Pagan Wassail

Pagan Wassail

For the Wassail’s Baked Apples:
1 dozen cooking apples
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
butter or margarine
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
Core apples and place in an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon, fill apples    with mixture, dot tops with butter. Add boiling water and sugar to pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes.
For the Wassail:
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon nutmeg, grated (for luck)
1/2 teaspoon mace
2 teaspoons ginger (to prevent arguments)
6 whole cloves (to influence people in high places, and for luck)
1 stick cinnamon (same as cloves)
6 whole allspice
1 dozen eggs, separated
4 bottles sherry
2 cups brandy
Combine first eight ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites    until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Fold whites into yolks. Strain spice mixture into egg mixture and stir. Combine sherry and brandy and    bring almost to a boil. Gradually add liquor to spice and egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you do so. Before serving, add baked apples to foaming liquid.    Serve in a large cauldron.
(The above recipe for “Pagan Wassail” in directly quoted from Laurie    Cabot’s book: “Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition”, pages 71-72, a Delta book, published by Dell Publishing,    1994.)
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Today’s I Ching Hexgram for Jan. 24th is 50:The Cauldron

50: The Cauldron

Thursday, Jan 24th, 2013

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The cooking pot symbolizes nourishment and rejuvenation. Sooner or later, good comes to those who do good; joy comes to those who bring humor to others; opportunity comes to those who persist in their dreaming. Rejuvenation is a returning to innate desires — and a re-charging of batteries through the fulfillment of these wishes. This reading suggests nourishment and transformation for people of goodwill. Great good fortune and success are indicated for nourishing relationships.

Healthy, regular sustenance is important, as symbolized by the cooking pot, which provides nourishment to all. When a cycle of humanity reaches its peak, each person’s sustenance comes in the form of his or her deepest needs and highest aspirations.

Rejuvenation means that men and women of talent and insight are being properly nourished and valued. When a society or group is functioning properly, these people are supported, and encouraged to contribute to their best abilities. A fresh approach to old habits is indicated in a period of rejuvenation. Look for ways of putting new life in old forms. Only when great vitality is present can breakthroughs be achieved.

Marshmallow Cough Syrup

Marshmallow Cough Syrup

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice or juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp chopped dried marshmallow root

In a small saucepan, bring the marshmallow root and water to a boil. Recuce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid into another saucepan (should result in about 1 cup). Over a low heat, slowly stir in the sugar until it becomes thick and granules completely dissolve. (Stir in more water if the mixture becomes too thick.) Remove from heat and stir in the orange juice. Transfer to a container and allow to cool before covering tightly.

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.

Choosing Your Cauldron

Choosing Your Cauldron

A cast-iron cauldron is by far the best if you intend to use it for any fire work. These are for sale in some garden centers as well as New Age stores. You can sometimes discover an authentic cauldron in an antique shop or in street or flea markets, especially in the countryside. It may be an original iron cooking pot. You can clean it up with a gentle wire brushing and a little grate polish. Alternatively, adapt a round coal scuttle.

A Witch’s Cauldron

A Witch’s Cauldron

Primary element: Water

The three-legged iron cauldron really comes into its own as an outdoor natural magickal tool. If you have a small one, it can also fit in your altar room to the northwest of the altar as it is a tool of earth and water (and also of fire, if a candle is set in it).

The cauldron is a symbol of Cerridwen, the Celtic mother Goddess, whose cauldron brought rebirth and transformation. It was originally a household cooking pot hung over black ranges and open fires in many lands and so is a reassuring and stable tool.

Feng Shui Tip of the Day for November 3rd

A plethora of energies intertwine to allow me to offer some magically delicious advice today. First, it’s ‘National Men Make Dinner Day’ and ‘Sandwich Day,’ so maybe you can smell what I’m cooking up here. I thought I might offer a recipe for a Yam and Acorn Squash soup that’s not only easy to make but tasty as well. But let’s start with the magical promise of my original premise. Legend tells that the acorn squash got its name because of its similarity in appearance to actual acorns. There is a myth about the acorn people who live in the ancient oak tree. It says that everyone in this magical community from the ages of five to sixty-five wears a watch the flashes one word: now. Each acorn person has a unique and special gift to bring to the world, and they love unconditionally. Therefore, they have scattered their acorns to the winds in the hopes of bringing their unconditional love to the entire world. And love is the main ingredient of this lovely acorn squash soup. Heat some vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add one large chopped onion. Sautee until golden and add five cups peeled and cubed yams and one small peeled and cubed acorn squash. Add two cups of chicken broth, decrease the heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Let cool and place the mix in a blender with a half-cup of plain yogurt. Blend until smooth. Return the blend to the saucepan and add two tablespoons pumpkin seeds and a quarter cup of whole milk. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Forget about that old sandwich and make this soup to the strains of delight! They’ll love you for it!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Mother’s Nature’s Nightcap Tea

Guaranteed to make you snore.

1    tablespoon chamomile flowers

1    large passionflower

1    teaspoon fresh lemon balm or fresh or dried lemon grass

1    tablespoon dried catmint or catnip.

1    drop pure vanilla extract

Steep in 1 1/2 cups of boiled water, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain and add vanilla.