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Gaia, wrapped in snow
Wiccan Yule Lore
The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, when the Mother Goddess, heavy with child, labors until morning when she gives birth to the Sun Lord. As he grows stronger day by day, he will warm the Earth and bring back the budding bloom, the new seeds for future crops and warmth and joy to life again.
The Origins & Reason for the Season
Winter was a scary time for our Norther European Pagan ancestors. Imagine for a moment what it would be like:
Harvest is over. Food stores are already beginning to run low and the land where you hunt and forage is barren. For quite some time, the nights have been growing longer and longer, and the days shorter and shorter. The air has grown colder and you know the earth will soon be blanketed in snow. Nights are now freezing, even indoors, and you long for the warmth of the sun. You know that in the weeks ahead, there is going to be little opportunity and need to go out of your small, cramped dwelling for long periods of time. Like every year, your family will spend the next few months huddles together, rationing food and firewood, praying that stores don't run out, praying that no one gets sick, so that you'll make it through the long, lonely, stretch of cold and darkness. You'll have little to do, except keep working for survival and wait.
Then comes the turning point-- the Solstice. It might be the longest night, but a seed of hope is planted. The sun will only get stronger, the daylight only get longer, from here on out. Yes, you might still have dark times ahead, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So what do you do? You celebrate, of course. Use up the last of the perishables before they rot. Enjoy the company of your community before you retreat indoorsCelebrate life with merriement to cheer yourselves up and comfort each other about the frightening period ahead of you and reassure each other that it will not last longer than it has to..
What Yule Means to us Today
The mythology of the Yule season symbolizes new beginnings and hope. We don't face the same challenges today, but we can still focus on the meanings of rebirth and hope and what they signify to us in our lives-- that no matter how bad things can get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a new opportunity ahead to which we can look forward. There is always a reason to be thankful and celebrate.
Observing the Shortest Day of the Year
Before there were clocks or calendars, ancient man observed the sun and moon, and many cultures held rituals or events to mark the day with the shortest amount of sunlit hours. This day came to be called Yule, also known as the Winter Solstice. Traditionally, the holiday is marked on December 21st, although physically the astronomical event can fall between December 20th and 23rd for the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this holiday falls on the corresponding dates in June.
Celebrating the Winter Solstice
In Wiccan beliefs, the Sun King is reborn as a new baby on this day, emerging from the fallow period that began with Samhain at the end of October. Gathering around hearth or bonfires all night was one of the most common rituals on this holiday and is the root of the Yule Log tradition known today.
A ritual hearth fire was part of many different cultures observanced of this special night. The tradition of the Yule log varies greatly across the many groups which lit fires for this event. It dates back to 12th century Europe, and was prevalent throughout France and Italy as well. The wood for the Yule log is supposed to be harvested off the owner’s own land, or received as a gift, never purchased. Sometimes this log is harvested as part of Beltane rituals, whereas other cultures cut it fresh for the winter solstice holiday.
Yule Rituals & Traditions
For modern pagans who observe the holiday because their families do, it is a confusing time of year; how to celebrate this as a seasonal festival when so many of our associations with this holiday have to do with gifts, food and merrymaking?
Date: the Winter Solstice, which varies from year to year from Dec. 19th to the 23rd.
Altar: facing north, starting with element of Earth. Main tool: candle in cauldron, symbolizing rebirth of the light from the womb of the mother.
Colors: green, gold, red, white.
Animals: cardinals, doves, stags, furry forest creatures.
Food: apples, baked sweet breads, citrus fruits, dried fruit, ginger bread, nuts, pears, pork, roasted poultry, rolls with caraway seeds.
Drinks: cider, eggnog, ginger tea, mulled wines.
Plants and Herbs: bayberry, bay, cinnamon, cloves, evergreens, ginger, holly, mistletoe, myrrh, poinsettia, wintergreen.
Incense & Oils appropriate to this time of year:
4 cups milk
A couple of almonds, finely chopped
1 rounded teaspoon of butter/margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup washed white rice
A pinch of cinnamon powder
1/2 cup thick cream
In a large saucepan, heat the milk until boiling. Add butter/margarine, then add the rice and turn down the heat. Cover with lid, and let rice simmer slowly for about one hour or until the milk is absorbed. Transfer to a non-metal bowl and fold in the cream and almonds. Serve in small bowls with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Sun Up Egg Squares
1 pound pork sausage, cooked & drained
1 1/4 cups bisquick
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup milk
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon each; pepper, oregano
Layer the sausage, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and cheese in a well greased 13"x9"x2" baking dish. Beat together the remaining ingredients in a non-metal bowl and pour over sausage mixture. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and set (about 30 minutes). Cut into 12 3-inch squares. Serves 12, can be halved.
