Thursday, 27 October 2011

Whats Samhain?

“So what do you do at Samhain, I mean it’s all just Hallowe’en isn’t it” asked a friend today. And you know what it took me a min to think about the answer. Because for us obviously it is about the turning of the wheel, the life continuing but with remembrance too. So I came up with the following. It’s a short answer, not as in depth as I might have given to someone who was interested in more than the passing and slightly “I don’t really care” comment that my friend had made.

Wonder what you think?:

What we do for celebrating our Samhain is rather similar to that of any new year, we eat and we drink.


But with the added part of including our ancestors and descendants. We will have a feast, mostly if possible made from food we have grown and home cooked. The table will be set for all attending, and an extra place for representing our ancestors who have passed. In this case this year will be for a few of my family in particular my grandfather who died in the summer. Then during the feast there will be speeches, recognising the wisdom of our ancestors, the comfort of our peers and the promise of our descendants. Finally everyone will write a memory, promise or wish onto some card which is then bound and given to the newest members of our family for them to have for guidance in the future, recognising that we cannot be who we are without the influence and love of those around us. That family and friends matter in this world. Often any new babies in the year will be Named, a ceremony for us where you take it in turn to name the ancestors from as far back as your line can remember welcoming in the newest additions by adding their name to the Tree of Life.

A celebration of old and new, reminding us of our place in the Circle whilst giving thanks for what we have.



By the way, Hello, Its been a while, this year has been one of ups and downs, but here is to many more ups in the new year to come.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Pardon?

For years now I have had problems hearing properly. It has been a gradual decline but about 6 months ago it got noticably worse. Off I troted to the doctors for a referral and this monday gone it finally arrived.


Sadly it seems I am loosing my hearing, it isn't glue ear or excess wax but Otosclerosis. For now I am getting hearing aids for both ears but that doesn't stop the problem, just helps amplify the noise around me.


I've been a bit shaken by it. Not too sure why as being a bit on the deaf side is something that I was expecting. I decided though that wallowing wasn't going to help me (after about 2 large bags of coconut mushrooms) and that I should look into the silver lining side of it all.


As such I have today signed up for BSL1 course. I did a refreshers course throughout June which was a social course but the BSL1 is an exam course so a bit more study required. After this I am going to try and get through the next course stages so that I can qualify as a translator. It will be something I can do for a limited time as I will eventually not be able to hear enough to do so, but after that I can go and work with people who have deaf issues and other problems that means they require help, if that makes sense? Feeling much more positive about it all with a goal in sight.


Other upsides; I get discounted rail tickets, better seats in theatres and the ability to turn the aids off when it all gets too much!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Lammas Lughnasadh crown

Happy Lammas to you all.


We are sat in the countryside, not 20 feet opposite a lovely large corn field which was harvested last night. The French it seems harvests at night all the time (we might too, it's just I've never seen it done then before) and the smell this morning is beautiful. The sun is shinning and the heat is high already (yeast out bubbling ready for the loaves in a moment).



So we asked if we could have a lttle of the corn, the farmer has left some in what appears to be no-man's land, amazing how far those seed throwers spread, and have started to make some dollies and a John Barleycorn crown for littleun.


All we did was plait 6 together for one side, six for the other and then with some course string tie them to form a round.

After that we weaved the remaining heads into the plaits and very quickly the crown formed. Littleun will wear it later when we have our meditation and give thanks. Later we are heading to a Dolmen, been there before and its lovely and peaceful, tucked away in a corn field we can connect with the earth so easily there.



Hope you all hve fantastic day, wherever you may be. BB

(ps sorry about the spacing on this post, blogger is being stubborn wth a mind of its own!)




Sunday, 31 July 2011

Things change

Well it finally happened. After all our years as and up and down relationship it's come to an end. My grandfather died this month after a short illness. We thought it was his usual problems but it was in fact cancer.


I never knew where I stood with him; he wasn't one for showing much affection and had a rather Victorian outlook on our lives. There were days of fun as a child, I can remember him making us mermaid princess' out of large flat seaweed we found when playing on the beach. I can remember his attempts to prove that everyone has the ability paint and draw if only they tried hard enough (really I can't paint, mine always end up looking like painting by numbers) and my efforts sit on the fire mantel, initially because my littleun liked them but now with new view to them as in clearing the house I have found a new man. One I didn't know but rather wish I had.


