Golden Opportunity: How to Make Your Own Safe Food Coloring at Home

I was amazed when I read this article about what manufactured food coloring can do to a person. Than I was excited to read how it explains how to make your own out of vegetables and other things.

Information on how and why to make your own food coloring

It’s hard to imagine birthday cakes without colorful writing, vibrant flowers, or other exciting designs. But the colors in our cakes, candies, and other popular foods may not be as innocuous as their pretty exteriors would lead us to believe.

Research suggests that synthetic food coloring may harm human health in a variety of ways. But in spite of the risk factors, these colorants are cropping up in more foods than ever before. Although they provide no nutritional value, they’re added to a wide range of foods to intensify color or give those foods the color people expect to see.1 (For example, boxed cake batters may be dyed yellow in to look like they’re made from real eggs.)

With a little effort, you can avoid synthetic food coloring. Here’s why

Ancient Celebrations for Today – MABON

For more about Mabon and the Wheel of The Year

Known as the pagan Thanksgiving, Mabon marks the Autumn Equinox, when day and night are equal, making it a time of balance, equality and harmony.  In ancient times Mabon was a celebration of the second harvest (Lughnasadh was the first) when farmers gathered hearty foods like gourds, pumpkins, grapes and apples.

Modern Mabon celebrations are a time to give thanks for the abundance of Mother Earth – both literally and spiritually.  It’s also a good time to reflect on the Wheel of the Year, recognizing your successes and letting go of the things that did not serve you during the past twelve months.

History Of Mabon

Modern Pagans began celebrating Mabon as the last of the eight Sabbats in the 1970s, but its roots as a harvest festival go back to ancient times.

Named after the ancient Welsh hero named Mabon ap Modron, which means Son of Mother, Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals that take place in the Wheel of the Year (Lughnasadh is the first and Samhain is the third).  Similar to Apollo, the figure of Mabon was depicted as a handsome youth with a lyre. As a baby Mabon was said to have been held hostage as a baby in the underworld, similar to the story of Persephone and Demeter.

Indeed, the Greek goddess Demeter is much more closely associated with the Autumn harvest, as…

THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2021: HOLIDAYS, FUN FACTS, FOLKLORE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEPTEMBER

From The Old Farmers Almanac

What happens in the month of September? It’s a little for everyone: the last days of summer and the first days of fall. See September holidays, advice, recipes, fun facts, and trivia below.

September, in Old England, was called Haervest-monath (Harvest Month). This is the time to gather up the rest of the harvest and prepare for the winter months.

There are flowers enough in the summertime,
More flowers than I can remember—
But none with the purple, gold, and red
That dye the flowers of September!

—Mary Howitt (1799-1888)

THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER

September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.” This month had originally been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar.

SEPTEMBER CALENDAR

  • September 6—the first Monday in September—is Labor Day. Canadians also observe Labour Day.
  • September 6 is also Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holiday that marks the beginning of the new year.
  • September 11 is Patriot Day, held in honor and remembrance of those who died in the September 11 attacks of 2001. This year marks the 20th anniversary of September 11.
  • September 12 is Grandparents Day. Honor your grandparents today—and every day!
  • September 15 is Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday in the Jewish calendar.
  • September 17 is Constitution Day. This day celebrates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, which occurred on September 17, 1787 (just five years prior to the founding of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, believe it or not!).
  • September 21 is recognized as the annual International Day of Peace. Observances range from a moment of silence at noon to events such as peace walks, concerts, and volunteering in the community.
  • September 22 marks the start of fall! This year’s Autumnal Equinox occurs at 3:20 P.M. EDT on Wednesday, September 22. At this time, there are approximately equal hours of daylight and darkness.
  • September 29 is Michaelmas. Michaelmas is an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day” which marked the end of the harvesting season and was steeped in folklore.

“Just for Fun” Days

Have fun with these strange celebrations in September!

  • September is National Happy Cat Month
  • September 8: National Hug Your Hound Day
  • September 13: Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day
  • September 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • September 24: National Punctuation Day

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD

Mid-Autumn Festival: September 20–21, 2021

Also known as the Moon Festival, this holiday has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years and is said to be the second largest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Observed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, it can occur in either September or early October in the Gregorian calendar.

