Thursday, December 31, 2009

Little Mom's New Years Day Donuts, Ham and Black-eyed peas for good luck



My Family was as diverse in it's traditions as it was in its heritage.My Mother, Dutch-Italian-Irish from the north , My Father, Southern-Scotch -Irish-English. My sister and I were adopted so into that mix you add, Irish - Native American and some German and ... Wham! you have a traditional American melting pot filled with a variety of ingredients,
which all blended together to teach us to honor the uniqueness in the ones we love and the strangers who are friends we simply haven't met yet.

South U.S. tradition: Eat the traditional southern hog jowls and black-eyed peas for good luck in the coming year.
Ok, in our house, when I was growing up, my Mom always made my Dad a big pot of "Ham"-(wink) and black-eyed peas with cornbread on New Years Day . The words "Hog Jowls" seams to have disappeared from this traditions name some time after my sister and I discovered where on the body the jowls came from... kids are very imaginative , or at least I was as a child; and well , lets just say I am not to sure the imagery that popped in my head at that moment of discovery didn't in some way "scared me for life". I did manage to muddle through the shock by apparently putting it into my head that Ham - pork and Hog - Pig are not the same thing. (Yes,logic tells my intelligence other wise.) But how ever it works I am thankful, because I like Ham-pork. I know I shouldn't, but I do!( Yes , one of many tradition vs faith vs self conflicts in my life. But lets not go there today.) That said, lets move on to the other family tradition,

Donuts!

My Dad always got up early on New Years Eve and bought enough donuts to last for Both days. mmhum...if he could get us kids to stay out of them long enough to last till then, that is... (sorry , i am enjoying a warm fuzzy memory...ok.. and thanks for waiting.). That was something He always did for my Mom. If we couldn't afford them because he was on strike, then we made them from biscuits dough, bread dough or corn bread mix and fried in the cast iron full of lard ... (YIKES!).
Dutch Tradition: a Donuts ( with the holes) shape is said to bring good luck and to represent the completion of one cycle and the beginning of another. it's funny how those home made donuts are the ones I like the most . They aren't spectacular cuisine, but they do taste goof and are allot of fun with the whole family . so weather you buy them made or find some fancy donut recipe on the net or do them from biscuit
Remember most of all,
they don't have to be perfect!, they just have to be fun to make and taste good for the magick to work , remember these are for good luck and what could brings good luck one's way the best than a tasty treat empowered with the intentions of Love and Laughter.


Little Mom's New Years Day Donuts For Good Luck
your best pizza crust (traditional raised /rolled or tossed dough),or can be store bought roll-able dough.

rolling pin

well floured dough rolling surface

dried fruits of your choice, and nuts (optional,
chopped fine. (Currents,golden raisins, apricots,dates and figs, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts etc..)

Fresh grated lemon or orange peal

large and small cookie cutters or actual donut cutter or biscuit cutter and bottle cap
a deep fryer or (safe!) deep frying method

prep what ever donut toppings and fillings you can ;
Ganaches should wait as should melted chocolates, fudge frosting or almond barks that cool and set up quickly, but frostings, sugars and fillings, decorator candies and nuts should all be made ready and waiting .


Once toppings are ready , roll out the dough and cut the donuts .

next gather up your scrap dough from your first cuts and fold in small bits of dried fruit , fresh grated citrus peal and a sprinkling of sugar and spice. Roll this out and cut into triangles, or thick strips you can fold over.

Next heat the oil to about 210 to 220 degrees F. DON'T Look away , they burn really quickly!!

put 2 in the hot oil at a time and use chop sticks or the ends of wooden spoons to flip them over as soon as they "pop" to the top of the oil and let them fry another minute more or less . They should be a nice golden brown , drain them off over/on a paper bag. if rolling in sugar they should be rolled while still hot so the sugars will stick .

Here are some yummy topping ideas .

Link to best donut glaze I have ever used or tasted (Thank you to Alton Brown and food network for publishing it .) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/doughnut-glaze-recipe/index.html

Simple Chocolate Ganache
1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk


Powdered sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup vanilla flavored sugar


Powdered sugar-n- cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup vanilla flavored sugar

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


to fill :
Don't cut holes in the donuts if you want to fill them , but you can mark symbols in the top by pressing lightly on small cookie cutters, just don't cut all the way through the dough.
Then wen they are cooked and drained , use a cup cake filling tip and pastry bag with one of the fallowing to fill the donuts before topping them.

instant pudding/pie fillings made using pie filling directions.
any flavored jelly you would like ( jams and preserves tend to jam up and clog the the filling tip) and give it a good stir before adding to pastry bag. You can stir in extracts , spiced or flavored sugars or just spices to enhance the flavor to your taste.

