Just thought I would mention.... to all those new to the craft..... did you know that today is the one day of the year you can cast "nasty" or "vengeful" spells and not suffer????
See, if you cast a spell that hurts someone, you get it back 10 times, but only for the year you've cast it..... and tonight marks the END of the year!
So, if you cast such a spell, BEFORE midnight, you will only have to worry about consequences for a few hours!!!! And most of the time the Goddess doesn't' work that fast!!!
Now, I never do any real harm.... I don't hate people like that.... but a spell....say.... hummmmmm.... to make your annoying sister gain weight.... or say... to make an old boyfriend pay for deserting you..... or any wart causing spells..... today is a good day to do it!
While the spell will last through the year for THEM, your consequences will last only too midnight! (evil cackling) wink wink
Just thought you should know.... Hay, sometimes it feels good to spread the evil around! GIGGLE
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Posted by Judith at 5:00 AM
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
May you never be the person people expect you to be
May you never follow the rules on exclusion of all else
May you walk your own path, and laugh at those who gawk
May you still believe in Fairy Tails
May you wiggle when you walk
May you never act your age
May you never act as old as you feel
May your dreams still entertain
May life still hold mysteries for you
May you dress inappropriate for your age
May your jewelry jingle as you walk
May pretties still hold a surprise for you
May you never stop looking at a man's cute butt
May you break free of your routine
May you explore the world around you
May you stop letting other people control you
May you still enjoy the sound of rain
May you enjoy a year of boundless good luck
and May bad luck be but a distant memory!
Posted by Judith at 6:05 PM
Being sick, I'm doing little things around the house.... stuff that doesn't take much movement.... of me getting off the sofa...GIGGLE
And one of those things was to clean out my makeup bag. Why do we keep all that shit??? I mean, lipsticks that you have to use a stick to get it out of the tube, almost totally empty foundation bottles.... and my favorite....4, count them, 4 different eyebrow pencils!!!! Not just different pencils, but all different COLORS!!
I have an auburn, brown, dark brown (this one was my mom's... why do I have my mom's eyebrow pencil?????), and a Blonde..... I know I tend to change my hair color allot, but geeeeeeze!
Well, I got rid of all the lipsticks that were empty, and a few that I couldn't open (old age turned them to cement) But I kept the eyebrow pencils, you never know when I might change my hair color again.... do you?
Now, I have to admit to wearing makeup all the time, but my friend Barb has never worn makeup....but her bathroom is full of it!!!! Why? She doesn't put it on....except like once every 5 years when she goes someplace special.... but she keeps buying it!
I wonder if we are brain washed?
But then again, we are just girls, and like to do girl things... even if we don't use it!
Well, I digress, that's done, my makeup bag has been washed, and when it drys I'll put all the stuff I DIDN'T chuck out, back in the bag.
Funny, how even doing little clutter removal, make you feel good!
Posted by Judith at 8:58 AM
UGH! I'm sick.....got a cold!
I'm not good at being sick.... I don't like it, I whine alot, and walk around moaning A LOT!
Plus, it's a bummer being sick with no one to take care of you, and say "awwwwwww,poor baby"!
Sigh, but it does give me weird dreams, and vivid dreams... and I like that!!! But when I woke up I'm still hacking up a lung and sniffing in my vicks scented tissues.
I don't get a cold very often, this has got to be the first one in like 6 years!
So I'm going to shuffle around in my housecoat, drink hot soup and tea, and whine till I'm better!!!
At least no ones around to tell me to "buck up", like my hubby used too... of course when HE was sick he would lay in bed telling me he was dying!!!! But when I'm sick, I was expected to do all the stuff I normally would like cook, clean, take care of the kids............. Hummmmmmmmmmm
I guess it's NOT so bad not having anyone here!
Posted by Judith at 4:37 AM
Monday, December 28, 2009
Posted by Judith at 3:32 PM
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Guys, we love you, we really do. But as wonderful as you are, every so often you do something that makes us want to jump out the nearest window (or push you out first). Please, please, don’t ever…
1. Offer to “babysit” your own kids. When your 16-year-old neighbor does it, it’s called babysitting. When a parent does it, it’s called child care, and it lasts for at least 18 years. Get it?
2. Imply that office work is harder than housework. At the end of a hard day, there may be smoke coming out of your ears, but let’s face it: You’ve basically been sitting on your butt. That same smoke is coming out of our ears too—but we’ve cleaned the house, shuttled the kids around, run errands all over town and lugged grocery bags besides. When we say we’re exhausted, we are exhausted.
