Samhain Recipe: Phoenician Wheat Porridge
This Phoenician wheat porridge is served in Lebanon on happy occasions, such as to celebrate baby’s first tooth,
when it is distributed to all friends, relatives and neighbors. It was also served for the New Year as wheat symbolizes prosperity and happiness, as well as for Samhain, at which people wear a disguise and go door to door. They are welcomed with a dish of wheat berries in a sweet anise-scented broth covered with a multitude of nuts. This dish was customary in any celebration; in my ancestor’s time, families would send the High Priest or High Priestess two large platters of this dish that he/she would bless, returning one to the family. This dish can be served hot or cold. If you serve it cold, then it is best to sweeten it while the wheat is still boiling. If you decide to serve it warm then you can sweeten it right before serving it with sugar or honey or molasses.
- 1 cup of hulled wheat (you can use un-hulled wheat, just cook longer, or barley)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup each of: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts
- 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon of anise seeds (can substitute ground anise)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water (this is a must and you can find it any Middle-
Boil the wheat in water for one hour. You can put a tablespoon of anise seeds in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie it with a string and let it boil with the wheat.
Boil 3 cups of water and pour over the nuts. When cool, peel the nuts, drain.
Add the spices to the wheat the last few minutes of cooking. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then add in the orange blossom water.
Ladle the wheat in a small bowl, cover with the nuts and some pomegranate seeds.
Amara, a practicing Eclectic Phoenician Witch, is a content writer, vocal coach, opera singer, and killer storyteller with a B.A in Musimedialogy, a Master’s in Vocal Studies and the ability to communicate in three languages (English, French, Arabic) as a Native and a tad of Italian.
Born in Beirut-Lebanon to a monotheistic family, and growing up between the Middle-East and Europe, she always felt a strong and deep connection to her ancestry: the Phoenicians, also known as the Canaanites. Although her given birth name is Christine Fakhoury, she adopted the name Amara Willow at the age of twelve and fully devoted herself in the Craft and her spiritual practices.
Some fun facts about her: every morning she opens a Tarot card to see how her day is going to pass, she and her mum must have their 4 PM Arabic coffee together while gossiping then off-course reading their cups together, she is addicted to Charles Dickens, intense impressionism art, Al Bowlly, the 1920’s and bloody Marys.