It’s a misty, moisty, morning, green and drippy. 59F and the computer says that it’s “overcast at 200 feet”
I was up yesterday at a very gloomy 10am, putting out the newsletter. I thought about going back to bed, hoping to keep Tempus asleep, but got mixed up in reading things and then he was awake. We had hot cereal, coffee, duck eggs and sausage for breakfast and then he was running around getting ready to take off for the afternoon. I got the bank deposit and some utility checks put together and then he was off around 2pm. It was drippy by that time and the garden was soaking, so I suggested to Alina that we put off Herbs Outdoors until next week.
We had esbat on the calendar, but things conspired to make it impossible, so I spent the early evening, doing some cooking for the week and working on newsletters. When my ambition ran out I started watching youtubes. Tempus eventually got home, ate, got a bath and then we went to bed.
Today Tempus is going to be at the shop for part of the day, but is taking our elderly friend to a doctor appointment in the late afternoon. I’m hoping to have some more stuff ready for the new display corner this morning, but several folks who usually can’t make the Saturday Sewing Workshop are going to come over to spend the afternoon stitching and chatting. Come join us!
Today is the anniversary of President Kennedy’s Ich Bin ein Berliner speech, probably his best speech of all. It was a foreign policy speech aimed more at the Soviets than the Germans he was speaking to, specifically about the division of the city by the Berlin Wall that didn’t come down until 1989. Btw, he didn’t quite call himself a jelly doughnut, although the line might have made some people smile… There’s a good article and a video of the speech at this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich_bin_ein_Berliner
Today’s Plant is Luffa (or loofah, luffa aegyptica or luffa acutangula), an odd sort of plant, rather like a cucumber in that it’s a long, green vegetable with the flesh on the outside and a core full of seeds. They’re even edible, if a little bitter, when young. The biggest difference is that they grow a fibrous frame that has been used for a long time as a “vegetable sponge” wherever they grow, and are particularly good for scrubbing scratchable dishes, counters and glassware. They’re used a lot in Chinese medicine, and the juice is a remedy for jaundice. –Feminine, Moon, Water – Their magicks include helping with rheumatism and arthritis, detoxing, especially the liver, and with acne and scarring.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa
The shop opens at 11am! Summer hours are 11am-7pm Thursday through Monday. 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 is Dark. 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 New on 6/27 at 1:08am. Dark of the Moon, End of the cycle – In the time leading up to the “New Moon” you may do banishings and other baneful magicks and healings that require blasting a disease away, as well as using the time for introspection and self-work. Do scrying, now. Good for reversing circumstances God/dess Aspect: The One Beyond, the Watchers in the Outer Dark, psychopomps. Associated God/desses: Hecate, Kali, Arianhrod, Anja, Kore in the Underworld, Ereshkigal who was Inanna, Set/Seth, Hades, Osiris. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 6/27 at 1:08am.
If you have a really good dark sky, look east as the final glow of twilight fades away. All across the low eastern sky, the intricate, mottled band of the Milky Way is on the rise. It rises higher through the night and crosses straight overhead around 2 or 3 a.m.
Goddess Month of Rosea runs from 6/13 – 7/10
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7
Runic half-month of Dagaz/ Dag, 6/14-6/28. – Beneficial rune of light, health, prosperity and openings, signifying the high point of the day and the high point of the year when in light and warmth all things are possible. Runic New Year’s Eve, final day of the runic year June 28 – Runic New Year and half-month of Fehu/ Feoh, 6/29-7/13 Important in the runic year cycle, today marks beginning of the first rune, Feoh, sacred to Frey and Freya (Freyja), the lord and lady often worshipped in modern Wicca. It is the half-month of wealth and success. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, 1992
©2014 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Duir/Oak, Jun 10 – Jul 7 – The oak of myth and legend is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). It is sometimes called the great oak, which is a translation of its Latin name (robur is the root of the English word “robust”). It grows with ash and beech in the lowland forests, and can reach a height of 150 feet and age of 800 years. Along with ashes, oaks were heavily logged throughout recent millennia, so that the remaining giant oaks in many parts of Europe are but a remnant of forests past. Like most other central and northern European trees, common oaks are deciduous, losing their leaves before Samhain and growing new leaves in the spring so that the trees are fully clothed by Bealltaine. Common oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America, as are the similar native white oak, valley oak, and Oregon oak. Oaks are members of the Beech family (Fagaceae). Curtis Clark
Duir – Oak Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Black and Dark Brown
Meaning: Security; Strength
to study this month – Eadha – White Poplar or Aspen Ogam letter correspondences
Color: Silver White
Meaning: Problems; Doubts; Fears.
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Do not lose faith in yourself.
~ People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people’s minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues. – Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) English writer
~ When I’m trusting and being myself, everything reflects this by falling into place easily, often miraculously. – S Gawain
~ If you wish in this world to advance your merits you’re bound to enhance; you must stir it and stump it, and blow your own trumpet, or, trust me, you haven’t a chance. – Sir William Gilbert (1836-1911) English Playwright and Poet.
~ Having the world’s best idea will do you no good unless you act on it. People who want milk shouldn’t sit on a stool in the middle of a field in hopes that a cow will back up to them. – Curtis Grant, Writer
May the smell of thyme and lavender accompany us on our journey
To a province that does not know how lucky it is
For it was, among all the hidden corners of the earth,
The only one chosen and visited.
We tended toward the Place but no signs led there.
Till it revealed itself in a pastoral valley
Between mountains that look older than memory,
By a narrow river humming at the grotto.
May the taste of wine and roast meat stay with us
As it did when we used to feast in the clearings,
Searching, not finding, gathering rumors,
Always comforted by the brightness of the day.
