IMBOLC (Candlemas) (February 1-2)
(Brigid’s Day) Not common to all Pagans, this is very popular with Wiccan’s and various Celtic sects. Imbolc is a Celtic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is celebrated on 1 or 2 February Brigid is the Celtic goddess of fire and inspirational Hearth & Home Deity (Poetry, Smithcraft and Healing) as well as yet another representation of the Fertility of Femininity and Love. The holiday was, and for many still is, a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Celebrations often involved hearth fires, special foods (butter, milk, and bannock, for example), divination or watching for omens, candles or a bonfire if the weather permits. Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day.
Brigid had such a strong following among the Celtics that the Christian church decided it was easier to assimilate her into their own system, and so there came about the making of Saint Brigit and all the stories they created about her so that her followers would leave their old beliefs enough so they would not side with the Druids, who were known at that time as ‘the snakes’ because of their tendency to have tamed snakes that were used to help produce various healing mixtures via their venom, and who were violently opposing the Catholic church. In History, of course, the druids lost against the overwhelming odds presented by the church, led by a man who would then be himself sainted by the church, their Saint Patrick (who was no clergyman but a warrior). Thus Christian rule of various sorts came into Ireland. Handcrafts are often sacrificed to Brigid or dedicated to her as they are started on this day. Its celebration is done with many candles and as usual much feasting. The Christians also took, moved slightly and used this date by creating St. Valentine and using the day for one of chaste love reflections. Imbolic marks the recovery of the Goddess after birth of the God. The warmth of the power of the God fertilizes the Earth and so the earliest beginnings of spring occur. This is a Sabbat of purification, a festival of light and fertility. It’s also a traditional time for initiations into covens and self-dedication rituals. Also known as: Feast of Pan, Feast of Torches, Oimelc.
BAKED CUSTARD WITH GINGER– 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, 3/4 teaspoon Finely Grated Fresh Ginger, 3 large Eggs, lightly beaten, 2 1/2 cups Milk, 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg. Method: Mix brown sugar with ginger and divide evenly onto bottoms of 6 buttered individual custard cups or ramekins.
In medium mixing bowl, blend eggs with milk, sugar, vanilla and seasonings. Pour evenly into prepared custard cups. Place cups in a large deeper pan, then fill with hot water to come halfway up sides of cups (a hot water bath).
Bake at 350 F. oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted near edge comes out clean. Remove cups from bath. Run knife around edges to loosen. Place serving plate over top of cup and carefully invert custard onto plate. Serve warm or cover, chill and serve cold.
DUBLIN SUNDAY CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE– 5 pounds Corned beef brisket, 1 large Onion stuck with 6 whole cloves, 6 Carrots, peeled and sliced, 8 Potatoes, peeled and cubed, 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme, 1 small Bunch Parsley, 1 head Cabbage (about 2 lbs) cut in quarters. Horseradish Sauce:, 1/2 pint Whipping Cream, 2 – 3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish. Method: Put beef in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add all other ingredients except cabbage and bring to a boil with the lid off the pot. Turn to simmer and cook for 3 hours. Skim fat from top as it rises. Remove the thyme, parsley and onion. Add cabbage. Simmer for 20 minutes until cabbage is cooked. Remove the meat and cut into pieces. Place on center of a large platter. Strain the cabbage and season it heavily with black pepper. Surround the beef with the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Serve with horseradish sauce. Horseradish Sauce: Whip cream until it stand in peaks. Fold in horseradish.
The Spring Equinox – Eostre
March 20-22 (date may vary)
As an equinox holiday, Eostre (Oestre) symbolizes balance. At this equinox, the days are balanced in dark and light. After this day, the days will be longer than the nights until the Autumn Equinox half a year away. Springtime contains divine energy associated with new beginnings, it’s an opportunity to embrace our fertility magic, and develop new concepts that will reshape our future.
Ēostre (Ostara), a Germanic goddess (a goddess of the dawn), gives her name as an alternate one for Easter and the sabbat and many witches invoke her at this time. She heralds the triumphant return of life and growth to the Earth. It is from her name that the word “Easter” has derived. Those who choose to honor Eostre place their altars facing east. The Christian church transformed the Pagan festival into a time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The Hare (rabbit) is one of the 12 Gods & Goddess’s totem animal. It represents the corn spirit and the 2 equinoxes and is associated with re-birth, fertility and abundance. It is considered a powerful shape shifter and in Christian times this earned the Hare it’s reputation as a demon in disguise and was therefore debased into the Easter Bunny. Eggs are a Pagan tradition that symbolize re-birth and fertility, dyed eggs were colored brightly to represent the Spring sun as offerings to the Goddess. Even hot crossed buns pre-dated Christian times as Pagan tradition, with the bun symbolizing the full moon and the cross represents it’s 4 quarters. To Christians the cross came to resemble the crucifix.