He didn't keep much in the way of possessions, given his age when he died you would expect a lot more than there was. But some of the things he did keep were the postcards we sent, pictures and photographs and when you look back you see a possible new meaning to the expressions on the faces in them. And it made me think. Did he really not love us or was it more a case of he had absolutely no idea how to show that he did.


I remember lecture after lecture on how we were all meant to behave in life, how some of us had been dissapointments to him and on how hot air doesn't rise, cold air sinks! Oh and prisms. With sadness I remember far more of these than of the cheerful fun.


Re-reading a lot of the emails that he sent, the ones that reading at the time felt like he was being cantankerous , I read a different plea, one that said "come visit". And now I wonder if I had whether we would have enjoyed each others company that bit better. Don't get me wrong I did visit, and often, but it felt like a chore not like fun. Strange then that when we did talk it was interesting to hear what he had to say. If you wanted to know how to maintain and strip any form of armoury or if you wanted to know about Tobruk he could tell you, he was after all in the thick of it.


I told Littleun that he had completed his Circle and I expected confusion and tantrums. Littleun is probably the only one in this family who loved him unconditionally, he can remember happy things, playing with the birds that granddad used to keep, watching tom and jerry, both laughing hard. But he didn't do that. Litteun understood and it is the matter of fact way that he has asked questions about granddad that has helped me.


Will I miss him? Yes, but not in the way that one would normally miss a grandparent who has died and certainly not with regret, that is after all pointless. But for not knowing him properly. If there is one thing that has come out of all of this it's that I will make sure that I never do that with any grandchildren I might be lucky enough to have.


My grandfather: Man of photos, magic lanterns, poems and lectures. Who might just possibly, be right about hot air. Returned to the earth, 2011.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

So its the Solstice

And although sunrise was technically 4.42am it has yet to appear here. One of the wettest and grayest solstices I have ever known. Even the wood for the fire is so damp I doubt it will light first go!


However dancing and music abound as Littleun has a new rhythm he wants to play for his drums and we have food on the go already.


I also have a new beginning today as I go for the first of my BSL course. I have started to accept that my hearing isn't getting better and at the rate the NHS works will be a very long time before they do anything to help so decided to take matters literally into my own hands and start a course to help refresh my sign language abilities.


Hope you all have a lovely day and that the Sun finally makes an appearance!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Litha Feasting: Lemon preserving and Lamb Recipes

If you are like us any Sabbat requires celebrating the good fortune of food around us. For this Sabbat we are lucky to have some lamb from the nearby salt marshes and I thought as we are celebrating the longest day of sunshine we would go for a Moroccan dish as this has some lovely ingredients such as apricots and lemons, reminiscent of the sun in shape and colour. In searching for recipes I found that the one I wanted to use needed preserved lemons. Now I know you can buy these, but half the fun of this path is learning together with Littleun so we decided to make ours (plus it’s a lot cheaper!).

For the lemons we have the following recipe and all I’d say is if you have any cuts do put on some food gloves first!

Ingredients
8-10 Meyer lemons*, scrubbed very clean
1/2 cup salt, more if needed
Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
Sterilized quart canning jar


* You don't need to use Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do, it's just that the milder Meyer lemons work very well for preserving in this way.

1 Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
2 One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
3 Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.
4 Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons; make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.
5 Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
6 To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired.
7 Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Now that we have done this we can use them on Litha to add to our Tagine recipe:


Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Ingredients
1.5kg shoulder of lamb
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
olive oil
2 or 3 preserved lemons, chopped
2 onions
1 good handful dried apricots, chopped
1 good handful sultanas
Black olives
Fresh mint, roughly chopped to serve

Instructions


In a non-stick fry pan gently toast the coriander and cumin seeds until they become fragrant but don't allow to burn.
Tip the seeds into a pestle and mortar and crush with a pinch of salt.
Add the ground seeds to the lamb with a good drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, and the preserved lemons. Work all the flavours into the meat and leave to marinate.
Roughly chop the onions and put in the base of your tagine.
Then add the apricots and the sultanas followed by the lamb.
Next add some black olives, mix well to distribute the flavours and put the lid on.
Cook for about 3-4 hours at 160°C.
When cooked, sprinkle with the chopped mint and serve.

