Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Wheel Of the Year

This Image shows you how the year works out, its very simple to follow as you can see.
Have you ever wondered why we feel full of energy in the summer but slow down and want to stay-in in the winter? And why does Nature burst with life in the spring yet start to 'go to sleep' in the autumn?

It's because we are all responding to the changing energies of the different seasons and our Celtic ancestors were exquisitely aware of this.

They followed this seasonal flow of energy around a 'Wheel of the Year', honouring the changes with celebrations that kept them in touch with heaven and earth.

There are eight key points in the year - four Quarter days that mark changes in the sky, and four Cross-quarter days that celebrate changes in the land.

The Wiccan Sabbats

The Sabbats are seasonal festivals which mark the turning of the Wheel of the Year and the cycles of nature. there are eight sabbats; the Summer and Winter Solstices, the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the quarter days or fire festivals - Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine and Lughnasadh.

Samhain, or Halloween, is the death festival, marking the descent of Winter. The leaves are falling from the trees in drifts, and life is drawn away from the surface of the earth, and descends deep into the earth. Life is now in the roots and bulbs of plants which rest over the Winter. The Horned God who was Lord of Life and the Wild Greenwood has now truly taken His throne as Lord of the Underworld, the dread Lord of Shadows, the comforter of souls.

Samhain is a time of transformation and inner work. It is also a sombre time of remembrance, when we remember and honour those who have died. The veil is thinnest between the worlds and we call on the spirits of the dead and invite them to feast with us on this, the feast of death. We call upon our ancestors and contact the ancient wisdom. It is a time of endings, but also a time of beginnings, as Samhain is a Celtic New Year's Eve festival. Thus we give up the past and look to the future, and it is also a good time for skrying.

It is the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Samhain is a good time for banishings, and for sorting out unfinished business. At Samhain we look back and take stock of the past year and contemplate what we have learned. Samhain is also the time to face our shadow, the dark side of ourselves.

Yule is the time we celebrate the return of the waxing sun. Light and life can be seen to be returning and conquering death. Yule is a turning point, a point of change, where the tides of the year turn and begin to flow in the opposite direction. It is the darkest time of the year, the time of the longest night, but there is the promise of the return of light.

Holly and Mistletoe bear berries at this time, symbolizing fertility. Mistletoe berries are white, representing the semen of the Horned God, the Holly berries are blood red, symbolizing both the menstrual blood of the Goddess and the sacrifice of the God. Evergreen trees also represent youth and freshness, and are symbols of the promise of spring. A yule custom, still practised at We honour the spirit of the tree,

The Festival of Imbolc or Bride, is celebrated around 2nd February by Pagans, and by Christians who call it Candlemas. Imbolc is Irish- Gaelic, translated variously as "in the belly" and "ewe's milk", and represents the quickening of Light and Life.

The first stirrings of the coming of Spring can be seen, as the first flowers (snowdrops and winter aconite) begin to appear. Seeds which have lain dormant within the Earth over the cold Winter months begin to stir with life, as yet unseen. At Imbolc we celebrate the Waking Light of the soul. Our spirits begin to quicken as we anticipate the rebirth of Nature. In Wicca it is the traditional time for initiation. Now is the time for the banishing of Winter and the welcoming of Spring. We welcome the Goddess Who is renewed, reborn as the Flower Maiden. She has passed through Her phase as the Hag, Crone or Wise One, and is a Maiden again. Bride or Brigid is a three-fold Celtic Goddess who has been Christianized into St. Brigid, whose day is celebrated on 1st February.

In Ireland, St. Brigid's cross is made of rushes and straw, and goes back to pre-Christian times, representing the Sun Wheel or Fire Wheel. It may also be linked to an ancient ceremony connected with the preparation of the grain for sowing in the Spring. It was believed that the Spirit of the Grain, or the Goddess Herself, resided in the last grain harvested, and the last grain from the Harvest Festival was ritually brought into the house at Imbolc, blessed and planted as the first seed of the next harvest.
days grow gradually longer, but we are still in the dark half of the year (until Beltaine).

