Let’s Talk Witch – Let’s Make Some Spicy Wassail, Yum, Yum!

Let’s Talk Witch – Let’s Make Some Spicy Wassail, Yum, Yum!

Wassail was traditionally a hot drink made of ale, sherry, sugar, and spices, with pieces of toast and roasted apples floating in it. It is the legendary drink served on the Feast of the Three Kings with an oversized, decorated sweet yeast bread. The word wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon toast waes haeil, or “be whole.” On Christmas or Twelfth Night, revelers would carry a large bowl from door to door, asking for it to be filled, a custom known as wassailing. There are now many versions of wassail, and the palate for hot strong beer is limited, so it has evolved into a spiked juice toddy. The antique French Api apple was probably the apple of choice of the day. It is now called a Lady apple; look for it at Christmas, but any apple will do.


2 quarts unfiltered apple juice or apple cider

1 quart cranberry juice cocktail

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

27 whole cloves

15 allspice berries

4 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks

5 small firm cooking apples of your choice

1/2 cup water

1 medium orange

2 cups Calvados

Combine the apple juice, cranberry juice, and brown sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Place 12 of the cloves, the allspice berries, and the cinnamon sticks in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to make a bag. Add to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Stud each apple with 3 of the remaining cloves and place in an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Add the water and bake until the apples are just a bit tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

After the juices have stewed for 4 to 5 hours, add the apples to the slow cooker. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange peel in wide strips, making sure to avoid the white pith, and add the peels to the slow cooker.

Remove the spice bag and stir in the Calvados. Serve hot (leave the slow cooker on to keep the cocktail warm).

Hot Spiced Wassail

Hot Spiced Wassail

(Non-Alcoholic Version)

4  Cups Cranberry Juice

6  Cinnamon Sticks

5  Cups Apple Cider

1  Orange, studded with whole Cloves

1  Cup water

1  Apple, cored and sliced

½  Cup Brown Sugar

Mix juice, cider, and water in large saucepan or crock pot. Add cinnamon sticks, clove studded orange, and apple slices. Simmer mixture for 4 hours. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

Now Lammas Yummies for Your Tummy

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
Lammas Yummies For Your Tummies

Lammas Corn Pudding

By Dame Niamh

Lammas (Lughnasad) is the time when the God is mourned, having died in ecstasy at his mating with the Goddess on the Summer Solstice (Litha).

Far from being sad, Lammas is the beginning of the Wheel’s turning again, as death is followed by rebirth, and so we recognize that the sacrifice of the God (the cutting of the summer harvest) nourishes us and begins his journey to rebirth at Yule.

Corn is often considered the symbol of Lughnasad; the first ears are ripe at this time. I make a Lughnasad Corn Pudding, and put little things into it (tiny figurines of animals and tiny baby dolls) to remind us: “Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again.” Warn people not to gobble the pudding or they will swallow their little treasures!


Corn Pudding

1 box Flako corn muffin mix (it contains the largest amount)
1 large can creamed corn
1 large container sour cream
1/2 large onion,or scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Grease a metal baking pan, about 8×8 or 9×9 if you want it to come out thinner. Pour the batter into the pan, add little tiny toy figures, and bake at 350 till it’s springy. I stick a toothpick into it; a few crumbs may cling, but that’s all right. You don’t want it too dry.

If you don’t like to use commercial corn muffin mix, use your own recipe to make 8 corn muffins. You’ll need corn meal, unbleached flour and some baking powder. A friend puts 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers into hers. Hot! Hot!



Easy Clean-Up Garden Grill Hash!

By Ana

This recipe is for the garden that’s overflowing with produce! Use whatever you have on hand! And, it’s a no mess dinner, nice on the moms and dads cleaning up:)


Whatever you’ve got growing:) Sliced up
Potatoes (a few, this is your base)
Pepper (I like green, but any will do)
Greens (kale, collards, chard- what you have on hand)
Couple of Carrots
Zucchini or Yellow squash or both
Fresh herbs
Few tablespoons of butter and canola oil (I like having the flavor of both, but you could use only one of these).