3. Give a home appliance as a gift. Forgive us if we can’t work it up for this one. A new washing machine? Really? Can we get you some new snow tires?
4. Buy us the “cougar” perfume. Under our crew-neck sweaters may beat the heart of an untamed vixen—but most of us don’t want to smell like one. (Nice try, though.)
5. Brag about your driving. This is supposed to let us know that ours isn’t so great. If my husband tells me one more time that he’s been “accident-free since 1978,” I’m going to reach over, grab the wheel and make the car swerve into something, just to shut him up.
6. Be unimpressed by a meal that took a lot of time and trouble. I don’t know whose fault this is (Food Network? Julie and Julia?), but every so often we get the idea that it would be fun to make stock and spend the day basting. If the result is less than earth-shattering, say something nice anyway.
7. Buy clothes without trying them on. We know that the second you get into a department store you start to feel faint, but do us a favor and take the extra five minutes. Otherwise, you know who gets stuck with the returns?
8. Know it all, especially in public. Oh, honey. While you’re going on at length about whatever it is, we’re taking the temperature of the room, and we know everyone’s starting to fidget.
9. Say anything remotely critical about our new haircut. Sometimes getting a new cut goes well; sometimes it doesn’t. Usually we know the difference. Don’t rub it in.
10. Expect a medal for doing a little housework. Umm…it’s your house too, right? For now, we’ll give you the bronze. Maybe someday, if you work hard enough, you can pick up a gold.
Posted by Judith at 6:27 PM
Really I do.... hate, hate, hate it!!!
I'm fine going locally, but driving long distance has become a major pain in my ass!!!!
I bearly visit my girlfriend Barbara because the hour drive has become intolerable! And taking my son back and forth an hour and a half to school..... is nerve wracking!!!
I didn't used to be like this, I loved driving.... but over the years I've grown to hate it more and more.
Now, I'm sitting and fussing cause I have to drive Matt back to school in a few weeks, and on top of that I have to drive to my daughters. 2 FREAKING HOURS!!!! Driving thru PA....IT SUCKS!!!!
I'm fine driving around town, going to the stores and such, that I can handle.... but the highways KILL ME!!!
Tell you the truth I've always felt that way about highways, ALWAYS, and always managed to take back roads, even if it took longer, back roads win out!
If I could go everywhere on back roads, I'll be traveling like a lunatic!
And going to Barbs and Matt's school is all HIGHWAYS!!!!
And my daughter Jamie is ALL HIGHWAYS.... PLUS THE NJ AND PA TURNPIKE!!! Ohhhhhh...... how the turnpikes scare the crap out of me!!!!!
I've spent almost every waking moment these last few days worrying about the trip to Jamie's, I can't seem to stop! Just the thought of going on the turnpikes make me shutter and have bad dreams!!!
I just can't seem to get over the fear, I've always had it.... though I've kept it well under control most of the time..... but as I get older, it's getting worse.
They drive so fast on the highways and turnpikes!!!! I'm afraid my car will break down (it's 7 years old) I fear a tire blowing out at high speeds, and me flipping, and most of all I fear the CRAZY PEOPLE on the road with me!!!!!
Sigh.... I've worried so much about it the last few weeks that I've broken out in a rash... really, a real rash! YUCK
I guess I should add, both my son and younger daughter refused to learn to drive!!!! My older daughter does great, but the other two never wanted to learn how to!!! I know, I know.... I have never understood it, but you can't force someone if they refuse to do it... can you?
Posted by Judith at 12:00 PM
Posted by Judith at 8:30 AM
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Hot chocolate is one of those things that spoil you forever. Once you make it at home you just can't go back to those ready-go packets of hot cocoa anymore. It's like comparing homemade truffles to a Hershey's bar from last year's Halloween. It's just not even a contest. Real homemade hot chocolate is thick, rich, and the real essence of what chocolate in a glass on a cold day should be.
How is hot chocolate different from hot cocoa? Hot chocolate is basically like drinking a melted candy bar; the chopped chocolate contains cocoa butter which makes it richer and smoother. Cocoa is powdered and contains no cocoa butter and thus very little fat. It also contains dried milk, sugar, and added flavors.
This is the real stuff, and once you try it you may never want drink hot cocoa again! The recipe here serves four, it may not look like a lot but believe me it's very rich and one cup is more than enough for a single person.
Chocolate to Use
If you plan to make good hot chocolate, it helps to start with quality chocolate. Scharffen Berger, Guittard, and Valrhona are great choices if you can find them where you are.