This festival is named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre or Eastre, also known in Old German as Ostara. Little is known about this Goddess, except that her festival was celebrated at the Spring Equinox, and became Easter, and that She was a Goddess of fertility, and was connected with hares and eggs.
The Anglo-Saxon lunar month, which became April, was called Eastermonath. The equinox is a time both of fertility and new life, and of balance and harmony. Light and dark are here in balance, but the light is growing stronger. It is a time of birth, and of manifestation.
The days grow lighter and the earth grows warmer. As at Imbolc, seeds may be blessed and planted. Seeds of wisdom, represents the sun, its white, the Goddess.

"This is the time when sweet desire weds wild delight. The Maiden of Spring and the Lord of the Waxing Year meet in the greening fields and rejoice together under the warm Sun. The shaft of life is twined in the spiral web and all of nature is renewed.

The Spiral Dance Beltaine (also spelled Bealteinne, Bealtaine and various other ways) is the beginning of the Celtic Summer, the light season of the year. In Irish Gaelic, Bealtaine is the name of the month of May.

In Scottish Gaelic Bealtuinn means May Day. The word originally meant "Bel Fire", and Beltane is associated with the Celtic God Bel, also known as Balor or Belenus. Bel is a God of Light and Fire with the Sun, . Fires were traditionally built at Beltane, and people would jump over the fire. Young, unmarried people would leap the bonfire and wish for a husband or wife, young women would leap it to ensure their fertility and couples leap it to strengthen a bond.

Cattle were driven through the ashes or between two Beltane fires to ensure a good milk yield. The maypole, still used in Mayday festivities, represents both the phallus and the Goddess. It is also the World Tree connecting the three Worlds, its root in the Underworld, its branches in the Heavens. The shaman`s spirit may travel between the realms via the World Tree, and the phallus is also connected with life, love and death.

At the Summer Solstice the sun is at its highest and brightest and the day is at its longest. The Lord of Light has fought the powers of darkness, and is triumphant, ensuring fertility in the land. But in so doing so, He sows the seeds of His own death. The Wheel turns and the Dark God (the Holly King) begins to wax in power as the Light God (Oak King) wanes.

The Goddess shows Her Death- in-Life aspect, the Earth is fertile, and all is in bloom, the Goddess reaches out to the fertilizing Sun God at the height of His powers. At the same time She presides over the death of the God. The Goddess dances Her dance of Life and Death, the Sun God loves Her, and dies of His love. The Summer Solstice is a time of fulfilment of love.
. Although the days begin to grow shorter after the Summer Solstice, the time of greatest abundance is still to come. The promises of the Goddess and God are still to be fulfilled.
At this time of year, our physical energy is generally at its peak.

Lughnasadh or Lammas is celebrated on August eve or August 1st and is the festival of the first of the harvests. Lammas is the Anglo-Saxon name for the festival, meaning Loaf mass. Lughnasadh is the festival of Lugh, a Celtic God of Light and Fire and God of crafts and skills. His Welsh form is Llew Law Gyffes, and in the Mabinogion story of Blodeuwidd and Llew, the theme of Llew as the sacrificed God can be seen (we need of course to consider the pre-Christian origins of the story).

Gronw can be seen as the Dark God of the Waning year, and Llew as the Bright Lord of the Waxing year, Blodeuwidd represents the Goddess in Her Flower Maiden aspect. Lammas or Lughnasadh then has the theme of the sacrificed God of the harvest, but he is sacrificed and transformed, rather than descending into the underworld to become Lord of Death, which comes later in the year.


The two equinoxes are times of equilibrium. Day and night are equal and the tide of the year flows steadily, but whilst the Spring Equinox manifests the equilibrium before action, the Autumnal Equinox represents the repose after action, the time to take satisfaction in the work of the summer and reap its benefits.

The Autumnal Equinox is celebrated on 21st September, and is the second harvest festival, with the fruit being gathered in. We celebrate the abundance of the earth, and make wine from the excess fruit, to preserve the richness of the fruits of the earth to give us joy throughout the year.

This is the time of the Vine. The God, who was Lord of the Greenwood in the summer and the Corn King at Lughnasadh now dances His last dance upon the earth, as Dionysus, God of wine, music and dance, before making his descent to the underworld to take up his role as Dread Lord of Shadows. The Lord of Light, the Sun King, His power waning, exists briefly in balance with the Dark Lord before giving way to the growing power of darkness, but the power of the sun is encapsulated in the grape and the fruits of the earth.