Oh , Just a side not about today;

1st of each month is : “A Day of Intentions”

To stir the pot wishing and dreaming of happiness, hope, joy or ill thought...intention , not you, stirs that pot. you could do best to spend the day on learning and stirring the inspirational thought. ~Lady Feoneafey's, Grandma's Wisdoms


Happy new year
Ma Fey

New Years Eve, Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse




Happy New Year to EVERY ONE!
May all your Dreams come true this year, May all your goals Be met and my all your wishes be granted.

Tonight is the Second Full Moon of December 2009 and therefor is called a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon comes around about once every 2.5 or so years, but can some times appear twice in the same calender year.

This Blue Moon is even more powerful, as there is a Lunar eclipse also occurring at this time. A lunar eclipse, being the representation of the perfect female/male union , lends itself to workings concerning relationships, and all other positive energies worked beneath the Full Moon.

These three things make the moons pull and power triple fold this time around. No doubt many have been more tired than usual the past few days and this is because of this very powerful moon and the energies passing between us and it. Don't worry it will pass soon.

If you are planning a night on the town this new years eve, be extra cautious and be prepared to see some "even more stranger than usual" behavior , again this is the triple power of this Full Moon at play on us. ( As for me and mine , we are staying in tonight. Better safe than sorry ..LOL)

The Blue Moon is considered to be by some the luckiest moon and by others the unluckiest moon .
My Grandma use to say "the truth comes out beneath a Blue Moon." now depending on the truth that is reveled to you and how you choose to let it affect your life, could determine whether it is a lucky or unlucky moon for you . ( yea it seams like one of those glass half full/half empty thing to me too; you know, perception, perspective, etc.) But in my own life I have see how the truth does come out, and it has done so in my favor many times , so for me the Blue Moon is a positive, lucky moon.

So on this triple powered Blue moon , may you find the truths you seek. ( but remember, you may not always like the answer you get to the question you have. )

Blue Moon Blessings To Every one
Ma Fey

Monday, December 28, 2009

Salsa-n-Chips any one?

MMMMM! Salsa with warm chips!
now that's comfort food!


This salsa is a rather quick throw together, but always a crowd pleaser


I don't call this a "fresh" salsa because I use canned goods in this one .

But It can be made fresh by using 2 pounds good tomatoes , and 2 fresh green-chili peppers. I prefer this salsa with candy onions but those arn't readily available in the produce section of our local grocery in the winter months where I live. This is also at its best in the summer months when salsa peppers can be picked from the garden fresh. ( not sure of thier Latin name, if I can find it I will post it . ) for a little flavor pick-up you could also add 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, shopped fine.


Little Mom's Quick Winter Salsa

1 - 28oz can large diced tomatoes (Don't drain)
1- 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Don't drain)
2 to 3 fresh large jalapenos chopped in large pieces (include seeds if you want your salsa hot. You could also add 1/2 to1 habanero pepper if you wish it to be SUPER hot )
1 medium candy onion or Vidalia onion, diced large
1 large clove of garlic ( not the whole bulb just 1 large piece), grated fine
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cumin ( or store bought ground cumin)
1/4 teaspoon organic sugar
Juice of 1/2 fresh squeezed Key Lime ( the lime’s skin should be yellowed! not green)
pinch of Kosher salt

( you can strain the tomatoes for the food processor if you like , but keep the liquid to add back to the salsa)

Mix all in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency ( not to fine, this is meant to be a chunky style salsa).

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, over night is best.
Serve with large corn chips that were heated in the oven.

White Tiger Apron For the Niece

This is the apron I made for my niece .

It was a pre-printed cotton panel for making a lap quilt or wall hanging from . But Since she is a newly wed mother with 2 sets of twins ( no fertility drugs involved - it's genetic.) and is really getting into baking and cooking, I thought it was high time she had an apron. This was the perfect fabric to use as she has ALWAYS loved the White bangle tiger. The ruffle, trim and ties where all made from a vintage piece of linen that I had here that matched the color of the tigers eyes perfectly, so some re-purposed fabric was involved in the making of it as well. The pattern I used was Butterick see & sew B5125 . The directions where not as clear as some of thier other patterns I have used ( which is probably why i don't use store bought patterns often) , but I got it figured out .

and

SHE LOVES IT and looks rather spiffy in it ; but I am still working on convincing her it was made to use and not hang on a wall as a pretty .

oh well, as long as she enjoys it for years to come, that's all that's important!

I got The Apron Book For Christmas

Look what I got for Christmas!!!!

Happy Dance!
Happy Dance!
Happy Dance !

God and Goddess Bless my husbands heart with as 3 times the happiness that his gift has filled mine with . granted this was only one of the gifts, I must confess it is my favorite from him this year.

I have wanted this book since it first came out , this and the EllynAnne Geisel wrote on vintage linens (still on my wish list-with a few others- but that's ok as good things DO come to those who wait)

I just can not wait to copy the pattern it comes with ( don't want to destroy the original pattern) and make ( yet another) apron for my collection or to give as a gift ..