I suggest using bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Bittersweet has little sugar added to it so you'll get a more pure chocolate taste. Semisweet works too, and usually has more sugar added to it than bittersweet. What about those cacao percentages? The higher the cacao percentage (noted on the chocolate package) the more chocolate solids are in the product, and therefore the higher intensity of chocolate flavor. Semisweet is usually 35-40% cacao, bittersweet up to (and sometimes higher than) 75%. 100% cacao is unsweetened chocolate, which is fine for baking, but you probably don't want to use it for hot chocolate. Milk chocolate already has milk solids added to it and has a very low (about 20%) cacao percentage.
Milk, Soy, or Water?
Whole milk lends to the creaminess and sweetness of hot chocolate, but feel free to use lowfat or nonfat milk if you prefer. For a thicker, richer hot chocolate, switch out 1/4 cup of milk for cream.
Soy milk is an alternative if you are lactose intolerant. Use unflavored or vanilla soy milk.
Believe it or not, you can use water instead of milk (though most people use milk). Water allows the chocolate to show off its true flavors and unique characteristics, however you lose the creamy feel and taste when you don't use milk.
Spices & Herbs
Experiment with spices and herbs to create unique flavors with your hot chocolate. Centuries ago the Aztecs made hot chocolate using cinnamon and chili peppers, a combination that some still enjoy today. Many flavors can be added to chocolate, such as the classic flavors of peppermint, orange, and vanilla. You might also try lavender, bay leaf, or star anise.
Brew spices into the milk (or soy milk or water) during the initial heating process. After the milk is steamy, strain out the spices and herbs and return the hot, flavored milk back to the pan and add the chocolate as you normally would.
A small addition of liquor is a fun way to warm the body on a cold night. About 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of liquor is the right amount per cup of liquid being used. Most any favorite liquor will work. Dark chocolate with a dark Guinness is a perfect combo. Cinnamon or peppermint schnapps with hot chocolate are classic companions. Kahlua and chocolate makes for a sort of mocha-esque treat that you won't find at your local coffee shop. A popular way to drink hot chocolate in Canada, according to some of my northern relatives, is to add a bit of whisky and (real) maple syrup.
Regardless how you make it, I think whipped cream makes hot chocolate (or anything really) better. Feel free to use an extract such as vanilla or anise to flavor the whipped cream. Once dolloped onto your drink a small sprinkling of nuts, cocoa powder, or ground spices is a great way to add flavor and pump up the presentation.
My best advice to creating your perfectly flavored hot chocolate is to make it as you like it. Feel free to experiment as I doubt friends and family will mind being subjected to cup after cup of chocolate.
Basic Hot Chocolate
4 cups of whole milk
8 ounces of chocolate (60% cacao, preferably)
3 teaspoons of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 Finely chop the chocolate into small pieces. The pieces have to be able to dissolve easily in the liquid.
2 Place the milk into a small, thick-bottomed pot on low heat and bring to a low simmer. Whisk once in a while to ensure that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
2a If you plan to steep herbs or spices, add the herbs or spices to the milk, bring to a simmer then take off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid then place back into the pot and return to a simmer.
3 Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, salt, and chocolate and whisk vigorously until the chocolate has melted.
3a If using liquors add them to the chocolate.
4 Heat for another 4 minutes, constantly stirring.
Serve. Add a dollop of whipped cream if you want.
Steep a vanilla bean and a cinnamon stick in the milk while simmering. After whisking in the chocolate and letting it rest and reheat, cool it down a tad with a small bit of cream and throw some orange zest on top to perk it all up. Very Parisian.
A teaspoon of Chinese five spice does wonders and gives it a slightly oriental kick. A fabulous twist on hot chocolate. Another viable alternative is Chai spice for something a bit more familiar.
Some edible lavender and lemon zest in white hot chocolate are aromatic and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
I like rum in my hot chocolate. Rum is good.
Posted by Judith at 11:27 AM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
It's only been a couple of days now, and already my son is """sighing""".
He's gotten so used to eating at school, swiping his card, and eating all he wants too, that being home and having to cook, and wait for food is a TERRIBLE BURDEN!!!! GIGGLE
It's nice having him home, otherwise I would never have had my driveway cleared, but aside from that..... he's starting to work on my last nerve!!!!
Complaints about food, leaving the lights and TV on ALL THE TIME, complaining he's board, driving the poor cat to distraction.... and so on..... GIGGLE And the personal comments....why do you spend so much time on the computer? Are you smoking more then usual? Who's that guy who called you? Why are you feeding the cat that? and on and on, and on. sigh (now that's me sighing!)