Sabbat Drinks

Sabbat Drinks


1 quart water, preferably spring water

1 cup honey

1 sliced lemon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While

boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no

more rises add the following:

pinch salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during

the Simple Feast.

Ritual Inspiration Brew for Full moon in February

Blue Lotus Flowers, one entire flower, dried (the lotus is a flower both associated with the moon and inspiration)

One cup of Everclear or Vodka

2 bottles of Blackberry Merlot Wine

1/2 -3/4 cup of Raw Honey (happiness,spiritual energy and wisdom)

2 pints fresh frozen Blackberries (associated with the Goddess Brigit)

9 hazelnuts (for increased mental powers)

9 almonds (for increased wisdom)

Place the Lotus in a jar with a tight fitting lid and pour the Everclear in. Shake it up for a few seconds, then set the jar on a shelf for at least 3 days before you finish your brew.

Then strain the herb out leaving the alcohol as clear as possible. Pour this into a blender

with the Blackberries, nuts, the honey and one bottle of the Merlot, blend. Pour this into a much larger gallon size wine bottle and add the last bottle of Merlot, put the lid on and shake vigorously.

This recipe can of course be altered to reflect your particular ritual needs, using different

herbs, wine and berries(or other fruit).

Raisins, apples, pomagranite juice,

Mabon Wine Moon Cider

4 cups apple cider

1/2 tsp. whole cloves

4 cups grape juice

2 cinnamon sticks for cups

1 tsp allspice

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat cider and grape juice. Add cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring just to boiling. Lower heat and simmer

for 5 minutes. Serve with ladle from a cauldron.


32 lbs new honey

13 gallons water

1 handful of each: rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and sweet briar

2-3 handfuls ground malt

1 round of toast


1 1/2 ounces each: cloves, mace, and nutmeg.

Boil honey in the water. Skim wellhead the rosemary, thyme, bay, and briar. Boil for 1 hr, then add ground malt. Stir until lukewarm., and strain through cloth into another container. Add crushed round of toast, and yeast. When covered with yeast, pour into a cask. Tie the cloves, mace, and nutmeg in a bag and hang it in the cask. Close the cask for 6 months, then bottle.


1/2 gallon water

1 1/2 cup raw honey

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. allspice

1/2 cup Everclear, grain alcohol

Heat all ingredients together slowly, except alcohol. Do not bring to a rolling boil. When well blended, remove from heat, stirring as it settles. When cool, add alcohol and serve.

Mulled Cider

2 quarts apple cider

2 quarts of apple juice

1 cup of honey

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 large seedless orange sliced with peel

1 large green apple sliced with peel

5 cinnamon sticks approx. 3-5 inches

Place all in either a large crock pot on high heat for approx. 4 hours or in a saucepan over medium heat for ½ hour. Do not allow to boil. You may wish to strain the spices out but some people prefer to leave them in and carefully drinking around them and eating the fruit once the cider is consumed.

Samhain Cider

2 quarts of apple cider

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 cup apricot brandy

In a large pot, combine the apple cider, confectioner's sugar,

nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Simmer slowly on low heat for about 15 minutes. take care that the cider does not boil. Add the apricot brandy and serve the cider while it is still warm. Refrigerate any leftover

cider. Serves 8


4 cups apple cider

1 jar crabapples (undrained) 16oz

2 cups golden sherry

4 lemon slices

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place cider into sauce pan, bringing to a boil and then add other ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Serve immediately

Wassail Punch

16-18 servings

1 dozen apples; baked

1 cup Water

4 cups Sugar

1 Tablespoon Freshly grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons Ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon Ground mace

6 Whole cloves

6 Allspice berries

1 Stick cinnamon

1 Dozen eggs, separated

4 Bottles sherry or Madeira wine

2 cups Brandy

The beverage is served hot, so plan on a heatproof punchbowl. Prepare the punch: Combine water, sugar, and spices in a large stainless steel, enamel or glass saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until light in color. In separate pans, bring the wine (and beer, if used) and the brandy almost to the boiling point. Fold the whites into the yolks, using a large heatproof bowl. Strain the sugar and spice mixture into the eggs, combining quickly. Incorporate the hot wine with the spice and egg mixture, beginning slowly and stirring briskly with each addition. Toward the end of this process, add the brandy. Now, just before serving and while the mixture is still foaming, add the baked apples. Guests are welcome to take part or all of an apple

Yule Brew
4 parts cinnamon

4 parts allspice

2 parts nutmeg

2 parts lemon peel

2 parts clove

1 part bay

2 parts chamomile

50 parts black tea

Heat until well steeped. Serve with thin apple slices.