Shortest Day Ham Loaf
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound ground ham
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup milk
Mix all ingredients above and shape into 2 individual loaves. In a saucepan combine:
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 cup water
Bring sauce to a boil, pour over the loaves, place loaves in a 350 degree oven and bake for 1 hour, basting regularly. Makes 10-12 servings.
4 cups red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, corse ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons parsley
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Combine and toss the vegetables together. Mix salt, pepper, salad oil, lemon juice, sugar and parsley and pour over the vegetable mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour, Toss briskly before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Festive Ham Balls
3 cups bisquick
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
10 1/2 cups smoked ham
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2/3 teaspoon milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Lightly grease a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" baking pan. Mix all above ingredients in a non-metal bowl. Shape mixture into 1" balls. Place the balls about 2" apart in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brown. Remove from pan and serve immediately. Makes 16 servings.
Brighter Day Cheese Ball
3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon red hot pepper sauce
1 pkg. (8-oz) Neufchatel cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3 green onions w/tops, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced parsley
Preheat the oven to 350. Spread out chopped pecans on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until toasted, tossing once. In a small non-metal bowl, mix the cream cheese, onions, mustard, red pepper sauce, and garlic with mixer at a medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into approx. 4" ball, refrigerate for 15 minutes. After, on a sheet of waxed paper, toss the pecans and parsley. Unwrap the cheese ball and carefully roll it around in the mixture, covering it completely. Rewrap the cheese ball and place in refrigerator until time to serve. Serve with crackers or fresh vegetables. Makes 24 servings.
Hot Spiced Wassail (non-alcoholic)
4 cups cranberry juice
6 cinnamon sticks
5 cups apple cider
1 orange, studded with whole cloves
1 cup water
1 apple, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix juice, cider, and water in large saucepan or crock pot. Add cinnamon sticks, clove studded orange, and apple slices. Simmer mixture for 4 hours. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.
Solstice Surprise Salad
1 large unpeeled cucumber
1 15 1/2 ounce can whole chestnuts
4 ounces cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons French dressing
Wash and dry cucumber. Cut into quarters, lengthwise, then thinly slice into a non-metal bowl. Grate cheddar cheese and add to cucumber. Break up the chestnuts into fairly large pieces and add. Toss well to mix, adding the French dressing. Chill for one hour before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Roasted Lamb Feast For A (Sun) King
1-3 pound shank leg of lamb
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1/8 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
8 cloves garlic
6 parsnips, cut into 1" pieces
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, sliced
With a sharp knife, trim all fat and cartilage from the lamb. Season with the salt and pepper. Make 1" deep slits all over the leg of lamb. Use most of the garlic and all of the rosemary by pushing 1/2 garlic cloves and a few rosemary leaves into each slit. In a large roasting pan, combine oil with the sweet potatoes, the parsnips (turnips may be substituted), and the rest of the garlic. Move the vegetables to the side of the pan, and place the leg of lamb in the center. Move the vegetables around the lamb, surrounding it. Roast the lamb and vegetables for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the vegetables occasionally so that they cook evenly. Remove from the oven, and with a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a serving dish. Keep warm. Place the lamb on a carving platter and cover with foil. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Slice the roasted lamb and serve with warm vegetables. Makes 6 servings.
The Best For Last Bars
1/4 pound butter
10 ounce raspberry chocolate chips
12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 1/2 cups sugar
7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
1 heaping tablespoon of instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
In heavy saucepan or double boiler melt the butter. Add evaporated milk, sugar, and coffee. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add raspberry chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate. Stir the mixture until all ingredients are melted. Add the marshmallow creme and stir until well blended. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into a slightly greased 9" x13" pan. Refrigerate. Cut into bite-sized bars when cooled. Makes 12 servings.
--Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys For all her friends and those of like mind--
Copyright © 1997-99 https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yuletnrecip.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection wicca.com. All rights reserved.
