Daily Archives: December 18, 2011

Lila’s Yule Log

Lila’s Yule Log

Cake:
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons water

Filling:
½ pint whipped cream
2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan, and line with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper.
Mix flour, soda, and salt together.
Beat eggs in a small mixer bowl at high speed, until thick and light – about 5 minutes.
Gradually add the sugar, and beat until thick.
Melt the chocolate and water together, and add to the egg mixture.
Fold in the dry ingredients, and mix gently but thoroughly.
Spread in prepared pan, and bake for 15 – 17 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
Remove from oven and turn out immediately onto a tea towel that has been sprinkled generously with icing sugar.
Remove waxed paper, and trim of any crisp edges of the cake.
Begin at the narrow end, and roll up the cake and the tea towel together. Allow to cool.

Filling:
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Stir in icing sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff.
Unroll the cake when cool, and spread the top with the whip cream.
Re-roll, without the towel.
Cut a thin slice off of each end of the roll, to make them even.

Cake:
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons water

Filling:
½ pint whipped cream
2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan, and line with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper.

Mix flour, soda, and salt together.

Beat eggs in a small mixer bowl at high speed, until thick and light – about 5 minutes.

Gradually add the sugar, and beat until thick.

Melt the chocolate and water together, and add to the egg mixture.

Fold in the dry ingredients, and mix gently but thoroughly.
Spread in prepared pan, and bake for 15 – 17 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
Remove from oven and turn out immediately onto a tea towel that has been sprinkled generously with icing sugar.

Remove waxed paper, and trim of any crisp edges of the cake.

Begin at the narrow end, and roll up the cake and the tea towel together. Allow to cool.
Filling:
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Stir in icing sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff.

Unroll the cake when cool, and spread the top with the whip cream.
Re-roll, without the towel.

Cut a thin slice off of each end of the roll, to make them even.

Icing:
Soften butter. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and of good spreading consistency.

Use the centres of the ends you sliced off the cake to make bumps on the log : Use a little of the icing to affix the bump to the side of the cake – one on each side.

Ice the entire cake with the icing, including the ends and the bumps.
Run a fork along the icing so that it resembles tree bark.

Sprinkle with icing sugar, and decorate with holly or other Christmas decoration leaves.
Store in refrigerator.

Icing:
Soften butter. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and of good spreading consistency.
Use the centres of the ends you sliced off the cake to make bumps on the log : Use a little of the icing to affix the bump to the side of the cake – one on each side.
Ice the entire cake with the icing, including the ends and the bumps.
Run a fork along the icing so that it resembles tree bark.
Sprinkle with icing sugar, and decorate with holly or other yule decorations.
Store in refrigerator.

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Nessa’s Welsh Cookies

Nessa’s Welsh Cookies
(Wonderful for Santa’s Deputy Ritual)

4 c. flour
½ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. currants
½ c. milk
2 eggs

1) Mix flour and dry ingredients.2) Add currants. 3) Cut in shortening as for pie [I use a fork for this] 4) Add eggs and milk. 5) Roll out on floured surface. 5) cut circular shape out [I use a glass]. 6) Fry on griddle at low heat til a light brown appears on each side.
Makes about 5 dozen.

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Rolled Oat Yule Cookies

Rolled Oat Yule Cookies

I make these cookies all year long, although during the Yule season I add either red and green M&M’s or dried cranberries to the batter.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup M&M’s or dried cranberries
In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and brown sugar. Mix in water and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, and M&M’s or cranberries.
Mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture.
Shape the cookie dough into two long logs, cookie size in diameter.
Wrap the logs in wax paper, parchment, or plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Unwrap cookie logs and slice into ½ inch thick cookies.
Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.

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PIERNIKI (Polish Spice Cookies)

PIERNIKI (Polish Spice Cookies)

1-1 ½ c. honey
Pinch of black pepper
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
1 c. sugar
4-5 c. flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
4 eggs
1 tsp. soda dissolved in water

Heat honey until it boils, then allow it to cool until lukewarm. Sift the flour with the spices.

Beat the eggs with the sugar until thick. Add the soda, then the honey and the flour. Mix well. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies in whatever shapes you like. Bake them on buttered sheets in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until just lightly browned.

The pierniki may be decorated with a thin glaze made of confectioners’ sugar, water, almond or vanilla extract and a drop of food coloring.

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Gift at Yule Ritual Work

Gift at Yule

by Lady MoonWolfe
revised 2004

Close your eyes and relax
Breathe deeply.
Let your breathing become slow, deep, easy. Relax and continue breathing deeply and gently, breathe in and exhale and as we exhale we enter the time of the greatest darkness.
It is the time of the longest night, the dark of the cold universe between the stars and planets, the dark of the sea, and the dark of the womb.

Wrap this darkness gently about you like a comfortable blanket. Float gently now in its depths.
As you open your eyes you see a path in front of you, laid in cobble stones, topped with silver glitter.
It is dark, and though it is dark, you realize that which surrounds you is not the empty, but like the womb, full of life. Fill the energy of the dark.
As you look at the outline of the forest of trees, you notice that the path is lined with oaks, firs and pines. Each one decorated with mistletoe, wreaths, and candy canes.