I LOVE APRONS .. always have , always will. I love making them, wearing them and giving them and collecting them.

I must admit that after waiting so long to get my hands on this jewel, I was almost afraid to crack it open fearing that it's content might be anticlimactic to my anticipation , but I am not one bit disappointed.. if any thing it exceeded my expectations.

Christmas day was so busy , I baerly got the chance to hold the book and the day after Christmas I spent in the dark, avoiding sound from an usualy sever migrain hearach,
So the second day after Christmas , which aslo found me down in bed with the usual physical problems I fight with daily, Was the day! I resigned my self to the fact that I would be spending yet another day in bed, but, a Good cup of Hot Chocolate and some gingerbread cookies , my reading glasses and this book helped make my bed rest bearable.

First I flipped through , stopping to briefly gaze at what ever random photos caught my eye.

Then I thumbed through every page to study the photos and read the little snippets and tidbits that caught my attention .

By noon it was time for meds and some lunch ( gotta watch that blood sugar too) ,then an afternoon movie with the Husband , and the overwhelming demand of my body for a nap, all kept me from my new eye candy.

Finaly, just after supper, I foung the peace and quite to start to read it from cover to cover... which I did that night .. Like a captivationg novel, this book comaned my total attention and i was willing to give it ..

I am soo happy with this book.. I will be reading and looking through it over and over and over.

I am sooo happy .

I hope every one got a gift this year that made them as happy as this treasure made me .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Mom's Chocolate Cheesecake Strawberry Swirls


I use a stand mixer to start this cookie, but an electric hand held mixer may be used, until the dough it to heavy , then use your well washed ( nails scrubbed clean -think surgeon's hands) hands or a wooden spoon to mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.


Cheesecake Dough

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup salted butter

6 ounces of light cream cheese, softened

1 cup organic granulated sugar

1 cup white granulated

2 egg (or equivalent in egg substitute)

1 teaspoon home made vanilla extract (or pure vanilla extract)

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or white enriched all-purpose flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon finely grated&chopped lemon peel


In stand mixer on speed 2 beat butter and cream cheese together for 30 seconds , till well creamed together. Then turn to stir and slowly add the sugar and turn to speed 2 and beat till light then add the egg and beat till well blended. (stop your mixer and scrap the bowl at least once or twice though out this process)


In a separate bowl whisk together flour , baking powder and the orange peal soft out he lemon zest and add the lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture and mix for 20 seconds on stir



Slowly add 1/2 the flour mixture to the cheese mixture dropping down to stir while adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup additions and turning up to speed 2 to mix completely between additions. When the dough becomes heavy add the remaining flour by hand with a wooden spoon or good clean hands. if the dough is to dry, squeeze a bit of the juice fom the lemon over it and mix in to help form a smooth dough ball.


Divide dough into 4 parts , wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate .


Chocolate Dough

1/2 cup plus 5 and 1/3 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 cup plus 5 and 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup organic granulated sugar

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 egg ( or equivalent in egg substitute)

4 tablespoons milk (which ever type you diet allows , goat, coconut, soy and rice milk also work well here as an alternative to cows milk,)

2 teaspoon home made vanilla extract ( or pure vanilla extract)


2/3 cup good unsweetened, organic cocoa powder (or, Hershey's special dark baking cocoa is also good in this recipe)

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


In stand mixer on speed 2 beat butter 30 seconds to cream; then turn to stir and slowly add the sugar and turn to speed 2 and beat till light; next add the egg and beat till well blended. (stop your mixer and scrap the bowl at least once or twice though out this process); now turn the mixer to stir and add the milk and the vanilla; turn to 2 and mix 30 sec or until well blended.


In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cocoa and baking powder till well blended.


Slowly add 1/2 the cocoa-flour mixture to the butter mixture, dropping down to stir during the 1/4 to 1/2 cup additions and then turning up to speed 2 to mix in the addition well. when the dough becomes heavy you will need to add in the remaining flour by hand . If chocolate dough is to dry , add a little bit of cooled strong coffee to it to help form a dough ball .


divide dough into 4 parts , wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate .


Both dough should be refrigerated at least 30 minutes minimum.( it needs the cold to be handled better , but to cold and you will get a major work rolling out this dough)


the "Strawberry Between"

1 12-oz. jar strawberry low sugar jelly ( not jam or preserves)

2 teaspoons finely grated&chopped orange peal (about)

1/2 cup finely ground pecans ( careful not to make Nut Butter)


Scoop about one half of the jar ( more or less) into a small mixing bowl . add in the orange peal and pecans. stir this all together till the jelly is small, smooth, lumps.


Form and Bake


Remove 1 of each of the doughs from the refrigerator and let set on the counter while you gather waxed paper and rolling pin and flour ; roll the chocolate dough between two sheets of wax paper , into a rectangle that is about 12 inches long by 8 inches wide, leave covered and set in a safe place while you do the same to the cheese cake dough, leave this one covered also.