Take everything you’re harvesting from your garden this Lammas. Freshly dug up potatoes (yum!!!), a pepper, some yellow squash or zucchini, an onion, couple of carrots, and greens. Cut it all up and place it with a little butter and canola oil on a large sheet of tin foil. Add salt and pepper (I usually add a bit of nutritional yeast as well) and fresh garden herbs. Dill is my favorite, along with chives and thyme or rosemary. Wrap it up. Then take a second sheet of foil and cover the package again for added protection. Put on a low grill for about 40 minutes- it depends on how small the vegetable pieces are. When it’s done, scoop onto a plate and serve with baked beans and some local corn on the cob! Yum yum!!! And nothing to clean up:)



Stuffed Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker

By Ana

Using your slow cooker! That’s right ladies, pull out your slow cooker and let the yummy smells of apples and squashes fill the air for the day… or come home to a nice cooked meal all ready for you:) I’m a big fan of using my slow cooker- it’s not just for soups and stews (although that’s enough reason to use it!). This is a sweet flavorful fall dish- and if it’s still hot in your area, it’s nice to not use the oven and heat up the house! I came up with this based on a slow cooker recipe I found (although I didn’t exactly follow the recipe as usual:)- my family all loved it, so I thought I’d pass it on!


One Butternut Squash (cut in half, or in quarters, depending on it’s size and how you can fit it in the cooker- if it’s lopsided, trim a piece off the bottom so it lies flat)
One Small Onion
One Clove Garlic
2 Tb Olive or other Oil
1/2 Cup Quinoa (or cous cous, or millet, or other grain)
1 1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (or so) of water
1/2 cup of nuts- I use cashews, or you could use pistachios, walnuts, etc. (I’m a cook that goes with what I’ve got)


Rinse quinoa and place in boiling apple juice. (if using cous cous or another grain, just follow the instructions on how much water to use per cup of grain- make about a half cup and use apple juice instead of water). Add in your cinnamon and allspice, and once it is back to a boil, turn on low and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so, until cooked and water is absorbed. While that’s cooking, cut and scoop center out of squash and place in slow cooker bottom (this doesn’t have to be perfect- I have had them slightly sideways, but you need to be able to have the filling stay mostly in place:). Then take a small pan and cook your sliced onion and minced garlic in the oil til the onions are translucent. When your quinoa is done add in your crushed nuts, and onion mixture, and stir. Then stuff the squash with it. If you have left overs, you can save it for lunch or give it to the kids- mine love it because it’s sweet from the applesauce). Being careful not to pour it on the squash, then put the cup of water slowly into the bottom of slow cooker pot. Cover, and put on low for about 6 hours or so. If you like your nuts crunchy, add them last, sprinkled on top (they will get pretty soft in the slow cooker, which is good for smaller kids, but usually not as good for the rest of us:).

When it’s done, be careful pulling it out (I use two spatulas and an extra person to hold a plate close- they cook really well. Also be careful with the outer peel- it will be very soft, so with kids, I make sure to peel it off so they don’t eat it.

Serve with a plate of cooked greens. I like a bunch of chopped collards, green beans, or zucchini- chop about a half of onion, add in some oil and soy sauce, and it’s a perfect compliment to this dish. Other ideas would be a green bean casserole, or a light salad and roll. It’s a pretty filling main course, and is very healthy- lots of vitamins, and quinoa is a great protein source (especially mixed with nuts) and has calcium (great with collards for this too).


Easy Apple Cobbler

By Ana

I’m a huge fan of no fuss no muss cooking! I don’t like to waste my time following most recipes- so here’s a general guide for you:) Do this with your kids and get messy:)

Cut up a few apples (4 at most), but if you have a pear or two, or a peach or two, substitute them for an apple or two. You can also add raspberries (yum! see activities!) or other berries. If you aren’t doing any other fruit besides apples, I’d through in some raisins for some sweet flavoring.