VEGAN YULE RECIPES:
Cashew Nut Roast with Sage and onion stuffing
A sixth of a cup/30g/1oz of vegan margarine
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 medium leek, finely chopped
1 and a half cups of hot water
1 teaspoon of yeast extract (marmite, vegemite etc.)
3 cups/550g/16oz of ground cashew nuts (or other nuts of your choice - almonds work well too)
2 Tablespoons of soya flour
2 teaspoons of fresh herbs - winter savoury is great (if using dried 1 teaspoon)
3 cups/160g/6oz of white bread crumbs
seasalt and pepper to taste
sage and onion stuffing (see recipe further down the page)
Melt the margarine (in a large pan for mixing) and cook the celery and leek in it for a few minutes. Mix the yeast extract into the hot water (alternatively you could use any stock you like) and add this to the leek and celery. Stir in the soya flour, nuts, herbs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool slightly while you grease a loaf tin. Place half the nut roast mixture in the tin and press down well - then add the sage and onion stuffing (pressing down well again) and place the rest of the nut roast mixture on top. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180/360 then turn out of the tin and slice. Nice served with all the traditional trimmings.
Variations: You can substitute wine (red or white) or soya milk for the water and yeast extract. The sage and onion stuffing is optional - it works just as well without it and might actually slice up easier! A layer of sliced mushrooms and garlic is an alternative to the stuffing.
Creamy mushroom Puff
A third of a cup/60g/2oz of vegan margarine
4 tablespoons of plain white flour
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or very finely chopped (this can be reduced or left out if desired)
3 cups of mushrooms, sliced
half a litre/500ml of soya milk
1 glass of white wine (or stock)
handful of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
approx. 500g/18oz of frozen puff pastry (this even comes ready-rolled now for extra laziness!!!)
Melt the margarine and cook the onion and garlic in it for a few minutes and then add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the flour and stir well. Gradually add the soya milk stirring all the time and then the wine and keep stirring on a low heat until the sauce thickens. Once thick remove from the heat and add your seasoning and the parsley. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the pastry. Roll out into 2 wide rectangular shapes reserving some pastry for decoration. Place one sheet of pastry on a greased baking tray. Heap the slightly cooled sauce onto it leaving a space round the edges. Place the top sheet on and seal up the edges with some soya milk or water (fold over if needed). Make some small slits on the top of the puff and let your artistic side shine with the reserved pastry! I usually make holly leaves to place on the top but do whatever you like. Glaze with soya milk and then bake in a medium hot oven for about half an hour or until the pastry seems cooked (no soggy bits and nicely puffed up!)
Nice served with gravy, roast potatoes, stuffing, vegan sausages, cranberry sauce and vegetables of your choice - a feast!
Sage and Onion Roast Potatoes
4 teaspoons of dried sage or 8 teaspoons of freshly chopped sage
4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 finely chopped onion
4 tablespoons of medium oatmeal
Potatoes, peeled and cut to desired size (this coating is enough for about 4 or 5 lbs/2 or 3 kilos.)
salt to taste
Par boil the potatoes then just when they are beginning to soften remove from heat and drain. Place in baking tray and rub the coating all over them (careful!) - roast in a hot oven until nice and crispy (30 minutes plus). You might want to baste with a little more oil half way through for extra crispiness!
Variation: sesame roast potatoes - coat the potatoes in sunflower oil and plenty sesame seeds before roasting - this has a lovely flavour too.
Posted by Patrick McCleary (PaganDad.com)Tuesday, December 11, 2007
MORE YULE RECIPES:
2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Shortening
1 cup Milk
6 each Apple
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pare and core apples. Sift flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening, add milk and mix to smooth dough. Turn onto floured board and divide into six portions. Roll each portion large enough to cover one apple. Place an apple on each piece of dough; fill with cinnamon and sugar; wet edges of dough and fold over apple. Place on greased baking sheet, and bake at 350-F until apples are tender (about 40 minutes).
2 Butternut Squash, halved with seeds remove
Margarine or Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash cut-side down on greased shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Wipe cut surface with a little butter and sprinkle with salt. Return to bake cut-side up about 10 minutes longer or until browned and soft. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Scrape out the squash into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, honey, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and butter. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Put in buttered casserole. Return to oven, covered, for 30 minutes.
ORANGE-CRANBERRY CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATOES
1 4lb.Roasting Chicken
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 pound Sweet Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 cup Whole berry Cranberry Sauce
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
Preheat oven to 375%.Grate rind from orange(don't include the bitter white part).Rinse chicken & pat dry.Sprinkle with salt,pepper & 1/2 the grated orange rind.Place,breast side up,on a rack in large roasting pan.Roast for 30 minutes.Meanwhile pare & cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch slices,then toss with Olive oil.Place in single layer in the bottom of roasting pan.Continue roasting 1 hour & 45 minutes,turning potatoes occasionally & basting chicken & potatoes frequently,until the chicken juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with fork & leg moves freely. During the last 1/2 hour of roasting,combine Chicken broth,cranberry sauce & vinegar in a small saucepan.Bring to boiling over med.heat;boil 20 min. or until reduced to 1 1/2 cups.Peel white pith from orange,seed flesh & chop.Stir remaining rind & chopped orange into saucepan;simmer 5 min. Let Chicken rest for 20 minutes before carving.Cut chicken in half lengthwise down the middle.Spoon Cranberry Sauce mixture over chicken & serve with Sweet Potatoes.
SOFT GINGER BREAD
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Butter or other shortening
3 cups Flour
1 cup Milk, sour
2 teaspoons Ginger
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cloves
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon Soda - dissolved in
1/4 cup boiling Water
Cream the shortening and sugar, add the eggs and molasses, and mix well. Sift the flour and spices, and add alternately with the milk to the first mixture.
Stir in the dissolved soda. Pour into well-greased cake pan and bake at 350-F 30 minutes.
1 cup Shortening
1 cup Brown sugar
2 each Egg, well beaten
1 cup Molasses
4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Soda
1 Tablespoon boiling Water
1 teaspoon Ginger>BR> 1 pinch Salt
Use a mixture of butter and lard for the shortening.
Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Add the molasses and baking soda which has been dissolved in the boiling water. Sift the flour and ginger together and combine with other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into well-greased muffin pans and bake at 350-F about 20 minutes.
MORAVIAN CHRISTMAS COOKIES
2 cups Shortening
2 1/4 cups Brown sugar
1 quart Molasses
8 cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Cloves
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda *dissolved in 1 teaspoon Vinegar
Use a mixture of butter and lard for the shortening. Sift the flour and spices together. Add sugar and mix well. Work in the shortening with the finger tips or with a pastry blender. Add baking soda and molasses and mix thoroughly. Chill. Roll very thin on floured board and cut with fancy cookie cutters. Bake at 350-F about 10 minutes.
MORAVIAN SCOTCH CAKES
1 1/2 cups Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Caraway seeds
Mix the flour, caraway seeds and sugar together. Work in the butter with the finger tips until well blended.
Roll out about 1/3 inch thick on floured board. Cut in small squares. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 325-F about 15 minutes. When cold, cover with boiled icing and sprinkle with colored sugar.
ACORN SQUASH AND SWEET POTATO SOUP
1 large Onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed (5 cups)
1 small Acorn Squash, seeded and cubed
13 3/4 ounces Chicken Broth
4 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds; toasted
Sauté onion in oil in large saucepan over med. heat until onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes, squash and broth. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 25 min. Cool slightly.
Working in small batches, place the vegetables with the liquid in a blender or food processor. Whirl until pureed. Return the puree to the saucepan. Stir in the milk to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Heat over low heat. Remove to heated bowls.
Top each serving with dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of almonds and nutmeg.
1 1/2 c Milk; scald/cool to lukewarm
3 1/2 Yeast; dry/envelopes
3/4 cup Water; lukewarm
3 cups Flour; sifted
1/2 cup Eggs; yolks/lightly beaten
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter; softened
Flour; 10-11 cups, as needed
5 cups currants
1 1/2 c Almonds; chopped or slivered
1 cup Citron; chopped
1/2 Lemon; rind only/grated
2 teaspoons Rum
Milk should be cooled to about 100 degrees. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and add 1/4 cup of the cooled milk and 3 cups sifted flour. Cover the sponge with a cloth and let it ripen until bubbles appear on the surface and it is about to drop in the center. Pour the remaining milk over the sponge. Add the egg yolks, sugar and salt and beat until the ingredients are well blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat well. Blend in the butter. Add more flour gradually to make a smooth dough, or until 10 to 11 cups have been added. Some flours absorb more liquid than others. Knead in the currants, almonds, and citron, along with the lemon rind which should be mixed with the rum. Knead the dough until the fruits and nuts are dispersed well through it and it is smooth. Dust the top lightly with flour and let it rise in a warm place about 45 minutes.
