Merry Meet .
Blessings of the season to you all, it is my favorite time of year. Samhain, the witches New Year, Halloween, it means so many different things to different people. For Wiccans, Witches and Pagans .. it is one of the most involved Sabbats we have.. We celebrate the death of the year.. we also celebrate and respect our dead, our ancestors. For many of us the veil between the worlds is so much thinner now.. and we have a much easier time talking to and connecting with our ancestors. Many of us have a Dumb Supper. A meal that we prepare with much respect and caring, and then we invite our beloved ancestor to come and join our meal. We then eat in a respectful silence.. to allow the Dead to talk to us and enjoy their time with us. In this article I will include a short Dumb supper ritual as well as some recipes to use. I will also be sending some fun Halloweeny foods you can share with your friends while they party.
Here are some correspondences for Samhain
Oct. 31st – Samhain (All Hallow’s Eve)
Altar Decorations: Pumpkins, gourds, seasonal fruits and flowers, a statue of the Triple Goddess in her Crone phase, broom, acorns.
Herbs: dittany, flax, heather, mandrake, mullein, oak leaves, sage and straw, mugwort.
Spices: Thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning
Incense: sage, apple, mint, nutmeg
Gods & Goddess’: The Crone, Hecate (fertility, moon-magic, protectress of all Witches), Morrigan (Celtic Goddess of death), Cernunnos (Celtic fertility God) and Osiris (Egyptian God who represents death and rebirth).
Colors: Black, Orange, Red, White
Gemstones: onyx, obsidian, hematite
Food: Apples, Pumpkin pie, nuts, cranberry(scones or muffins), ale, cider, mugwort tea, mead and meat
Tree: Birch, oak, alder and walnut
Lore: Pronounced “Sow-inn”, meaning ‘summer’s end’, it is the beginning and the end of the Celtic year. The Celebration starts on the eve of October 31 and continues through November 1st. On the 31st, animals would have be chosen from the herds to be slaughtered, and thanks given for their sacrifice. The meat was preserved and any late harvests would be completed. It is also the time of the hunt, when meat is sought for the coming year.
Samhain is the fold between the new and old, the time between life and rebirth. Samhain is the time to honor those who have passed and to acknowledge their return.. The veil that divides the earthly world from the otherworld is thinnest at this time and those who have died in the year past can make the journey most easily now. The time when spirits can cross between and humans are able to see them. New spirits join the otherworld while ones who have already passed through may return to communicate. All those who have passed are honored with gifts and communications of love and thanks. At this time we sacrifice of ourselves and that which comes from deep introspection of what has transpired in the year past. We give thanks to those who have passed for all the inner aspects of ourselves, and for their knowledge passed down, and for everything that they have given and sacrificed for us.
November 1st would bring great feasting and joy, for a new year and a new cycle. At the first of the new year each person is given mead and a toast is made. Often children are only given a spoonful. The toast is Bliadhna mhath ur dhuit “A good New Year to you.” The response is Mar sin duit fhein is moran diu “The same to you, and many of them.” “First-footing” is treated very seriously. The very first person to enter the house on New Year’s Day should be a dark-haired man bearing gifts of a piece of coal or peat, and/or salt and bread. Many households will not allow anyone to enter the house until the appropriate first-footer has come.
This is the time to protect the house with good luck.
Dumb Supper… What you are going for here is a Feast of remembrance, a very special Meal of honor. You should pick a meal that was important to the person you are inviting to join you.. I usually make an elaborate Roast pork dinner. With acorn squash, Rutabagas, Mashed potatoes, either Corn or mixed vegetables, Gravy and a dessert. Apple juice, mead or wine goes with the meal as well. You should make sure to include your cooking into your Ritual.. as the preparation of this meal is as important as the eating.
