Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hen Party Recipes

The cluckers of my egg lady have been laying like crazy for the last few weeks, which has meant more eggs for us. So until our egg lady finds more folks to take em, we'll gladly take the extras!

There has also been an increase of hen parties with my fellow crazy ladies, so I have been using them as my guinea pigs to try various recipes with eggs in them. Here are some winners:

Mushroom Hunter's Omelet
{From Best-Ever Vegetarian}

For each serving:
2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for cooking
4 oz assorted wild and cultivated mushrooms {such as young cepes, chantrelles, cremini, portobellos, and oyster mushrooms}, trimmed and sliced
3 eggs, at room temperature
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter into a small pan, add the mushrooms and cook until the juices run. Season with salt and pepper, remove from pan and set aside. Wipe the pan.

Break the eggs into a bowl, season and beat with a fork. Heat the pan over high heat, add a pat of butter and let it begin to brown. Pour in the beaten egg and stir briskly with the back of a fork.

When the eggs are two-thirds set, add the mushrooms and let the omelet finish cooking for 10-15 seconds.

Tap the handle of the pan sharply with your fist to loosen the omelet from the pan, then fold and turn out onto a plate. Serve with warm crusty bread and a simple green salad.


Herb Stuffed Eggs
{From Natural Foods Cookbook}

6 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise
3/4 cup plain yogurt {you can always try making your own! :D}
1/4 cup ground sesame seeds
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tspn marjoram
Sea salt or kelp to taste
Toasted sesame seeds

Remove the yolks for the egg halves and mash in a bowl. Stir in the yogurt, ground seeds, parsley, marjoram and salt or kelp.

Pile mixture back into the whites and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 6.


Camembert & Shitake Mushroom Quiche
{From LCBO}

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh shitake mushrooms
3 oz Camembert, rind removed and diced
5 oz Neufchatel cheese, diced
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 frozen 9 inch deep dish pie shell {I made my own for this recipe}

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; saute garlic and mushrooms until softened; set aside. In a large bowl beat together cheeses until mixture is fairly smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into frozen/or homemade pie shell. Bake quiche for 25 to 30 minutes or until quiche is golden brown.


And here are a few more yummies with eggs:
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Luverly of the Week: Calm Beach After the Storm by Jenny P

This is a beach in my area that I like to go hang out at when I get the chance. It is usually nice and quiet when I go there. :)



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Monday, May 23, 2011

Pissy Beaver

It seems that our Canadian mascot has gone from this:

to this:

Angry beaver roams through N.W.T. town

A large, agitated beaver attracted a crowd in Fort Smith, N.W.T., this week when it meandered through town and got hissy with a German shepherd.

The beaver was spotted Monday evening wandering around a residential neighbourhood, along a busy street, through a graveyard and golf course, all the while escorted by an N.W.T. Environment and Natural Resources officer.

Mike Keizer, a longtime resident in the town of 2,400 near the N.W.T.-Alberta border, said he hopped on his bicycle as soon as he heard there was a beaver on the loose.

"It looked huge. I always thought beavers would be smaller," Keizer told CBC News on Thursday.

"All the beavers I've ever seen have been in water, so you only ever see pieces of them; like, you don't get to see the whole beaver."

Another Fort Smith resident, Jason Mercredi, shot video footage of the beaver moving in a ditch and on a sidewalk along McDougal Street.

"There's a beaver holding up [the] main street," Mercredi says in the video, before asking his uncle if the animal would attack.

"He's pissed," Mercredi remarked.

The wayward animal, which Keizer estimated was the size of a dog, zigzagged across people's lawns and around their homes.

"Every time it got agitated or flustered, it would bang its tail on the ground. I mean, I was amazed at how fast it moved when it was agitated," he recalled.

Keizer said the beaver became especially agitated when it came nose-to-nose with somebody's German shepherd, with just a chain-link fence separating the two animals.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Our mascot gives us away. We Canadians are not as friendly & polite as the whole world thinks we are! ;)



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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maytide Highs & Lows

{the lilacs are starting to bloom!}

I hope everyone is having a wonderful May so far! :) This Bealtaine season has been a mixed bag for myself.

