It’s more sunny than cloud at the moment, but I dunno whether that’s going to last. It poured last night. 42F, enough to make me shiver. Wind at 14 with gusts into the upper 20’s. It looks like the forecast chance of rain starts going up late this afternoon and we’re likely to have downpours overnight again.
Yesterday’s newsletter went out more than a bit late because Tempus left me home to sleep and then when he picked me up, Sash and his buddy Josh pulled into the lot right behind us! We had a good chat, loaded them down with food and then they headed out. I got the newsletter out right after that, but it was still past 3pm!
…and I was sleepy. …and Tempus was sleepy…. and then we realized that one of the students for 101 was still in the Valley and wasn’t going to make it over the pass to get back, so class got called off. We pecked at putting things away and I finally got the spices back into order and started in on the rest of those shelves.
I needed more room to work and more energy to keep going, though. I did a little sorting in the boxes, but they’re horrendously mixed up and without the lids that would tell folks what goes where. Tempus and I have no idea how the lids vanished.
He made us baked potatoes for supper with the herb and onion butter from the feast and an assortment of the pickled things that was just enough to set it off. I set up some more of the caraway cheese and then we headed home.
Today Arthur and Raven are supposed to stop by on their way to their vacation spot at some point today. I have some candy to make, hopefully to be done before they get here. …and then more putting away of boxes, hopefully as we get them sorted.
Posted on 2/23/16 by Ken Gagne on Facebook of a Yachats beach with a bald eagle and seagulls. Tempus said, “Houston, the eagle has landed!” 🙂
Today’s plant is the Pacific Blackberry, Rubus ursinus. There are several species of blackberries that grow in the PNW, the nasty invasive one being the Himalayan blackberry, Rubus armeniacus. Here are pictures so that you can compare the blossoms, ursinus on the left and armeniacus on the right. Ursinus (from the Latin for “bear”) also has narrower leaves and reddish canes. It is the ancestor of Marionberries, Boysenberries & parent of Loganberries, too. Feminine, Venus, Water, Brigit, Healing, Money, Protection – Carry leaves for money, use blackberry leaves in spring water as healing for burns, in incense for Lughnasadh.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_blackberry
Dragobete is a spring festival of Romania, rather like secular Easter customs and Valentine’s day in one package. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragobete “Dragobete is a traditional Romanian holiday originating from Dacian times and celebrated on February, the 24th. Specifically, Dragobete was the son of Baba Dochia, which stands for the main character in the pagan myth related to spring arrival and the end of the harsh winter.”
“The day is particularly known as “the day when the birds are betrothed”. It is around this time that the birds begin to build their nests and mate. On this day, considered locally the first day of spring, boys and girls gather vernal flowers and sing together. Maidens used to collect the snow that still lies on the ground in many villages and then melt it, using the water in magic potions throughout the rest of the year. Those who take part in Dragobete customs are supposed to be protected from illness, especially fevers, for the rest of the year. If the weather allows, girls and boys pick snowdrops or other early spring plants for the person they are courting. In Romania, Dragobete is known as a day for lovers, rather like Valentine’s Day.”
“It is a common belief in some parts of Romania that, during this celebration, if you step over your partner’s foot, you will have the dominant role in your relationship. Dragobete customs vary from region to region.
In neighbouring Bulgaria, the custom of stepping over one’s partner’s feet traditionally takes place during weddings, and with the same purpose, but it is not believed to be connected to Dragobete.”
The shop is open 11-5pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. 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
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3/1 at 4:51pm. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 3/1 at 4:51am.
“The Great Red Spot’s colour is very striking at the moment — perhaps as colourful as I’ve ever seen it,” writes planetary photographer Damian Peach. He took these images just 14 minutes apart (see how fast Jupiter rotates!) remotely from the UK using the 1-meter (40-inch) Chilescope with the aid of the Chilescope Team. South is up.
The Moon shines above Orion after dark.