I guess, like most moms, I wish they NEVER had vacation from school!!!!! (or at least only a week or two at a time!!!!)
He keeps trying to talk me into going to stores.... a few days before Christmas???? Not going to happen. I'm done with my shopping, and I refuse to join the mobs of late shoppers thronging the stores!
So he wanders around the house, sighing..... sssssooooooooo aggravating!!!
And he doesn't go back to Rutgers till the 17th of January....so be prepared for a LOT of ranting from me!!! GIGGLE
Oh my Goddess.... and he found out he got a freaking "B" in one class!!!! Oh no, not a B!!!!!!! It's the end of his world getting anything less then an A.
I love my kids, but being away from them when they are this old, is sooooo much nicer! :)
Posted by Judith at 9:47 AM
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Last night, an hour before sunrise, I lit the candles in my room, started the pine incense burning, and entered my circle.
I consecrated it, north, east, west and south... and I sat facing the window... waiting for the sun to rise.
I asked the gods and goddesses to bless this coming year, and to allow the sun to rise again and bring the golden warmth once again to our frozen land.
I waited in peace and quiet, I envisioned my inner self to the voices, to the words, if the goddess would grant me them, and meditated about my life.
It was a wonderful time for me....but there is still always the fear that the sun would not rise, and darkness would rule the land.
As the sun's rays came through my window, I thanked the goddess for all she has done for me. Asked for protection and guidance through the coming year.
I did receive a message from my goddess, and it was a scary one, of gathering my sisters and brothers for what is "to come"....
but while I sensed urgency, I also knew that the fight was already won..... if that makes sense to you.... good....because I couldn't explain it more then that....it's something inside that you have to know, or not know.
What I do know is that the Goddess will provide, protect, and show the way..... because she is always the beginning, never the end.
Blessed Be, the sun has returned!
Posted by Judith at 6:11 AM
Monday, December 21, 2009
Posted by Judith at 5:50 AM
We are dug out! Of course, no one's going to be sitting on my rockers for a while, but then.... no one could get to the area where they are!!!!
Matt dug out our driveway, and then went to help some disabled vets in the park, that he knew couldn't shovel themselves out. And unlike the gaggle of teens walking around with shovels, Matt doesn't take money for helping.... he just likes to help.
The main streets are totally clear, but getting to them is still a problem. while our streets were plowed, they didn't use salt so they are mainly a sheet of ice!
And where was I during all this????
In my comfy housecoat, sitting on the sofa, eating popcorn and watching out the window! Cause I don't shovel snow, or drive on it, or go out and play in it! GIGGLE
I do LOVE watching it! It's so pretty, but go out in it.... not a chance in hell! GIGGLE
Posted by Judith at 4:24 AM
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Posted by Judith at 4:43 AM
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I'm actually all excited!!!! Because usually at the Jersey shore we get rain, so snow is very exciting!!!!
I was smart, picked up the "Boy" at school YESTERDAY!!! On the way home we stopped off at Aldi's for snacks..... and today we are snug as a bug with the big snow coming our way!!!
As some of you may know, I DON'T DRIVE IN THE SNOW!
So If I hadn't gotten the boy yesterday, he would have been stuck at school for a few more days till it cleared.
Not that he would have minded... the schools still open (he just finished all his exams and didn't need to be there the last few days before winter break) and he would have had all the food he needed, but it's nice he's home........
Someone to shovel snow!!!! Yippppie..... cause I would just drive over it rather then shovel! GIGGLE
Posted by Judith at 7:03 AM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
"Whatever you give a woman, she will make it greater.
If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house,
she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries,
she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile,
she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her... So,
if you give......... her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!"
Posted by Judith at 2:44 PM
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Posted by Judith at 5:20 AM
Monday, December 14, 2009
I have been experiencing a problem, and I can't figure it out.... so I'm going to tell you all about it, and maybe one of you knows what it means.
This has been going on a long time, not just recently
I hear knocking. Bang, bang, bang... like someone knocking on the door. Not frantic knocking, or angry knocking, but just regular knocking.
I've heard it when I was asleep, and it's woken me up
I've dreamed of someone knocking on a door, and it's woken me up too
I've heard it when I was awake, and checked, but no one is at the door
It doesn't seem to originate from anywhere that I can place it, almost out of thin air, and it's not scary or anything.