Remove the wax paper from the top of the chocolate dough (don't discard any of the wax paper you will need it later) , and spread this dough with 1/2 the strawberry jelly mixture: remove wax paper from the top of the cheese cake dough and flip it on to the top of the chocolate dough spread with the jelly. ( think jelly sandwich)


give the stack of dough a light roll with the rolling pinto help remove ai bubles between the dough so it all hold together nicely with out gaps when cut later.


Remove the wax paper from the cheese cake side of the dough stack , and starting on the 12 inch side roll these all together, pealing back the bottom waxed paper from the chocolate layer as you go (Like you would roll a jelly roll log).


Cut each log in half, then Wrap the cookie logs in pieces of the waxed paper pieces you used to roll the dough between and refrigerate; repeat this with the other halves of the doughs and jelly.( you should have 8 cookie dough logs total).


Chill the cookie logs for 4 hours ( at least, they cut better and form better if the dough is firm,); When you remove the dough from the refrigerator, use your hands to roll it across the counter before un wrapping to help get the shape as round as possible; then use string , un-waxed dental floss, or clean fishing line to slice the cookie logs into skimpy-1/4 inc- rounds .


Place on un-greased cookie sheets ( lined with parchment if you like to prevent burning) and bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 to 12 min . ( I actually will take some batches out at 8 or 9 minutes if I want them a bit softer.)DON"T over bake and watch closely as the bottoms can burn easily .


Store

Store dough in the refrigerate up to 3 days; Store dough in the freezer up to 6 weeks; Store cookies in an air tight container up to 5 days, refrigerated; Store cookies in an air tight container, in single layer between sheets of waxed paper in the freezer up to 3 months.


you can give th efrozen log of cookie dough with something to cut the cookies with and th ebaking instructions as a Holiday, hostess or general " I want to share with you." gift.




Poinsettia

the poinsettia

Every year , my husband buys me a poinsettia for our anniversary. It is a Much Loved ( if only by me) tradition we have . It doesn't matter the size, as that is usually determined by availability~vs~the wallet.

My favorite always has been and always will be the traditional/old fashioned red. Though I admit the purple and white i saw this year Really tempted my, but the red is my love. I carried them in my wedding bouquet and where central to all the flower arrangements for the wedding. But I loved them Longer than my second husband ( though definitely not as much as I love him)
Never say thank you for a plant given to you , it is said to be bad luck for the plant . You can acknowledge the gift with somethings along the lines of, " I can not tell you how much this will be appreciated." But No thank yous. You can explain why to the giver and i am sure they will understand .

The best poinsettia I have ever had that lived the longest was one we spent $0.99 US on. I had that one for several years and it out lasted others of it's kind that cost 12 to 30 times more. But alas, it met it's end last year .. so I am gonna try it again .


Here is a link to some really good poinsettia info
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/poinsettia/index.cfm

According to my plant journal, this is what I do to keep mine going so long.

With the exception of some hybrid/cultivators , poinsettias loose thier leaves! Don't assume it's dying or dead just because the leaves are falling . as long as the trunk and branches are green they are alive ! Stop fertilizing till you see it's first new leaves then resume fertilizing with a common house plant fertilizer every 2 weeks

my house is dry in the fall,winter months so i keep it among my other tropical plants and I mist it once or twice a week (even after the leaves fall )

i try not to change it's location to much. with the exception of moving it out side once night time temps steady to 65 degrees F or higher. I start to bring it in about late August working it into lower light and the house hold temp and humidity differences slowly.

and to "change the top leave color to red: at bed time starting in about the 1st or second week of October, i put it in the closet at night before i go to bed and take it out after sun set to check it over and give it a misting , water, fertilizer, what ever it needs at that time and let it sit among the tropical till bed time then about mid November i bring it back into the light , I should have red leaves by Christmas if all went well . (it's harder than it sounds to get them to go read again , BUT it does happen)

oh the poinsettia is a large bush in the wild( up to 10 feet) and with proper care can become a good sized house plant. so transplant it to a larger pot of good organic potting mix it every other year .

Good luck to you and yours should you try to keep yours going !
Ma Fey

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ma D-der's Best Gingerbread Peoples

Ma D-der's Best Gingerbread Peoples Cookies

( D-ders is a nick name for me started by My Mother , among my nephews and nieces)

1 cup butter ,unsalted
1 cup organic granulated sugar ( or white granulated sugar)
2 eggs ( or equivalent in egg substitute)
2 tablespoons good apple cider vinegar
1 cup unsulphured molasses, mild

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( or white AP flour)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda


I use a stand mixer ( 6 quart capacity) but you can use a hand held electric mixer or mix these by hand how ever you prefer. If using a stand mixer , you will want to start with your flat paddle and then when the 1/2 the flour is added you will want to switch to your dough hook. If using a hand mixer , at some point the dough will get to heavy for the mixer and you will want to mix the last of the flour in by hand....

firs tin a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, then set aside.

place the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer or a very large mixing bowl and cream for 30 seconds or until fully creamed and lighter in color ( light lemony color).

next slowly add in the sugar and mix till completely blended, lighter in color and "fluffy" in texture ( medium speed/ speed 2 to 4/ for about 1.5 minutes).

now add the eggs, one at a time , breaking the yolk before adding and beating on medium till each egg is well blended into the butter mixture. stop and crap the bowl and beater well.