Pagan and Christian celebrations at this time of year share common roots with themes of death and rebirth. For Christians, the observance is the Easter death and rebirth of Christ. Ancient pagans who worshipped Cybele held a ritual for Attis, her consort of virgin birth believed to die and be reborn at this time during the Spring. These rites were brought to Rome about 204 BC, predating Christian worship by about 250 years.
EGG NOG– 1 Tablespoon Sugar, Shaved ice (1/2 glass), 1 medium Egg, Whiskey (or Rum), 1/2 cup Milk, Nutmeg. Method: Measure one wineglass of whiskey or rum, add other ingredients (use whole milk), shake thoroughly and strain. Grate a little nutmeg on top and serve.
ROAST LEG OF LAMB – 5 pounds leg of lamb, 2 cloves garlic (sliced), 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, coarse or Kosher, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Method: Trim lamb of fat. Cut slits about 1/2″ deep all over lamb and insert slivers of garlic. Rub all over with olive oil. Combine salt, pepper, and herbs and rub herb mixture all over lamb. Allow to sit at room temperature 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roast lamb for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn oven down to 350. Continue to roast until desired degree of doneness is reached, about an hour for medium rare. Baste with pan juices once or twice. Remove from pan and allow to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before carving.Potatoes, carrots, and onions may be roasted in pan with lamb. Baste occasionally.
ROSEMARY POTATOES– 1 1/2 pounds Small new potatoes, 2 Tablespoons Olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh rosemary, chopped, 1/2 tsp of Salt & pepper, juice of 1 lemon. Method: Place potatoes in a pan, in one layer, add the oil, lemon & spices, and bake in a 350~ oven until crispy and browned, about 30 minutes. Serve with roasted and grilled meats or poultry.
MIXED GREENS WITH RASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE– 3 Tablespoons Raspberry vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced, 1/3 cup Olive oil, 8 cups Mixed baby greens. Method: Combine first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place mixed baby greens in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat and serve.
(May Eve, April 30th-May 1st) Beltane is the great Fertility rite of life, starting at dusk on the 30th and continuing until the dawn of the 1st. The union of the God and Goddess to conceive the sun-child to be takes place upon this holiday, no matter which tradition of paganism is involved. Beltane is the one holiday most discouraged by the Christians, who didn’t even use it as a point for a holiday of their own because the power and nature of the day involved. Still, even in Christianized Ireland the May day dance of the Maypole remained, as did the giving of flowers to those you loved or cared for as friends. The Maypole is a symbol of the union of the God and Goddess to create life, the pole itself a phallic symbol while the dancers and their streamers or vines of flowers represent the fertile womb of the goddess as it takes in the Phallus of the god and takes in his seed. Besides the Maypole often a bonfire is present, and members of the group are encouraged to jump the flames for luck and their own fertility. Food, drink and love are the order of the evening. In most sects the celebration of unions of love are enacted between couples. Beltane is the time of many marriages/hand fastings in the pagan community (in some it is the point where one chooses to begin and end relationships of a physical nature). It is said that a child conceived on this day will grow up to wield great power and knowledge and to be healthier than upon any other.
Beltane Recipes– MAY WINE– 1 bottle of German White Wine, 1 bottle of sparkling wine, 1/2 cup Fresh Strawberries, (sliced) 1/4 cup dried woodruff (wrap in cheesecloth sachet), or Lemon Balm, Rose Petals & lavender flowers. Pour the German wine into a large jar or bowl, add Strawberries and a sachet of dried woodruff. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving remover the woodruff and add the chilled bottle of sparkling wine. Add your fresh rose petals & lavender and serve chilled.The strawberries add a wonderful flavour and the woodruff adds sweetness.
