Friday, December 21, 2012

Celebrating Solstice : Yule : Seventh Day

On this, the first day of winter, we normally would have had a fire outside, but as we had 60 mph winds and sideways rain all day, we didn't even get out to wassail the trees. Ah, another evening. We have time and the trees won't mind the delay a bit. Instead we made our solstice pomanders and lit candles and ate Alex's delicious quiche, made three ways, although we never saved room for Solstice Cake, but I know just what we'll have for breakfast.

making pomanders for Solstice #yule #deckthehalls #unschooling
orange and clove : the scents of Yule #solstice #yule #deckthehalls
on the first winter's night : solstice quiche for a late dinner #yule #solstice
Blessed Solstice! #yule #solstice
Solstice Cake : nuts, dates and soaked in lemon honey #yule #solstice

Solstice Cake
(we make this for both Summer Solstice (Litha) and Winter Soltice (Yule).

3 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup dried dates, minced
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
For the syrup:
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp water
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp grated lemon (optional)

Making the nut cake:
The way to make the cake is to mix it on a board, using your hands, but you can also mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Either way, you first combine the dry ingredients. Make a mound with a well in the centre. Pour the oil and water slowly into the well, then mix again. Knead the dough for about a minute; don't knead too long or the texture of the cakes will be gluey. Grease a 9" pan with oil. Press the dough gently into the pan. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for one hour. Remove, and allow to cool. Run a knife along the edge of the cake. Then place plate over pan and flip it over to remove the cake.

Making the honey syrup:
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat just until the honey is dissolved. Next, place the cooled nut cake onto a shallow plate or serving tray. With a fork, make small holes over the top of the cake. Slowly pour the warm syrup over the cake, and allow to sit for one hour.

As the days begin to grow longer, may your skies be cerulean blue and the sunshine as gold as honey upon your brow.

Blessed Solstice!

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