Due to one reason or another some of our rituals were put on hold until last week, but I don't mind an extended season. Spreading out feasting and celebrations is always a good thing as you get older. ;)

Over the last year there has been a rowan tree that I have been "courting" with offerings in the hopes that I would be able to harvest some of its wood. As I mentioned previously, I will not take any live wood from a rowan outside of the "two days of Bealtaine" {which I believe to be between May 1st to May 5th}, so the window of opportunity is fairly slim. I was looking forward to getting some from this lovely tree, but it didn't quite work out that way.

The rowan is just a bit of a walk from my home, so I usually will bring a libation whenever I walked that way. I would also make sure to go to it once a month to make a proper offering, which I last did in mid-April. That was the last time I had went by to see the rowan before I went on May 3rd to make my small harvest. Unfortunately the tree had been badly damaged by another tree which had fallen onto it, which I presume the cause was a pretty nasty storm we had a few days prior.

I felt terrible. I certainly was not going to take a cutting after seeing that poor tree in that condition. A big branch had broken off the rowan, which was much more than I needed but I took it with the assumption that I was "supposed to". It was not what I had in mind though. A coincidence or a mistake on my part? {Feedback from other workers & worshippers would be appreciated!}

I will have to find another rowan to court for next year {I think one should harvest from a different tree each year, both for practical and superstitious reasons}, but that old tree will still be getting regular offerings and libations.

On a brighter note, a friend of mine who just purchased an old farmstead last Autumn allowed me to take the first cream of her spring-fed well and gave me the Bealtaine morning milk of her goat. In return I did a little blessing ritual for her critters and crops {Carmina Gadelica was again my source for this, which I took a few of the prayers/incantations from the "Labour" section and altered them for my needs}.

She has also welcomed me to wildcraft there whenever I like...the area around her is reputed to be bountiful in morels, chantrelles, fly agaric & oyster mushrooms!

Farm folk are awesome folk. :)

Speaking of harvests, I have had some going on in my own garden! I have been regularly picking dandelion flowers {almost time to make more dandelion vinegar} and leaves, rhubarb, fiddleheads, and sweet woodruff.

With the sweet woodruff I decided to have a try at making some maiwein, which went down quite nicely I must say. This is the concoction that I came up with:

A bottle of white wine {I used Pelee Island Blanc de Blanc and works well enough. Something with a Gewurztraminer grape would probably have been even better.}

9 sprigs of fresh Sweet Woodruff

9 fresh Rowan berries {I harvest them in late August/early September and keep them in the freezer}

Stick the Sweet Woodruff and Rowan berries in the bottle of wine, put cork back on and let it sit a room temperature for 3 hours. Drink chilled.

A little while back we did some planting too. These are the seeds we have planted so far:

{Cupani sweetpeas}

{"Devon" mangetout peas}

{Red Russian kale}

In general I would say that things are coming along pretty good in the garden and on the rest of the property. We have plenty of volunteers such as...

{wild strawberry near our drive way}

The sweet woodruff is going ape shit in the shade bed....

{a cuter version of what happens in Aliens}

And the wild ginger is flowering!



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A Great Interview w/ Professor Ronald Hutton

For our readers who might be interested, there is an interview with Ronald Hutton over at the Necropolis Now Blog. Enjoy! :)



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Friday, May 20, 2011

Farmers' Market Season is Here! :D

{royalty free photo}

Tomorrow {Saturday May 21st} the North Bay Farmers' Market will be open for another season, which ends on Thanksgiving weekend.

If you are in the area between now and then, you should check it out! It is open every Saturday from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. It is located at 200 McIntyre Street and there are all sorts of nifty vendors: produce, meat, baked goods, plants, preserves, maple syrup, honey, and various arts & crafts.



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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blogger Stole 'Em

For those of you who have contacted me about what happened to your comments, please be assured that I did not erase them. Apparently Blogger had some technical difficulties and I guess the interwebs nommed them for lunch. The same thing happened to the luverly Scented Nectar.

Sorry about that folks!


P.S. Last night we finally finished up our Bealtaine celebrations & rituals, so a post about that will come shortly

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to Feed Plough-Folk...

...or at least how to eat like one!

After a long day working in the field {or garden!!}, most of us are too weary to spend loads of time in the kitchen preparing something to eat. So after washing the dirt from under your nails, try one of these variations of a ploughman's lunch, which are guaranteed to be quick, easy, and to satisfy your gut.

