When the Sabbat of Beltane draws hot and bothered to the fore, at 15 degrees Taurus, we are once again at a Greater sabbat in the Witches’ Wheel of the Year, if not *the* Greater Sabbat. Beltane stands at the apex of the spring season, May day, in the balance across from Samhain, and is the silly, frivolous moment that keeps the mournful dearth of Samhain in equal measure. They say there is a time and a place for everything, and the Wheel of the Year covers all the bases. Beltane is the “college” of the sabbat cycle; bring on the drunken cavorting, flirtation, indulgence and dancing around the balefires. Remember, boys and girls, practice safe and responsible sex and drinking while you dance ’round those fires. Never forget Heron’s “First rule of Witchcraft:” Don’t burn the Witch.
Our God and Goddess are seen to have grown into adulthood now, and this is their sacred marriage and consummation; this is the heiros gamos. As for The Great Work, Beltane is that fertilization of the grand ideas and intentions we set for ourselves at Imbolc through the symbolic planting of the seeds, then began to sprout as new thoughts, and new ideas took their hold on us at Ostara, like that breath of fresh air. Beltane is the union of opposites, and through their merging a new channel is opened through which we may birth our endeavors come harvest time. But for now, the womb of earth and water will quicken, receive the spark of air and fire, and begin the true gestation of the Great Work for this turning.
As the coven, tribe and clans gather to dance the Maypole, crowning May King and Queen, as you set the marriage feast, here are a few favorite Beltane recipes to enjoy before you are too besotted. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do! 😉
Chocolate Aphrodisiac Elixir
1 cup dried damiana
4 sticks cinnamon
1 vanilla pod
1 tsp angelica root (opt.)
3 cups Jamaican spiced rum
1 T baking cocoa
honey to taste, about a 1/2 cup
1 vial Royal Jelly
Split open vanilla pod and add beans to rum. Mix in all ingredients
except honey. Seal in a jar for two weeks. Strain and sweeten to taste
with honey, add one vial of Royal Jelly and bottle. This recipe is best if left to sit for a while, but it can be served right away. I recommend no more than a swig at a time, shortly before you get….ahem…busy. Best wishes!
Bacchus’ Spear and Bean Salad
6 oz. of lean bacon or prosciutto, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
A big bunch of fresh asparagus spears
2 cans Garbanzo Beans, (Chick Peas) drained and rinsed
1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
6 Tablespoon extra-virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
In a large frying pan, fry bacon or prosciutto for a few minutes until fats have released. Add onion and garlic and saute until pork is crisp and onions glossy. Drain off the grease. Separately, steam asparagus spears about 8 minutes until they are tender firm, rinse in cool water, then chop into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Add asparagus, sauteed mixture, chick-peas, and parsley. Gently turn the mixture until well coated.
Greek Goddess Chicken
1 chicken, quartered
3 medium potatoes
6 carrots, peeled
1/2 red onion
2 lemons, peels zested
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Zest the lemons by peeling off the yellow parts of the skin with a potato peeler, then finely minsing with a knife. In a small bowl, blend the zest, herbs and spices.
Wash and dry chicken pieces and arrange in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle half the olive oil over the chicken, sprinkle half the zest/herb mix evenly over the chicken.
Cut potatoes, carrots and onion into bite-sized chunks. Mix thoroughly with the rest of the olive oil and remaining zest mix, and the juice of the two lemons. Pour evenly into a deep baking dish. Bake both dishes uncovered, on the same rack in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until chicken is no longer pink, and the skin is crisp and brown. Once while cooking, stir the vegetables. If at end of cooking the chicken and veggies aren’t brown enough, try about 5 minutes under a low broiler, but watch it like a hawk so that it doesn’t burn.
No Toil or Trouble Tomato Soup
1 T. butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 T. flour
1 t. basil
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
8 oz. cream cheese
1 large can crushed tomatoes–795 grams
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
grated Parmesan cheese
Saute vegetables in butter until soft–5 min.
Reduce heat to med-low and stir in flour and spices.
Stirring constantly, add milk slowly until boiling and slightly thickened–about 5 minutes. Whisk in tomatoes and their juice. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes–chunk the cream cheese and stir into the soup until dissolved. Process one blender-full of the soup until smooth, add back to the pot and reheat. Sprinkle each serving with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.
makes 2 pies
2 deep dish frozen pie shells
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 diced green onions
3 cups of shredded cheddar or Colby cheese
2 Tablespoons flour
dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place frozen pie shells on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees. In a skillet, brown bacon until crisp then discard the fat. Add spinach and cook over medium heat until warmed through. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl toss cheese and flour together. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper with a hand mixer or whisk until frothy, add green onions.
To assemble quiches, evenly divide the bacon mixture to form a layer in each pie shell. Evenly divide cheese mixture to form a layer in each pie shell. Then pour half of the egg mixture over the cheese layer. With a fork, gently prod the mixture so that the liquids can soak to the bottom without actually stirring the layers together. Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg over the top of both pies. Place them in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until the surface of the pies is solid and springs back to the touch. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.