Punch it down and let stand for 20 minutes. Divide the dough in half and knead the pieces until smooth. Let them stand for 10 minutes longer. Place one ball of dough on a lightly floured board, and with a rolling pin, press down the center of the ball, and roll the pin to and fro 4 to 5 times, pressing all the time to make an elliptical shape 6 inches long and 3 1/2" wide. The center rolled part should be 1/8" thick and 4 inches long. Both ends should remain untouched, resembling rather thick lips. Place this rolled out piece of dough on a buttered baking sheet and brush the center part with melted butter. Fold one lip toward the other and on the top of it. Press the fingertips down near and below the lips, pulling somewhat apart. Give a pull away from each end, pointing them toward the lips. The shape should resemble a waning moon. Repeat the process with the second piece of dough.
Let the Stollen rise, covered in a warm place until they double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake them in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake them. Cool them on racks. Brush them with butter and cover with vanilla sugar.
SWEET POTATOES AND CRANBERRIES
6 sweet potatoes
1 cup cranberry sauce
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon orange rind
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cranberries
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Boil sweet potatoes in their skins until barely tender. Peel, slice thickly, and arrange in a buttered baking dish. In saucepan mix remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Pour over sweet potatoes and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until glazed and hot.
ROAST LOIN OF VENISON WITH CRANBERRIES
2 thick slices of lemon
2 thick slices of orange
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 small bay leaf
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 pounds boneless loin of venison, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped juniper berries
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef or venison stock
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon, orange, ginger, sugar and bay leaf with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to moderate and boil, uncovered, until syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the cranberries, then remove from heat and cool. Transfer the mixture to a glass container, coer and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, stirring once or twice during that time.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Rub the venison with the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the chopped juniper berries, pressing the seasonings into the meat. Set the loin on a rack in a roasting pan and roast, basting frequently with the pan juices, until medium-rare (about 135 degrees F on a meat thermometer), 25 to 30 minutes. Cover the venison loosely with foil and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, remove and discard the bay leaf and the lemon, orange and ginger slices from the cranberries. In a food processor or blender, puree half the cranberries and half the liquid until smooth.
In a medium nonreactive saucepan, boil the wine over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the cranberry puree, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Strain the remaining whole cranberries and add them to the sauce with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and chopped juniper berries. Swirl in the cold butter.
Slice the venison thinly (stir any juices into the sauce) and serve with the sauce, reheated if necessary.
1 Dozen apples; baked
1 cup Water
4 cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground mace
6 Whole cloves
6 Allspice berries
1 Stick cinnamon
1 Dozen eggs, separated
4 Bottles sherry or Madeira wine
2 cups Brandy
Ancient England gave us the custom of "wassailing". It is based on the tradition of friends gathering in a circle, whereupon the host drinks to the health of all present. He sips from a glass of hot punch or spiced ale, then passes the glass. A special bowl was used as the vessel. As each friend raises the vessel, before sipping he or she proclaims the Saxon toast "Wass hael!" meaning "be whole" or "be well." Although many versions exist, this one contains the symbolic ingredients: apples, representing fertility and health; spices, signifying riches and variety; eggs, a symbol of life and rebirth; as well as wine and brandy.
The beverage is served hot, so plan on a heatproof punchbowl. This makes enough for a crowd. Just how large a crowd depends on your group's taste for rich, spicy wine drinks. Figure on at least 16-18 servings.
Cook's notes: This also can be made with a combination of beer and wine, preferably sherry, with roughly 4 parts beer to one part sherry. The resulting flavor is authentic to the Colonial period, but far less familiar to contemporary palates.
Prepare the punch: Combine water, sugar, and spices in a large stainless steel, enamel or glass saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until light in color. In separate pans, bring the wine (and beer, if used) and the brandy almost to the boiling point.
Fold the whites into the yolks, using a large heatproof bowl. Strain the sugar and spice mixture into the eggs, combining quickly. Incorporate the hot wine with the spice and egg mixture, beginning slowly and stirring briskly with each addition. Toward the end of this process, add the brandy. Now, just before serving and while the mixture is still foaming, add the baked apples.
Presentation: Serve in heatproof cups or punch glasses. Guests are welcome to take part or all of an apple.
