Friday, August 15, 2008

Mabon - Autumn Equinox

September 21 is Mabon, the second harvest festival. Food made with corn and grains are eaten and cider is used in celebration. As we prepare for the cold winter months ahead, all herbs and flowers should be brought inside and dried for use throughout the winter. Gone is the Maiden of Spring and Mother of Summer, we now celebrate the Goddess as the Crone. Decorate your altar with the colors of fall, oranges, browns, reds, and gold. Gemstones are carnelian, sapphire, and yellow agate. Use leaves and acorns to adorn your altar as well.

This recipe comes from the Almond Board of California and is a perfect snack for Mabon.

Jalapeno Almonds

1/4 cup salted butter

1/3 cup hot pepper sauce

1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

4 cups whole natural almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter over low heat and stir in pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauces, garlic powder, salt and dry mustard. Toss almonds in mixture and place on large roasting pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes stirring occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lughnasadh August 1

This is the first of the Pagan harvest festivals. It heralds the end of summer and is often celebrated with baking breads, having outdoor parties and craft fairs. At this time we honor the Goddess as the Earth Mother. Decorate your altar with sunflowers, and corn husks. Use light browns and greens mixed with golds and yellows to symbolize the harvest. Again, think of what is harvested this time of year: oats, grains, nuts, squash, apples, blackberries, lamb, etc. Another wonderful treat is a sweet blackberry wine. Try checking out some local vineyards and wineries in your area, they often have this type of harvest wine that is produced locally! If you are lucky enough to live in Kentucky check out in Versailles, they have a wonderful blackberry wine as well as a cherry wine and a sparking apple cider that is so good for this time of year!
  • My garden is currently overrun with acorn squash plants. My husband and I love them and are always looking for new ways to make them. Here is a recipe that is wonderful for your acorn squash. By the way, if you have grown lots of acorn squash it will keep long in to the winter if you store it in your basement or anywhere cool and away from light.

Acorn Squash with Pecans and Goat Cheese

2 acorn squash, halved crosswise and seeded

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

2/3 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons maple syrup plus more to drizzle (use the real stuff here)

1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

4 oz. log goat cheese

Heat oven to 375F. Sprinkle inside of squash halves with salt and brush with melted butter. Turn upside down on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes.Stir together pecans, maple syrup and thyme. Turn squash upright on baking sheet. Reserving about 3 tablespoons pecan mixture, fill hollow of each squash with remaining pecan mixture. Slice goat cheese crosswise into four equal rounds. Place a round of cheese in hollow of each squash and sprinkle with reserved pecan mixture.Bake 10 minutes more. Drizzle with more syrup as desired and serve.