MIDSUMMER / SUMMER SOLSTICE – LITHA
(Midsummer, Summer Solstice, June 19-23, dependent on actual astronomical event) Held on the longest day of the year, the Solstice is the celebration of light’s triumph over darkness and that of the bountiful beauty that light brings into life. The Sun God is at his strongest – he is also the Forest God – he is more commonly known as the Green Man. For those who follow Faerie Magik, this is an especially meaningful event as it is said that all the faeries come out to celebrate this day with all the creatures of the forest. An elaborate feast is held with endless goblets of ale, festive music and dancing. If you’re familiar with faerie lore, you won’t be surprised to learn that these Summer Solstice parties are clothing optional and last until the wee hours of the following morning. Shakespeare centered his faerie-packed tale of love and trickery, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, around this mystical day. Flowers are common in the circle, roses and bright cheerful wildflowers are upon the altar and usually worn by all. It is the changing point of the year, and the celebration of the spiral dance of the year is common among Wiccans. It a celebration with much joy, and much feasting. Many wiccans will attire themselves in bright colors and equally bright adornments of flowers. Litha’s usual food fare may include honeycakes or cornbread. Litha is not celebrated by all sects nor in the same way. In the past, bonfires were leapt to encourage fertility, purification, health and love. Midsummer is a classic time for magick of all kinds.
HERBAL LEMON COOKIES – 1 cup Butter, 2 cups Sugar, divided, 2 large Eggs, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, 2 1/2 cups Flour, 2 teaspoons Baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon Salt, 1/3 cup Lemon Grass / Lemon Balm / Lemon Basil – chopped. Method: Cream the butter and 1-3/4 cups sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and herbs. Add to the creamed mixture and mix. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 3 inches apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork or cup bottom. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until barely browned. Cool slightly, then remove to a rack.
METHEGLIN (honey wine) – 5 pounds of honey, 1 gallon of water, 1 lemon, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of balm, 3/4 ounce of yeast. Method: Simmer the herbs and thinly sliced lemon rind for twenty minutes in the gallon of water. Strain the liquid and pour onto the honey, stirring well. When lukewarm, add the juice of the lemon and the yeast. Cover and leave for twenty-four hours, then stir and leave in a warm place until fermentation ceases. Strain the meade into bottles and keep them in a cool, dark place for one year.
LAMMAS / LUGHNASSADH (August 1-2)
Festival of the wheat harvest, a day to bake from the reaping of the grain. The great corn ritual of Wiccan belief (in Celtic realms this is the celebration of the wheat god, corn is an Americanization and it is possible there is an American Indian traditional holiday near this date that was borrowed by the American Neopagans). This is the big celebration of the harvest (Sort of a Pagan Thanksgiving, but the time clock is different as is that of the Celtics). Much feasting and dancing occur, though it is a bit more somber than many of the other holidays. Some Pagans celebrate this day as mearly the day to bake their bread and cakes for the coming winter and do no actual rituals save that of blessing the foods prepared. Pagans see this as a time when the God loses his strength as the Sun rises farther south each day and the nights grow longer. The Goddess watches in sorrow and joy as she realizes the the God is dying yet lives on inside her as her child. As summer passes, Wiccans remember its warmth and bounty in the food we eat.
APRICOT WINE– 1 pound Dried Apricots, 4 quarts Warm Water, 6 1/2 cups Sugar, 2 1/4 cups Brown Sugar, 1 1/2 cups Raisins, 1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced, 2 each Lemons, thinly sliced, 2 each Oranges, thinly sliced, 1/2 cup Yeast. Method: Wash the apricots in several batches of water and then dry them and cut in halves. Place in a large crock and pour on the warm water, reserving 1/2 cup of it in which to dissolve the yeast cake. Stir in the sugars, fruit, raisins and ginger. Then add the dissolved yeast and mix well. Cover with top of the crock and let stand for thirty days, stirring the mixture every other day. After thirty days strain the mixture and bottle.
IRISH BUTTERMILK BANNOCK – 4 cups All purpose/bread flour, 3 teaspoons Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Salt to taste, 3/4 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 cup Raisins, 2 Eggs, 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk.
Method: Stir flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and raisins together. Separately, fork-blend eggs and buttermilk, then add to dry ingredients. Stir until sticky batter is formed. Scrape batter onto well floured surface and knead lightly. Shape batter into ball, then place in round non-stick casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Mark a cross in the center, using a sharp knife. Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 1/4 hours.
Wait 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove bread from casserole, then cool on wire rack. If desired, cut loaf into quarters and then slice thinly.