This autumn festival occurs during the full Moon nearest the fall equinox, which is traditionally said to be the brightest and roundest. Local festivities might involve brightly colored lanterns, dances, games, and other entertainments. Families and friends celebrate into the evening to give thanks for the harvest and for being together, offering each other wishes for happiness and long life and remembering loved ones who live far away.

Celebrants may make offerings to the Moon goddess Chang’e or share traditional mooncakes by moonlight. These round pastries, which symbolize the full Moon and reunion, are often filled with red bean or lotus seed paste surrounding a salted egg yolk in the center.

September Zodiac

September’s zodiac signs are Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) and Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22). Find out your zodiac profile!

See the Best Days to do things this month.

SEPTEMBER ASTRONOMY

Full Harvest Moon

September’s full moon, the Harvest Moon, reaches peak illumination on Monday, September 20, at 7:54 P.M. EDT. Read more about September’s Full Moon!

Moon Phases for September

New Moon: September 6, 8:52 P.M. EDT
First Quarter: September 13, 4:41 P.M. EDT
Full Moon: September 20, 7:54 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: September 28, 9:58 P.M. EDT
See more about Moon Phases.

Check out our Sky Watch for the month’s best night sky events.

RECIPES FOR THE SEASON

We like to think of September as the month of apples, as apple-picking becomes a common weekend pastime. Here are a few recipes for this fruit of the season:

Wondering which kind of apples to use in your dish? See the Best Apples for Baking: Apple Pie, Applesauce, Cider & More to find out!

For more fall recipes, use our Recipe Search.

SEPTEMBER GARDENING

The garden may be winding down, but there’s still plenty left to do!

See more gardening jobs for September.

EVERYDAY ADVICE

If you’re planning on baking some apple pies, try consulting our Best Apples for Baking article.

Do you still have herbs left over? If so, use them to make your own herbal remedies.

Try this fun fall craft using apples: Apple Heads.

Help out the birds this coming winter by preparing some bird food for them.

FOLKLORE FOR THE SEASON

  • Heavy September rains bring drought.
  • September dries up ditches or breaks down bridges.
  • September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft.
  • Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go.
  • If the storms of September clear off warm, the storms of the following winter will be warm.
  • Fair on September 1st, fair for the month.

SEPTEMBER BIRTH FLOWERS

September’s birth flowers are the aster and the morning glory. The aster signifies powerful love, and the China aster expresses variety or afterthought in the language of flowers. The morning glory symbolizes affection. It can also mean coquetry, affectation, or bonds in the language of flowers. Find out more about September’s birth flowers and the language of flowers.

SEPTEMBER BIRTHSTONE

The September birthstone is the sapphire, which was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning.

  • Sapphire is a form of corundum that is typically blue, a color caused by tiny bits of iron and titanium; the vivid, medium blues are more valuable than lighter or darker forms. Due to various trace elements, sapphires also appear in other colors. Those with red colors are called rubies.
  • Sapphires were thought to encourage divine wisdom and protection. They symbolized purity, truth, trust, and loyalty. Some believed that if they were placed in a jar with a snake, the snake would die.
  • The sapphire, along with the related ruby, are the second-hardest natural gemstones, with only the diamond being harder.

Find out more about September’s birthstone.

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY

September 12: Choices

On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy went to Rice University in Houston, Texas, to make a speech justifying his proposed $5.4 billion space program. He had called on Congress in the previous year to fund a massive project to put a man on the Moon and bring him home safely before the end of the decade. Toward that end, he asked his vice president, Lyndon Johnson, to make it happen. Johnson, a Texan, was happy to oblige.

The plan was to establish a Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, upon land that had been made available by Rice University (which had received it from Humble Oil and Refining Company). If that happened, federal money would flow to that city and to Rice, a university distinguished for its scholarship, if not for its football. In football, the University of Texas was king, although Rice gamely played Texas every year.

Kennedy challenged 35,000 listeners, sweltering in the Rice football stadium, to think big: “But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, Why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?” he asked. Then he added another impossible goal, one he had jotted in the margin only minutes earlier: “Why does Rice play Texas?”

The line drew a huge laugh and added a touch of humor and humility to the soaring rhetoric. His speech continued, soon issuing the now famous lines, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard … .”