Algol >>> should be at minimum brightness, magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1, for a couple hours centered on 10:05 p.m. EST (7:05 p.m. PST).
Mars and Jupiter (magnitudes +0.9 and –2.1, respectively) rise in the east-southeast around 12:30 and 2:30 a.m., respectively, depending on your location. By early dawn they’re high in the south. Jupiter is the brightest point in the pre-dawn sky, shining in dim Libra. Mars glows about 20° to Jupiter’s lower left, in the feet of Ophiuchus. Mars is upper left of very similar-looking Antares.
Goddess Month of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17
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 Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
©2018 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).
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 24 Low 12:12 AM 3.1 7:02 AM Set 2:35 AM 55
~ 24 High 6:32 AM 7.8 5:58 PM Rise 12:21 PM
~ 24 Low 1:53 PM 0.6
~ 24 High 8:25 PM 5.8
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – The warmth of the covers; the knowledge that today no demands await you. Give thanks to the Goddess for this respite.
~ The opposite of courage isn’t cowardice, it’s conformity. – Earl Nightengale
~ The sluggard waits till afternoon. – The Saga of Magnus the Good, c.17
~ The spirit is the true self. The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. – Cicero
~ There are times we must try hard to find meaning. I understand that. I don’t understand when we try hard to find malice. — Nathan Fillion
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again. – Sara Coleridge (1802–52)
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.
Elkloaf 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 handful of Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits, crushed (1/2 cup crumbs)
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/8 of a sweet onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
several sun-dried tomatoes, diced (1/2 cup)
1 pound ground elk
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil.
Put a handful of Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin, until you have 1/2 cup of small crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup half-and-half and one egg. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes so the crumbs will soften.
Meanwhile peel the onion, cut it into sections, and dice until you have about 1/4 cup of onion bits. Put the bits in a small bowl and set aside. Dice the sun-dried tomatoes. Add them to the bowl with the onion bits.
To the large mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper. Put the ground elk into the large mixing bowl, tearing it into small pieces with your hands. Add the diced onion and sun-dried tomatoes. Mash and knead the mixture until thoroughly blended; it should be fairly smooth and stick together well. (If it’s too dry, add a little more half-and-half; if it’s too wet, add more Triscuit crumbs.) Pat the mixture into an oblong shape and lift it into the loaf pan.
Pour 1/2 cup ketchup into a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Mix with pastry brush. Use half the sauce to cover the top of the meatloaf, spreading it evenly with the pastry brush.
Cook the meatloaf for 55 minutes. Remove it from the oven and brush the remaining sauce over the top. Return the meatloaf to the oven and cook for another 5 minutes. Serves 5 people.
If you can’t find Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits, try substituting plain Triscuits plus 1 teaspoon rosemary and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
I had 1/4 of a sweet onion left over from a previous recipe, and didn’t need to use all of it. You can add more onion if you wish. This time the onion bits didn’t cook completely, although the meat did; they were still a little crispy. Next time I’ll try sautéing them first. Some meatloaves seem to soften onions more than others, even if the onion bits are of similar size.
I used kitchen scissors to cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips, then held them together and cut crosswise to dice. This is the first time I’ve tried cooking with sun-dried tomatoes, and I’m thrilled with the flavor and texture. I like them much better than fresh tomatoes.
The flavors in this recipe are designed to complement the robust flavor of elk meat. Other game meat such as moose or venison would probably work. It’s not optimized for beef, though you could try that if you don’t have access to game.
Use a good tomato ketchup for the base of the sauce. Avoid ones that already have a lot of spices, or that list high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient; you don’t want it too complex or too sweet. I used organic ketchup, which is nice and tangy, and made a perfect carrier for the oregano and rosemary. The sauce dries to a bright sticky coating with intense flavor.
The five of us devoured the whole meatloaf, with just enough room left for dessert.
This recipe was originally published in The Wordsmith’s Forge on 3/22/09, then revised for reprint 6/24/11.
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
- 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.
Silliness – Think About It – Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?