I've never said "come in!" after hearing it, I'm not that stupid! giggle
But still the knocking comes, not everyday, sometimes not for weeks or months, but it comes again.
I'm sure there is a meaning for this, but It's not something I'm familiar with.
Posted by Judith at 7:01 PM
Merlin says "HAPPY YULE" I managed to get one picture with the outfit on, and it was worth the $6 bucks for the Santa suit.... even though it was sized for a big dog, and didn't fit him!!! couldn't fasten the straps around the tummy.... giggle
Posted by Judith at 11:54 AM
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I walk alone the paths at night
deepest Forests, shadows bright
the way is misty, watered rippled
as if tears in my eyes had tripled.
and yet I walk, and hear the voices.
loves long lost, souls remembered.
lost and alone i often wonder
if i should be walking with another?
but my course is set, my path is rutted.
sorrow grows with every step outnumbered.
hope only glows by lights round my head
tiny lights that gleam and glimmer,
leading the way past gray remember
till the night forest turns to day
I'll walk the walk, and find a way.
and if the way is never found
I'll lay my head in this forest, down
Posted by Judith at 3:30 PM
La Befana the Christmas Witch!
In Italy, Gifts are given on the Epiphany, l'epifania, on January 6th. The term Epiphany comes from ancient Greek and means “manifestation" or “appearance of a supernatural being or of a divinity”, or “a moment of revelation”.
This is the day the Three Kings allegedly arrived in Bethlaham bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It's traditional for children to receive gifts and a colorful long stocking full of sweets if they’ve been good, or filled with coal which is made of black sugar, if they’ve been bad.
But it isn't Santa Claus who comes down the chimney...it's the benevolent Witch, Le Befana, who comes riding a flying broomstick carrying a magical self-replenishing sack full of goodies. She leaves her gifts on Twelfth Night of Christmas, or the Eve of the Epiphany! It was not until after World War II that Christmas trees and Santa Claus entered the Italian Christmas lore. Nowadays, 90% of Italians also believe in Santa Claus or Father Christmas, Babbo Natale.
Briefly, the legend has it that the Three Magi followed the North Star, in search of the Divine Child. They grew very tired on their journey and decided to stop at the tiny cottage of an old witch.
When they knocked on the door, an old woman holding a broom opened peeked out to see who was there. Three elaborately dressed Kings who were in need of directions to find the Christ child stood before her.
The old woman was unaware of the Divine Child these three wise men were looking for, so she could not point them in the right direction. But she kindly offered food and shelter for the night.
Three Kings rested and prepared to leave first thing in the morning. That night they told her about the Prophesy of the Divine Child. Prior to the three men leaving they asked the old woman to join them on their journey. She declined because she was so old and feeble, and had too much work to do in preparation for the long Winter ahead.
After they left she felt as though she had made a mistake and decided to go and catch up with them. She packed up her sack full of handmade gifts and food for the Divine Child. She hopped on her broomstick and tried to catch up with the Three Wise Men, but she could not find them.
Thinking of the opportunity she had missed, the old woman stopped at every home in hopes of finding the Christ Child. She left gifts to every child she found, just in case was baby Jesus. So each year on the eve of the Epiphany she sets out again, in search of the Divine Child...leaving gifts along the way to all the good little girls and boys in hopes of finding the Divine Child.
The Befana (Epifania) festival is a national holiday in Italy, and Italian children only go back to school from their Christmas holidays on January 7th. The holiday was suppressed by law in 1977, but had to be reintroduced by popular demand in 1985.
To an outsider, the Befana festival might seem to be more like Halloween! Groups of adults dressed up as La Befana , and children go knocking from door to door singing rhymes and asking for gifts of sweets.
Posted by Judith at 10:07 AM
Posted by Judith at 10:04 AM
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I've been sitting home for the last two weeks, waiting for a phone call.
I filled out the paper work for my energy assistance program, and of course (this happens every year) I was denied! Since I do this every year, I KNOW I had everything filled out properly, but they said I was missing "verification"... so I called them.... and then waited, and waited, and waited.
Couldn't leave the house till they called. Not that I had anywhere to go, I just don't like not being "able" to run out if I wanted too! GIGGLE
This is kinda important to me since they pay a lot of money to my electric and gas bills, without that I would be back to having $10 left after paying the bills.... and $10 bucks doesn't buy much food for the month, so I waited
Finally I said, "fuck this", and called them again....even though the recording said not too..... I did anyway.... and 2 hours later they finally called!!!!
