Samhain Food

by Alexis

10546559 - ripe pumpkin fruits isolated on whiteOctober is famous in the US for the excess of pumpkins being carved into jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pies, and candy being shared with the masses. Okay, so less pumpkin pies since that’s more a Thanksgiving thing, but pumpkin pies should be a year round thing tbh. Speaking of food, when one thinks of fall feasting, Thanksgiving dinner is the big thing that comes to mind for the average American. Samhain and holidays like it are the celebration of the final major harvest before Winter hits. The previous two dealt with grains and fruits. This one is all about the squashes (yum) and the meats, storing food for the winter months when it’s harder to come by. So, what’s in season for mid-Autumn?

  • onion (let’s be honest, onions are almost always in season)
  • sweet potatoes
  • persimmons (asian apples, like ours but better)
  • pomegranates (popular offering to harvest deities)
  • cranberries
  • cabbage
  • apples
  • pears (yeah…I didn’t know either)
  • beets
  • brussels sprouts
  • turnips
  • all the squashes
  • rutabagas (I have no idea what these actually are)
  • gooseberries
  • garlic
  • grapes (if you work with a deity who loves grapes, now’s your time)
  • jalapeños (surprised me, but chillin’)

There’s also meats. This time of year is when all the birds and mature farm animals get carved up because you can’t keep them all in your house with you and you need other sustenance to make your crops stretch. Cow, turkey, and pig are pretty popular right around now.

 

Magick! We all love magick, even if we don’t actively practice it. If you’re a kitchen witch, Samhain is a great time to stir some spells into your food. Nuts and seeds can be used in a blessing for a successful rebirth of the planet come spring. Rosemary can help with communication with the ancestors. Apples and pumpkins work for protection during the coming months. The best spells to cast with food during this time are to aid in divination and gain protection for yourself and your family.

 

Recipes

I have a few, but since my diet is all plant-based, I’ll leave some suggestions below for people that want something with not-plant things in it.

 

Colcannon

Ingredients:

1 lbs. russet potatoes

1 lbs. cabbage

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups mixed veggies (go wild with your bad self)

½ T + ¼ c+2 T olive oil (sorry, but keep the first one separate from the second two)

1 c soy/cashew milk

t/t salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes until tender. If you want them done quickly, cut the potatoes into small bits.
  2. Boil cabbage until tender, toss in the mixed veggies for the last few minutes with it if they’re coming from frozen, blanch 90 seconds if fresh.
  3. Heat a pan (or use the pot you used for the cabbage or something) over medium heat. Use the ½ T olive oil to cook the garlic until fragrant. We like a strong garlic smell. Clears the sinuses.
  4. If you haven’t already because you wanted to keep them warm (you forward thinker, you!), drain the potatoes and cabbage. Mash the potatoes, add in the remaining olive oil and cashew milk. Mix in the garlic and cabbage. Season to taste. Eat.

 

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (chop off the top and cut the thing in half)

4 c vegetable broth

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ t cumin

½ t black pepper

½ t coriander

⅛ t chili/cayenne (optional)

t/t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet and spray with a lil oil or something, but this is optional. Seed the squash and place on the sheet. I do it face down, but to each their own.
  2. Roast until squishy, it should take about 50 minutes. When it’s done, let it sit until you can handle it without burning off your fingerprints (they come back but it sucks).
  3. Plop everything else in a big soup pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the onion is cooked through.
  4. Scoop in the squishy squash bits (scoop it out of the husk with a spoon) and blend it all together*. Heat it through and season to taste before serving.

*When blending, you can use an immersion blender or a food processor or whatever you have available. You could even whisk if you don’t mind not having the onion blended, since it’s usually hardly noticeable when it’s thoroughly cooked anyway. The goal is to blend the squash with the broth.

 

Lentil-Stuffed Mushrooms (You can make this at the exact same time as the soup above)

Ingredients:

Stuffing*

1 c green or brown lentils

⅓ c yellow onion

2 small cloves garlic, minced

½ T italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

2 c water (you may need more)

½ t salt

1 ½ t black pepper

Shrooms

1 lbs fresh mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned

olive oil

1 t black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss mushrooms with pepper and just enough oil to coat. Put on a (preferably lined) baking sheet in a single layer, and make sure they’re all upside down (they need to actually look like cups). Set aside.
  2. Heat a good sized pot over medium heat. Add in the onion with a splash of water (not from the 2 cups from the ingredients) just to keep them from sticking.
  3. Cook the onions for 2-ish minutes, just until they’re sweating. Then add the rest of the stuffing ingredients to the pot.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then go straight to a simmer. Simmer for 35 minutes (no lid) until the lentils are tender. You may need to add more water if the lentils aren’t done but all the water’s been absorbed.
  5. While the lentils are simmering, stick the mushrooms in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be browned, but not dried out. You still need to stuff them and no one wants crumbly stuffed mushrooms.
  6. When both are done, scoop the stuffing into the mushroom caps. Top with any garnishes you like (some people seem to like sour cream) and serve.

