(in a big way)
Fall is here, and so is harvest time. I don’t know if it’s the drought or if it’s just one of those years, but this is the year everyone’s fruit trees bore amazing bumper crops. Even my MIL’s nectarine tree that we’ve been making fun of for years out-did itself. From one scraggly fruit every three or four years to this year’s so-much-fruit-we-couldn’t-pick-it-all, that tree gave it’s all. We’re not expecting another nectarine, ever.
And since this is Thursdays Bite, today I’m sharing Pagan harvest recipes from the Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook byPatricia Telesco. If you are interested in easy ways to add magic to your life or just use some very unusual recipes, this is a terrific book. Kitchen magic is everyday magic that mothers and grandmothers have been using for a long time. If you’ve ever made cookies to heal broken hearts or brewed up soul strengthening chicken soup- you too have used kitchen magic.
One major tip for a magical kitchen:
Keep it clean. Before cooking a magical recipe you want to be sure you cleanse your kitchen. Use something basic, like vinegar in a spray bottle of water, center yourself, and then clean away with a cleansing attitude. Waft some sage in the air and you are good to go. Starting with a fresh clean counter is not only good for your health, but it will ensure your magic in your recipe stays true.
This is especially true when canning. Follow all canning rules. Lots of boiling hot water and a very clean kitchen make for lovely jars to open later, or to give as gifts during the holiday season. And check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for tips on canning and preserving.
Quote from the A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook:
The primary objective for canning and preserving has been, until recent years, as a means to supplement porvisions during times of scarcity. Today, we preserve as a way of using extra foods, and their potency, for a rainy day! There will be creations such as “Mary’s Strawberry Syrup for Love,” and “Aunt Jane’s Protective Pickles” (heavy on the garlic), and “Sight Sauce” neatly lined up alongside other foods. The added bonus here is that your magical energy is already prepared and ready for any tine you need it, with nothing extra to do but oopen the jar. These goodies also make lovely gift ideas. It is interesting to note that Hermes, the Greek God of communication, is attriguted with teaching humanity about “hermetically” sealing items. he becomes an appropriate patron deity for kitchen withces during their magical canning and preserving efforts.
For some odd reason my parents occasionally canned chutneys over my lifetime. I’m not sure why, but every once in a while they would get together, go on a shopping spree, and spend a day in the kitchen peeling, seeding and chopping. Then, that Christmas, they would present the family with beautiful jeweled jars of chutney. Now, since my parents are one of those successful love stories (they’ve been married for 57 years), maybe there is love to be found in a jar of chutney.
New England Fruit Chutney for Lovers
In some form or another, each fruti and spice in theis recipe can be used to woo and tempt love. The vinegar and salt add precision and extra energy to guide your magic towards its goal.
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
- 4-5 apricots, peeled and chopped
- 4 large pears, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped
- 2 oranges, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Rind of 2 oranges, grated
- 2 tablespoons of grated lemon rind
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cider vinegar plus 1/2 cup
- 3 cups packed brown sugar
Jessica’s note:(For canning method instructions, please see the National Center for Home Food Preservation)
Place the onions, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, oranges, orange rind, lemon rind, raisins, ginger root, garlic, nutmeg , allspice, cinnamon, salt and 2 cups of the vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil: stir regularly. Reduce heat; simmer for 1½ hours. Make sure all the fruits are evenly cooked. Stir in the sugar and remaining vinegar; simmer 1 hour.
Fill jars; leave ½-inch headspace. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Age in a dark place for at least 8 weeks before serving. This chutney is very pleasing with cheese breads and baguettes. The bread can be cut into the shape of hearts before serving. Yield: About 7 half-pints.
Magical attributes: The energy of romance, clarity of love, youthful vigor and idealism.
If any of you make the chutney, please let me know how it turns out. I do love chutney, but you can see why I have never even attempted it. My forays into canning have been mostly failed jams and a bumper crop of alcoholic peaches! Yum!
Have you ever tried a magical recipe? Stirred some love into oatmeal cookies, or tried to entice a beau with pecan pie? Share your stories with me, canning attempts and all!