It is dark in front of you, and as you begin your journey down the path, taking your first step upon the cobble stones you can feel the chill wind blowing. You can feel the ground hard and cold beneath your feet. Continuing walking one step in front of the other, one by one until you have reached the end of the path and are standing within a mighty forest
You look up and see the stars, but there is no Moon. Patiently you wait. You hear a sound behind you, and turn to look over your shoulder

You now realize that you are standing upon the edge of a clearing; as its center burns a fire, and an old man is seated before it. He is wearing tattered animal skins, and has long ragged hair which blows about in the wind. On the far side of the clearing you see the mouth of a cave, and standing before it is the mighty figure of the Horned God.

You turn back around and look through the trees, looking towards the eastern horizon, for tonight is the longest night. The dark time before the Sun is reborn at the Winter Solstice, and you wait patiently for the first rays of the newborn Sun. You noticed that the fire has changed into a single Oak tree, standing tall, and decorated with all the trimmings. As you step forward you feel the increase in the love and warmth around you and within you, and notice that the energy within gives birth to the smallest spark imaginable, the spark of life.
See that spark now as it glows, watch that spark now, and watch it grows. Glowing brighter and brighter, it grows into a flame. As you look at the flame, its light fills you with warmth and love

As you feel increased love and warmth within you, the intensity of the flame slowly diminishes and as it does, in its place, slowly is the outline of a present. This gift becomes more solid, until you can see its form clearly and see that it is wrapped in a glistening filament of light. This gift has your name on it, inscribed in the glistening material. Look at your present, what color is your name written in? What shape is it? How big is it? What color is it’s wrappings?
Experience it fully. Accept it. Accept your gift with joy. Feel the heart warm with the love with which this gift is given to you.

And now, from your heart, send out gratitude for this gift; send out thanks for this gift to the Goddess, to our Great Mother, to the Universe. To the Goddess who is the Universe, both the dark and the light. Send out your thanks for this gift. Now if you wish, find a place to keep this gift, a place to put this gift, so you can keep it with you during our ritual now and if you wish take it with you when you leave the circle.

As you stand you can fill the soft, wet touch of the first fallen snow across your cheeks. Winter grips the land as a cold wind blows through the forest. You walk away from the clearing, and as you leave the forest, you turn and see that it is no more than a shadow behind you. Before you, is a world which you know well, it is the world in which we live, and now it is time to return.
The Other world is real, and you may return at any time. Life will not fail, the Sun will return again, remembering your gift given to you. You continue to walk, bringing your special gift with you, be fully present in our circle, Move your body , open your eyes, and come back to this place and time..

MoonWolfe is 52 years young. I am a registered Healer of the Art of Reiki. I am currently working on saving the dolphins in captivity. I drum to heal Mother Earth.

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Ritual to become Santa’s Deputy

Ritual to become Santa’s Deputy

By Nessa CrescentMoon, Hps, OWM

Each year, almost since the birth of our first child, we’ve read aloud L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause. Near the end of the book, Santa deputized a handful of his friends, ones who believed in his calling that work in his place. This gave me great inspiration one year to create a ritual in which we would ‘officially’ become Deputies of Santa You too can read this wonderful book online at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/520
It is in full text from ProjectGutenbug.org

Gather needed Items:
1 red candle for Santa
1 white candle for each parent present
Cookies and milk (enough for parents)
Directions:
Place items on altar
Light red candle and say”

“I the Parent
Do joyfully swear
To select and choose
With the greatest of care
Gifts of Love
Gifts to please
I am forthwith
One of Santa’s Deputies.”

Light white candle
Imbue milk and cookies with your newly deputized energy

Eat, drink and be merry

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The Yule Log

The Yule Log

by Lila

The tradition of the Yule logs dates back millennia. The origin of the word Yule seems to originate from the Anglo Saxon word for sun and light. People used to burn a yule log on the Winter Solstice in December. The Winter Solstice is the day of the year with the shortest amount of daylight. Yule is celebrated by fire, which provides a dual role of warmth and keeping evil spirits away. Many people thought that evil spirits were more likely to wander the earth on the longest night of the year. All night bonfires and hearth fires kept evil at bay and provided gathering places for folks to share feasts and stories.

Winter Solstice marks the sun’s victory over darkness; the days would now grow longer. The cinders from the burnt log were thought to protect homes from lightning and the evil powers of the devil. The ashes were also sprinkled on the surrounding fields to ensure good luck for the coming year’s harvest. The largest remaining part of the log was kept safe to kindle next year’s fire.

The Yule log has waned in popularity with the advent of electric heaters and wood stoves. With no access to a hearth, fireplace or fire pit, modern folks are losing a sacred tradition. Today, we may still partake of the Yule Log tradition by creating a smaller version as a table ornament, embellished with greenery and candles, or the popular Yule log cake. As we eat a slice, we can imagine taking in the protective properties of the log.

