Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cooking With Spiritual Intent Pt. 2

Greetings's post is a continuation of last weeks post; Cooking With Spiritual Intent. Enjoy!

Cooking With Spiritual Intent

Amuletic Appetizers and Snacks

Nuts In Orange Glaze~Nuts were considered a food of the gods in Scandinavia, Greece, and Rome. The walnut's resemblance to the brain made it perfect for folk remedies dealing with the mind. Also, in Elizabethan times, sweet plates known as "comfits" were assembled.These often included nuts or nut pastes, such as marchpaine ( the medieval spelling of marzipan ), to please the palate:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups toasted pecans or walnuts

Heat the sugar, orange peel, and orange juice in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring regularly. Stir in pecans and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 min. until the nuts are coated and the liquid is evaporated. Spread the nuts on a greased cookie sheet to dry.

Makes 2  1/2 cups

Magical Associations: Thought, concentration, mental productivity

Celebrations: Graduation, Labor Day, St. Stephen Festival, Festival of Sarasvati

Sun Wheel Pickle Tray~In this recipe, the fiery spices and yellow food coloring combine with the layout to create the visual effect of sun energy radiating to your guests. Celery is associated with the element of fire and planetary aspect of Mercury. For an Elizabethan quality, add strawberries and rhubarb (fiery fruits) to the platter:
  • 1 small jar dill gherkins (pickles)
  • 1 small jar pickled white onions
  • 1 16oz can large pitted black olives
  • 1 8oz bottle green olives
  • 8 celery stalks

Cream Cheese Stuffing:
  • 1 8oz pkg. cream cheese softened
  • 2-3 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried onion or 1 tbsp fresh minced onion
Blend together the cream cheese and the food coloring; the yellow food coloring will give it a slightly golden hue. Mix in the chives, dill weed, garlic powder and onion. Stuff the celery stalks and black olives with the cream chess mixture. Arrange the gherkins, white onions, olives and celery on the tray alternating, celery, beside it put a row, from center out of white onions alternating with black olives, then another celery, so on and so forth. Place the nuts in the center.

Magical Associations: Fire magic, masculine attributes, increasing strength or leadership potential, conscious and logical thinking, mild aphrodisiac qualities.

Celebrations: Summer Solstice, Candlemas, Beltane, Feast of Banners, Birthday of the Sun


Friday, April 6, 2012

Cooking With Spiritual Intent

G'morning everyone.....

Please forgive my absence of late; have had a tremendous amount of happenings in my life, so bear with my posts if they are not occurring in due manner.

Since early times, food has been used to celebrate after ceremonies such as a new birth, blessing a new home, celebrating a wedding etc...For example, ever wonder why people without thinking stir their soups and stews clockwise in preparation?

This is never mentioned this fact, it just happens!

A rural superstition form the Ozark Mountains tells us that clockwise, the direction the sun moves through the sky, is the best way to mix any food to insure success of the meal and the health of those eating it. Many early cultures, specifically the Celts, performed their ceremonies following the same solar motion.

Such folklore is a token of the ancient world, when light was the emblem of safety, warmth and the time to hunt. This information became a natural part of the human code. This is also illustrated in prayers before meals. Prayers before eating acknowledge Nature's gifts, and release a supplication for divine favor so disease will not be allowed to enter the body. 

Prayer at mealtime is present in a variety of cultural groups and settings. These ar but two illustrations of how the chronicle of culinary arts has been entwined with the more general history of humankind.

Using rudimentary implements and procedures, early humans devised the basis of an art which would be forever influential. Hunting and gathering defined the earliest spells, ceremony, and community roles. Developments and changes in the area lead to an expansion of cooking techniques as well. Children were taught procedures that proved to be successful so that a kind of familial rite was born, food appropriate to peasants or kings were dictated by etiquette, social contrivance and superstition. This ritualistic aspect and memorization and careful guarding of family recipes, gives kitchen magic tremendous potential for moder practice.

Coming up are recipes that can be used for ceremonies, celebration and seasonal magical cooking suggestion for your home and circle. If a food has importance that influences its spiritual function and characteristics, it is noted in the recipe. This little bit of historical information has an important magical bonus. If your patron goddess is Athena, wheat better way to honor her than by placing a Greek dish on her altar? This is but one example of how creative cooking will enhance your magic and at the very least will fill your home with personally significant and tasty foods.

