The sun is ducking in and out of clouds at the moment. Even though the computer says it’s overcast, there’s more sun than not and it’s supposed to clear up completely, later. It’s going to be a gorgeous day at the coast!
Lots of juncos this morning, two of ’em fighting over a fabric strip from the nesting materials box. A flicker is on the feeder right now. It’s funny how territorial they’re not compared to the jays. They’re also careful feeders, again, unlike the jays, who throw things around.
Tempus and I watched flickers and jays for awhile before we headed out to the shop yesterday. We had a lot of jobs to do: setting out stuff that I added to inventory (things have been building up), finally figuring out what happened to the bottle sizes, figuring out sizes on the bright-colored tunics, making headers for some new stock and getting that into inventory. We were pretty busy for a Friday, at least in the early afternoon. Darwinia stopped by and we talked sewing and costume for awhile, then I got back to the tunics, cussing all the way. Eventually all of the ones that have been out, got tagged, but I’m not going to do more than count the unders and get back to tagging them all later. Gotta do that this morning….
Today is all workshops. Herbs at 11 will be on storing Herbs. Crystals will be sorting and ID-ing the stuff that’s coming out of the small tumbler. I’m hoping to pull the sewing machine out to work on some of the projects that have been building up, maybe even to get that bathrobe that I cut out earlier in the week started. Sewing Workshop is a BYOP (bring your own project) so it depends on who is there to determine what we’ll be doing. I have enough scraps pulled out, now, so that I can do Pouch Construction if anyone wants.
Time for a Cafe Press product reminder! Follow this link to our products. http://www.cafepress.com/ancientlight
Remember that if you’re looking for a particular product in a particular design and don’t see it, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I can use help making sure that I have all of ’em!
Chotrul Duchen is one of four Tibetan Buddhist festivals that commemorate his life. It’s held around this time of year and features sculptured butter lamps, some of which are huge. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_Lamp_Festival and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_lamp and a bit about the offering and prayers here: http://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/lamp-offering-prayer/
The local larkspurs, delphimium trollifolium (bottom pic), and delphihium pavonaceum (which the Wiki article says is confined to the Valley, but I’ve collected out here….top pic) are pretty flowers in shade of white, blue and purple. They’re called delphiniums after the shape of the nectary. More here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_trolliifolium and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinium_pavonaceum Other names are Larksheal and Staggerweed – Feminine, Venus, Water – The flowers frighten away venomous creatures and ghosts. Sprinkle between your eyes and a Litha fire to keep your sight clear. Use in rituals to call upon Dolphin energy.
The shop opens at 11am, but we try to be earlier than that on Saturdays. Winter hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday. If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light or call the shop at 541-563-7154.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon is a Waning Crescent moving to Hecate’s Brooch at 12:51am. Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3/11 at 12:51pm. Waning Crescent Moon – Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr Hecate’s Brooch – 3-5 days before New Moon – Best time for Releasing Rituals. It’s the last few days before the new moon, the time of Hecate’s Brooch. This is the time that if you’re going to throw something out, or sweep the floors, or take stuff to Good Will, do it! Rid yourself of negativity and work on the letting go process. Release the old, removing unwanted negative energies, addictions, or illness. Do physical and psychic cleansings. Good for wisdom & psychic ability. Goddess Aspect: Crone Associated God/desses: Callieach, Banshee, Hecate, Baba Yaga, Ereshkigal, Thoth. Phase ends on 3/10 at 12:51am
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion, Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
Runic half-month of Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
©2013 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion, Ash. The common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Nuin – Ash Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Glass Green
Meaning: Locked into a chain of events; Feeling bound.
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Sa 9 Low 4:25 AM 1.9 6:39 AM Rise 5:10 AM 10
~ 9 High 10:20 AM 8.1 6:15 PM Set 4:21 PM
~ 9 Low 5:01 PM -0.2
~ 9 High 11:20 PM 7.6
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.
~ True words are not beautiful, beautiful words are not true. A good man does not argue. He who argues is not a good man. – Lao Tzu
~ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
~ We must not cease from exploration. – T.S.Eliot
~ Whatever activity you do, do it slowly, with the attention it deserves. Do not rush to end it. Be relaxed in everything and bring your full attention to it. – Thich Nhat Hanh
On Wednesday, when the sky is blue,
And I have nothing else to do,
I sometimes wonder if it’s true
That who is what and what is who. – AA Milne; Winnie-the-Pooh
Magick – Ostara
Maple Glazed Salmon – http://autumnearthsong.com/2012/03/03/ostara-recipes-2012/
1/4 cup maple syrup (even better if you use the REAL maple syrup J
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon
In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
Preheat oven to 400* Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.
Herbal Roast Goose http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/ostara-recipes.html This was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 1/22/09, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
1 whole goose, about 8-9 lbs.
2 small sweet onions
1 bay leaf
For the marinade:
1 cube frozen grated ginger (thawed)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
For the herbal rub:
8 juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon Australian pink salt
For the marinade, combine in a small dish: 1 cube frozen grated ginger (thawed), 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon mace, 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Set aside briefly.
Unwrap the goose. Remove giblets, reserving for gravy or stock. Pull off any big hunks of fat and save those for cooking. The big flap of skin from the neck can also be cut off and put with the stock fixings. Use kitchen shears to cut off the first two wing joints and save those for stock.