Mabon Recipes


Glazed Apple Bites

/2 cup honey

2 tbsp. water

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 egg whites

2 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. cornstarch

3 red delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

oil for frying

Combine the honey, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Heat over a low flame until the honey is dissolved. Keep warm. Mix the egg whites, flour, and cornstarch in a small bowl to form a batter. Cover the apples with the batter. Fry in the oil over medium heat until golden brown. Arrange the apples on a platter in an appropriate magical symbol. Drizzle with the honey glaze. Serve with pork chops.

Mabon Wine Moon Cider

4 cups apple cider

1/2 tsp. whole cloves

4 cups grape juice

2 cinnamon sticks for cups

1 tsp allspice

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat cider and grape juice. Add cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring just to boiling. Lower heat and simmer

for 5 minutes. Serve with ladle from a cauldron.

Baked Apples

4 Large apples (Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Jonathan, Rome Beauty)
1/4 C Brown sugar, firmly packed
1 t Ground cinnamon
1 t Ground nutmeg
1/4 C Raisins
4 t Butter
2 T of nuts such as walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 C Apple juice or cider

Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel apples and core them 3/4 of the way down. Place apples in an 8-inch square greased baking dish.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins nuts. Spoon one-fourth of mixture into hollow core of each apple. Top each apple with 1 teaspoon butter. Bring apple juice or cider to a boil, and pour into baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, basting occasionally with juice. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Lughnasadh Recipes


Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe served on the eve of the fist harvest of the potatoes. It is very good.



1 medium cabbage, quartered and core removed

2 lb potatoes, scrubbed and sliced with skins left on

2 medium leeks, thoroughly washed and sliced

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoons each mace, salt, pepper

2 garlic cloves

8 tablespoons unsalted butter


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the cabbage until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain off the water and chop the cabbage. Set aside.

Bring another pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain off the water and set aside.

Put the leeks in a saucepan, cover with the milk, bring close to boiling and then turn down to a simmer until tender. Set aside.

Add the mace, salt and pepper, and garlic to the pot with the potatoes and mash well with a hand masher. Now add the leeks and their milk and mix in with the potatoes, taking care not to break down the leeks too much. Add a little more milk if necessary to make it smooth. Now mash in the cabbage and lastly the butter. The texture that you want to achieve is smooth-buttery-potato with interesting pieces of leek and cabbage well distributed in it.

Transfer the whole mixture to an ovenproof dish, make a pattern on the surface and place under the broiler to brown.

Bannock is a traditional scottish dish and was made from the first fruits that were harvested.

Here is a modern recipe.

Pitcaithly Bannock


8 oz flour

4 oz butter

2 oz caster sugar

1oz prunes

1oz sultanas


Set oven to 325F/Gas 3. Grease a baking sheet. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the sugar and butter and rub in to form a dough. Add the almonds and mix in the peel, making sure they are evenly distributed. Form into a thick round on a lightly floured surface and prick all over with a fork. Place on the sheet and bake for about 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool and serve sliced thinly and buttered.

Stuffed Mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons diced green pepper



1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 lb. large mushrooms, stems removed

3/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons cooked, crumbled bacon

12 small slices cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over low heat and saute' the mushroom stems, green pepper, and onions until tender. Mix in the bread crumbs, bacon, thyme, salt & pepper. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. Place the caps on a cookie sheet. Melt one tablespoon of the butter & drizzle over the caps. Top each with a cheese slice. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Midsummer Recipes


Herb Bread

3 cups flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg. dry active yeast
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives
2 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 1/4 cups hot water
2 tbs. Crisco
Mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add herbs, water, and Crisco. Beat slowly, stirring in the remaining cup of flour until smooth. Scrape flour from sides of bowl and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes until it doubles in bulk. Punch down and beat with a spoon for about 15 seconds. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, patting down and forming loaf shape with your hands. Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes or again until it rises in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Brush top with butter and margarine and remove from pan to cool.