BLACKBERRY COBBLER– 4 cups fresh Blackberries, 3/4 cups Sugar, 3 Tablespoons Flour, 1 1/2 cups Water, 1 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, 2 Tablespoons melted Butter. Pastry: 1 3/4 cups All-purpose Flour, 2 Tablespoons Sugar, 2 teaspoons Baking Powder, , 1 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 cup Shortening, 6 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping cream, 6 Tablespoons Buttermilk. Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place fresh berries in a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Combine sugar and flour; add water and lemon juice, mixing well. Pour this mixture over berries; bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes while preparing the pastry. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Pastry: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in whipping cream and buttermilk. Knead dough 4 or 5 times; roll to about 1/4″ thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough to fit baking dish. Place the pastry over hot berries; then brush with melted butter. Cut a few vents in the top of pastry with knife. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Serve cobbler warm with vanilla ice cream Servings: 8
GAME HENS WITH ROSEMARY AND GARLIC– 3 Cornish Game Hens, 3/4 cup Olive oil, 4 Garlic cloves, crushed, 3 Tablespoons Dry sherry, 1 Tablespoon Fine chopped fresh rosemary, juice of 1 lemon, Salt & Pepper to taste. Method- Split each bird in half. Set aside. Using a very large bowl mix the remaining ingredients together. Marinate the bird halves in this mixture for 1 hour, turning often. Broil in oven 7 or 8 minutes on a side, or on a charcoal barbecue. I prefer the charcoal, but be sure the coals are not too hot. Cook to your liking.
MABON – AUTUMN EQUINOX (September 20-23) (Fall Equinox)
Mabon (Feast of Avalon) is a Celtic festival of thanksgiving, and a celebration of the cycle of life. A lesser holiday also known as the Harvest Home holiday. This is not widely celebrated and is most come with pure Wiccan groups, especially those who are based in the works of Starhawk and other Dianic sects. This is the weavers festival, and a braiding of cords are done in the process of casting a spell to add to ones life from what it is, each person weaving unto themselves what they wish and the coven as a whole weaving all the cords together to unite the power and efforts symbolically. The autumn equinox is the completion of the harvest begun at Lammas. Once again the day and night are equal as the God prepares to leave the body and the begin the great adventure into the unseen, toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. A harvest festival, Mabon is tightly linked to abundance and prosperity. Farmers are reaping grain and picking the bountiful fall fruits. Grapes, vineyards, wine making and drinking are celebrated at this time. The making of wine is a mysterious process, once requiring secret rituals and propitiations to ensure its success. Mabon feasts consist of seasonal vegetables and fruits. This holiday is also associated with nuts, pomegranate seeds, grapes, and the roasted meat of sheep and geese.
- Hot Spicy Cider – Thoroughly mix together 6 cups of apple cider, ¼ cup of honey, 6 strips each of orange and lemon peels, 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon and 6 cloves in pan. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or under mixture is hot, but not boiling. Cool, strain and refrigerate overnight. Reheat before serving.
- Corn Chowder – Melt 1 tablespoon of margarine. Add 2 strips diced bacon, ½ chopped large onion, carrot and bell pepper. Cook until onions are glossy. Drain. Return to pan and add ¼ teaspoons of celery seeds, 1 bay leaf, 2 cups of frozen or canned corn and 3 ½ cups of low fat milk. Bring almost to a boil, then simmer for ½ hour.
- Sage-Seasoned Pork Chops – Sprinkle and rub dried sage into six pork chops. Sautée meat in pan sprinkled with salt until chops are browned on both sides. Remove from pan and add 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of crumbled dried parsley and 2 chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to boil and cook until cubes are dissolved. Return chops to pan, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until meat is done.
- Grape Salad – Wash and stem 4 pounds of seedless grapes. Blend together 8 ounces each of cream cheese and sour cream, 1 teaspoon of lemon extract and ½ cup of sugar. Stir in grapes and then chill overnight.
- Oven Roasted Vegetables and Olives – Cut into bite-sized pieces 1 medium zucchini, bell pepper, onion, 10 long green beans, 1 small eggplant and ½ cup of sliced olives. Place in roasting pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in a 400 degree oven for ½ hour, stirring once after 15 minutes.
- White and Sweet Potato Casserole – Thinly slice 3 medium white and sweet potatoes. Grease a casserole dish with margarine. Place alternating layers of potatoes in dish, dotting each layer and top with margarine. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until potatoes are done.