Many enjoy the practice of lighting the Yule Log. If you choose to burn one, select a log and carve or chalk upon it a figure of the Sun (a rayed disc) or the Horned God (a horned circle). Set it alight in the fireplace at dusk, on Yule. This is a graphic representation of the rebirth of the God within the sacred fire of the Mother Goddess. As the log burns, visualize the Sun shining within it and think of the coming warmer days. Traditionally, a portion of the Yule Log is saved to be used in lighting next year’s log. This piece is kept throughout the year to protect the home.

Whether you are burning a log or creating a centrepiece, different woods may be used to produce different effects:
Aspen: invokes understanding of the grand design
Birch: signifies new beginnings
Holly: inspires visions and reveals past lives
Oak: brings healing, strength, and wisdom, symbol of the Oak king, the New year
Pine: signifies prosperity and growth
Willow: invokes the Goddess to achieve desires
Decorate your log with the any of the following items:
bright green needles of fir represents the birth of the new year
dark green needles of yew represent death of the waning year
vines of ivy or birch branches represent the Goddess
sprigs of holly with red berries represent the Holly king of the dying year
As you light the Yule log chant the following:

As the yule log is kindled
so is the new year begun
as it has been down through the ages
an unending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth
every ending is a new beginning
May the Yule log burn
May all good enter here
May there be wheat for bread
and vats full of wine
(or may we never hunger may we never thirst)

When the log has almost completely burned, collect a small piece of the Yule log (dip in a bucket of water to ensure it is completely out) wrap carefully and keep somewhere in the home for safety and protection.

collect some of the cold ashes and store in a glass bottle. The ash can be used for spells of protection and amulets. The remainder of the Yule ash can be scattered over fields or gardens to ensure fertility in the spring.

Pauline Campanelli; Wheel of the Year

Lila is an initiate in The Sacred Three Goddess school. She lives on a mountain in beautiful British Columbia with her husband, four cats, two ferrets and other varied critters of nature. She spends her time communing with the Faerie folk and long walks by the river.

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A Warm Yule and Winter

A Warm Yule and Winter

 

by Barbara Hedgewitch

As we approach the shortest days of the year, our house is a snug haven from the cold rain and winds of autumn. The horses’ coats are thick and full in preparation for the cold days ahead. We watch the steady retreat of the Sun. Each day, it sets just a bit earlier and farther south over the distant hill.

We spend time preparing gifts for our loved ones: homemade soap in a variety of scents and colors brightly wrapped in baskets; felt “melted” snowmen from a pattern at the craft store. We bake and decorate holiday cookies and get messy making gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and lots of frosting. I gather fir boughs and wire them to a frame, then attach a bright plaid bow. Soon a sweetly scented wreath hangs cheerily on the front door.

My husband makes his annual trek up our tall ladder, standing precariously as he strings holiday lights all along the roofline. One year, he fell off the roof as he strung lights. Fortunately for him, a potted rosebush broke his fall. It wasn’t quite so fortunate for the rosebush or its pot. This year, I remember to send a little extra protective energy his way as he heads up with hands full of lights.

He takes the children down to the bottom of our property where the former owners planted a grove of evergreen trees. They choose a fine Douglas fir for our Yule tree and triumphantly drag it up the hill to the house. As they huff and puff from the strain, the curious horses follow them.

Inside the house, I’ve prepared a place for this lovely tree, and we spend the evening stringing lights and placing ornaments on it. The scent fills the house. We discuss every ornament, for they all have meaning and memories. Some are from my childhood, and some belonged to my grandparents. Each year, the children are given one new ornament each for their own collections. We have many stars on our tree!

Finally, the Sun halts its southward journey. It seems to stand still for a day or two. On the longest night, our family holds vigil and awaits the rebirth of the Sun. The Holly King arrives and leaves gifts under the tree and in our stockings. My husband and son reenact the Oak King/Holly King duel, with the Oak King triumphing at this turn of the Wheel. We bid good-bye to the ancient Holly King, ruler of the darkening days, and celebrate the birth of the Oak King who rules the brightening days.

A few days later, we’re able to mark the slight northward passage of the setting sun behind the hill. The growing days give us hope as we enter into the coldest and stormiest time of the year. We eagerly await Imbolc and our local BrighidFest, which marks the beginning of the end of winter.

I take my spinning wheel to the BrighidFest and demonstrate how to spin wool. I have a steady stream of people, men and women, eager to try their hand at spinning. Most of them get the knack of it enough to take home a length of lumpy yarn that they spun themselves. Truly a bit of real magick!

Imbolc is traditionally the time of year to make candles. This is something I’ve never done. I think it’s time for the children and I to try our hand at this new skill. I ponder the endless possibilities: the colors, the shapes and the scents. We have a huge collection of old crayons that can be used for color, and some glitter, and I can “frost” the candles by whipping some warmish paraffin with the hand mixer. Oh my, what fun we’re going to have!

I hope you have a warm and cozy winter, filled with much love and learning.

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