Cherries Jubilee

1 scoop coconut ice cream
50 grams castor sugar
100 grams of cherries
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
1 sprig mint leaves
2tbsp orange juice
Stem and pit the cherries. Dissolve sugar in the orange juice and bring
to a boil. Cook cherries in boiling orange juice for 3-4 minutes. Heat
the Grand Marnier. Add to the cherries. Light and serve the flaming
cherries with coconut ice cream. Garnish with mint leaves.

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes

1 Teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 Servings Angel Hair Pasta
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 Teaspoon Oregano
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 Teaspoon Basil
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients. Chill for one hour in the
refrigerator before serving.



2 cups milk
1 cup marigold petals
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1 to 2-inch piece vanilla bean
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. rose water
Whipped cream

Using a clean mortar and pestle reserved for cooking purposes,
pound marigold petals. Or, crush with a spoon. Mix the salt, sugar
and spices together. Scald milk with the marigolds and the vanilla
bean. Remove the vanilla bean and add the slightly beaten yolks and
dry ingredients. Cook on low heat. When the mixture coats a spoon,
add rose water and cool.

Chicken Bread-Pie

4 slices toast
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup milk
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. dill
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
5 oz. frozen peas, thawed
5 oz. frozen broccoli, thawed
1 onion, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and thinly sliced
4 slices bread

Preheat oven to 400. Grease an 8x8 inch pan. Lay the toast on the bottom of the pan. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan. Mix in the flour to form a paste. Add the milk a little at a time, stir until smooth. Stir in the broth, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix in the chicken, peas, broccoli, and onion. Lay half the egg slices on the toast. Pour on the creamed chicken. Top with the remaining egg slices. Cover with the bread slices. Bake until hot, about 20 minutes.

Beltane Spiral Goddess

1 tbsp. dry yeast (one packet
1/4 cup warm water
pinch of sugar
8 tbsp. butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk at room temperature
1 tbsp orange zest, minced or grated
pinch of salt
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cup flour
1 cup raisins
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. honey
1 egg white

Combine yeast and water, sprinkle with the pinch of sugar and let it set until foamy. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, milk, orange peel, yeast mixture, and salt. Mix in the first 3 cups of flour 1 cup at a time, first with a whisk, then with a wooden spoon. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is too stiff to beat. Turn out onto a flat surface dusted with flour and knead, adding flour until dough is silky and barely dry. Continue kneading for a few minutes. Put dough in lightly oiled bowl, turn the dough over, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until 80 percent doubled in size. Punch down and divide the loaf into two parts, one about 60 percent of the dough and the other 40 percent. Roll the larger part into a long coil about 2 inches in diameter. On a lightly oiled cookie sheet, wind the long coil into a spiral. From the second piece of dough, pinch off a piece about as big as a ping pong ball and set aside. Roll the rest out into a coil the same width as the first piece and form the rest of the Goddess. Use the remaining piece as her head. Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm place. Let rise until almost doubled; this bread has egg in it and will rise even more in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes in a preheated 350 oven or until it tests done. When the loaf is still warm, glaze over it and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Ostara Recipes

Pork Kabobs
from: A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook by Patricia Telesco

1 lb. boneless pork, cubed
3 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
3 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. barbecue sauce
cherry tomatoes
pearl onions
2 small yellow squash, cubed
3 green peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
Bamboo skewers

Combine the pork, vinegar, garlic, sesame seeds, onion powder, ginger, rosemary, and lemon pepper in a medium sized bowl. Cover. Marinate at least 12 hours in the fridge. Pour marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a low heat. Boil 5 minutes. Mix in the honey and barbecue sauce. Alternate pieces of pork, tomatoes, onions, squash, and green peppers on the skewers. Grill 5-6 inches away from the coals or heat element until the pork is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes to baste with the sauce.
Ostara Pasta with Goat Cheese