They just needed proof that Matt was a full time student, so I had to email him, make him email me his schedule, print it out, copy it all... and today I have to run out to Staples and fax it to them!
Now,just to be clear, they sent out a check list of what you had to send them, and as I got the paper work, I checked it off.... and the student thing WASN'T ON THE LIST!
I actually checked again after they called, and I was right, it wasn't on the list.
So it must have been something they added at the last minute! Just to freak me out, and piss me off!
But, as of this afternoon, they should have everything, and I should have my assistance. And this is a good thing!
Posted by Judith at 2:23 AM
Sunday, December 06, 2009
ACORNS: A Major North American Indian Food
California Indians did not have to be farmers, and for the most part were hunters and gatherers. There was a ready supply of deer, fish, rabbits, fowl, native plants for vegetables, native fruits, and even seaweed. Even so, acorns are said to have been the main food of as many as 3/4 of our native Californians. Acorns were everywhere, are easy to gather and store fairly well ... as long as your storage places are squirrel tight. Some groups buried baskets of nuts until they were needed. Some claim that white acorns were the most preferred because they were sweet and often eaten without leaching.
Many of the Pomos prefer the Tan Oak because they feel it has more flavor. Many of the MiWuks prefer the Black Oak because it takes less leaching to get rid of the tannin. Many of us don't like the California live oak because "its too much work for the amount of meal you get compared to the amount of leaching you have to do," "its got no character," "too wormy," or "its too easy to get -- nothing that plentiful can be very good." The list goes on and on. My favorite is the Black Oak ... with a little Tan Oak added for character.
Acorns are gathered in the fall after they are ripe, Early in the season you will occasionally find acorns without their "little hats" lying on the ground.
These are usually buggy. (If the acorn is so heavy that it pulls itself from its cap, it is usually because there is a worm flipping itself about inside the acorn, and all this activity is what breaks the nut free from its cap and the tree.)
When the acorns are actually ripe, they fall from the tree, cap intact. If you see any holes in them, throw them away. They are sometimes stored first, to dry them out, and then shelled. Other groups shell them first, and then dry them out by placing them someplace safe, yet warm, to dry.
For the ultimate in information on processing acorn, refer to a new book about Yosemite's Julia Parker, written by Park Naturalist Bev Ortiz which came out in 1992 or 1993. It was published by the same group that produces News from Native California, headed by Malcolm Margolin.
There is first and foremost, the original recipe: AFTER THE ACORNS ARE **COMPLETELY DRY** & REMOVED FROM THEIR SHELLS, the Acorns are ground until the meal is so fine that "it will stick to the basket sifter" when it is turned upside down. When you have determined that you have ground the acorns to "primo" consistency, you must then leach it.
This was traditionally accomplished (before we had woven cloth to work with) by building a mound of fine sand, near a spring or the river, and then scooping out the center. The meal you wished to leach was placed in the center of this mound and water poured over a clean cedar bough which was placed or held above the acorn meal. The tannin would leach out of the acorn meal and harmlessly down into the sand. When tasting it showed the tannin had been removed, the meal was carefully removed from its sand "colander" and put into a cooking basket.
Water is added -- the correct amount for the amount of acorn meal you are going to use, which is something that takes a while to adjust to. Too much water will require cooking longer to get the consistency you want. Not enough water and the acorn will burn. Then special cooking rocks were heated in a fire, rinsed off, and using special stirring sticks, the rocks were stirred in the basket to heat the acorn solution thoroughly. As each rock cooled down, it was removed, and another hot clean rock took its place in the cooking basket. The rock that had been removed was washed off and placed back in the fire to reheat and await its turn to become a cooking implement once again. In what seems like no time at all, the acorn soup is boiling, and the stirring continues until the soup is of the desired consistency -- either thin to eat with a spoon, or thicker to eat with a fork, depending on what the "cook" has in mind. Though the above "soup" was eaten straight by the traditional people, I usually add a little salt, and occasionally some dried currents or blue elderberries, or even raisins. Some people like to add a little cinnamon.
The rocks are saved for the next time, since finding perfect rocks that won't explode when subjected to heat, or won't crumble into the food, or give a bad taste, etc., are not as easy to find as you might think. The baskets, tools, implements, rocks, etc. used to cook acorn are considered a family legacy and kept within a family to be passed down from generation to generation. What makes a good cooking basket is the subject of another dissertation and shall not be gone into at this time. Ask the next expert basket weaver you meet to explain to you how a cooking basket is made.