To Start you need to ritually sweep your home. If you have a front and back door… sweep from the front to the back with the intention of removing all the past years negativity and anything else you may want removed from the home(not your husband or kids though). When you get to the back door…. Open it wide.. and very strongly and meaningfully sweep all the dust and dirt and negativity right out the door( you can go back after with a dust pan and clean it up and remove it to a bin.)
Next you should cleanse your home. You can do with simply. Take a bowl of water and a ½ tsp of salt. Mix them together and either use your finger..or a spray bottle from the dollar store(one you would spray the plants with) go around the house the same way you swept.. and with the intent to clean the home of all negativity. Then you can bless you home.. with simple incense stick.. walk the same way you swept and cleanse.. and bless your home .
If you cast circle for your rituals, you should cast a circle around your entire home. Remembering to leave it open to the spirits you are inviting to dinner. You will be moving all around the house.. so it makes it easier than having to cut in and out of your circle to move about. You need not go outside to cast.. just see your circle as all around you house while you cast it.
Quarter calls are up to you. I do not use them for the Dumb Supper..but you can if you choose.. once you start it is YOUR ritual. And you can do it whatever way works for you.
Keep in your thoughts and in your heart those that you have invited. While you are cooking you may even feel the need to talk to them.. Remember all the good time you had in the past cooking this same meal. Incorporate your welcome to them and your love of them and your need to talk to them into the meal.
While the meal is cooking you may want to shower and prepare yourself. Make this as elaborate as you would if you were inviting a live person to your house for a holiday meal. Get dressed up. Set the table in all it’s holiday finery. Decorate in the colors of the season. Make sure to set a place for the one you have invited as well as put a small portion on the plate for them as well. You will probably not want to include small children or children who may have trouble staying silent, or ones that may test YOUR ability to stay silent. Maybe make this a meal you have very late in the night (often this will be a midnight meal)
Once your meal is cooked.. start the time of silence. Everything you will say now will be said in your heart and your mind. Lay the table with all the foods you have cooked. And allow each person to serve him/herself. Meditate and reflect on the person you have invited. Smile, cry, ..this is a time to bring all the good that you every had with this person. With each bite, honor and respect your ancestors and ask them to pass on to you all the wisdom and the learning that they have acquired during their lives as well as what they feel they need to share of what the have learned since they have died. Spend as much time as you need with you guest. When the meal is done..clear all the plates except the guest. Take a moment to savor the evening then out loud(your voice may be crackly) Thank your guest for coming and invite them to watch over you and guide you in the future. The remind them that there place is not here and that they need to move on home before the veil starts to thicken, thus making it harder for them to get home.
Take your guests plate outside and scrap it either onto a ritual dish or even onto the ground. Thank Deity for the blessing of the food and the ability to visit with you beloved guest at this time.
1 pork roast( as big or small as you need for your meal)
½ tsp Rosemary
½ tsp Garlic powder
½ Onion powder
Three strings to tie it with one for each phase of deity
Wash roast with water
Sprinkle generously with spices (to taste)
Place in oven and cook for the required time(usually 20- 30 min per pound)
Cut 1 acorn squash in ½ place cut side down in a microwave safe dish
Add ¼ cup water
Place in microwave for 25 minutes on high
When fork tender remove and turn over
place 1 tbp butter and 2 tbs brown sugar ¼ tsp cinnamon inside
place in the oven with your roast for 15 min
5 lb bag Yukon gold potatoes
½ tsp salt
½ stick butter
Peel and boil potatoes with salt in large pot of water
When fork tender
Drain and place back in the pan
Add butter and start to mash( I use an electric mixer as I dislike lumpy mashed potatoes)
Add light cream as you go to get the consistency you desire (I like mine smooth and kind of loose)
Salt and pepper to taste
I used mixed Veggies because of the harvest theme.. with corn, peas, carrots, lima beans and string beans.,.. you cover all the bases…I steam them in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for 5-9 minutes.. sometimes with season salt to pep them up a bit.. Mrs Dash or Montreal chicken seasoning also work very very well
These cookies are made on Samhain. They can be shaped like people and the herb rosemary is added to the dough as a symbol of remembrance. Some of the cookies are eaten while telling stories or attributes of special ancestors, reminding us that we still have access to their strengths–or perhaps a predisposition to their weaknesses. The rest of the cookies are left outside by a bonfire as an offering. This can be a solemn ritual, but it need not be.
