Imbolc Menu

The traditional foods of Imbolc come to us from the Celts, the French, and the Swedes. Many of them are round in shape, or contain the traditional foods such as honey, milk or eggs. Pancakes or waffles, usually round and made with rich cream, are still a Swedish tradition for Imbolc. The Celts served poultry or lamb with dill sauce, while the Norsemen ate pork and saved the bones until planting time, as they were considered to be talismans of strength and good health. There are only a few specific foods traditional to Imbolc, but one popular tradition is that of the potluck feast.

February was always a time of dwindling food supplies, but there would still be enough to throw a feast with whatever everyone could bring. If you are going to have an Imbolc ritual, invite everyone to prepare and bring their favorite dish, then there will be many foods for everyone to enjoy together. Here are some suggested recipes.


~~BREAKFAST~~

*Cornmeal Waffles*
1 1?2 c stone ground cornmeal
1?2 c white flour
1 t salt
1 T light brown sugar
2 t baking powder
2 eggs, separated
4 T sunflower oil
1 1?2 c buttermilk

**Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Beat together the egg yolks and buttermilk beat into the dry ingredients. Stir in the oil.Beat the egg whites stiff and fold them into the batter. Bake according to the instructions with your waffle iron. Serve hot with plenty of syrup, honey or preserves.

*Bride Cakes*
*1?2 c butter
*1?4 c honey
*2 c oat flour/wheat flour
*1?4 t salt
*1?4 t baking soda
*1 cup rolled oats
* 1?2 c currants
*1?4 c buttermilk

**Cream butter and honey together. Mix dry ingredients together and add the currants, stirring to coat them with flour. Stir dry ingredients into butter-honey mixture and add buttermilk to make dough. Roll into balls and flatten on greased cookie sheet. With a knife mark each with a Bride’s Cross (+). Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve with butter, jam, honey or syrup.

*Other easy ideas; scrambled eggs and bacon


~~APPETIZERS AND DESERTS~~

Bread Round with Spinach Dip
*Round loaf of bread, unsliced
*10 oz. of fresh spinach, washed, dried, and shredded
*1c of sour cream
*1 c of mayonnaise
*1pckg. of dry vegetable soup mix

**Mix everything except the bread in a bowl, stirring well. Store it in the refrigerator while you prepare the bread. Cut the top off of the bread. Remove the soft insides leaving the crust and about 1/2 inch of bread. If you are careful, you can cube the insides to serve with the dip. Otherwise save it for another recipe that uses breadcrumbs. Right before serving, put the dip in the bread bowl and put the lid on top. Serve with raw vegetables and crackers.

*Thought-Seed Crackers
*1 box family-favorite crackers
*Butter/Margarine-melted
*Onion or garlic powder
*Caraway, celery, poppy, and sesame seeds
*Dill weed

**Brush the crackers lightly with butter/margarine. Sprinkle lightly with onion or garlic powder and ever so sparingly with dill weed. Top with combination seed mix. Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until crisp and hot.

*Gingersnaps
*1?2 c sugar
* 1?2 c light brown sugar
*1 c unsalted butter
*1 egg
*1/3 c molasses
*2 t powdered ginger
*1?2 t powdered cloves
*1?2 t powdered cardamom
*1?2 t cinnamon
*2 t baking soda
*1?2 t salt
* 1?2 t pepper-preferably white pepper
*2 1?4 c all purpose flour
*1 c coarsely chopped candied orange peel
*sugar

**Pre-heat over to 350* F. In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add Egg and molasses, and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Combine with wet ingredients, then fold in the candied orange peel. Place dough in the refrigerator until well chilled. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar, and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool. One note- we didn’t use the cloves at all, we substituted allspice,and we used a full teaspoon of cardamom.

Other easy ideas; deviled eggs, chips and salsa


~~SIDE DISHES~~

*Returning Sun Spice Bread
*Ingredients:
*1 1?4 c flour
*1/8 c poppy seeds
*2 t baking powder
*3?4 c raisins, plain or golden
*1?2 t baking soda
*1?2 c butter/margarine
*1?2 t ground ginger
*3?4 c Karo golden corn syrup
*1?2 c light brown sugar
*4 T milk
* Large egg, beaten
*1 t mixed spices (Equal parts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)

**. Put all dry ingredients in a non-metal bowl, mixing well. Mix. Make a well in the center of the flour/sugar/raisin mixture. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and syrup on low heat, then pour liquid into the well in the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and the milk, and mix very well. Pour into a greased 2-lb. loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes. This bread can be made the night before as it improves with age. Makes 8-10 servings.