Rinse the goose inside and out; pat dry. Prick the skin all over using a knife or fork, so that the fat can escape.
Use a pastry brush to spread the marinade all over the goose. Wrap the goose in plastic or put it in a big dish, and leave it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Peel and quarter two small sweet onions; set aside briefly.
Take out the goose and rinse it briefly to get the vinegar off; don’t obsess over getting every bit of spice off.
In a mortar and pestle, put 8 juniper berries and 1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns. Grind those. Then add 1 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon Australian pink salt. Grind again, then stir to blend thoroughly. Rub this mixture all over the outside of the goose, and save a little to put inside the body cavity as well.
Stuff the onion quarters and a bay leaf into the body cavity of the goose. Close the skin flaps over the opening and secure with a toothpick or skewer. If the skin has a loop for the leg bones, poke the ends through that loop to secure the legs. Otherwise, tie the leg ends together with cotton cooking string.
Carefully lower the prepared goose onto the roasting rack, in the pan or the roasting oven. Cook for 30 minutes at 425ºF.
Reduce heat to 350ºF. Very carefully lift lid of roaster oven, tilting it away from you; or open oven and pull the pan out. Spoon or suction away the liquid fat in the bottom of the pan, reserving it for another use. Cover the roaster oven or return the goose to the regular oven. Cook the goose for a total of 15 minutes per pound (so 2 1/2 hours for 8 lbs). Remove fat every 30-60 minutes.
When done, skin should be crisp golden brown and juices should run clear. (It’s okay if the meat is still pink in places.) Temperature in the thickest part of the meat should be 160ºF. Carefully transfer goose to a serving platter. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
To carve the goose, first slice off the wings. (Lay the wings on the platter and save them for stock; they’re really tough. The onions aren’t meant to be eaten, but if they’re cooked through and people want them, then you can dig those out.) Next, slice off the legs and serve those. Finally, slice the breast meat and serve it. There will be a few other slivers you can pick off the carcass, if desired. If you save the carcass and other bones with any loose skin, you can get a second batch of stock from one goose!
Goose is a wonderful luxury food. It’s all dark meat, and in America geese are not factory farmed but are kept as free-range livestock. The meat is chewier and richer than chicken, though similar to duck or turkey. There is a great deal of fat on a goose, which is highly valued for cooking potatoes or other foods, so save the fat. Skin, bones, and other scraps can be used for making stock. Giblets are good alone, or as gravy, or for stock.
All of the herbs for this recipe are “digestive” herbs. They aid digestion by helping the body break down fat and protein. If you have sprigs of fresh herbs, especially the rosemary or thyme, you can stuff a few into the body cavity too.
Frozen grated ginger is an oddity I often have on hand. Whenever we get fresh ginger root for a recipe, I grate all of it in a spice grinder and measure off the necessary amount. All the leftover ginger pulp gets packed into an ice cube tray and frozen, then the cubes go in a baggie until I need them. They’re less hot than fresh ginger root, so if you use fresh, you only need maybe a quarter or a half teaspoon.
Fancy salts can add a lot to a recipe. If you don’t have the Australian pink salt, which has a delicate mineral edge, you can use all sea salt. If you don’t have sea salt, plain table salt is okay.
Green peppercorns have a more leafy flavor than black peppercorns, so they blend nicely with herbs. If you don’t have green peppercorns, use black ones.
If you’re worried about over-browning the goose, you can cover it with a tent of aluminum foil at the beginning or end of cooking.
This recipe was originally created for an Ostara Feast, early in spring, because ducks, geese, and chickens are associated with that holiday. Goose is also served at New Year, Midwinter/Christmas, and Michaelmas (Sept. 29). The side dishes help dress it up for each occasion — salads and eggs in spring, squash and root vegetables in winter, or apples and stuffing in autumn.
This recipe was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 3/20/10, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
FlyOffthePlate Potatoes http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/ostara-recipes.html This was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 1/22/09, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
4 large roasting potatoes
1/2 cup goose fat
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Scrub the potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized chunks.
Put 1/2 cup goose fat into a small bowl. Crumble 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary into it. Stir to combine.
Put about half the potatoes into 8×11″ baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle about half the herbed goose fat over the potatoes. Stir to coat evenly. Add the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle on the rest of the herbed goose fat. Stir carefully, being careful not to knock pieces out of the dish.
Cook at 400ºF for one hour. Toward the end, test the potatoes with a fork. When done, they should be tender, and the top layer will be brown and crispy on the highest points.
Any type of roasting or multipurpose potato should work. I used red ones because the skins contrast nicely with the white centers.
The goose fat is what makes this recipe splendid rather than ordinary. Its reputation as a supreme cooking ingredient is well justified. If you don’t have any, you can try a variation of this recipe using duck fat, chicken fat, or even cooking oil. But goose fat is so awesome that it’s actually sold in jars as an ingredient in its own right, so you can find it at gourmet suppliers. I simply siphoned mine out of the “Herbal Roast Goose” that I made earlier.
Rosemary goes very well with potatoes. However, you can try other herbs such as thyme or oregano if you prefer.
This recipe was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 5/1/10, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.