Metaphysical: Meditation — This Weird Chick’s Blog

By: Paula Bianchi – I figured since I’m always talking about meditation, I should write an article about it. At first, I was going to be all technical and give you a blow by blow history of what meditation is, and how long people have been practicing it. Let me just say, it’s been around […]

Metaphysical: Meditation — This Weird Chick’s Blog

The Harvest – Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh

By Tara Sutphen

Lughnasadh is the harvest and reaping great

rewards, it is also a day of feasting. Lugh, is the Celtic God of Light and this Pagan Sabbat is the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. Some bake a figure of the “corn god” in bread, and then symbolically sacrifice and eat it. The tradition of eating and sharing the first fruits, vegetables and grains of the season started with Lughnasadh in Ireland. In England, it became the medieval festival known as Lammas day. In keeping with the Lughnasadh tradition, the first grains were offered to the gods, the form of a baked loaf of bread. The loaf was blessed and cut into four pieces, with one piece placed in each corner of the home for good luck.  

The non-sporting competitions in festivals were singing, dancing, poetry-reading and storytelling. Trial marriages were performed, couples would join hands through a hole in a slab of wood. The experimental marriage would last one year and a day, after which it was annulled without question.

Celtic festivals like Lughnasadh was an opportune time to make political, social and economic deals. All weapons and rivalry’s were laid down so the neighbors could get to know one another. Chieftains held important meetings, farmers would make trade agreements about crops or cattle for the coming season. 

A common tradition of Celtic festivals were to visit holy wells. People would give offerings to the wells and decorate them with flowers and garlands, they could leave coins or clooties (cloth). They would walk around the well in a sun-wise direction praying to the Gods.

Recipes

Farm Fresh Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups chopped fresh mustard greens or spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and onion; cook and stir until broccoli is crisp-tender. Stir in greens and garlic; cook and stir 4-5 minutes longer or until greens are wilted.
    Unroll pastry sheet into a 9-in. pie plate; flute edge. Fill with
    broccoli mixture. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup Swiss cheese; pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.
    Bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Wild Rice Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cream, chicken, rice, mushrooms, pimientos and parsley; heat through.
    Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

White Spaghetti Casserole 

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 can (2.8 ounces) french-fried onions, divided

Directions

  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat egg. Add sour cream, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture with Monterey Jack cheese, spinach and half of the onions. Pour into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated though. Top with remaining onions; return to the oven for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Pasta Pizza Skillet Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
    In a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green pepper and onion; saute until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high. In same skillet, heat remaining oil. Spread pasta evenly in skillet to form a crust. Cook until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.
    Turn crust onto a large plate. Reduce heat to medium; slide crust back into skillet. Top with pizza sauce, sauteed vegetables and olives; sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake until cheese is melted, 10-12 minutes.

Layered Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • FRUIT SALAD:
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 medium kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium bananas, sliced
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 medium red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes

Directions

  • Place first 6 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Cool completely. Remove cinnamon stick.
    Layer fruit in a large glass bowl. Pour juice mixture over top. Refrigerate, covered, several hours.

Berry Pie

Ingredients:

5 cups fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts

1 cup sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

Sprinkle berries with lemon juice; set aside.

Fit half of pastry in a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions.

Combine 1 cup sugar and next 3 ingredients; add to berries, stirring well.

Pour into pastry shell, and dot with butter.

Unfold remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface; roll gently with rolling pin to remove creases in pastry.

Place pastry over filling; seal and crimp edges.

Cut slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape.

Brush top of pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar

Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until golden.

Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent over browning, if necessary.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Lughnasadh or Lammas is a harvest festival. In other languages:

Irish – Lá Lúnasa 

Welsh – Gwyl Awst (August Feast)

English – Apple Day  (drinking Apple juice, Apple cider, or Mead

Lughnasadh Harvest Spell

sit down in the middle of a circle of candles (tealight)

Cup your hands ready to receive

Repeat Aloud:

Thank you Mother Earth and our Amazing Land  

Thank you for the seeds creating the food

Thank the nourishment feeding everyone we love, Thank the Farmer for tending the crops

Thank the handlers to get the crops to market, Thank you for the market representatves

Thank you Food Preparers, Thankful for Food. Let us Pray. So Much to Be Thankful For

The Sustenence, the Healing, The nourishing and the nurturing. Blessed Be

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