Ostara Soufflé 

Happy Ostara!

 Inspired by the book The Boy Who Ate Around, our Ostara supper was the Giant Cheese Soufflé from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone with a side of asparagus. It was a big hit, and all of the ingredients are available at Aldi.

  This grand looking soufflé is baked in a round casserole- 13 – 14 inches across and at least two inches high. I used a dutch oven and a soufflé dish. Serves 6 – 8 (My family ate a double recipe) 
5 + Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp parmesan

6 Tbsp flour

2 cups warm milk

6 egg yolks

1 3/4 cup grated cheddar


1 tsp paprika

10 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter your large dish and dust the sides with parmesan.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour, and cook over low heat for several minutes. Whisk in the milk all at once, lower the heat, and cook for one minute, stirring. Remove from heat and beat in the yolks two at a time. Stir in the cheese. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt and the paprika.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm peaks. Fold them into the yolk mixture, then pour into the casserole. Put in the center of the oven and lower the heat to 375. Bake until the soufflé has risen and is golden brown all over the top, about 30 minutes. A slight quivering in the middle and firmness around the edges mean that the center will be loose enough to provide a creamy sauce. If you prefer a firmer center, bake 5 minutes longer. In either case, serve as soon as it’s ready.


Vegan Turkey Saver

Yield: 8 servings
1 gallon water
2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp thyme

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups vegetable broth*

1/4 cup light olive oil

1 tbsp soy sauce**

Cheesecloth (one double thick 24-inch by 16-inch piece)

2 6-inch pieces of string

1 batch uncooked stuffing (optional – I don’t use it)

*If using the homemade vegetable broth, you may need to add salt to this recipe.
**Substitute Bragg liquid aminos if desired.

1) In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a low boil.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten, yeast flakes, thyme, onion powder, and salt.

3) Add the vegetable broth, oil, and soy sauce, stir just until combined.

4) Form into a loaf shape.

5) Place gluten loaf on cheesecloth and roll up (not to tight). Tie each end with a piece of string.

6) Place in simmering water, covered, for 1 hour*** (2 hours for a double batch).

7) Preheat oven to 325.

8) Take roast out of water and remove cheesecloth. Place in baking dish with prepared stuffing, if desired.

9) Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

*** Make stuffing while turkey is simmering in the water. Cook the stuffing in the baking dish with the turkey.
I have read this variation, but never tried it:
Variation: Vegan Turkey with Puff Pastry
After turkey is done boiling, remove it from the water and remove cheesecloth. Roll out a piece of puff pastry so that it will cover your turkey. Cover turkey with puff pastry. Brush puff pastry with a mixture of half ketchup and half water. Sprinkle with a little bit of thyme. Bake turkey, uncovered, at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes.

This recipe has been adapted from this great cookbook by Brian McCarthy:

Spinach and Potato Soup 

Serves: 6 • Prep time: 10 min • Cook time: 20 min

6 Tbsp. butter or Smart Balance or olive oil6 small all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced

1 or 2 finely chopped onion (do your kids like onion?)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 can (14.5 oz.) broth

12 cups baby spinach leaves or 3 or 4 pkgs frozen spinach

3 cans evaporated milk or plain soymilk (optional) 

Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook onion, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach and cook 5 minutes or until wilted. Process soup with a submersible blender just until smooth. Return to saucepan (add milk) and heat through. Season, if desired, with freshly ground black pepper.

Vegan Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

Do you have a bucket of soaked wheat berries on your counter, left over from your equinox activities? I do!

 I adapted this Mediterranean salad from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian “Salad of Whole Wheatberries”. It is a beautiful cookbook. I do not use it often, but I use it when I want something special. And it has my all time favorite recipe for Mulligatawny soup.

(While I’m on the topic of Madhur Jaffrey, her book Seasons of Splendour is beautiful and I use it for teaching the 5th grade Waldorf homeschool curriculum.)

Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups chopped tomato
1 sweet pepper, chopped ( I used a yellow one from Aldi)
3 cups whole wheat berries, boiled and drained
3/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. salt
black pepper
3 Tbsp. lemon juice

Put the oil in a non stick skillet and set over medium heat. When hot put in the onion and garlic.Stir and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion has browned a little. Now put in the tomato and sweet pepper. Stir and fry another 3 minutes. Add the drained wheat berries and stir. Add the spices, adjusting to taste. Stir again and remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and stir.

This salad can be served hot, cold or room temperature. It can be used to stuff peppers, squash or tomatoes then baked.

I want to add some thing green to this. So I tossed in some greens from the fridge. But if I could choose…. Arugula? Zucchini? Cilantro? What would you add?

Look what I found in the yard yesterday…

Happy Ostara everyone!

Guy Fawkes

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d (or by God’s mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring. (Holla*)
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!        


Parkin Cake         

1 cup butter
1 and 1/3 cup molasses
1 and 1/3 cup rolled oats
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. lemon rind
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients by sifting together. Melt the butter and gradually mix in the molasses. Adding the butter mixture, alternately with the milk, to the dry ingredients, combining everything until just moist. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.    

  -adapted from WiccaCraft for Families by Margie McAthur  

-by Melanie

Full Moon Ritual

  Rhea, Juniper, Melanie, and I, along with all the kids, processed under the bright Moon light to the waiting fire and altar. We held hands in a circle as we gazed at the Moon Herself. I (Chris) then poured out a chalice of milk for Her, along with words of praise. Each person in turn stepped into the middle of the circle to receive a Full Moon blessing. The rest of the circle laid hands on the person while I anointed their forehead with scented oil. “Mother Moon, this is (name) your child.  (Name), the blessings of the Moon are upon you.” We tied a white cord around the wrist of each person as they were blessed. We howled at the Moon, had cakes and passed a cup of cider, and some of us stayed outside around the fire to watch Her wend her way across the starry sky.


Samhain Cider
2  qt. cider
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup apricot brandy
Cashew Coven Cakes 
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup ground cashews
3 drops almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. honey
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl. Add butter, egg and honey, creaming with a fork. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Pinch off two inch crescent shapes and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 18 – 20 minutes.

"If the people keep Samhain, then Samhain will keep the people." – Steven Posch

   Samhain is the Pagan New Year, when the veil between the living and spirit realms is at its thinnest. Samhain is the Witches highest holiday. Luckily for Pagan families, mainstream culture really embraces Samhain as Halloween, giving us plenty of activities and fun.
  Trick or treating, letting disguised children run from house to house, demanding candy, is one of my favorite things! (We ascribe to the “eat as much candy as you can for 24 hours” school of thought.) Sometimes I can’t believe our society has allowed this tradition to flourish! My family went dressed mostly as zombies, with a pumpkin baby.
  On Saturday we made lanterns, had a special Samhain meal, Shepherds pie with scary cheese shapes, pumpkin pie and pinot noir. We set a place at the table for our anscesters and invited them to join us. After the meal, the food was taken outside and placed at the foot of our ancestor tree. The jack o’lanterns and altar candles were lit.
  Every Samahain evening we have family divination. In past years this has been with runes and tarot cards. This year we began with black mirror gazing. Then a candle lit glow in the dark ouija board. It was a huge success, but it did cause some difficulty with putting the children to bed! A reminder that their Samhain dreams would be prophetic and a blessing eased things.
Also, I mailed my baby’s birth certificate on Samhain- Meabh Phoenix Jean Moore
Chris’ Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
In Chris’ words:
a bunch of TVP mixed with two cans tomato soup mix, cooked carrots, french cut green beans. Make mashed potatoes. Put TVP, soup and veggies (combined) on bottom of 9″ rectangular pan, layer mashed potatoes on top. Cook at 325 for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 min.
-by Melanie