From Epicurious
From the kitchn
From Slow Travel
From My Recipes
From Recipe Taps



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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Luverly of the Week: Abandoned Home in Restoule by finder1957

This is a house I always pass by when I am in Restoule to visit family, our ancestral cemetery and other sacred spots. Apparently it was the home of a second cousin, but I only remember it as being dilapidated.

Finder1957 also took a photo of another abandoned home that you pass on the way into Restoule:

I am one already prone to nostalgia and passing these houses always bring that out in me. But I don't mind in the least.

Besides my ancestral lands across the pond, Restoule is certainly where my heart is.



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Way of the Morris

The Way of the Morris is a new documentary that looks like it would be worth a watch for folks interested in Morris dancing. Here is a snippet from the website:

"A heartfelt ode to his agrarian roots, Way of the Morris follows filmmaker Tim Plester on a journey from the English village green to the killing fields of The Somme, as he searches for a connection with the much-maligned native dance traditions that run deep in his bloodline."

And here are two of the official trailers:



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Friday, May 6, 2011

Consecrating Seed Part II

I had a few folks request a more in depth post about consecrating seed {click here to see the first post}. I am not really used to writing out a "how-to" for rituals, so please excuse if the format is clumsy. And please keep in mind that this is just how I go about doing it, so if this is something you are going to try, you will probably want to tweak it at least a bit.

This is a two part ritual. The first part is done on a Tuesday which is the actual seed consecration, and the second part is done on the following Friday when the seeds are planted.


{altar overview}

Making offerings are central in both my religious and magical practices. For this ritual I ask for blessings of the gods {in general}, ancestors, and land spirits, so I make offerings to all three. Three of our household deities are also left offerings, as they all play a key role {Macha for fertility & agriculture, Airmid for healing plants/herbalism, and Flidais as a "diplomat" for the wild parts of the land & critters}.




In a bowl I place one of each type of seed that will be planted on the following Friday. I will also bring in any seedlings that might be planted out too. In the altar overview picture you can see I also have a chalice, which is full of spring water, which is used to consecrate the seeds; there are three candles, one to represent the gods, one to represent ancestors, and one to represent the local nature spirits.

{Bowl of seeds; the cards are from The Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud}

Before sprinkling the seeds/seedlings with the water, I walk in a circle sunwise with the chalice of water nine times {1. blessings of the gods 2. blessings of the ancestors 3. blessings of the local nature spirits 4. blessings of Macha 5. blessings of Airmid 6. blessings of Flidais 7. blessings by land 8. blessings by sea 9. blessings by sky---land, sea & sky are thought to be the Three Realms of Celtic cosmology by many CR Pagans}. Then I sprinkle the seeds nine times {same reasons and in same order}.

That's pretty much it for Tuesday. I will keep the seeds on the altar until Friday.


Before planting on Friday, I will make another round of offerings. Those for Macha, Airmid, Flidais and the local nature spirits are made outdoors. The offerings for the nature spirits are separate from the ones of the three goddesses.

{Our little outdoor shrine for the local nature spirits. I try to leave offerings and honor them according to the stories of the First Peoples of my area}

Then I say the following:

I will go out to sow the seed,
In names of Them who gave it growth;
I will place my front in the wind,
And spread a gracious amount on the ground.
Should a seed fall on a bare rock,
It shall have no soil in which to grow;
As much as falls into the earth,
The dew will make it to be full.

Friday, day auspicious,
The dew will come down to welcome
Every seed that lay in sleep
Since the coming of cold without mercy;
Every seed will take root in the earth,
As the Rulers of the elements desired,
The braird will come forth with the dew,
It will inhale life from the soft wind.

I will come round with my step,
I will go rightways with the sun,
In name of the Gods that are mine,
In name of the Ancestors and the Nature Spirits kind.

Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits
Be giving growth and kindly substance
To every thing that is in my ground,
Till the days of harvest shall come.
Then I get to planting. Later on I will bury the consecrated seeds and some of the offerings in a pit on the property.

Well, that's it. Happy gardening! :)



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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A May Garden Quickie

Howdy folks! I hope that all of our readers are enjoying the beautiful May. :)

Things have been rather busy 'round here, so this is just a quick peekture post of some of the growing progress in our little patch of dirt {please excuse the shoddy quality}.

I will post about our Bealtaine some time after Friday. Be sure to get out and enjoy the May!



{wild ginger}

{Siberian squill}

{sweet woodruff}

{lady's mantle}

{lemon balm}




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