- Spiced Apple/Almond Crunch – Combine 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of almond liqueur, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ cup of sugar in pot and boil gently for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened. Add 8 large cored and thinly sliced apples. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until fruit is tender and the mixture has thickened. Chill overnight and serve on ice cream, cake, waffles or pancakes.
SAMHAIN – All Hallows Eve (October 31)
At Samhain, the Wicca say farewell to the God even though he readies to be reborn at Yule. This grand sabbat, also known as Feast of the Dead ,Feast of Apples, All Hallows, and of course Halloween, once marked the time of sacrifice. This was the time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food throughout the winter. The God fell as well to ensure our continuing existence. This is a time of reflection and coming to terms with the one thing in life which we have no control – death. Wiccans feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is it’s least guarded and it’s veil the thinnest. It is a time for dimensional openings and workings, and also the celebration of the death of the year king. It is a somber holiday, one of dark clothes and thoughts for the dead, it is said to be the time when those of necromantic talents can speak with the dead and it is certainly a time to remember ones dead. It is a time of endings of relationships and bad situations and it is the time when one can see the glimmer of hope in the future. There are as many concepts attached to this holiday as any other, truly a time of remembrance of our ancestors and all those who have gone before.
Samhain Recipes – HOT APPLE CIDER – 1 1/2 gallons Apple Cider, 2 whole cinnamon sticks, 5 cloves, 1 large orange, sliced thin with peel left on , 1/2 lemon, sliced thin with peel left on, 1/2 cup sugar. (add spiced rum if desired) Method: In large pot, combine cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange and lemon slices, and sugar to taste. Serve hot.
BREAD OF THE DEAD- Before you have a taste offer some of this bread to your departed ancestors, so they may breathe in its essence and be nourished, before you gobble it up yourself! 2 cups flour , 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tbsp sugar , 1/4 t. salt , 1 egg , 2/3 cup milk , 1/4 cup vegetable oil , 10 drops anise extract. Method: Mix all of the above until smooth. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. With clean hands, mold the dough into a round shape with a knob on the top (which will be a skull) or into smaller round shapes, animals, faces or angels. Place dough on cookie sheet. Topping: 1/4 cup brown sugar , 1 tsp flour , 1 tsp ground cinnamon , 1 tsp melted butter. Mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter for the topping. Sprinkle topping on dough and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When cool, decorate the skull shaped knobs, animals or faces with icing sugar to make eyes, nose and mouth.
Savory Samhain Butters.
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cup whipping cream, 1 cup butter, softened. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Spread onto your favorite muffins, quick bread, sweet crackers, or drop a dollop onto morning pancakes.
Cinnamon Butter: 2 sticks butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve over sweet bread, muffins, or morning waffles. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter: 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened, 4 tbsp canned pumpkin puree, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp freshly grated or dried nutmeg, 1/8 tsp salt. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator up to three weeks.* 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
YULE (Winter Solstice)
December 20-23 (varies according to the particular date on the standard calendar according to when the Solstice will occur astronomically). Longest night of the year, the turning point when the days shall afterwards grow longer as winter begins its passage into the coming spring. It is, in the Goddess worship, the time when she gives forth again to the birth of the Divine Sun child who shall be both child and eventually lover and father of the next child in the cycle. Winter Solstice for pagans is a time of feasting and the exchanging of gifts and is the original Holiday that the Christian religions modified into their own Christmas, even up to the birth of the child (Most theologians who have spent time studying the birth of Jesus admit he was born in either March or April, not the celebrated Christmas date we all know from the standard calendar – it was moved to this date to help induce Pagans to give up their old ways yet allow them their holidays during the spread of Christianity through Europe and the British Isles). Traditional adornments are a Yule Log, usually of oak, and a combination of mistletoe and holly (also all later plagiarized into Christian ways).
Yule Recipes – ORANGE-CRANBERRY CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATOES – 1 Orange, 6 Chicken Breast with Skin on, 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. Method: Preheat oven to 375%. Grate rind zest from orange. 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, turning potatoes occasionally & basting chicken & potatoes frequently,until the chicken juices run clear. During the last 1/2 hour of roasting,combine Chicken broth,cranberry sauce & vinegar in a small saucepan.Bring to boiling over medium heat;boil 20 min, or until reduced. Cut your orange in half and squeeze the juice into the sauce. Stir remaining orange rind into saucepan;simmer 5 min. Spoon 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. Method: 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.
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. Icing:, 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 1/2 T. water. Method: 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. Method for Icing: 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.