There are a number of recipes that list uncommon ingredients, a good example are foods made with flowers; these types of dishes open a whole new world of taste sensation  from vitamin and mineral rich source; blossoms. Some of you might be hesitant to try such dishes; if you can get past your initial reaction, you will learn that flowers were readily eaten from the time of Ancient Greeks up through the turn of the century. Their flavor is similar to that of many common herbs or vegetables, and they also lend a wonderful fragrance to the finished dish. Use caution when cooking with flowers as many people have allergic reactions to common flowers. It is also important that the flowers are free of pesticides, dyes and other contaminants. If you are not comfortable with eating flowers or are finding it hard to find local fresh supplier of flowers and other unusual ingredients in the recipes, there are non-flower alternatives given for each recipe.

When preparing these recipes, fill your heart and soul with intent for the magical association you are seeking or the event you are celebrating. All spells and magic start with intent. Actually visualize the intent forming in your heart and running down through your arm, through your hand onto the ladle or spoon used for stirring and into the food itself; stronger the intent, the more power of the result. 

Amuletic Appetizers and Snacks

Stuffed Mushrooms~Most often a food for the elite, mushrooms appear again and again in fanciful tales of fairy folk, making them a perfect edible when combined with thyme (a favorite wee folk home) for kinship with or understanding of, the fey:

2 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp diced green pepper
1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems
2 tbsp chopped onions
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp cooked, crumbled bacon
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb large mushrooms, stems removed
12 small slices cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter over low heat and saute the mushroom stems, green pepper, and onions until tender. Mix in the bread crumbs, bacon thyme, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. Place the caps on a cookie sheet. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter and drizzle over the stuffed caps. Top each with a cheese slice. Bake for 15 min. Serve Hot

Makes aprox 1 dozen

Variation: Use large cherry tomatoes with the seeds scooped out instead of the mushroom caps. Substitute rosemary for thyme and add 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese to he mixture before stuffing. This is for Love.

Magical Associations: Strength, faerie magic, psychic ability.

Celebrations: May Day, Lammas, before divination efforts.

Muffin Munchies~Cheese, caraway and pimento are all foods for adoration and fecundity. In some areas, caraway was valuable enough to be used as a form of currency!

1 package (6) English muffins
1 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp pimento, drained
3 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced chives
12 cheese slices any kind

Preheat oven to 450F. Toast the muffins until golden brown. Mix the cottage cheese, pimento, caraway seeds, salt and chives. Spread on the muffin halves. Place cheese slices on top of the muffins in a decorative or symbolic pattern. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Heat in the oven for

Makes 12 servings

Magical Associations: Enjoyable sexual encounters, romance, love, prosperity.

Celebrations: The Great Rite, Valentine's or Sweetest Day, Coming of Age, anniversaries, handfastings and most observances.

Hot Cheese Canapes~Cheese has been prepared and eaten for at least 5,000 years! It was sometimes made into wedding cakes in ancient Greece. Curry is a spice of cleaning or for any fire-related festivals:

1/4 lb. brie or other soft cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
Dash of curry powder
Salt and pepper
Toast Pieces for Canapes (see below)

Using a fork, blend the brie, butter, and oil in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Mix in almonds, curry powder, and salt and pepper. Spread over toast pieces. Garnish with a whole almond.

Makes 3/4 cup spread

Variation: For an extra-spicy flair, prepare the toast the same way you would prepare Bounty Bagel Chips (see below), substituting bread slices for bagel slices.

Magical Attributes: Earth and fire elements, goals, purification, energy, love

Celebrations: Beltane, Summer Solstice, Valentine's Day

Toast Pieces For Canapes:

10 slices bread, any flavor (if bread is hand-sliced, make slices 1/4 inch thick)

Toast bread slices in a toaster set on medium darkness. If a toaster is unavailable, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the bread slices on an ungreased cookie sheet; bake, turning occasionally, until lightly brown on both sides. Trim crust and cut toast into quarters.

Makes 40 pieces; serves 10

Bountiful Bagel Chips~The roundness of the bagel makes it a wonderful solar symbol (especially when baked) while the hole in the center is lunar, adding fruitfulness:

3 bagels any flavor
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp ground sesame seeds
1 tbsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 350F, Slice bagels into 1/4 inch thick disks. in a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Mix in the sesame seeds and garlic. Brush each bagel slice with the butter mixture. Place the slices on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 min. turn slices over and bake an additional 7 min. until crunchy. Serve warm or cold.

Makes about 6 dozen chips

*Note: Buy day old bagels from a local store or deli; they slice better and are usually cheaper. Choose your bagel type and spices according to magical goals, such as cinnamon bagel with ginger butter for prosperity.

Stay tuned for more recipes on next posting