Kennedy eventually got his moonshot, although he did not live to see Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moonwalk. And, three years after the speech, in 1965, Rice beat Texas. It would be 28 years before that happened again.

 

Fairy Cakes with Cream Icing

Actual fairy cakes are about the size of raspberries [All L. B. side notes appear in [ ]. My granddaughter and I collected larger sized acorn tops (these are used a dishes by Fae Folk) and then bake about 8 fairy size cakes in those. Baking time varies so check them after about 5-7 minutes to see if they are done]. Since it is hard to find baking pans that small, you can bake them in a muffin tin.

INGREDIENTS

500 mL flour 2 cups

10mL Baking Powder 2 teaspoons

5mL Salt 1 teaspoon

175 mL [stick] Butter 3/4 cup

375mL White Sugar 1 1/2 cups

3 Eggs 3

5mL Vanilla 1 teaspoon

325 ml Milk 1/13 cup [L.B. Side Note: I found Whole Milk works the best but 2% or Skim will work also]

  1. Grease the muffin tin with a bit of butter [. B. Side Note: You can use muffin liners also]
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the effs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add a few spoonfuls of dry ingredients then some milk to the cream mixture. Keep alternating ingredients until well mixed.
  5. Fill the muffin cups [and acorn tops if using them] three-quarters full. Bake at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 20-25 minutes. [May take longer depending on your oven]
  6. Let cool before frosting with your favorite icing. [For me it was a light cream cheese frosting made with almond extract instead of vallia]

Copyright 1999 Penelope Larkspur The Secret Life of Fairies

W.Q.W – My Magickal Healing Chest-rub Recipe By The Silver Sage Witch

Time for my Magickal Healing Chest-rub Recipe!

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June Crop – Cantaloupe Recipe

CANTALOUPE

Packed with vitamins, the popular and refreshing melon is as versatile as it is inviting. You can even the seeds for a crunchy snack.

TANGY SALAD

Toss 1 shallot (sliced) with 2 tablespoons each white vinegar and olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut 1 small cantaloupe and 1 seedless cucumber in pieces. Arrange on platter; spoon dressing on top.

REFRESHING SLUSHIE

Simmer 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Remove from heat; stir in 2 sprigs of basil. Cool, then strain. In batches, puree one 6-pound cantaloupe (cut up) and syrup. Pour into a metal pan; freeze 8 hours. With fork scrape into flakes.

SWEET  + SALTY

Thread bite size cantaloupe pieces, thinly sliced salami or prosciutto (fold into quarters) and fresh basil leaves onto skewers.

These recipes come from Good Housekeeping Magazine June 2020 Issue Contents Page.

Three Sisters Chili (For Mabon)

3 cups (128 g) beans (pinto, kidney, navy, garbanzo, etc.) precooked or canned (drain and rinse)

Olive oil

1 red onion, sliced

2 clove garlic, chopped

1 cups celery, chopped

2 cups butternut or acron squash, cooked, cooled, and cubed

1 cup corn

1 cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons cumin

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 Tablespoon oregano

Place beans in a large Dutch oven. In a frying pan with olive oil, cook red onion, garlic, and celery until tender. Add to Dutch oven. Add squash, corn, and tomato paste. Stir in enough water to cover. Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cook uncovered for about 2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally, and adding more water if needed to keep from sticking to bottom. This chili is even better the second day. For an authentic touch, serve corn bread or corn fritters.

Copyright by Nancy V. Bennett in Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2010 Page 107

Naniamo Eggs (For Ostara)

FIRST LAYER

2 cups (128 g) Oreo cookie crumbs

1/2 (64 g) chopped pecans

1/2 (64 g) cup brown sugar

1/2 cup (64 g) melted butter

Combine ingredients, then mold into egg-sized balls. Place balls on cookie sheet with wax paper. Refrigeate for 1 hour

SECOND LAYER

2 cups (128 g) icing (powder sugar) sugar

1 cup (128 g) custard powder (or a package of instant banana or lemon pudding)

1/2 cup (64 g) softened buttter

Dribble milk into this mixture to make a thick icing. Mold this around the eggs. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

THIRD LAYER

Melt 8 squares of semisweet chocolate in a double boiler. Using 2 spoons, quickly dip the eggs into the chocolate to cover. Refrigerate until hard.

Copyright Nancy V. Bennett in Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2010 Page 49