Place in a bowl with some lemon juice and cinnamon (sprinkle on to your taste- I like a lot)

Next, take about 2 cups (ok, I’m making this up- I never follow a recipe- but it’s something about that much- enough to cover the apples) of rolled oats, and mix with a small amount of flower (few tablespoons) and some apple juice (if you’re one that has it around, apple concentrate is better, but I never have that and just use the apple juice- taking 2 kids to a grocery store on a trip for that would never be worth the effort when the juice seems to work). Just pour enough in to mix it a bit- maybe a few tablespoons. I also add more cinnamon, but that’s up to you. Now add a bunch of fresh honey (again, see activities!). Mix it up – use your hands here, this is fun! This is where the kids can help. Now that it’s all mixed up (you probably need to wash your hands here!), put it in a baking dish- a square one is nice, but you could even use a pie pan. Then put the ‘crumble’ mix on top. If you are a sweet tooth, put a little sugar on top of that:) Bake in your oven at about 350 degrees (or up to 375 if you like it a little crispier on top) for about a half hour. If the top seems to get too brown, cover with foil. That’s it!



Herb Bread

By Ana

I am not much of a baker (requires too much of following a recipe:), but I have loved this bread recipe and use it often. It is especially wonderful because it only requires one rise, making it a quicker bread to cook. It will make 2 small loaves, which I like, because you can give one away, or have it for the next nights meal as well. It is especially good for Lammas. In the morning I get a handful of my favorite herbs- rosemary, chives, and thyme usually- and then I wash them, and pick off the leaves, dry them on a paper towel, and place them on a cookie sheet in a low oven to dry. You must watch them so that they don’t burn. If you have the herbs dried already (store bought or dried from earlier this summer), skip this step and just use those. I really enjoy the act of picking the herbs for my bread that day, but it is a little more time consuming. Then I follow this recipe, taken from “The Whole Soy Cookbook, by Patricia Greenberg”.

1 cup lukewarm water
1 package fast-acting dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp thyme, 2tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsp dried rosemary (this as I said before, can be from your own garden, or the herbs changed to your taste. I also find this to be too much herbs for my families taste, and use about half this much, or 3 or 4 tablespoons total herbs).

Combine in a large bowl the water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Then add the soy milk and oil and mix. Slowly stir in the flour and salt, mixing until combined. Place the dough on a floured surface, add the herbs on top and knead for 4 minutes or so, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap- let rise. The recipe says it will double in bulk in 1.5 hours, but I find it takes more like 2.5 hours for me. Just keep an eye on it. Once doubled, divide the dough in half and form each into a ball. Place the loaves on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes, until golden brown.



Lugnasadh Moons
By Morrigan

300 gramms of flour
2 teaspoones of baking powder
a bit of salt
30-50 gramms of sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
now mix this and add
100 gramms of soft butter
mix this with your hands to flakes

Take two eggs, seperate one of them and keep the white egg seperate. Add 100 ml of milk to the eggs and mix this very good until its foamy. Now add this to the flakes and make it a mass you easily can roll out.keep it about 0,5 cm thick take a glass and take out some small moons – half ones, full ones, as you like.put the moons on a baking sheet and coat the white egg on them.

Bake them for 6 to 10 Minutes with top and down heat in the middle rail of the oven that you preheat at 200°C.

Magickal Graphics

Immortality Potion

Immortality Potion

2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup cranberry juice
3 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
1 cinnamon stick
3 orange slices, peeled
3 whole cloves
Put the cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon stick in a crockpot or similar pot. Push the cloves into the orange slices, one clover per slice, and put the slices into the mixture. Warm the potions in the crockpot. Pour into a mug. As you are sipping the brew, imagine yourself living a long and healthy life. Move your mind into the future and see the images of you growing old. Then move that energy into the potion using your will, focused breathing and the heat of your hands as you hold the mug.

Makes two servings.