Coven Cookery

Deb has been making assorted sabbat-specific foods over the years. A few of those receipes appear here:

  • Candlemas
    Atholbrose — The Scots response to egg nog is rich, tasty, and flavorful whether you leave it virgin or finish it with single-malt or another distilled spirit of your choice.
    • 1 pint oat water — to make oat water, put a 1/2 cup of rolled oats into about 3 cups filtered water and let sit covered for 24 hours, stirring occasionally; strain out the rolled oats after that, you can use them in other tasty recipes.
    • 1 pint heavy cream — heavy whipping cream is the best your average American grocer will have. UK & Commonwealth countries can probably get double cream.
    • 1 cup honey — I recommend the palest honey you can find at a reasonable price; lavender, yellow star thistle, fireweed, or blackberry honey work great. Strain oats from oat water and use the thickest 2 cups of resulting liquid to mix with honey.
    Stir until honey dissolves COMPLETELY. Give it time.
    Add cream and stir until a uniform color & texture.
    Add liquor of your choice, no more than 1:4 alcohol to atholbrose.

    Note: the soaked oats may be added to cookies or bread recipes as long as you can reduce the liquid ingredients appropriately to compensate for what the oats bring with them.
  • May Eve
    Candied rose petals — For this recipe you will want unsprayed (organic is better) old-fashioned sweetheart or wild roses, sweetly fragrant with small petals.
    • Fresh, fragrant pink or red rose petals, 1 cup — wash petals and spread on clean dishtowel to dry the surface.
    • Separated egg whites, 4 each — whip the egg whites in a clean bowl (copper if you have it) until it forms VERY stiff peaks with dry appearance
    • Superfine sugar, 1 cup spread in a shallow pan or dish. Using tweezers or chopsticks or tongs, pick up a few clean petals, dip into egg white meringue, then into loose superfine sugar.
    Lay out on a large cookie sheet or aluminum foil to set.
    Allow petals to dry for 2-–3 hours before eating.
    Note: works equally well for violets if it’s too early for roses chez vous.
  • Lammas
    Honey–egg bread — My absolute favorite compliment on this bread was simple, “That’s not bread, that’s food!” And a good thing, too, because it’s a several hour process to make. Worth it…
    • 2 cups whole milk, scalded
    • more than 6 cups unbleached white flour (or organic whole wheat stoneground pastry flour)
    (you may use as much as 4 cups oat or barley or rye flour or such; no more than two-thirds non-white flour or you get tasty bricks)
    • 1/2 cup butter (one stick, or 1/4 pound)
    • 2 large fresh eggs
    • 1 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup filtered LUKEWARM water
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • two packages or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast. Place milk to scald in small saucepan. Meanwhile, in a cup mix water, sugar, and yeast and set aside to prove.
    Once scalded, remove milk from heat, add butter until butter melts. Mix in honey and stir until dissolved.
    Check yeast mixture; once risen until double or more, test temperature of milk–honey mixture to ensure it is warm not hot, then add the eggs and yeast mix.
    Stir thoroughly, then pour into a very large mixing bowl or hand-cranked bread-mixing bucket.
    Begin adding flour, a cup at a time, then stir with a heavy wooden spoon or the crank.
    Stop adding flour when dough becomes rubbery and stops sticking to the bowl.
    Cover with moistened dish towel or plastic wrap, set in a warm place, and let rise until double; hours. Butter pans ready for loaves. Prepare a clean breadboard or other surface for kneading.
    Wash hands ready to knead; cut nails short & use a nail brush if needed.
    Once clean and dry, sprinkle breadboard liberally with flour. Turn dough out onto breadboard.
    Lightly flour your hands, sprinkle the dough (sponge) with flour, then begin by punching down dough to remove air bubbles.
    Knead dough from center to edges, folding periodically to reduce area. Repeat flouring of work surface and hands as needed.
    When dough is again rubbery, tear into segments that fill about half a loaf pan, form smooth loaf shapes, set into pans.
    Once again, cover dough, set in a warm place, allow to rise to the top edge of pan—usually at least an hour or three. Bake at 350°F for 30–45 minutes, until surface of loaf is dark golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when top crust is tapped with a knuckle rap.
    Turn loaves out promptly, allow to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.
    If you try to slice it fresh out of the oven, you’ll mess up the center of the loaf;  if you just can’t wait, cutting off ONLY the heel slice from each end will let you test it.
    Serve warm or cool, plain, with butter, or your favorite fruit or nut spread.
  • Hallowmas
    Old-fashioned scratch gingerbread — Rich, black, fragrant; before they smell it, folks always think it’s a pan of brownies—at first.
    • 1/2 cup butter — soften or melt (you can cut the fat down by substituting 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce for half the butter)
    • 1/3 cup sugar — add to butter, cream smooth (or scant 1/4 cup monkfruit sugar)
    • 2 1/3 cups unbleached white flour (NOT self-rising) (or organic whole wheat stoneground pastry flour)
    • 1 cup blackstrap molasses
    • 3/4 cup boiling water
    Melt the butter, then add sugar and cream smooth. Blend in flour.
    Add molasses, then use boiling water to rinse the rest of the molasses out of bottle.
    Stir thoroughly. Then add remaining ingredients:
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh ground is better!)
    • 1 tsp ground allspice
    • 1 tsp ground mace
    Mix batter until uniform consistency but not “fluffy” or aerated (power mixer users beware).
    Pour into greased & floured 9×9 inch pans (2 inches deep)
    Bake at 325°F approximately 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out clean
    Serve warm with unsweetened applesauce or chilled sweetened whipped cream or both.
    Also excellent cold.
  • Deb’s award-winning mulled cider — created in her college years, it’s impossible to describe until you taste it.
    • 1 gallon apple juice or “cider” (not hard), unfiltered or organic is great.
    • 1 whole orange
    • 1 whole lemon
    • 1 whole lime
    • dark brown sugar (or monkfruit sugar plus a 1/2 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses)
    • 12 whole cinnamon sticks
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves in a tea-ball
    • whole nutmeg & grater, or 1/2 ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    Use a big stockpot for the apple juice and turn up the heat to start it boiling. Slice the orange, lemon, and lime, and add them to the pot.
    Add the cinnamon sticks, tea-ball of cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Allow entire pot to come to a full rolling boil, for no more than 20 minutes.
    Remove pot from heat. Remove tea-ball of cloves and DISCARD. Use a strainer or skimmer to remove the fruit slices and seeds therefrom.
    Remove cinnamon sticks, rinse in cool water and set aside to dry.
    Once cooled to a moderate temperature so that you can taste without burning your tongue, taste the result. It will be sour! Add sweetener to taste, a few tablespoons at most. Once the mulled cider is tempered sweet & sour, spicy & mellow, serve warm to hot in mugs with a cinnamon stick to stir with, and set out the bottle of apple brandy to spike the cider with.  (I prefer to lean into the apples for Hallowmas. And I’ve actually found an organic Columbia Gorge apple brandy — which once was known as “apple jack” (until some corporate creeps trademarked the term; they stiff the world by adulterating their “Apple Jack™” with 66% distilled grain alcohol.)
    A college professor bought dark rum as additive when I treated my entire concert choir to this cold-season warmup, and my Celtic-blooded partner used to like his single-malt whiskey in it.

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