Next add the apple cider vinegar and beat 30 sec;

then add the molasses and beat at medium speed ( 1.5 minutes in stand mixer/3 minutes wiht electric hand mixer / until all components are blended to a smooth silky texture if by hand ( up to 300 strokes) stop and scrap the bowl, if need be stir another 15 to 20 seconds to be sure all is blended together very well.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture at about 1/2 cup at a time being sure each addition is mixed in to the dough well. and all the flour called for is incorporated smoothly. As mentioned before you may have to switch to a dough hook about 1/2 way through. You will also need to scape the sides once or twice (or more) to be sure everything is incorporated.

at this point you should have a smooth sticky dough. divide the dough into quarters ( 4 pieces) and wrap each in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, but over night is better.

Spray well your cookie sheets with olive oil cooking spray ( or cooking spray of choice) and pre heat your oven to 375 degrees F. ( use an oven thermometer to be accurate .these are a thin cookie and they can burn inthe blink of an eye)

Remove one dough ball at a time from the refrigerator so the others won't get to soft.

on a Well floured, no porus surface, roll the dough ball in flour then play "hot potato" over the rolling/cutting surface with with the ball to knock off excess flour and to help dust the rolling/cutting surface. ( it should look a little something like the one in this photo)

at this point you can either divide this ball in 1/2 or 1/4 and use a smaller amount for working with, which ever is easiest for you and your allotted rolling space.

keep your dough , rolling pin and rolling/cutting surface and cookie cutter dipped in four to prevent sticking.

Roll the dough to about 1/16 to 1/8th inch thick ( some where between the thickness of the fates coin and the thinnest coin you have in your pocket basically)

cut out as many cookies as you can on a single roll , if you work the dough to much the cookies will be tough and hard instead of tender and crisp.

use a thin metal spatula ( like a frosting spatula) to help remove the cookies from the board to the well sprayed cookie sheet. Use a soft pastry brush to brush any excess flour off the top of the cookies before baking. they can be sprinkled with sugar now, if you do not plan on decorating them later.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 5 to 6 min or until the cookies edges are a very light golden brown ( the cookie lightens as it bakes)

wait one minute for the cookie to set before removing from the cookie sheet to a wire cooling rack .

repeat this process for each dough ball.

cookie dough scraps should be collected up and re rolled to get as many cookies as possible from this dough.. and depending on how thick you roll them and the size of your cookie cutters , this makes a but load..

when completely cool they can be stored in an air tight container till you are ready to decorate. if you plan on freezing them , you should put them in air tight container with sheets of waxed paper between the single layers of cookies. they should not be decorated until they have completely defrosted. they freeze well up to 3 months.

cookies can be decorated with colored frostings, candies ,and small fruits such as currents, this leaves the possibilities endless!


Home you enjoy them ! Ma Fey

Sunday, December 20, 2009

By Fires Glow

By Fires Glow

Lady Feoneafey


I sit beside the fires glow,

While all around me falls the snow


In it’s crackle a voice whispers to me

In it’s flame a future I see


I sit beside the fire now low

Down in the embers glow

Unfolds the seen before me

I stoke the fire and feed it more

In its renewed height it reveals the door


The fire dances and I peek in side

From what it shows me I do not hide.


Silently I sit by fire side.

As it takes me on this magick ride.


What it tells me I shall speak

In soft whisper

With voice low and week


Listen close by fire side

To hear the answers that you seek


For when the fires glow is low

There will be no more for you to know


And once again

I’ll sit beside the fires glow,

While all around me falls the snow

In silence

Except to whisper thanks and blessed be

For it’s crackling voice that whispers

And speaks to me.

The Nine Fruits of the Spirit



The nine fruits of the Spirit
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self control

Against such things there is no law
Gal 5:22-23



Yule, Bayberry and DragonsBlood? A Yule Candle

An old Germanic poem says "A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket."

An old world tradition is to burn a bayberry wax candle on Yule ( Winter Solstice ) or
Christmas Day, or New Years day
in order to bring good luck, and to ensure prosperity, growth and happiness,
and good fortune
and good health throughout the following year. They should be lit at sunset of the chosen night and allowed to burn until they go out by themselves.

But if you can not find candle made of true bayberry wax, or can not for what ever reason make a candle of bayberry wax, you may anoint a pure white , green, or beeswax candle with essential bayberry oil and it will serve the same purpose.


