Monday, 23 March 2020

Oestara 2020

On Friday it was Oestara (more commonly known as Ostara) aka the Spring Equinox. (At least in the UK, as I mentioned in the Oestara + Spring Celebration post, by US time it was Thursday). I celebrated by baking, which I usually do for Oestara and Easter too! Well, this year I made a white chocolate tiffin, so it was technically "no bake", lol. The recipe is by Jo Wheatley and you can find it here: https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/jo-wheatley-s-white-chocolate-tiffin

I hadn't made tiffin before but I had a look for a recipe a few months because a cafe at my local park makes really nice ones! This recipe uses cherries but I left them out because I'm not that into cherries. It has coconut in though. I put Cadbury's Mini Eggs on top, like I normally do for Oestara, to fit the theme of spring and fertility/new beginnings. Here's a pic:


Sunday, 15 March 2020

Oestara + Spring Inspiration


Oestara (more commonly known as Ostara) is coming up and that means spring is almost (officially) here! It is on Friday 20th March this year (at least in UK time, by US time zones it will be Thursday the 19th).

Note: For those in the Southern Hemisphere it will soon be Madron/Mabon aka the Autumn Equinox! You might like these posts:

 Madron/Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Madron/Autumn:  https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/celebrating-madron-autumn.html

Madron Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/09/madron-inspiration.html


For the past few years I've written celebration posts for Oestara and spring. You can read them at the links below:

Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

 Celebrating Oestara + Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/celebrating-oestara-spring.html

Oestara Celebration Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/03/oestara-celebration-inspiration.html

This year I'm going to write about celebration ideas and inspiration for both Oestara and spring. :)

Monday, 2 March 2020

January/February Update

Last year I wrote monthly updates on the blog. I enjoyed doing that but as I said in the Christmas Gingerbread + December Update post, I still want to do updates but less often. I'd prefer to do every couple of months/quarterly updates because sometimes I found it hard fitting them in along with the usual sabbat posts. So here is the update for January and February.  It's quite long (although I write long posts anyway!) since it's covering two months. :)


I tend to find January a bit of a struggle, adjusting to the new year and with Christmas over. It's often the coldest time of year too, and I don't like the cold, so that makes it harder. I try to be more optimistic though. It's not been as cold a winter as other years and we have had some nice sunny days. Here's a pic from Jan:

Shoreham-by-sea town centre- Jan.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Imbolg 2020

Last Sunday (2nd Feb) it was Imbolg (more commonly known as Imbolc). As I mentioned in the More Imbolg Inspiration post, I normally make pancakes but this year I also baked some lemon and poppyseed cupcakes.

The pancake recipe I used was the one from BBC Good Food that I've used for the past couple of years. They are English pancakes, known as crepes in other countries. You can find the recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-pancakes

They came out quite nice. I normally have lemonade to go with them but realised I'd forgotten to get any! Never mind. Here's a picture:


Sunday, 26 January 2020

More Imbolg Inspiration


Imbolg (the first sabbat of the new calendar year since either Samhain or Yule are generally considered the start of the cycle on the Wheel of the Year) is coming up on 2nd February (Sunday this year). It's more commonly known as Imbolc and also called Candlemas (although that is a Christian festival as well) and February Eve. Last year I did a post called Imbolg Inspiration which you can read here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/01/imbolg-inspiration.html

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost time for Lammas! Check out these posts:

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

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


I've done a full year of inspiration posts for the sabbats now and I've also written another post called Imbolg Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/01/imbolg-celebration-ideas.html

So rather than repeat what I've written, I'm going to share some new links to inspiration for celebrating, as well as what I'm going to do this year. :)

Imbolg is celebrated on 2nd February or from sundown on the 1st to sundown on the 2nd (depending on your tradition/how you like to celebrate). Other people may celebrate from 31st Jan to 1st Feb (hence the name February Eve) but the scientific date varies.  It is the first spring festival on the Wheel of the Year, although we are still in winter it marks the beginning of things shifting towards spring. This time of year is the midway point between Yule/the Winter Solstice and Oestara/the Spring Equinox, making it a cross-quarter day. I found an interesting post about how it's a new year until Imbolc. Check it out here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thezenpagan/2019/12/its-a-new-year-until-imbolc/

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Christmas Gingerbread Sheet Cake + December Update

I'm combining my usual Christmas baking post with my monthly update post. So scroll down for the December update. :)


Christmas Gingerbread Sheet Cake

For Christmas this year (or last year now!) I baked a gingerbread sheet cake using a recipe from Handle the Heat. You can find the recipe here: https://www.handletheheat.com/gingerbread-sheet-cake/

It came out quite nice, although perhaps a bit heavy on the spices! Here's a picture:


Sunday, 29 December 2019

Yule 2019

Last Sunday it was Yule/the Winter Solstice. As I mentioned in the Yule Inspiration post, this year I had a go at making my own Yule log. I've done it once before but mostly I buy them because that's easier, lol. That was in 2014. I also baked red velvet Buche de Noel for Christmas 2014. And I made a Christmas vanilla roll cake for Christmas last year (and previously in 2013). But it took me 5 years to make another Yule log!

This year I made a spiced Christmas Yule log using a recipe from the Co-op magazine. It has a white chocolate buttercream frosting. You can find the recipe here: https://www.coop.co.uk/recipes/spiced-christmas-yule-log

It's vegan but mine wasn't because I used butter for the icing instead of dairy free spread. You use chickpea water and it's the first time I've used that in a recipe. It didn't come out flat so I had trouble rolling it up, but I managed to roll it up a bit! I don't think it was the best Yule log I've done and could have come out better, but it tasted quite nice. Here's a picture: