthy of love. When you're ready, eat that strawberry and visualize.
Happy full moon, and happy Friday the thirteenth!
Thursday, June 12, 2014
1 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tablespoon (T). baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (t. ) salt
1 cup milk (1 1/4 for buttermilk)
2 T. melted shortening
Mix ingredients and pour into greased baking pan (I use a cast iron skillet).
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Saturday, June 7, 2014
But now...Now, I have yet another project. Bear with me! I think that this idea might help me organize and combine other unfinished projects into one (unfinished) project instead of, like, 50.
Some of you actually know me in real life. For those of you who do, you know that I've been wanting to write a decent kitchen witch cookery book since around 2006. You'll also know that I've been working on recipes since then, too. However, life happens. Lack of funds for cooking and testing happens. I moved overseas for a couple of years, living in a place with different food, different ingredients that I might not be able to access in the U.S. Work, work, work always takes up a lot of my time and energy. I haven't had any vacation time in a while, and I won't have any until probably November. So why the hell am I thinking of starting a new project?
(Because I'm a masochist.)
I've decided to take the recipes I've been working on for a series of seasonal kitchen witch cookbooks and combine those with recipes for other occasions - handfastings, funerals, etc. I'm going to compile them all into one book of recipes for various occasions and celebrations. This project involves sabbats, esbats, handfastings, funeral feasts, birth celebrations, croning celebrations, and a couple of other occasions.
Once again, I will ask people to confidentially test recipes, but not for a while yet. I think I need a separate savings account just for this project! Good food is too damned expensive these days. I may also ask some of you to tell me about the things you like to eat for certain celebrations. For example, what are some of your favorite ideas for cakes and ale? Do you prefer morning or evening meals? I might include some recipes for morning rituals, or I will just keep that project separate. I'm still organizing.
That's what's going on in my head this weekend. How are you doing?
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
It turned out really well. You could add some nutmeg or thyme or another herb (chives would be nice as well). Swiss cheese would also be good here, but I used what I had on hand.