2 Quarts apple juice
2 1/4 cups Pineapple juice
2 cups Orange juice
1 cup Lemon juice
1/2 cup Sugar
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon Whole cloves
Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer an additional 20 minutes. Strain and discard cinnamon and cloves. Serve hot.
Yield: 3 quarts.
YULE MOON COOKIES
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cup. flour
1 1/2 cups grated almonds (blanched)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 T. water
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add grated lemon peel, salt, flour, grated almonds, and 1 tsp. vanilla; mix thoroughly. Place dough in bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly. When dough is well chilled; or next day, roll out dough to 1/8" thickness and cut with moon/crescent cookie cutter. Place 1/2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
While cookies bake, combine confectioner's sugar, vanilla and water. Spread over tops of cookies while still warm, but not too hot as icing will melt. Thin with additional drops of water if glaze is too thick.
Allow cookies to cool. Yield: 10 dozen cookies.
YULE LOG COOKIES
1/2 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tablespoons Butter or margarine, softened
1 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon Ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
Red and green decorator icing
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, beat the brown sugar and margarine until blended. Add the egg; beat until well blended. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; mix well. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough with your hands to make two 10 1/2-inch logs; flatten slightly to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. With a spatula, place the logs 2 to 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a non-serrated knife in water; score each log diagonally at 3/4-inch intervals. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until set and no longer moist. Cool for 1 minute. Remove from the cookie sheet; place on a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut the logs at the scored lines.
Cool completely. Decorate each cookie with decorator icing to resemble a holly leaf and berries.
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SWEETS & CIDERS:
YULE FRUIT CAKE RECIPE
This makes a beautiful rich and tasty cake which is perfect for the season.
225g (8oz) flour
2.5ml (.5 tsp) ground cinnamon
2.5ml (.5 tsp) ground nutmeg
5ml (1 tsp) mixed spice
175g (6oz) butter
175g (6oz) soft brown sugar
15ml (1 tblsp) black treacle
1 tblsp grated orange rind
1 tblsp grated lemon rind
4 Medium eggs
550g (20oz) mixed dried fruit
100g (4oz) chopped mixed peel
50g (2oz) chopped walnuts or blanched almonds
100g (4oz) glace cherries (chopped)
15ml (1 tblsp) fresh milk
Pre-heat oven to 150 deg C (300 deg F)
Prepare an 8" round, or 7" square cake tin
Sieve the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl, thoroughly mix to evenly distribute the spices and put to one side.
Cream the butter with the sugar, treacle, orange and lemon rind in another bowl.
Beat in eggs one at a time and mix in 1 tablespoon of the sieved dry ingredients as each one is added.
Stir in the fruit, cherries and nuts.
Add the milk and then fold in the remainder of the flour mixture a tablespoon at a time.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place in the center of the pre-heated oven.
Bake for 4 to 4.5 hours or until a skewer inserted to the center of the cake, comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
Turn onto cooling rack and when completely cold, store in an airtight tin until ready to use.
We visited the German Christmas markets in Cologne a few years ago and the atmosphere was wonderful with the crisp night air, the festive music, friendly people and all the stalls lit up with fairy lights. Scattered amongst the food and tree decoration stalls, were stalls selling a delightful traditional hot drink that warmed the heart, in Germany it is called Gluhwein, in Britain we call it Mulled wine, so if you fancy trying it, here is a great recipe for you.
1 Bottle of red wine
2 x cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 x Orange (Sliced)
1 Lemon (Sliced)
75g brown sugar
Warm the wine in a large pan on the hob, but don't allow it to boil (alcohol actually boils at around 72 deg C so if you want to keep any in the drink, don't go much above that temperature).
Add the Orange, cloves, nutmeg and sugar.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved, Add the cinnamon sticks, cover and allow the mixture to cool.
Re-heat just before you are ready to serve
remove the cinnamon sticks, strain off the spices and fruit and pour into glasses - Delicious.
Posted by shadow fire (WiccanTogether.com) on November 23, 2009 at 7:19pm
YULE INCENSE RECIPE:
This recipe is given in 'parts', if you only want a small amount, use a teaspoon as 1 'part', if you want more, use a tablespoon or even bucket as a 'part', if you are making enough for your whole street!
Posted by shadow fire (WiccanTogether.com) on November 23, 2009 at 7:19pm
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