Yesterday was kinda nuts for me. Marius was at the house just after 7:30 and we spent the day in Eugene at an historical re-creation event, getting home around 9pm. One thing I was doing was taking a workshop on how to set up tablet weaving, which is an ancient way of making straps, belts and bands. I’ve been wanting to know how to make my own patterns and now have an idea of how to set up to start experimenting. …at least when I’m awake enough to concentrate!
Today the Angell Job Corps bunch and the other young folks from town will be in for their classes with Brea and with me. The afternoon is going to have our weekly project day going on during the afternoon and one of the topics of discussion is the information that I got yesterday about changes with the University of Ithra, which is the educational arm of the SCA.
Today’s plant is the Apricot,Prunus armeniaca. Apricots are a delicious fruit, resembling a small peach, but with a flavor all their own. They were known in the ancient world, possibly being cultivated as far back as 3000BCE. Thought of as an aphrodisiac in the Renaissance it can be fermented into a yummy wine or made into the brandy, Barack. It has properties of healing and health, lust magicks and learning, mostly in educational circles. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot
Today is the Roman feast of Terminalia, the feast of borders and endings. Sacrifices were performed at boundary markers and some big ones in the cities, particularly at the old boundary of the city of Rome 6 miles out. Sounds like a good idea to me to acknowledge boundaries and limits on at least one day a year. Hmmm? More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminalia More on the god Terminus here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminus_%28mythology%29
The shop opens at 11am! Winter hours are 11am-5pm Thursday through Monday, although closing time is drifting later with the longer days. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
The Moon at the Waning Quarter at 9:15am . 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. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3/1. 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. Phase ends 2/24, 1pm.
The asteroid 2 Pallas, barely past opposition, is a few degrees southeast of Alphard in Hydra. It remains at magnitude 7.0 all week as it creeps northward, visible in binoculars and small telescopes. Use the finder chart in the MarchSky & Telescope, page 51. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newtrack/st_201403/
Mercury is deep in the glow of sunrise.
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn)
Runic half-month of Sowulo/ Sigel, 2/12-26 It represents the power of the force of good throughout the world and is the harbinger of victory and ascendancy over darkness. 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.
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), 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
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Bad habits are like a comfortable bed…easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
~ We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart. – Blaise Pascal
~ There’s always a way – if you’re committed. – Tony Robbins
~ God is in the details. – Mies van der Rohe
~ The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. – FDR
I have observed dreams and visions very carefully, and am now certain that the imagination has some way of lighting on the truth that the reason has not, and that its commandments, delivered when the body is still and the reason silent, are the most binding we can ever know. – W.B. Yeats
Ostara Magick – Egg Dyeing Article Au naturel: Color your eggs the old-fashioned way – Tea and Your Health – http://www.celestialseasonings.com/tea-health/egg-dyeing-article.html By Lee Svitak Dean, Star Tribune Taste Editor, Pictures by Tom Wallace/Star Tribune
Piles of yellow onion skins, chunks of bright red beets, bunches of deep-green spinach leaves, even bags of fragrant Red Zinger tea, redolent with hibiscus flowers, filled the kitchen counter. Bottles of paprika, dill seed and turmeric stood at the ready, as did a pot of coffee. So did dozens of eggs and a jug of white vinegar.
We were dyeing eggs. And there wasn’t a PAAS coloring kit in sight.
Egg dyeing, by its very nature, makes a mess and, frankly, it’s even messier when the colors are made from from edible food. The homemade version also takes a bit longer to prepare than dye from a package.
But don’t let these cautions deter you. The homemade variety offers more of a challenge—and it’s fun, too. As many cooks know, that sense of curiosity and discovery is half the reason so many of us hang out in the kitchen. Making your own dye lets you experiment with the vagaries of color, from the leftovers in the refrigerator to the stock of spices in the pantry.
Many of the colors from homemade dye are a softer hue, and there’s more possibilities of shades in the color palette. But there is nothing precise about natural food dyes: You might get the colors you anticipate when using them; then again, you might not. The variations depend on what you’re using for dye—and how long you soak the egg. It also depends on the egg shells, which are as variable as snowflakes.
Though not readily apparent, shell texture differs from egg to egg—from smooth to rippled—as does the thickness of the shell. All of this affects how the egg picks up dye. So if you expect the unexpected when you’re using homemade dye, you won’t be disappointed.
There are two ways to color eggs with natural dyes: cold and hot dye.
Most directions recommend starting with hard-cooked eggs. The dye is then prepared separately, and in the last step the egg is soaked in the coloring (which usually is recommended to be hot). This method works fine with commercial food dyes, such as PAAS or Dudley, where eggs are dipped into color for only a few moments.
But with natural dyes—which take longer to imprint their shade—the eggs are soaked in the color for at least 15 minutes, which is the same amount of time it takes to hard-cook eggs. So eggs can be dyed at the same time they are being hard-cooked (they also will get a more uniform and saturated color as they roll around in the simmering dye).
