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Favorite Recipes for Silver Branch Ritual Meals

We often invoke the qualities of wisdom, and spiritual atunement into our lives by having food in our rituals that have been associated with these qualities in Celtic mythologies and legend. Apples, hazelnuts, and salmon are three such foods we frequently have at our rituals. Below are links to some of our favorite recipes.

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Apples

Apples, apple orchards, and islands/plains/lands of apples figure prominently in various Western European mythologies. Youth, immortality, truth, and healing are among the qualities connected with apples in these various mythologies. Below are some recipes for apples appropriate for ritual use.

Apple Bread

This is an adaptation of a recipe from a recipe card series, "My Great Recipes."

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 salad oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pared, cored and shredded apples
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat eggs until foamy. Add oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Continue beating a high speed until mixture is very thick and fluffy.
  3. With a spoon, stir in apples.
  4. In separate bowl, stir together flour, wheat germ--if used, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and walnuts. Blend gently into apple mixture just until flour is no longer visible.
  5. Pour batter into well-greased 8-1/2 by 4-1/2-inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out into wire rack to cool completely.

* Hazelnuts may be substituted as a symbol of wisdom.

Baked Apples

This is an adaptation from the recipe in Anna Thomas, The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978) 355.

  • 6-8 large baking apples, each cored to produce a generous cavity for stuffing, but without breaking through the bottom
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped raisins
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • optional: heavy cream, well chilled
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flour and brown sugar together and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or with your fingers. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins and mix thoroughly. Stuff the apples with this mixture.
  3. Place apples in medium-sized, shallow pan. Pour brandy over the apples.
  4. Bake the apples for 40 to 45 minutes, basting them with the liquid every 6 or 7 minutes.
  5. Let cool for about 15 minutes. To serve, cut off the hard crust on top of the filling to leave the soft part exposed. Spoon any remaining liquid over the apples. Serve with heavy cream if desired.

Above is the “cookbook” method. I have also stuffed apples with combinations of marshmallows, cinnamon, red-hot cinnamon candies, butter, and brown sugar, not bothering with sauces. Basting apples with water keeps the soft, but baking the apples covered will do the same thing.

Susan Reed

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Hazelnuts

Awaiting hazelnut recipes

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Salmon

Salmon Spread

This recipe for salmon spread comes from CB and from Kate Spears:

  • 1-2 cans (the tall ones) salmon*
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened**
  • Dill weed (1.5 t dried, 3 T fresh)
  • Onion powder or VERY Finely chopped Scallions
  • Lemon Juice (about 2T)

Drain the salmon, and pick out the larger bones and yukky stuff (skin, fatpads, etc.) and discard. Chop salmon well, but be careful not to turn it into mushy fish paste. You want to keep the texture of the fish as much as possible. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, dill weed, onion, and lemon juice well, then fold in the fish. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish with lemon slices and paprika if you want. Serve with crackers, bread, veggies....

If you have a food processor, put everything but the fish into the processor and blend well (this is the only way I've gotten the scallions fine enough). Add the chunks of fish and pulse just until blended. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

* Two cans gives you a richer spread, one can keeps costs down.
** Either get the cream cheese to room temp, or whiz in the food processor for a few minutes.

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Other Recipes

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

This recipe was used at our recent Samhain ritual and is contributed by CB.

  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. flour>
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. firm or extra firm tofu, well mashed or pureed
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into greased loaf pan, line bottom with wax paper. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.