Monday, 4 February 2019

Imbolg 2019

On Saturday (2nd February) it was Imbolg (also known as Imbolc). Some people celebrate it on 1st Feb (or from sundown on the 1st to sundown on the 2nd) but I usually have my main celebration on the 2nd.* As I mentioned in my Imbolg Inspiration post, I normally make pancakes (inspired by Kate West's The Real Witches' Kitchen) and I did that again this year. I used the same recipe as last year from BBC Good Food which uses vegetable oil in the batter. They are English pancakes, also called crepes. You can find the recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2907669/easy-pancakes

They didn't seem as nice as last year (think I could have cooked them a bit better) but never mind! I still liked them. :) Here's a pic of the first one:


Sunday, 3 February 2019

January Update

In my Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake + New Year Gingerbread post, I mentioned that I was thinking of doing a monthly post on here, a round-up of the month. So here's the first one for January! :)

Note: I started this during January but have finished it today. :)


January is a bit of a hard month for me because all the excitement of Christmas is over and the weather is dreary and cold! I get more depressed at this time of year, I think I have SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). If you do too you might find this link helpful:

https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/15-tips-combat-seasonal-affective-disorder/

 I take a while to adjust to the new year and last year I didn't feel really settled in till about May! It helps when the weather gets warmer. At the end of January it went colder and we've had some snow, although not much in Sussex so far. It does make a change when we get snow though, since we don't get it that often in my area.

In early January I went to the beach and took some pictures. It was a beautiful sunset that evening. Here are a couple of the photos:

Sunset on Shoreham Beach.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Imbolg Inspiration

 

It's almost time for Imbolg (more commonly called Imbolc and also known as February Eve), the 1st sabbat of the new calendar year, and the 2nd/3rd on the Wheel of the Year. As I mentioned in my Celebrating Yule/Christmas post, some people think of the year as beginning and ending at Samhain (Hallowe'en), so they consider Samhain as the New Year, while others count Yule as New Year.


Note: for those in the Southern Hemipshere it's Lammas time! Check out these posts for celebration ideas:

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/07/lammas-celebration-ideas.html

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/07/celebrating-lammas.html


Imbolg is celebrated on 2nd February  (Saturday this year), or from the night of 1st Feb to the night of the 2nd (sundown to sundown). Or some people would celebrate from 31st January to 1st February, which is why it's also called February Eve. If you go by the scientific time, Marietta of Witchy Words mentions it's at 9.01pm CST on 3rd February,  and 3.01am in the UK (making it Sunday). I believe the energy of it is active around that time anyway, so you could celebrate at the time that feel best to you. :)

Imbolg is also known as Candlemas, although that is more of a Christian festival based on the pagan ones. It's the first spring festivals and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. it's also a fire festival and the feast of Bride or Brigid (pronounced something like "Breed") the Irish Fire Goddess, who became Christianised as Saint Brigid. The Irish Gaelic word "Imbolc" or "Imbolg" is thought to translate as "in the belly" meaning the ewes who are pregnant at this time of year. There is another word "Oimelc" which is said to mean "ewe's milk". Imbolg is a cross-quarter day, meaning that it's in between a solstice and equinox. It's between Yule aka the Winter Solstice and Oestara/Ostara aka the Spring Equinox in March.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake + New Year Gingerbread

This Christmas (or rather Christmas 2018 now since we're in a new year!) I baked a Christmas vanilla roll cake, which I first made in 2013. The recipe is from a trEATS affair (formerly Roxana's Home Baking). You can find the recipe here: http://atreatsaffair.com/christmas-vanilla-roll-cake-recipe/

You roll it up like with a  chocolate Yule log or Swiss roll. (Roll cake is just another name for Swiss roll, really). I don't think the cake itself came out as nice this time, but never mind! The buttercream was nice. This time I used multicoloured sprinkles. And I ate it with Nestle Carnation topping (evaporated milk) again because it can be a bit dry. I made the roll on Christmas Eve and the topping on Christmas Day. Here's a pic:




Sunday, 23 December 2018

Yule 2018

It was Yule aka the Winter Solstice on Friday (21st December) and as I mentioned in my Celebrating Yule/Christmas post, I celebrated with a chocolate Yule log. This year's was a Belgian chocolate one from Tesco (think it's new) and was quite nice. Here's a pic:



Sunday, 16 December 2018

Celebrating Yule/Christmas



Yule, also known as Midwinter and the Winter Solstice, is nearly here. It's on 21st December (Friday) this year. (The date varies but is always around the 21st). The Winter Solstice is when the North Pole is furthest away from the sun, and the actual time it will happen this year will be around 10.23pm UK time (GMT). To find the time in your country visit this link: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/winter-solstice.html


It's the final sabbat of the calendar year, but the 1st/2nd in the Wheel of the Year seasonal cycle. I say 1st and 2nd because while Samhain is the end of the old year, it's also thought to be the start of the new. Some people start with Samhain as the beginning of the Wheel, others start with Yule. I tend to think of Samhain as both really (the last harvest festival of the year but also the start of a new cycle) and list it first. You can read more about it here: http://paganism-wicca.yoexpert.com/sabbats-and-holidays-13108/is-it-true-that-samhain-marks-the-witches-new-year-36057.html

And here is an interesting article about how the celebration of New Year varies: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2013/11/happy-pagan-new-year/
 

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it will soon be Litha aka Midsummer/the Summer solstice. Here are my Litha celebration ideas posts:

(Also a post about no-yeast dinner rolls): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/06/baking-no-yeast-dinner-rolls-and.html

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/06/celebrating-litha-summer.html


Last year I did a post about Yule celebration ideas which you can read here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/12/yule-celebration-ideas.html


This year I thought I'd write about celebrating both Yule and Christmas, similar to the Celebrating Beltane/May Day and Samhain/Hallowe'en posts, since I enjoy celebrating both. :)


Monday, 3 December 2018

Winter Round-up + Inspiration



A year ago I wrote a post about getting ready for winter, which you can read here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/12/getting-ready-for-winter.html

Now winter is coming again, and this year I'm going to do a round-up of previous winter posts and share some links with inspiration for the season. :)

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere you might like this post about celebrating Litha/the Summer Solstice and summer: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/06/celebrating-litha-summer.html

 While I find it easy to be inspired by summer (since it's my favourite season and I like hot weather), I find winter a lot harder! I don't like cold weather and winter can be quite dreary. I like autumn because it's a beautiful time of year, but it seems quite brief really. By the end of November most of the trees in my area had lost their leaves and the lovely colours had faded. While we're still technically in autumn if you follow the astronomical definition of winter which is around 21st December (the meteorological one is 1st Dec), it's starting to feel more like winter now. Some parts of the country have had snow. There hasn't been any in my town yet but in my area they had some. The temperature is 12 degrees Celsius (54 F) today though, so warmer. It's supposed to go down to 7 tonight. Next week the coldest during the day will be about 7, so we're not in proper winter weather yet! This past winter seemed quite long with more snow than usual in the UK and I was ready when spring arrived! It will be nice if we get snow again this year/early next year though.