Oh I can’t wait!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Litha soon, some some crafts we are doing

Wanting to rearrange our altar with some new items this year we went on the search of things that Littleun and I could make and do together. One of our must haves is the smell of orange. Those big round juicy fruits which look so much like the burning Sun and smell of freshness and summer hope are important to us. We came across the stones below which we liked. It gives Littleun something he can make and he can craft with messages on the base, allowing him both his own special offerings and a chance to practice his runes or oghams. It’s an American recipe so uses cups but we just used English cups and added a little here and there to get the dough the right consistency.

Orange Fragrance Stones


1-1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup salt

1/4 tsp cornstarch

2/3 cup boiling water

1 tbls. Fragrance (orange in this case) oil

Colorant of your choice


Mix all dry ingredients. Heat water in a Pyrex cup in the microwave or on the stove. Add the f/o and the colour to the water. Stir water mixture into flour mixture. Mix as best you can and then knead the dough with your hands. At this point you just want it to look like pie or cookie dough. Roll it out about a quarter of an inch thick. Cut into shapes or use cookie cutters. Another option is to stamp the flat shapes. Let the dough stones dry. They get hard as rocks and will last for months.

We are looking forward to Litha, last year we spent it in France but this year it will be here in England on the beach with our friends.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Once again




Once again it’s been ages since my last post. Seems this is the way this year will be I’m afraid. In this case its darn ear infections keeping me distracted, so bad I am now referred to the ENT so maybe they can come up with an answer!



I didn’t get around to posting any photos from our Beltane celebrations. A lovely weekend as ever filled with fun and friends, plus the Fella came over for it and we had a lovely few days for His first Beltane.





Am also sorting out a summer fayre for Littleuns School, the first it’s had for years. A few of the staff and other mums are helping too which is great, lots of ideas and fun but trying to get it all pulled together is taking time. Still think my favourite idea at the moment is the scarecrow corner: each class is to make a scarecrow and the best wins. We have also been up at the school showing the reception year how to grow and care for runner beans and sunflowers. Was lovely to see the enthusiasm for it from them, lots of questions and they look after them every day too. Fingers crossed that the flowers develop into beans for them.

So as you can tell its busy here, not having much chance to sit at desk and write blog posts, but as my old school teachers used to say, will try harder…

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Blessed Beltane Everyone

Littleun helped put together the altar this year


Well we lit the candles at Sunset and rose before Dawn to welcome in the Sunrise and what a beautiful one it was too. Last year was soaking wet, really really horrible so it was lovely this year to feel the warmth as we stepped out to join the others.



Met with friends old and new as the Morris sides danced in the dawn. Sadly not sure where the drummers were, maybe a pint too many at Sunset?! However we are off for some drumming this afternoon so no doubt will find out then.

Blessed Beltane to you all and hope you have as fantastic day as we are having.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Edinburgh Beltane Festival




One day, if we loose our festival, I want to go to this one! Found this on Youtube, does contain nudity and things that you might not want littleuns to see though. Looking forward to our celebrations in the meanwhile, only 2 more sleeps to go as my littleun says, before the fun begins.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Our new visitors


Well littleun wanted a pet and has a huge interest in the unusual so instead of going for a dog or cat he wanted Stick Insects. We have 4 at the moment but having had these as a child I am well aware how quickly this type, Indian Stick Insect - Carausius morosus, can breed. They seem to like the ivy but apparently will eat bramble too, which is just as well as that stuff is going mad on my allotment!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Earth Hour 26th March 2011 8.30pm (local time)



Earth hour started in Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million individuals and over 2000 business turned off their lights for an hour to challenge the increasing problems of climate change.