16 ounces penne pasta
1 cup rich milk
2 well beaten eggs
12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp.basil
1/4 tsp.parsley flakes
1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped black olives (optional)

Grease a 9x13 baking pan and preheat oven to 350. Boil the pasta until just al dente. Mix the milk and eggs together, set aside. In another bowl, mix the feta, tomatoes, pepper, basil, parsley, and olives. Remove the penne pasta from the stove top and drain well. Blend in feta mixture. Place in pan. Top with bread crumbs if you like, then pour the milk and egg mixture over the top, distributing it evenly and allowing it to soak down into the pasta. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Imbolc Recipes

Imbolc Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs. poppyseed
1 tbs. lemon peel
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
powdered sugar

You can do this in one pan! Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, poppyseeds, baking soda, and salt with a fork in an un-greased 9"x9"x2" baking pan. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the powdered sugar. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the top is golden brown. Remove from oven & cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Luscious Lemon Pie
from: A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook by Patricia Telesco

3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
6 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups water
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
5 tbsp. lemon juice

9 inch pie shell

Meringue :
6 egg whites
Dash of salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325. Combine the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. In a double broiler, mix 1/2 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water. Cook over boiling water until thick, stir constantly. Cover. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Stir occasionally. Spoon a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolk, stir quickly. Beat the egg yolks into the hot mixture. Cook 2 minutes, stir constantly. Remove the pain from the water, stir in the butter, lemon rind, and juice. Pour into pie shell. Beat the egg whites and salt until foamy. Add the vanilla. Beat in the remaining sugar 1 tbsp. at a time, continue beating until stiff and shiny. Cover pie with meringue. Make sure there are no gaps and the edges are sealed with the meringue. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.

Yule Recipes



10 lb (5 kg) fully or partially cooked bone-in smoked ham

10-15 whole cloves

1 cup golden yellow brown sugar

2/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup BC honey

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp orange zest

Method: Preheat oven to 325F. If the ham has thick skin, slice off the top layer, leaving about 1/4 inch fat on the meat. Place the ham with the fat side up on a rack in a roasting pan. With a sharp knife score the fat in a criss-cross pattern and poke cloves into each square. Pour water into the pan but it should not touch the ham. Place the ham in the oven and roast for 20 minutes per pound or for about 3-3 1/2 hours. To prepare the glaze: in a small saucepan stir together the brown sugar, the honey, the mustard, the orange juice and the orange zest. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. About 45 minutes before the ham is done brush with some of the glaze. Continue to baste with glaze every 10 minutes until the ham is done. If cooking a raw ham the meat thermometer should read 135F (57C) when inserted into the thickest part of the ham, but not touching the bone. When ready; remove from the oven cover, let rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve the meat against the bone, always across the grain.

Yule Salad

1/2 bag fresh cranberries
3 lg stalks celery
3-4 large carrots
1 large orange
1 can crushed pineapples
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, your preference)
1 large (or 2 small) box raspberry, or raspberry-cranberry Jelly
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Open can of pineapples and drain, saving the juice. Put aside. Mix the saved juice from the pineapples and 1 cup of cold water together.
Prepare Jelly according to directions, but where the directions call for 2 cups cold water, use the 1 cup cold water/pineapple juice mixture. Before you add the cold mixture to the hot, add the sugar to the hot Jelly mixture, and dissolve, then add cold water/pineapple juice mixture, combine well and refrigerate. Be sure to put into a large salad or mixing bowl.
Shred the carrots finely - put aside.
Finely chop celery with a knife or food processor. (I only like the flavour of celery, not the texture, so I use the blender to chop it up very fine)
Chop or crush walnuts
Grate orange peel with fine grater (a cheese grater will do).
Peel orange and clean as much of the pith (the white stuff) away as possible, and section by hand.
In a blender put the cranberries, one handful at a time into the water and chop finely. Add the orange sections and chop more coarsely (using the pulse button on your blender). Add to the Jelly mixture. Add all other ingredients to the Jelly mixture and mix well. Refrigerate over night.

Topping for salad:
You may top with whipped cream or Cool Whip, but I love this topping the best, it is a nice accent to the sweetness of the salad.
1 cup sour cream
1 cup real mayonnaise
Blend well and place by the tablespoonful on top of the gelled salad.