The hot method of natural food dye means placing the eggs in a single layer in a non-aluminum pan. The eggs are covered with 1 inch of water and vinegar is added to the water to help the color adhere to the eggs. The dye materials—which include spices, fruits, vegetables and more (see chart at below)—are also added, and the whole mixture is brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the desired color.
Whatever food is used to dye eggs, vinegar should be added to help the color adhere (but if you forget to add vinegar, don’t fret; the eggs will still be colored, but it likely will be lighter).
Which leads the cook to a familiar question: Can these dyed eggs be eaten? Well, it depends. Eggs should sit out no longer than two hours if they are to remain safe to eat. And hard-cooking them for more than 15 minutes will definitely toughen them up (though they will look beautiful). Also, some colors might seep into the egg white, which makes them less appetizing. So, you might want to use these colorful eggs for decoration only, or else refrigerate them until mealtime.
Cold method of dyeing
If you want to eat your colored eggs—or if you want to dye them a second time for added interest—try the cold method of coloring. In this case, to prepare the dye separately, add the edible materials to water, along with vinegar (see chart for quantities). Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the dye is the preferred color, 15 minutes or more. Remove from heat and cool; strain. Dip cooked eggs in the dye for at least 15 minutes. The longer the eggs sit in the dye, the richer the hue will be.
Adapt the dye
If the dye isn’t dark enough, add more ingredients to deepen the hue—or let the eggs soak in the color for hours or overnight (in the refrigerator, of course).
You don’t necessarily have to stop after dyeing the eggs once. Dip them in a darker color for a second coating. (In this case, do not boil the eggs a second time; simply dip the egg in the second dye for 5 to 10 minutes). Some color combinations recommended by the Alberta (Canada) Egg Producers Board: coffee dye, then blueberry; turmeric and onion skins, followed by cranberries.
Once the dyed eggs are dry, they can be rubbed with vegetable oil for a sheen (if being used for decoration).
Martha Stewart wouldn’t stop at homemade dye—that would be just the beginning. Try one of these steps to make even more beautiful eggs:
Onion wraps (for a tie-dye effect): Rub clean, uncooked eggs with vinegar, then wrap in onion skins and bind with kitchen string or rubber bands. Simmer eggs in plain water for 20 minutes. Then remove onion skins.
Rubber bands: Use to create contrasts. On a white egg, the rubber band will prevent color where it is located. On a colored (dry) egg, a band will give a stripe of the original color if the egg is redipped in another.
Patterns: Rub the cooked, dyed egg to remove some of the color after it is dry, or drip additional color onto the dry egg to make a pattern. Or wrap in onion skins or tiny leaves after the egg has been colored, but before it has dried (this will add a texture to the dye pattern). You also can use a clean sponge and dab at the wet colored egg to add a stippled effect. If making dye from powdered spices, some residue may linger on the egg.
Marbleized: Stir a tablespoon of vegetable oil into some natural food dye (or other dye). Dip the egg into it for a marbleized look. Once dry, it can be dipped into another color for additional decoration.
Mosiac: It’s not dyeing, of course, but since you’re in the kitchen anyway you can decorate hard-cooked eggs by glueing on spices from the kitchen: star anise, peppercorns, powdered spices or even tiny pasta or rice (the latter two could be dyed first).
Hints for the cook
Wash uncooked eggs in mild soapy water before they are hard-cooked to remove any oily coating that might prevent the dye from adhering.
To avoid staining your fingers, wear rubber gloves when working with reds, yellows and purples. And cover the table or counter with newspaper or a protective coating for the same reason.
Pink/red: Fresh beets, pickled beet juice, pickled red cabbage juice, cranberries, frozen raspberries
Orange: Yellow onion skins, paprika
Deep yellow: Ground turmeric
Pale yellow to light green: Spinach leaves, Golden Delicious apple peels
Soft yellows: Orange or lemon peels, carrots tops or shredded carrots, celery seed, ground cumin
Purple: Red Zinger® tea (by Celestial Seasonings)
Blue: Canned blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage leaves, purple or red grape juice
Beige to brown: Strongly brewed coffee, tea, walnuts, dill seeds
Brown to orange: Chili powdered, ground cumin
Natural Food Dye – Makes 4 cups.
Add more of the coloring agent for a deeper hue.
1 Tbsp. spice or 4 c. chopped fruit or vegetable, or more
4 c. water, or more
2 Tbsp. white vinegar (per 4 c. water)
Combine spice or foodstuff with water and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Eggs can be colored (and cooked) in the dye while it is being prepared. Or they can be hard-cooked in advance, then dipped into the prepared dye (which can be either cold or hot).
— Lee Svitak Dean is at email@example.com.
Reprinted with permission from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Minn. (Thursday, March 28, 2002, pp. T1, T8) Interactive Tea Guide >>
Additional Tea and Your Health Information
Natural Dyes for Easter Eggs http://www.icangarden.com/document.cfm%3Ftask%3Dviewdetail%26itemid%3D846%26categoryid%3D4
Tips for special effects and natural dyestuffs from your garden.