Over the years more people, more countries and finally Governments started to join in with this. Though has it made a direct effect? If you listen to David Cameron he says he supports this and is intent upon becoming known as the Greenest Government this county has had to date. So why then does his government keep coming up with daft ideas? I know the forest sell-offs were reversed but “we” have just decided to go to war in Libya, supposedly to help with freedom but coincidently in a country that is oil rich. I am not a fan of this move as I am not convinced that the Government is being honest in its dealings with it. We need to hunt out renewable sources not kill people to retain old and non renewable methods. Ok an over simplistic view perhaps and I am sure that there can be debates on all sides forever about it being more than oil, but you get my point?

So rather than being a clone and just thinking “I know I’ll do my hours bit” on the 26th why not do what Earth hour are hoping for and make greater stands with more pronounced changes? In this house we try and turn lights off, things aren’t generally left on stand-by and we don’t use the car for just a five min trip. But how can we improve our impact on the world? We already recycle and try hard to eat within seasons so that the food we buy is only from local areas (max 30 miles) the exception to this is Littleuns bananas, a greedier monkey you’ll never meet!

Well we have decided that although the lamps use energy bulbs we don’t really need them, so have for the next month decided to pack away all lamps and see if we can live without that form of light. We have chosen to block the switch on the fridge to stop the small waste through that and instead of using ordinary torches we are starting to change them (as they break) into wind up torches. Lastly Littleun and I have agreed to cut back on the use of the TV and radios. Instead of just putting it on then wandering out of the room to switch the radio on in the one we end up in we are now going to choose one or the other and actually turn it off if not in the room as well as cutting out the dross which really is wasting an hour at least of our lives each day!

So what will you do? If not a lot then do at least do the hours switch off and make the lantern in support (follow link here). But if you can do more, then please do, little things will lead to bigger savings if we all do it.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sundried Tomato Bread

Last year some friends of ours gave me some jars of tomatoes they had dried. Yummy and tasty they were too. And gone in a flash. or so I thought until Sunday when in a bit of a need to cheer up mood I went hunting through the cupboard to try and track down a lost bar of chocolate. There in the back corner was one remaining jar. Problem was I had nothing except cheese to eat it with. So after hearing a certain Someone say how well their loaf had turned out I thought well that's what I'll do, use some in a loaf and scoff the rest with the cheese.
Rather nice with the chutney and cider it was too:
Sundried Tomato Bread Recipe
you will need;
425gms of strong white bread flour
1tsp salt
40gms Parmesan Cheese (though I used the strong cheddar and that worked fine)
50gms Sundried Tomatoes chopped and drained
3tbsp Sundried Tomato Paste
2tbsp Oregano or Rosemary finely chopped
7gms Yeast
225ml Warm Water
Method:
Put the flour, salt cheese, tomatoes and paste into a large bowl. Add the chopped herbs and yeast then pour in the warm water.
Mix together with your hands until mixture combines to make a rough dough ball.
Tip dough ball out onto a lightly floured surface and stretch and knead the dough four about 10 mins till smooth ad elastic.
Shape into greased tin press indentations and scatter the extra herbs, drizzle with some of the oil from the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.
Cover loosely with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30-40 mins).
Preheat oven to 220c/gas 7. Remove clingfilm from dough and reduce temp to 200c/gas 6. Bake for 35mins till golden.
Scoff.

Monday, 14 March 2011

7 weeks to go

Ok I know we have Ostara/Eostre first yet to come but for this house there are two main events in our nearby community in the year which are very important to us.

The first is Beltane/ Jack in the Green. In 7 weeks we will have the busiest weekend of fun, music and laughter. It’s a great time for friends to catch up, for new friends to join in and for the community as a whole.

The gowns and robes from last years have come back out and alterations are on the way. Littleun is prone to this irritating habit of growing out of things! I am on the hunt for new shoes (well perfect reason to buy some) but seem to be having no luck so far. They need to be green and suitable for dancing as well as long term wear. Fingers crossed something will pop up soon.

This year is promising to have a fantastic lineup with the programme to be found here. Looking forward to the Ceilidh and hoping to get the Fella along to it (He foolishly said He could dance!).

The ivy for our decorations has started is re-growth with vigour recently, so that is looking like a good crop can be had without damaging the main plant. We also planted some wild flowers in a section at the allotment so that I can use them in the head-dresses and there are shoots sprouting through the earth already.