(the candles above : the green and red layered votives are bayberry wax and dragons blood oil in paraffin, while the solid green is bayberry scented paraffin. though i prefer soy candles for numerous reasons , some time you have to sacrifice a bit to achieve the end result. )

The candle can be empowered with the energy of your attentions, while anointing it with bayberry oil and inscribed with runes or other symbols for health and money, or whatever is desired before lighting.

To empower the candle , hold it in your hand ( if using oil take this time to rub the oil all over the length and on all sides of it slowly) while visualizing what your need and intention is. Picture that need or intention going in to the candle (some folks actually tell the candle out loud what the need is, or enchant it with a spell or prayers) . when you feel the candle has absorbed your need or intention , then, also while keeping those things in mind, carve the symbols you have chosen ( dollar signs, symbols of good health prosperity etc..) into the wax. Then burn as instructed above.

If the past year has been particularly hard or filled with negativity, the power of the bayberry can be boosted by using dragon’s blood oil three drops to the top or add to the anointing process if using a taper. Dragon’s Blood is said to boost the potency and power of other oils or incense and any empowerments, enchantments, prayers, or spells, to exorcise ( drive away ,release or remove) all evil and negative vibrations/energies, and to bring love, healing and protection. It is worth noting that it is also said to bring peace and quiet to a hectic or noisy house..

Bayberry wax candles , or unscented candles of gold, white , green or natural colored beeswax and a bottle of bayberry oil , and maybe a bottle of dragon’s blood oil if you know it will help the person you are giving it to , along with a card for instructions makes an excellent gift this time of year.. and if the candles are home made all the better!


Yuletide Blessings

The Yule Log




The Yule log, symbolic of the New , Bright, Shinning, Son/ Sun

Death is always fallowed by rebirth… endings are fallowed by
beginnings, just as the Sun precedes the Moon…

In Roman tradition, December 25 was "Dies Natalis Solis Invictus" or
the Day of the Birth of the Undefeated Sun.
In ancient times of lands such as Ireland, on or about the date of
December 21or the Winter Solstice, was the time the Son/Sun comes back
to Earth. Many customs surround these 2 dates, one of which is the
burning of the Yule fire.

Nordic Pagans regard Yule as the New Year , coinciding with the Solar
year . ( Samhain coincides with the Lunar year)

Yule marks the succession from the Holly King, who is the king of the
Waning year, to the Oak King, who is the king of the
Waxing year/ It symbolizes the rebirth of the God to the Virgin Goddess.

Yule is a Lesser Sabbat and is a Sun Sabbat.

In earliest times this tradition , the Yule fire was a bonfire burned
out doors.
The sacred blaze was built to give power and life to the sun, among
other things.
Burning a Yule log not only gives out warmth against the winter cold,
but it is said to posses the power to
burn off the misfortune of the ending year and to bring good health
and prosperity, protection , fertility,
and good fortune in the year to come.

Traditionally a log of Oak, but may be made of any good, hard wood,
available to you.
It was carved with images of the blazing sun to encourage the return
of the Son/Sun, or Divine Child of Light, The God.
It was also carved with other symbols representing plenty, prosperity,
fertility, wealth and love.
The Yule log was decorated with whipped bees wax that had been scented
with bayberries ( or bay berry wax if available)
to bring good fortune throughout the year to come. Sprigs of
evergreens, considered sacred and representing the Eternal
aspect of the Goddess, were added as a traditional symbol of life
everlasting. Holly leaves , which are representative of The
Holy King, symbolic of death and to guard the household against evil
spirits and symbolic of the promise of ongoing life.
Oak Leaves and acorns to represent the Oak King, and symbolic of
rebirth and of all things living within both the material
and spirit world (the Oak tree is host to mistletoe plant); The white
berries and leaves of the Mistletoe ( also known as The
Golden Bough)for fertility and symbolic of the sacred seed of the God
who embodies the spirit of vegetation and divine life;
fruits and grains or other seeds to celebrate the past harvest and
the hope for a good harvest in the new year. Other item are
often attached in representation and symbolisms of requested
blessings for the up coming year as well.


Later in it's history the Yule fire was brought indoors in the form of
the Yule Log.
Later a log that will burn continuously for 3 days would be used and
it's remnants used to light the next years fire.
Most fire places now days could never safely accommodate a 3 day
monster.
So to compensate, some individuals will split the log into 3 pieces ,
then all three pieces are decorated and one piece burnt each day; or
decorate 3 smaller logs .
yet others are satisfied with one log burnt on the night of the Winter
Solstice only...
And if you don't have a fireplace, you can make a Yule log and bore
holes to accommodate 2 hand dipped tapers, 1 for the Mother Goddess,
and one for the Divine Child of the Light, the God, and burn the
tapers down to just safely above the decorations surrounding it...this
then can be placed in a secret part of the garden to return to the
Earth and bless the land to which it is given.

