Saturday Sabbats

Posted Saturday, September 25, 2010 by Kally83
As promised, I have two Mabon suggestions for today since I missed last week. It's a little late for this year's celebrations, but hopefully you can make use of them for next year.

Firstly, I'd like to suggest our annual tradition of apple-picking. It kind of goes without saying that visiting an orchard is well-known for autumn but I wanted to put it out there anyway, along with some photos of our trip this year. We actually went the day after Mabon because that was when we had time! Here's a little info that you might find useful:

PhotobucketApples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use. They're big and easy to pick, they can be eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many tasty and healthy dishes. Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free. A medium apple has about 80 calories. Apples originated in the Middle East more than 4000 years ago! They were the favourite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples arrived in England at around the time of the Norman conquest and English settlers brought them to America in the 1600 and 1700's.

When selecting apples, they should be firm and bruise-free. The color can be anything from dark green, to yellow, pink, orange, bright red, dark red or even a combination. It all depends on the variety. And color is not really how you tell when an apple is ripe. Apples should be crisp and firm.

PhotobucketThe key will be to ask the farmer which ones are ripe. He will know because it is calculated from the number of days since the trees flowered. And he will track that date carefully, if he's a good apple grower! The farmer will also know what characteristics to look for in the particular varieties that he is growing.

Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples on the outside of the tree will ripen first. Picking apples directly from a tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don't pull straight away from the tree. Don't shake the trees or branches. If the apple you are trying to pick drops, go ahead and pick it up. They’re still good!

You really need to choose the type of apple that is best suited for your purpose. Apples can be suited for eating fresh, cooking, baking, applesauce, storing, etc.

PhotobucketOnce picked, don't throw the apples into the baskets, place them in gently, or they will bruise and go bad more quickly.
Don't wash apples until just before using to prevent spoilage.
Keep apples cool after picking to increase shelf life. A cool basement is ideal, but the fruit/vegetable drawer of a refrigerator will work, too. Kept cool, fresh-picked apples will generally keep weeks, but it DOES depend on the variety. Red and Yellow Delicious apples do not keep well, for example; but Rome, do! High humidity helps to to keep the apples from shriveling, but don't let them get actually wet. A wet towel placed nearby helps to keep the humidity up. A refrigerator is fine for small quantities of apples.

Then, after picking all those yummy apples, here's a recipe to include with your Mabon feast (with just a little magick thrown in for good measure!)

As a time of celebrating hearth and home, I believe that Mabon is a great time to work protection magick for ourselves, our families and our homes. The following recipe contains blueberries which are perfect for this purpose. I love this crisp because it’s seasonal and the tartness of the apples balance out the sweetness of the blueberries. Ensure you’re focusing your intent of protection for your family into the recipe as you prepare it.

Green Apple and Blueberry Crisp

6 cups sliced, peeled apples
300g blueberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp butter, melted

PhotobucketIn large bowl toss together apples, blueberries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon; spread in 8-inch square baking dish.

Topping: In bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, rolled oats and cinnamon. Pour in maple syrup and butter; toss until moistened. Sprinkle over fruit.
Bake in 350F (180C) oven for 45 minutes or until golden and fruit is fork-tender. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes.

Have a great weekend!


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