But first there is as said above Ostara/Eostre to come and as that is only around the corner I had better get going with those plans, egg blowing and chocolate making at the ready.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Has it really?

Been over a month since my last post? Oh my how time has gone quickly.
Well a brief update then. We have been slogging away at the allotment getting it all ready for the planting out of things. The onions went in and the borders were made with some old wood from a builder friend. Trenches dug for the potatoes and the herb area cleared too.
We have managed to get a lot of daffodils from littleuns bulbs and the house is smelling fantastic with them all around the place. Bright and cheerful yellows peeking out from every corner.
We have also had a half term break and took the time to go visit friends up town and catch up. Visited the Greenwich Maritime and observatory. Which was lovely, the first warm day of the year and we were wandering about in just t-shirts, no need for jumpers or coats for us brave bunch.
The observatory was great as littleun is fascinated with the sky, stars, Moon and Sun as well as clocks so this was a good mix of things he could look at as well as some hands on fun. Ties in nicely with the steampunk that he has now discovered and got me making (Captain Nemo anyone?!).
We've also been making the new clothing needed for this years Beltane festival whilst at the the same time writing petitions and letters to stop the governments plans of scrapping May Day Bank Holiday. Somewhat nervous we will lose this one and that will have a huge impact on us both as Pagans and the local communities across the Counties here.
So as you can see not a lot of time for my ramblings. A balance which needs addressing!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Yay!

So the best thing happened on Imbolc this year, the long awaited ickleun turned up. Many congratulations to my Cousin and his family for their new baby! Can't wait to see the new addition.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Creative Natives


Littleun loves books and he has started to read fairly nicely coming home from school with prizes for getting better. As such having a few pence left on a book voucher card I got given at Yule I thought I would treat him to something from waterstones. His choice, anything he wanted (well excluding those blood thirsty things he seems intent on having nightmares with!). I do love wandering about the bookshops and as he does too was looking forward to a good hour or so browse. This time though Littleun surprised me and found something within only a few minutes.

Creative Natives is a book I’d recommend to anyone but those who already love nature will really enjoy it too. Written By Sam and Steve Sullivan and illustrated by Maggie Sam it is a short story following the day of a family and their friends. The story works through the woods and tells them about things they find, how to make a den, animals in the area and working together. In the margins of the pages are beautiful little drawings of all sorts ranging from different types of bark, leaves, berries, animals to help you teach the basics to your littleun. It also shows via the story how to make things like mobiles out of twigs, leaves and other similar debris and how to respect each other and nature as well as talking about the seasons.

Well worth the read and a good reference point with a fun story I was more than happy to get it for Littleun and will definitely be watching out for any more that might come this way.
Creative natives ISBN: 978-0-9558023-0-0

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Imbolc: How to make a Priapic wand

We, as I mentioned yesterday, make a new wand every year, taken from the strongest branches and scavenged from the offerings dropped to the ground, plus the odd bell or two! It’s an easy and fun thing to do with Littleuns and involves them in the process of the new growth for the new year.

(Last years, I have a broken camera so can't get a photo of this years!)

If you fancy making one this is how we did ours:

You will need
a good stick, strong and about 2/3rds inch in diameter
an acorn
some ribbon, any colour but we tend to use those of new growth, browns, greens and yellows
some bells
craft glue or hot glue gun (but if you are using that make sure Littleuns are safe!)

Strip the bark, sometimes people strip the bark all the way down before hand but we tend to only strip about 2 inches. Cut a notch into the tip of the stick, glue the acorn to the tip. Wrap the ribbon around the top and glue into place. Add bells either to the ends of the ribbons or like we did as the bells were already on a strip of wire we added it as one independent item.

Once the wand is made and dry take it and the children outside. I have explained to Littleun about the God of the forest in our case Cernunnos, and a little bit about things in the earth need to grow to the light in order to produce our flowers and food (waking the earth). Littleun then waves the wand and does his chant as we give thanks for the (hopefully) forthcoming shoots!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The allotment and with Imbolc around the corner

Well just when I thought it was getting warmer the cold is back. Which is a bit frustrating as we have been preparing for the new season up at the allotment and now the ground has gone from soaking to frozen.

