bread and butter

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

February, 2016

Bread and Butter

Merry meet
Consider making bread and butter part of your Imbolc ritual.
There is a focus on dairy this sabbat – because it is the festival of the lactating sheep – and nothing is more simple and pure than turning some organic heavy cream into butter.
One way is to let the cream come to room temperature and then pour into a jar, filling it about 2/3 of the way. Secure the lid and shake. It will take less than 20 minutes.
First, the cream will turn into whipped cream. Continue shaking. One recipe I saw called for adding a clean marble to the jar. After it felt like I was getting nowhere with the whipped cream, I dropped in a smooth round gemstone and continued to shake. Slowly, curds began to form and then clump together, separating into butter and buttermilk. When a lot of liquid is again sloshing around in the jar, you’re done. Drain the contents.
One cup of cream yields about half a cup of butter and half a cup of buttermilk. You can add a bit of salt to the butter, as well as herbs or honey.
I’d like to be able to pass a few jars around our circle on Imbolc, putting into it our desires for the coming year, singing and chanting as we do.
With a bit of preplanning, the butter can be ready at the same time as a fresh loaf of bread. While some associate bread with Imbolc, it also makes something special for cakes and ale at the close of the ritual.
Using about half the bag of organic multigrain pizza dough I bought at the store, I cut it into thirds and rolled each one into a rope about 3/4” thick, then braided them together. Cutting it into quarters, you can form Brigid’s Cross.
Greasing a pan, I put the bread in and waited for it to double in size … which on a snowy, windy wasn’t happening, so I helped it along by putting the pan atop a skillet of hot water.
I then brushed the top of the dough with some of the buttermilk and baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes – until it was golden brown and had a somewhat hollow sound when tapped.
Remove and serve with the butter.
Since Brigid is associated with the hearth, it would be appropriate to conduct your ritual make both the bread and the butter in the kitchen – which, if I host, I plan to do this year.
Merry part.
And merry meet again.