Ingredients for the cookies:
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter or margarine (softened)
2 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 T. chopped rosemary
Heat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat until dough forms and refrigerate for three hours. Divide dough into halves. Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Cut out with gingerbread women or men cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting with second portion. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
Now for the fun recipes to share with your Non pagan friends
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
24 fudge-striped cookies, halved
24 milk chocolate kisses
Red decorating icing
Prepare and bake cake batter according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely.
Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate frosting.
Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting. For bat wings, cut cookies in half and add scalloped edges if desired. Insert two cookie halves into each cupcake. Gently press chocolate kisses into frosting for heads. Pipe ears with reserved frosting; add eyes with decorating icing. Yield: 2 dozen.
Yummy Mummy with Veggie Dip
1 loaf (1 pound) frozen bread dough, thawed
3 pieces string cheese
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 envelope fiesta ranch dip mix
1 pitted ripe olive
Assorted crackers and fresh vegetables
Let dough rise according to package directions. Place dough on a greased baking sheet. For mummy, roll out dough into a 12-in. oval that is narrower at the bottom. For the head, make an indentation about 1 in. from the top. Let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Arrange strips of string cheese over bread; bake 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream and dip mix. Chill until serving.
Cut mummy in half horizontally. Hollow out bottom half, leaving a 3/4-in. shell. Cut removed bread into cubes; set aside. Place bread bottom on a serving plate. Spoon dip into shell, Replace top. For eyes, cut olive and position on head. Serve with crackers, vegetables and reserved bread. Yield: 16 servings (2 cups dip).
Here’s an easy main dish that doubles as a Halloween table centerpiece.
2 packages (8-1/2 ounces each) corn bread/muffin mix
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon black paste food coloring
1 medium sweet red pepper, sliced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cans (15 ounces each) fat-free vegetarian chili
1 tablespoon process cheese sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
In a large bowl, combine the corn bread mix, milk, eggs and food coloring just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cut top fourth off loaf of bread; carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use).
In a large skillet, sauté peppers and onion in oil until tender. Set aside 1/4 cup pepper mixture. Stir chili into remaining pepper mixture; heat through. Spoon 2-1/2 to 3 cups chili mixture into bread coffin; arrange reserved pepper mixture over chili. Replace bread top. Transfer remaining chili to a serving bowl.
Place cheese sauce in a heavy-duty reseal-able plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Write “RIP” with cheese sauce, and then repeat with ketchup. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
Keep your eyes peeled for fun with these deviled eggs full of flavor and crowd appeal. They make the perfect appetizer for a kids’ party. Serve within two hours of making for the best ‘vein’ effect,
3 cups hot water
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
12 sliced ripe olives
1 teaspoon ketchup
Place eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan; add enough cold water to cover by 1 in. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Place in ice water until completely cooled. Gently crack eggs (do not peel).
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups hot water, food coloring and vinegar. Add eggs. (If eggs are not completely covered by colored water, add more hot water.) Let stand for 30 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon; peel.
Cut eggs in half widthwise. Place yolks in a small bowl; set whites aside. Mash yolks with a fork; stir in the mayonnaise, onions, cilantro and mustard.
To level egg white halves, cut a small slice from the bottom of each; place on a serving platter, pipe or stuff yolk mixture into center of whites. Place an olive slice on each; fill olives with ketchup. Refrigerate until serving. This recipe is best eaten the day it is prepared. Yield: 1 dozen.
And with that I will stop.. as I could probably fill page after page with Great information and good, fun recipes… I Look forward to sharing some great stuff with you next month for thanksgiving .