We celebrate Imbolc a little differently than some might. We tend to use it as a way to start new with the shoots of the bulbs we put in around Samhain time now showing. We have planned out what we want to do with the allotment and now is the time to start clearing greenhouses in readiness for the seeds to be sown.

It’s a lot of hard work and as I am still learning sometimes it can be frustrating. The ground has some sort of strange long grass which instead of a root mat structure seems to have bulbs and is a devil to get out. This all needs to be cleared before I can dig over and as I’m not that fit plus trying to get it done around work means that it is a lot slower going than I hoped it would be. But we are getting there. The diagram below shows what we are hoping to grow in the season and we are about half way across the potato patch (about 2½ metres). Little has a spade and fork just the right size and mixed in with playing with the toys comes and digs over for me. Though more often than not get sidetracked by the fascination of watching fat worms dig back into the earth!


Last year for Imbolc we made a Priapic wand and at Samhain burnt it as part of the turning from old to new by creating light for the forthcoming nights. So we have spent today making a new one. Which after a lot of thought and care Littleun took up with us to help the bulbs and we will be taking it with us to the green house in a few weeks when we start the seedlings. Littleun has already waved it several times over the potatoes out to chit and has made a chant of his own as he does this:

“Grow and grow and grow so I may grow and grow and grow. Thank you very much”

Which I was pleasantly surprised at, it would seem he does listen when I explain to him about Cernunnos. It’s a much simpler chant than the one I use but it sums it up, and the way he adds the thank you is very funny, in this little voice as if to say oops must not forget that bit!

Anyway that’s enough rambling for today, my bread is yet to be kneaded for the second round and there’s a toyroom to inspect!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Cherries Galore

It’s that time where I start to bake again. Having dragged myself out from under the 31days of Hades (otherwise known as the Tax Return season) I am now free to do a bit more of my things. This is a recipe for a friend who only likes cherry cakes. Unlike most that seem to use glace cherries this one uses fresh so would be better for the summer months but I am splashing out (I know goes against my live within season thoughts but he is worth it) and getting them now.

Ingredients:
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
350g fresh cherries
8tbsp granulated sweetener
5 eggs, separated
1tsp almond extract
150g ground almonds
100g self-raising flour
You'll also need:
20cm loose-base cake tin or spring form tin



1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a loose-base cake tin or spring form tin. Grease the paper. Halve and stone the cherries.
2. Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk together the butter and all but 2tbsp of the sweetener until pale, creamy and very soft. Whisk in the egg yolks, almond extract, ground almonds, flour and 1tbsp warm water.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a thoroughly clean bowl until they form soft peaks, then whisk in the remaining sweetener. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold a quarter of the egg whites into the almond mixture. Gently fold in the remainder with half the cherries.
4. Turn the mixture into the tin and spread it out in an even layer. Scatter the remaining cherries on top. Bake for about 50 mins until the cake has risen and firm to the touch. Test by piercing the centre of the cake with a skewer, it should come out fairly clean. Leave to cool in the tin then transfer to a serving plate. The cake can be stored for a couple of days without drying out.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Wassail Chant part two

Well they sang it in rounds, not sure they meant too but it was fun. The film is wobbly sorry, difficult to keep a littleun away from the draw of flames whilst filming at the same time! But hopefully you'll like it.

Was a fantastic evening, catching up with friends, new and old. Celebrating the apple trees. Oh and the smell, of the hot ciders, the fire, the hog roasts just lovely. Littleun enjoyed it, dancing away to the drum beat, watching the Morris sides (only Borders though not sure why) singing the tunes. Beats Saturday tv anytime!

video

Wassail Chant

Oh Apple Tree we honour thee,
In hope that you will bear
The Blessed fruit of Avalon,
At harvest time each year.

Each golden apple you bring forth,
A gift to Aphrodite,
Has at is heart a pentacle,
The symbol of her mystery.

Your blossom heralds Springtime,
Your leaf brings summer shade,
Let Samhain's harvest cup be filled,
With Cider freshly made.


When winters cold envelopes you,
In wind and rail and hail,
Then we'll return each year to bring,
Our grateful thanks,
WASSAIL!!

Guess where we have been tonight...