No mater you adaptation of this tradition… you are sure to be blessed
by the incorporation of it into your Yule celebration




Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Wedding Anniversary to My Best Friend , My Husband


WOW!
We were so young!

It's hard to believe it has been 16 years of marriage and almost 18 years together as a couple .

Happy Anniversary Love!
May we have a million + more years together.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ma Fey's Tea of Joy and Happiness

Tea of Joy and Happiness

from

Lady Feoneafey the Kitchen Witch



1/2 cup dried calendula petals (fresh or dried

1/2 cup chamomile flowers (fresh or Dried)

2 tablespoons grated orange peel(fresh or dried)

1/4 cup chocolate mint ( fresh or dried)

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

honey ( or diet appropriate sweetener ) to taste ( alfalfa or star thistle honey is most excellent in this tea)

Mix all ingredients together well..

( if you use one dry ingredient use all dry ingredients..)

( if some of your ingredients must be fresh, then store this mixture in the freezer up to 3 months for between uses.)


then, to a tea ball or other type tea strainer add 1 teaspoon of herb mix for each cup of tea you will make then add 1 extra for the pot. add water that has been brought to just boiling, cover and steep 5 to 7 min. strain as you serve or not if you plan to read the tea leaves.


this is also pretty good served cold with a slice of orange ( in place of lemon)


Enjoy!



My High Horse

This is MamaKitty aka Kitty-girl ( it's the only names she will come to , HONEST!)
She was abandoned by a former neighbor, pregnant and under a year old when we took her in . she had 4 Beautiful, and luckily-considering, healthy babies that are now almost 6 month old .

This is them at 5 weeks old .

I haven't found forever homes for them yet.. but then I haven't look very hard to be honest. I so enjoy having them around and being entertain by thier antics and shenanigans as they grow and develop thier own personalities. and Mama is just as much of a rable-rousen kitten as they are... they are somethen' to be sure.

But this is about me being on my high horse and being angry that Mamakitty was left out side to fend for her self , hunting and decimating local wild life . She never had any sort of shots or vet care what so ever. She and her siblings became the neighborhood menaces as did every stray male for 1/2 a mile as soon as she went into heat...

It seamed there was no place to turn for help as our county/city animal control shelter currently has no place for any thing but dogs.. ( hey I have 3 dogs that I love dearly so I don't want any one to think I am knocking the canines here.) ... But in thier infamous wisdom they have chosen to consider the building of another dog park .... now call me dumb but wouldn't you think a no kill shelter for felines a little more important than a second Dog Park ... apparently they don't see it that way.

Apparently the fact that abandoned cats can decimate the local wild life, not just the mice, but birds, rabbits, squirrels, Bat, frogs, and some times opossums , raccoons, and other cats..

Or how about the fact that a cat can carry Parvo on it's paws ( a very deadly virus that attacks canines) , or that they can contract and spread Feline aids and Leukemia or that they can spread tape and other worms that they contract through fleas and eating infected animals?

Or how about the fact that abandon cats use lawns and gardens as thier personal litter boxes. Did you Know that apparently parasites and other harmful bacteria can live in the soil for apparently up to 8 or more years and that no chemical takes them out of the soil.. the only way to destroy them is to burn the soil, turn it and burn it again and repeat at least 4 more times? I learned that from a professor in the Purdue university small animal department.
He also told me that food/edible crops growing in an area where felines have started defecating can NOT be eaten raw because apparently the bacteria doesn't necessarily wash off ... that the only "safe" way to consume the crops is to can the produce.... so much for that patch of fresh salad greens and leafy herbs you grew for spring garden munching hu??

You see, My husband and I have had to learn a lot on this subject over the past summer and we had to clean our garden and turn and burn it , resulting in the loss of a life time of medicinal and edible plant collection, some can never be replaced and still it will cost me a couple thousand dollars and 2 inactive garden seasons at my house. ( thank goodness I have friends with property willing to let me grow foods and such there ). Not to mention the cost to the food banks from the produce lost we could not donate last year and may not be able to donate next year.. depending on how long it takes us to reclaim our many garden beds.

so what are my points??

IF you have a cat keep it in the house or in a caged cat run or on a tethered-leash to keep it in your yard and out of my food and medication source!

If you have a cat, Take it to the Veterinarian and GET it FIXED and IT's SHOTS regularly.

and

IF this dang town can afford another Dog walking park, it most certainly can afford to build a no kill shelter for the felines living on the streets! And they Need to listen to those who have gone the city counsel meetings and said so , after all WE pay thier salaries... GERRRRR! AUGHHHH! GERRRRR!

ok, I will get off my high-horse
for now

thanks for listening..um... reading my rant

Bright blessings
Ma Fey

Fried Cheese-N-Apples


MMM!
This is one of my very favorite snacks.
I remember the first time I had this. It was way to many moons to count ago, that one of my gradeschool friend's mother made these for us one Saturday afternoon. I don't remember what she called them, but I know they had a name.
Any way , I have never forgotten how to make them, and they have been a long time favorite of both my family and friends.

