01 August 2012

on this First Harvest...

A new month and Full Moon brings the opportunity for a fresh start. August, the month marked with such intense solar energy as my neck of the woods begins to become blanketed in various shades of yellows and oranges along with the end of summer heat before we see the tangible seasonal shift.  This Summer has been very odd indeed, a very hot, very humid yet very dry (on the rainfall front) start before we saw a few days of respite and then back to the heat for a bit.  My garden is confused, burnt and very sad looking.  My herbs are thriving though!  I have been enjoying a peaceful summer with my sweet girlie as she nears the end of her cancer treatment.  This is our first big "HOORAY!" for the month, her last in treatment clinic appointment is in one week and then four days after that she has her LAST dose of chemo EVER!  I am so happy and thankful for her healing, she is beautiful, vibrant, healthy and happy!  This mama couldn't ask for anything more!

Two weeks from today we leave for Scotland!  Very exciting!  For any remaining readers here, I'll be flooding this site with photos, hundreds of them at the very least. Since November, when I did my reading for the year, this month has been coming up as being a month of HUGE happy changes for me, Scotland seems to play a part in that so it will be interesting to see how everything plays out. We'll be spending 8-9 days touristing around, seeing all sorts of wonderful sights.  We'll be visiting Callanish Stone circle, which has been on Pixie's wishlist long before the movie Brave came out. I dread the ferry rides, as I am horridly motion sick on water especially, but it will be worth seeing that amazing place.

I've recently added pages to this site with some of my old Seasonal Kitchen columns from Pagan Activist. As always with this time of  year, as the season shifts I'll be sharing more recipes because my culinary urges intensify between the equinox and the winter solstice.  Hoping that getting back to work next month will open up an influx of +++ finances and allow me to enjoy myself more in the kitchen.  I've a gluten-free diet to play about with and two somewhat different dietary needs to accommodate.  Should be fun!

Sending out Lunasda and Full Moon blessings, I close this entry with some recipes fit for the celebrations.

Pear Bread

A lovely tea bread that is special enough to be dessert for a picnic. It freezes well so keep an extra loaf on hand for unexpected guests. The Governor's Inn, Ludlow, Vermont

Yield: Makes 1 loaf

    * 1/2 cup sweet butter (1 stick), room temperature
    * 1 cup sugar
    * 2 large eggs
    * 2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon baking powder
    * Pinch nutmeg
    * 1/4 cup buttermilk
    * 1 cup coarsely chopped cored pears (or pureed in food processor or blender)
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla
    * 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter, gradually beat in sugar, and add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Combine dry ingredients and add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in pears, vanilla, and nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Cool. Slice and serve plain, with Quick Apple Butter (recipe follows), or with cream cheese.
Quick Apple Butter

    * 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    * Pinch each of ginger and cloves

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer 30 minutes. Cool and spread on Pear Bread (or toast). Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Spiced Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Hoummus

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained (or other white beans)
1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

In an electric blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas, red peppers, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Process, using long pulses, until the mixture is fairly smooth, and slightly fluffy. Make sure to scrape the mixture off the sides of the food processor or blender in between pulses. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving.) 
Sprinkle the hummus with the chopped parsley before serving. 

Zucchini Salsa

10 cups zucchini, peeled and shredded
4 onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 tablespoon pickling salt
2 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cans tomato paste

In a large bowl combine; Zucchini, onions, green pepper, red pepper and the salt Mix together cover and let stand over night.

Next day rinse, drain well and put into a large pot then add mustard, garlic, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes, cornstarch, nutmeg, pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Water bath jars if they have not sealed properly.

Note: If you want it "HOT" just add a dozen finely chopped jalapenos 

Source: unknown

Gram's Sweet Relish

3qt green tomatoes
3 large ripe tomatoes
4 onions
5 sweet red peppers
4 sweet green peppers
1/2c. salt

Set overnight.  drain

5c. sugar
1 cinnamon stick (remove before canning)
3pts apple cider vinegar

Cooking: 1 hour and then can

Confetti Corn and Bulgur Salad

Pillsbury Best of the Bakeoff 

1c. uncooked bulgur wheat
1 garlic clove, minced (I added more)
1c. boiling water
1/4c. olive oil

In a large bowl combine above four ingredients, mix well and let stand 30 min.

1 medium red apple, chopped
1/2c. golden raisins
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 (15.25oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
4 Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
4 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a medium bowl, combine apple, raisins and lemon juice; mix well.  Fluff bulgur with fork.  Add apple mixture and remaining ingredients; mix well.  If desired line serving bowl with kale or lettuce leaves.  spoon salad into a bowl

YIELDS: 8 1c servings

per serving: 190 calories; 4g protein; 32g carbohydrate; 8g fat; 180mg sodium

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