*The stuffing is also good in stuffed cabbage, but I have a particular love of lentils. Lentils can be switched out for stuff like ground beef and cooking changes accordingly.

 

For the meat and dairy eaters!!

I didn’t forget about you, I promise. I don’t have any recipes for you, but I have meal suggestions. Try these:

Cheesy Potatoes, Beef Stew (Wiccan Sage (hubpages) has a great recipe for this), Meat Pies, Shortbread Soul Cookies (shape them like people), Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin/Apple Pie, Stuffed Cabbage, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Spiced Cider.

 

Make this Samhain/Last Harvest a great one! Skål!

 

Bio: My name is Alexis. I’m a 19-year-old kitchen witch and eclectic pagan of 4 years. I love plants and I’m majorly into food, so I create and try new recipes on a whim.

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Sound is Healing

by Randalf
Love your Spirit, love your Mind, love your Body. In doing so, you have found one of the key paths to happiness.
32229146 - high resonance healing wordsMany say that meditation is the answer.  Meditation is not necessarily the answer to happiness and self-care, but it is an amazing tool for rejuvenating not just your mind (inner peace and emotional stability) but also your physical body. This is because meditation takes place in the mind and there is overwhelming evidence that our minds have the ability to make us physically sick or physically well. In fact, scientifically, meditation is found to provide physiological benefits. In this writing I am specifically speaking about vibrational medicine via meditation. Let’s look at some popular terms and definitions…
Definition
Sound Therapy: Lately a new kind of sound therapy, often called sound healing, has begun to attract a following. Also known as vibrational medicine, the practice employs the vibrations of the human voice as well as objects that resonate — tuning forks, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls — to go beyond relaxation and stimulate healing.Nov 24, 2005
Source – NYtimes
Definition
Sound Bath: Part meditation, part listening exercise, sound baths are healing musical performances played with Himalayan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs, biosonic tuning forks, shamanic drumming, and chanting. Participants lay on the floor in supported savasana (corpse pose) and let the waves of sound wash over them.
Source – author unknown
Sound is a great tool for achieving a deep meditative state. For some it might be soothing music; for others it might be white noise, or lapping ocean waves, or rain, windchimes, a babbling brook, or any combination of those. Once you are in that meditative state, you are open to receiving, and,  other sound can be introduced and taken in through subliminal processes. That is the method I myself use. In sound therapy you harness the positive effects of cosmic energy and channel it into your body’s own sensory network.
I’ve been performing this on myself for decades and now with better information available it is gaining acceptance.  Compared to ancient practices it is a relativrly new art becoming more and more popular everyday. Certification centers are even popping up. I think we’re onto something!  Those who are spiritually “Awake” are learning that we are not just flesh and blood, we are vibrational beings.
Tonal sound is vibration. Have you noticed how transformative music is? It can make us happy, or make us sad. That in essence is ’emotional’ transformation. Music is sound. It is the vibration of sound waves in different frequencies and wavelengths that create the different tones to make music.
Transformation, remember that. Now I tell you that transformation comes not only at the ’emotional’ level but also at the ‘celular’ level.  That’s right, sound has the ability to heal us at the cellular level! Vibration is a human component and sound vibration is a healing tool.
When I want to relax I play my flute, it is transformative to me. In fact it is a form of meditation for me. I seem to go into autoplay, completely clearing my mind and yet am still able to blow and execute finger positions in such a way as to create a pleasing sequence of notes.  I listen to the tones and I examine how it makes me feel. Such is, in essence, a form of “mindfulness meditation”.
To learn more there are books on the subject, or you can come to my workshop at the Pagan Pride Day LA Orange County on October 14th. My workshop will be a lecture covering the above-mentioned, the instruments, and also the effects of the different sound frequencies and how they affect the chakra system.
_______________
Bio
Randolf McDonald
Sound Practitioner for 22 years
Meditation coach
Voice coach
Musician: Flute – Percussion – steelpan
CD: Holistic Sounds