ALTERNATIVE LEACHING METHODS, & NATURAL DYING USES
The alternative method of leaching, which I personally use (as do most of the people I have spoken to about this subject) is to take my winnowing basket (or a broad-bottomed basket), place a clean, "white" UNBLEACHED cloth (like a tea towel used just for this purpose....which will never be white again) in the bottom of the basket, and then place your finely ground acorn meal on top of the cloth.
Then I get a piece of cedar branch (new growth preferred and place it on top of the acorn meal and run water on it, VERY SLOWLY. I place my basket on top of a large cooking pot (so that I can save the tannin water) in such a way that when the pot fills up, my basket won't be sitting in the water, and the pot can overflow. I check on the leaching process periodically, so I can empty the soup kettle as it fills.
If you are also a weaver and spinner, who does natural dying on occasion, a day or two before you know your going to be leaching acorn, wash any uncolored wool fleece that you may have on hand that you will want to dye later, or any white yarn you want to dye in the near future.
Sometimes If you don't plan ahead. Anyway, as the acorn leaching pot fills, you can pour this tannin-filled water into the washing machine, where you will later place up to 3 or 4 lbs of clean white wool or yarn to soak up the tannic acid solution. When your ready to dye the wool at a later date, the color will come out much more dramatically that it would if you had used "untreated fleece".
Below is a recipe that I have used as recently as last year which is a good one to serve to those who stubbornly believe that acorn meal is yucky ... they'll never even know its there unless you tell them later -- and then they'll say things like "oh, that's why it was so bland," or "oh, that's why I didn't like it," or "that's why it got hungry an hour later." If you want to be sure you are actually tasting the meal, use the recipe exactly as is. Once you feel confident that you wish to include the meal, but you want to add more character to the stew, feel free to add garlic, green pepper, carrots, etc. The acorn then replaces the starch of the potato, and provides you with more nutrition than the potato would provide.
1 lb stewing beef
1/2 C finely ground acorn meal (tannin removed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place beef in heavy pan and add water to cover. Cover with lid and simmer until very tender. Remove from liquid and cut meat into very fine pieces. Return meat to the liquid. Stir in the acorn meal. Add salt and pepper as desired. Heat until thickened and serve.
Several other ethnic food enthusiasts like to substitute acorn meal for corn meal when making muffins -- usually using 1/2 corn meal and 1/2 acorn. Some have substituted 1/2 of the flour in a biscuit recipe with 1/2 acorn meal. Experiment carefully, remembering that a good portion of the work performed by flour has to do with the gluten in the flour. Sorry, acorn has no gluten, so you'll have to keep this in mind.
Here is a modern Acorn Bread recipe from the book "Cooking with Spirit, - North American Indian Food and Fact",
By Darcy Williamson and Lisa Railsback
Copyright 1987 by Darcy Williamson.
Published by Maverick Publications,
6 Tbl. cornmeal
1/2 C cold water
1 C boiling water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl butter
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 C lukewarm water
1 C mashed potatoes
2 C all-purpose flour
2 C finely ground leached acorn meal
Mix cornmeal with cold water, add boiling water and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sale and butter and cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Add remaining ingredients to corn mixture, along with yeast. Knead to a stiff dough. Dough will be sticky. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down, shape into two loaves, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.
Acorn Griddle Cakes
2/3 C finely ground leached acorn meal
1/3 C unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
1 Tbl honey
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C milk
3 Tbl melted butter
Combine dry ingredients. Mix together egg and milk, then beat into dry ingredients, forming a smooth batter. Add butter. Drop batter onto hot, greased griddle. Bake, turning each cake when it is browned on underside and puffed and slightly set on top. Makes 12 to 15.
2 lbs venison, cut up
1 Cup finely ground acorn meal
Cover venison with water in pot; and cook till meat is tender. Remove meat from broth and chop into fine pieces. Return to pot with liquid and stir in acorn meal.
Posted by Judith at 7:56 AM
Friday, December 04, 2009
One of my fav catalogs, Terry's village, is having a sale on all their Halloween stuff!
You ought to go check out the bargains, and get ready for next Halloween! If the link doesn't work, just google Terry's village, that should bring up the catalog.
Posted by Judith at 7:00 PM
Items needed to create your Yule log:
While I don't advocate burning candles, unless they are constantly attended too... the fire from the candles is a very important part of the tradition. From the flames comes the rebirth.... but you can light the candles for the ceremony, then replace them with the battery operated flickering candles for any other time! Still looks pretty, but is much safer!
1 – log with three predrilled holds for candles, sizes vary, about 6-8 inches.
