Tag Archives: kitchen witchery

A Hasty but Productive Esbat

Last Friday I looked down at my calendar and was surprised to see that the full moon was that coming Sunday.  Given my recent track record, I wasn’t particularly surprised to be unaware of the moon’s phase – I was more shocked that I’d caught myself in time.

By Sunday, Aradia and I planned a dinner but no ritual and had gotten the house just barely clean enough to cook and host … but hadn’t quite planned the ritual.  We ended up playing it by ear, which worked out fantastically.

After working together off and on for the last year and a half, we’ve found that our synergy is such that we do not use traditional quarter-calls.  Instead, each of us takes a turn leading as we attune to each of the elements.

The Circle came together with a potency the likes of which I haven’t seen in some time.  After years of performing such rituals, our space is … accustomed to it.  Attuned.  Generally, we conjure a Circle to the perimeter of the office/temple area then push it out to the edges of the household.  That night it sprang up in two layers simultaneously: one around the temple, one at the edge of the property.

We had a bowl of water that we blessed, and which I used to consecrate a goddess-image I’ve been working with and which we (later) used to top off our latest batch of kobucha.  We charged a jar of tomato juice that Aradia used as a basis for a round of get-well potion.  Each of us took the opportunity to do a bit of candle-magic.

The chief purpose for the ritual was to provide a jump-start for our magical lives.  Though such things are traditionally reserved for the Dark Moon, the centerpiece of our ritual was a journey to the Underworld.  Specifically, we visited the Realm of Fire, using a meditative aide by Christopher Penczak from the Outer Temple book.

Finally, we concluded our rite with divination.  My own spread, I have already shared.  The others, of course, did their own.

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Stomach-soothing Ginger Tea

Something made me sick yesterday.  I’m not sure if it was the perhaps-too-old soup I had for lunch, or the reubens Aradia and I had for dinner Wednesday night.  Several friends recommended Kimchee – which, granted, I’ve been meaning to add to my fermentation experiments; it’s on the list after kimbucha – but I wasn’t willing to pour that into an already sour stomach.  So the Squirrel Bandit provided me with this:

Take a 3 inch thumb of ginger (do not bother to peel it -just cut off funky parts)and grate it or slice it into a small soup pot  and 6 cups water (2 cups if you are making syrup for later in the week). Boil until  the kitchen smells like ginger and the water gets yellowish, add 4 Tb honey and wait a few minutes. If you can handle it add 2 Tb lemon or lime juice.

Drink hot or add syrup to seltzer after chilling.

Tasty and soothing.

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Mabon Pumpkin Mead

Mabon Pumpkin Mead

Put together from several pumpkin mead recipes on the internet:

http://brewery.org/cm3/recs/10_36.html

http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/mead-recipes.htm

Materials

1 empty 2 gal primary fermentation vessel (food bucket)

1 empty 4L jug

1 air lock

2 lbs raw honey honey

1 lb brown sugar

12 oz diced, baked pumkin

1 cinnamon stick

1 pkt Montrachet wine yeast

1/2 tsp yeast nutrient

1/2 tsp pectic enzyme

1/8 tsp tannen powder

1 Campden tablet

juice of two oranges + twist of peel

water

Process

bake pumpkin after glazing with butter, brown sugar

mix honey and water at 1:2 ratio in sauce pan, heating until foam forms on surface, skim foam

add allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, brown sugar to honey mixture, allow to cool

add pumkin, tannen, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, honey mixture, and Campden tablet to primary fermentation vessel

24 hours later, add yeast to the juice of two oranges. give 1-2 hours to become frothy

add yeasty orange juice, twist of orange peel to must

rack in 1 month, again 6 weeks later, again 6 weeks later

bottle at 6 months if clear, consume at Mabon year after year

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Midsummer Mead

I racked my first batch of midsummer mead at the same time I did the Beltane. The black cherry flavor was somewhat spontaneous, and the recipe would work as well with any summer fruit substituted. The flavor was potent, but definitely needed more time to meld and harmonize. Aradia – whose palate is much more refined than my own – described it as having two entirely separate flavors, which didn’t quite get along yet. By the time it’s bottled and drank, though, I think it will be beautiful.

Midsummer Mead – Black Cherry Melomel

Materials
1 empty 4L jug
1 air lock
2.5 lbs raw honey honey
32 oz. bottled black cherry juice
1 pkt dry wine yeast
yeast nutrient
pectic enzyme
acid blend
tannen
water
Process
sanitize jug & airlock as described in manuals
fill jug with water, honey, nutrients. shake well
add yeast, shake again
insert air lock
incorporate bottle-shaking into midsummer ritual
rack after 2 weeks
rack again after 1 month, topping off as necessary
rack again after 6 weeks, topping off as necessary
takes about three months to clear from first fermentation
bottle at 6 months
drink at midsummer, year after year.

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Beltane Mead

I just racked and sampled my Beltane mead the other day, so I thought I’d share the recipe. This was my first attempt at incorporating meadmaking into a sabbat ceremony, and I think it’s gone pretty well. Our Beltane celebration took place out at Camp Gaea, which made the operation just a little tricky: packing and prepping everything I could possibly need. Since it was, of course, a bonfire ritual I did all the prep work in the morning – measuring and mixing everything into the honey and water in the jug I used as a primary fermentation vessel- and, because it was a bit chilly this year, kept it near the fire. We did our ritual, and shortly before the culmination (my first cone of power ever), passed the jug around and had everybody dance with it as we danced around the fire, raising power.

I could still feel that power as I racked and sampled (making the appropriate offering to Dionysus, of course) the product, to make sure it was progressing as planned. (Ho, boy could I feel that power. Zing!) Also, very tasty.

Beltane Mead
A recipe refined from experiments with Jug Mead, designed to be made during the sabbat ritual and drunk when the wheel of the year has completed another rotation.

Materials
1 empty 4L jug
1 air lock
3 lbs raw honey honey
1 pkt Lavlin brand EC-1118 wine yeast
yeast nutrient
pectic enzyme
acid blend
tannen
water

Process
sanitize jug & airlock as described in manuals
fill jug with water, honey, nutrients. shake well
add yeast, shake again
insert air lock
incorporate bottle-shaking into beltane ritual dance
rack after 2 weeks
rack again after 1 month, topping off as necessary
rack again after 6 weeks, topping off as necessary
takes about three months to clear from first fermentation
bottle at 6 months
drink at beltane, year after year.

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