The following directions are based on plain cheddar cheese and a green granny smith apple
( the way I had it the first time) , BUT, as my adventurous side has taught me, Pears and provolone or apples or pears and mozzarella with a bit of Italian seasoning on top , or.. well lets just say the combination possibilities are endless. I hope you enjoy this unexpected taste pleasure as much as my family and friends do .


1/2 of a medium sized green apple ( tart and juicy is best) sliced thin

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese ( sharpness is your choice)

Olive Oil Pan Spray

A good non stick skillet


Spray your skillet with the Olive oil pan spray and heat to not quite smoking .

Lay the apple slices out on to the hot pan and let them sizzle about 10 seconds then flip them.

Cover with the cheese in a circular fashion and let fry till is slides easily around the pan then flip ad fry the other side.

Remove to sturdy paper plate when edges are crisp and slice into wedges and enjoy.


Nutrition facts:

Fried Cheese and Apples Snack

calories 157.5

calories from fat 81.5

saturated fat 5g

Trans fat 0g

Cholesterol 30mg

sodium 181mg

total carbs 13.5g

dietary fiber 2g

sugars 9.5g

Protein 7g


Based on :

1/2 Medium Apple with skin

calories 47.5

calories from fat 1.5

saturated fat 0g

Trans fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg

sodium 1mg

total carbs 12.5g

dietary fiber 2g

sugars 9.5g

Protein 0g


and

1/4cup shredded cheddar cheese

calories 110

calories from fat 80

saturated fat 5g

Trans fat 0g

Cholesterol 30mg

sodium 180mg

total carbs 1g

dietary fiber 0g

sugars 0g

Protein 7g


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pedilanthus tithymaloides aka Devil's backbone, Zigzag plant,Jew Bush ...

Yikes! this poor baby is in need of a make over !!
meet my Devil's Back bone .. at least I think i have identified this properly as ...

Pedilanthus tithymaloides


it's a succulent in the Euphorbiaceae Family.


This one may be a variegated variety but when I received this it didn't have leaves so I am just starting to find out .



It (along with several others) was given to me by a home health aid who had a patient who had to move and could not take thier house plants with them .






The zig-zag shape of the stems are a dead giveaway for one of it's commen names , The Zigzag plant; but it also lends its self to another of the plants names, The Devils Backbone .

When the stems die and dry they turn very hard and white. These lend themselves nicely to dried floral arrangements when left tall and are very interesting additions in wood or floral crafting projects .












It is so over grown it's hard to know if the interesting turns and twist the branches are in are how the plant is growing or if these are remnants of some topiary form it once held .










Though after finding a few places "braided" , like in this photo, I am leaning toward the topiary theory...
I think.

Yup, Yup.

I'll bet it was neat looking in it's day .











The Jew Bush ( another name for this old fashioned house plant) likes Medium light and does not like direct sun light.

Apparently the light it was in previously was not quite bright enough as you can see from some of the first leaves, but I have read and seen other photos of the leaves and there are some solid green like these on the plant, but this plant had all solid green leaves , so I moved it to a bit brighter spot.











As you can see there is some variegation in the new leaf colors ( insert Big Cheesy Grin here), but again the "Variegated" variety should have some whites, pinks and darker reds ...
But i think i have the light .. almost right. which will help me find it's permanent home in the room it's in .

apparently there is a variety of Pedilanthus which the leaves of are used in the Philippines Medicinally . I don't think I want to try to use this one not Knowing EXACTLY what I have here.


As you can tell from this photo it is rather tall as well as unruly.. but now that I think I have it's name right, I can try to cut it back and propagate it.

(yes it's in the bath tub, my plants tend to get a bath at least every 2 weeks in the winter ) It's about 3 feet tall in it's current state.


This plant Likes to dry out between watering and being a succulent, can grow in cactus/succulent appropriate soil mixes.

It seriously needs to be transplant as well in to a mixture of equal parts, cactus potting mix, sand and leaf mold, and the cuttings will be placed in a mix of equal parts sand and peat to root ..






WOW! that's gonna take some doen' to untangle and make seance of all that .. but here goes......















Lots of new growth in there too .. that's very good news considering it sat from mid June till now with no leaves and no new growth . I was getting a bit worried i had killed it or it would never have leaves .

This plant apparently blooms with red "flowers" on the branch tips, which presumably lends it self to another of it's names , the Japanese Poinsettia.





Well, un-tangling didn't do much for it that I can tell , but it gave me a good idea of what there is to this baby. I think I may look into a large coconut fiber stake and see if I can tie the branches up and try to get them to straiten out.. or maybe look into a topiary frame of some sort... I am not sure yet. I bet this plant is over 4 foot tall if those branches where straight.

I think I am going to enjoy knowing and learning more about this plant...