3 – candles, green, red and white. (some people prefer "bayberry" candles for luck)
6 – pine cones, 4 to use to help keep your log from rolling, two for decorations.
2 – Yule incense sticks.
1 – Brass candle snuffer with wooden handle
1 – Piece of Holly garland, about 18 inches long.
4 – Pieces of ribbon, green, red, gold, silver, about 20 inches long.
** Any other items you would like to create a beautiful log
Yule log directions.
If you do not have a fireplace:
Create a table centerpiece. Decorate your log with the above items, adding two pine cones to the front and two to the back of your log to help keep it from rolling. You can add extra bows, herbs, ribbons, etc. How you decorate the log is up to you, adding additional items makes it personal.
On Yule or Christmas Eve (as close to midnight as you can get), light your candles and keep them burning while you chant:
Light of fire,
hear my plea,
chase the night away from me.
Let the dawn come bright and gay
bringing us another day
NEVER leave burning candles unattended.
Save your log for the following year. The same log can be used over and over if you don't want to burn it in the fireplace.
You may also place several pieces of your log in a cauldron and burn it, and while it's burning you can sprinkle Yule herbs into the fire.
Save the ash from the log and add a pinch of it to your spells during the year to increase their powers. Save a piece of your log for next year so you can light your Yule log with it.
If you have a fireplace:
Create a table centerpiece. Decorate your log with the above items, adding two pine cones to the front and two to the back of your log to help keep it from rolling.
You can add extra bows, herbs, ribbons, etc. How you decorate the log is up to you, adding additional items makes it personal.
On Yule or Christmas Eve, place the log in your fireplace, and light your candles and keep them burning till they are gone. NEVER leave burning candles unattended. When your candles are gone, remove any plastic items, ribbons, garland, bows, etc., you placed on your log and store them away for next years log.
Then burn it in the fireplace,Saving the ash from the log and add a pinch of it to your spells
Posted by Judith at 6:31 PM
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Today is a Moon´s day, and we have a waning Moon phase-a great time to do psychic cleansing.
If you do lots of tarot readings or healing work for friends, you may be accidentally carrying around psychic garbage.
So here´s a way to get rid of it using lunar magic.
You will need a silver candle in a holder set on a flat work surface and some silver glitter.
With the glitter, draw a counterclockwise spiral around the candleholder. Light the candle and repeat the charm:
I release and banish all psychic pollution today,
As the candle burns, negativity will fade away.
Trapped in glitter and then burned away by fire,
I am now clear and free, that is my desire.
Allow the candle to burn out in a safe place, then clean up any wax and the glitter. Carefully and neatly dispose of it away from your home and property.
Posted by Judith at 11:42 AM
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
so, I'm working on the computer, and Merlin is sitting on the desk watching me.... or I should say... pretending to be asleep... he does that good, you can't even see his eyes open, but they are.... he watches everything!
And all of a sudden he reaches out, and smacks the mouse from under my fingers.... and it whacks against the wall with a resounding "CRUNCH"!
Poor mouse is dead, yes it is.... so I run to the store to get another one..... but how do you explain that the cat killed my mouse????
I swear the guy in the computer department almost pissed his pants laughing at the story!!!!
So much for letting Merlin back in my bedroom, first the bed, now my mouse....HOW RUDE!
The door is no longer open to him....... my bedroom, and computer are safe once again!
Posted by Judith at 4:25 PM
I have to tell you something, but you all have to keep it secret. Promise?
I know I've been talking about change, and re-arranging furniture and stuff like painting.... and I've been insisting that I DON'T want to move.... but I've been lying to you all!
I soooooo want to move again!!!
I think it's all because my grandparents on my fathers side were Gypsy's. Really, it would be great to blame someone wouldn't it.... but truth be told.... I love moving!
This is the longest I've spent in one place, and after 14 moves, none of my Friends or family are any too pleased with me.... but it a calling..... something that seems to resonate in my bones!
I'm NOT going to move! I insist that I'm settling here, and no where else....but the dreams have started.
The "imagining" myself somewhere else. The wanderlust I guess... and I think it's going to get worse.... I just hope I can control myself...
mainly cause my son would be totally pissed to come home and find I packed up and moved again! GIGGLE
But the urge is so strong!!!!! I wish I had a wagon like the one above, I could move around and always keep my home with me! That would be the greatest thing in the world!!!!!
I would follow the summer, and stay till the fall.... then move on to somewhere that it's summer again!
Posted by Judith at 2:17 PM
Posted by Judith at 2:19 AM