May the gentle mountains and the bells of the flocks
Remind us of everything we have lost,
For we have seen on our way and fallen in love
With the world that will pass in a twinkling. – Czeslaw Milosz (New & Collected Poems, translations by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass)
Scalded Milk Cheese – Recipe From Svava, written up by Anja – Servings vary, but about 1 quart (Her documentation was for a Norse/Icelandic source)
- 1 gallon whole (4%) milk
- 1/4 to ½ cup vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Spices (see below in notes)
- Pour 1 gallon of milk into a pot. Place over a low hot fire.
- Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Bring milk up to 185F.
- Add salt and/or dry spices or sugar. (see Notes 2 & 3 below)
- When milk reaches temperature, remove from heat. Stir in ¼ cup of vinegar. Milk will begin to curdle immediately. If it does not, toss in another ¼ cup.
- Continue stirring until curdling is complete.
- Place cheesecloth or muslin square or bag into strainer.
- Place strainer in bowl. Pour curds and whey into muslin.
- When cheese has drained add fresh spices. (see Note 4 below)
- Mix thoroughly with a spoon or fingers.
- Gently pull up edges of muslin into a bag and tie off at the top.
- For very firm cheese squeeze bag gently to express whey. Caution: overdoing this can make the cheese rubbery.
- The cheese is ready to hang up! The reserved whey can be used in soup, sauces or drunk as a beverage. (The sweet whey is an acquired taste!!!!)
- Suspend cheese from a string over a bowl to catch drips, (or over the sink!) Hang cheese for 1-2 hours for a soft cheese or 2-4 hours for a firmer cheese.
- Serve with bread, crackers, or eat with a spoon, or as a salad or breakfast cereal topping. I use this as a topping for kolačky.
- Note – Cheese will keep about a week, maybe two, much better on the 3rd day.
- Note 2 – For a sweet cheese, in step 3, add 2 cups of sugar and about ¼ cup of a mixture of dry ground spices such as: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla. You can also add up to two cups of dried fruits, chopped small, mixed with chopped or whole nutmeats.
- Note 3 – For a savoury cheese, in step 3, add ¼ cup of a mixture of dry herbs such as: minced onion or garlic, chives, Italian spice mix, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, savory, celery seed, caraway seed, dill seed or dill weed.
- Note 4 – For fresh spices, added in step 8, use about a ½ cup of finely chopped garden herbs.
1, 2, 3, 4 Shortbread – recipe by Anja – I couldn’t find a decent shortbread recipe that worked for what I wanted so I put together cookie knowledge and invented an easy one. It’s not as sweet as some and very crumbly. It won’t make decent cookies, but the method given works. It’s fun to do with extra sprinkles to fancy it up and you can vary the recipe by changing the amount of flavoring or “adds”. It’s also an easy to remember recipe, although I’ve written it up for a stand mixer. Adjust to fit. This recipe is forgiving!
- 1 sugar
- 2 butter
- 3 flour
- 4 pie pans.
- Optional, up to 2 tablespoons alcohol-based flavoring (used vanilla) and either 1 tablespoon ground spices (used nutmeg/ginger), or 1 cup mixed nuts and/or dried fruit. (Didn’t use for feast) …Skor chips also work…
- Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles, if you want.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Warm butter, it should be at about 75F. I usually zap it for a minute in the mixing bowl in the nuker.
- Put the mixing bowl in the stand and turn to “cream butter”, 7 on mine.
- Once the butter is fairly smooth, add the sugar and flavoring and/or spices (if any) and nuts, etc. (if any). Turn the mixer down, or the dough will start crawling out….
- Put the mixer on the lowest speed and add the flour, one cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Divide into 3 or 4 pie pans and smooth out. If you have nuts, etc in, you need 4 pans, otherwise you can use 3 and they’ll just be thicker. If you use 4 with the no-nuts dough, they might be thin enough to burn.
- Bake for 30 minutes or so. The edges will brown first and that’s the sign to check every 3 minutes or so.
- When the top is browning, pull the pans one at a time and flip onto a cheap paper plate and cut immediately with a rolling cutter (I use a pizza cutter). I usually do 12 or 16 pieces. Leave the cookies on the plate for cooling. Do it *fast*. Even a minute out of the oven will cause the stuff to crumble upon cutting. …Then pull the next and repeat.
- Store airtight for up to a month. These are a great “shipping cookie” if you find a tin that is just the size of the paper plates.
Tempus’ basic bread loaf recipe for a 2 pound breadmaker
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup plain sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt (approx or less)
- 2 1/2 tspn yeast
- 1 Tbsp bacon fat (or less to taste)
- 4 Cups Unbleached cheap white flour
Mix it all together until it resembles bread dough, let it rise a couple times, somewhere warm, like in an oven at 125, until it looks like something that should be cooked, then scorch it at 350 degrees for about half an hour until it appears edible. Modify these directions as needed to make it work.
[Anja’s translation: He uses a bread maker on dough cycle, so dump stuff into the bucket and turn the thing on. Check it after about 10 minutes (this depends on your breadmaker, during the 2nd mixing…..) to make sure the flour is all “in”. When the cycle ends, shape it and let rise in a 125 oven for 15-30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. ]
Seed bread – Add ½ cup of “seeds”, usually a mixture of millet, flax and sunflower for us, but your milage may vary.
Italian Seasoning Bread – Add one packet of 4 seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix, plus 1 TBSP minced garlic.
Olive/Caper – Add 1 can of olives, drained, ½ that of capers – bread comes out flat.
Sesame – Add ½ cup of sesame seeds. Brush with butter and sprinkle with seeds
Rye/Caraway – Replace 2 cups of the white flour with rye and add 1 1/2TBSP caraway seed. This dough usually takes additional water. Check after the first “rumpus” of the bread maker (on mine, after 10 minutes)