*Knishes
*8 potatoes
*1?2 c butter
*2 egg yolks
*1 whole onion, diced
*salt to taste

**Peel and boil the potatoes till soft, then put in bowl. Dice onion and sauté with 1 T of butter until soft. Add the onions and butter to the potatoes and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Take an ice cream scoop and scoop out mounds of the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet. Brush with the egg yolks. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 16 knishes.

*Peppers Stuffed with Spanish Rice
*2 lg. green bell peppers
*8 oz. lean ground turkey
*1?2 c chopped onion
*1 c cooked brown rice
*1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained
*2 T tomato paste
*1 T Worcestershire sauce
* 1?2 t dried basil
*1?4 t salt
*1?4 t ground black pepper
* 1?4 c finely shredded cheese

**Bring water in a large saucepan to boil. Meanwhile, cut the peppers lengthwise in half. Remove and discard the stems, seeds, and membranes. Carefully place the peppers in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove the peppers and invert them onto paper towels to drain well. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an unheated large skillet with no-stick spray. Add the turkey and onion. Cook over medium heat until the turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rice, tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place the pepper halves in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Spoon the meat mixture into the pepper shells. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake about 10 minutes or until heated through

*Fennel Gratin*
Serves 4
*2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and halved lengthwise (4 pieces in all)
*2 t butter, cubed
*2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
*salt and freshly ground pepper
*1 1?2 c hot chicken stock
*4 T heavy cream
*freshly ground nutmeg
*1?4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

**Preheat oven to 350. Arrange fennel in a baking dish. Scatter the butter and garlic around the fennel.

Salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken stock and bake until tender and browned, about 90 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Spoon the cream over the fennel, sprinkle nutmeg over the cream, then sprinkle the cheese on top of that. Broil until golden, about one minute.

*Other easy ideas: Mashed Potatoes, Baked Beans, Irish Soda Bread


~~MAIN DISHES~~

*Salmon Baked in Foil*
*2-3 lb center cut of salmon
*4 T sweet butter
*1 t eachminced fresh thyme, tarragon, and parsley
*1?4 lemon
*3 T each clam juice and dry white wine
* Salt and freshly ground pepper

**Smear a large sheet of aluminum foil with a little of the butter and place the fish in the center of it.

Squeeze the lemon over the fish and place the rind in the cavity. Sprinkle the herbs over the fish and into the cavity. Season with salt and pepper and dot with the remaining butter. Fold the foil over the fish and crimp one end. Pour in the clam juice and white wine and crimp the other end. Place the package in a baking dish and bake for 45 minutes at 350. Carefully open the foil package and remove the fish to a large platter. Strain the juices into a small saucepan and simmer until thickened slightly. Spoon the juices over the fish, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve.

Coated Chicken
*4 chicken joints
*1 egg, beaten
*4 T browned breadcrumbs
*2T corn meal
*4 T corn oil
*1 T seasoned flour

**Pre-heat oven to 375F Pour enough oil into a shallow ovenproof dish to cover the bottom. Place the

dish in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes to heat the oil. Dip the chicken joints into the seasoned flour, then into beaten egg and breadcrumbs/cornmeal. Place the joints in the hot oil and baste well. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Place on kitchen paper to cool.

Serves 2-4

*Other Easy ideas; quiche, meat stew


~~BEVERAGES~~

*Irish Coffee
*1/2 c chilled whipping cream
*2 T Cointreau (or similar orange liqueur)
*1 T powdered sugar, combine cream, Cointreau and sugar in bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Chill
*1/2 c Irish cream liqueur
*1/4 c Irish whiskey
*1/4 c brandy

Pour into each coffee cup: 2 T Irish cream, 1 T whiskey, 1 T brandy, 3 c hot strong coffee, 1 t grated orange peel, pour hot coffee into each cup, garnish with dollop of whipped cream and orange peel.

*Fairy Nectar
*for each serving:
*2 c milk
*1 t honey
*1?2 t vanilla extract
*Cinnamon to taste

**Warm the milk, being careful not to boil it. In each mug add your honey and vanilla. Sprinkle with cinnamon

*Hot Mulled Wine
*1?2 c sugar
*1 1?2 c water
*peel of 1?4 lemon
*9 whole cloves
*1 (4/5-oz) bottle of Burgundy or other red dinner wine

**Make a spice syrup by boiling together the sugar, water, lemon peel, & cloves. Simmer at least 15

minutes. Strain out lemon peel & cloves. Add wine & heat gently. Do not boil. Serve hot in preheated mugs. Garnish each with a cinnamon stick. About 5 8 oz. servings

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