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January 2014

The Witches Kitchen-Snowed In!

 

 

The Witches Kitchen-Snowed In!

It has been so cold and snowy all week long and it just keeps coming down. That's a picture of my brave postman..the only person out on the road yesterday. I don't know about you but my inclination always is to hunker down and start cooking in this sort of weather!

I think that for weather like this that there is nothing quite as wonderful as roasted chicken. ( and possibly a delightful Cabernet !) Slowly roasted chicken is one of the loveliest meals that I can think of and it is so easy . It's also the recipe that I give out the most. If you're intimidated by it you shouldn't be . Just write me and I'll get you through it!

Shown here is approximately one weeks meals from one chicken. We started last Sunday by roasting the bird in a fragrant mirepoix of carrots, celery , onions , squash and garlic . I slathered an herb seasoned butter underneath the skin and stuffed it with fresh lemons, onions ,fresh sage and garlic. I roasted it at 350 for about 2 hours and basted it with drippings and a bit of broth every 15 minutes. I made a huge pot of risotto with Parmesan and peas and that's what we ate that evening.

I made some chicken salad the next day and the day after that mixed the chicken and some steamed asparagus with the left over risotto. On Thursday the whole thing, chicken, mirepoix and risotto became a huge pot of soup that we've been enjoying all weekend.

All this bliss from one 7 pound chicken! It makes being snowed in a joy!

If you would like the recipes please feel free to email me at beth.gehring@stirringthesenses.com. Please put "snowed in chicken recipes" in the subject line!

The Witches Kitchen-Snowed In!

 


Bubbling in the Cauldron ~ Corn Pudding with Cheddar, Maple Syrup and Sage


I love corn pudding and this is my favorite recipe. It's much lighter than most, using corn as it's primary ingredient and not too much filler! It smells so good when it's cooking and tastes even better. Corn pudding is the perfect midwinter dish and can be served by itself with a salad or with a pork roast, ham or sausages. Hard cider or winter beer is the perfect accompaniment. If you can find the dehydrated corn use it..it's absolutely delicious, sweet as sugar and feels very rustic. I reconstitute it in buttermilk and it's almost better than fresh!

 You'll need:

Two bags of frozen sweet corn( I use one white and one yellow) or reconstituted dried corn (about 6 cups)

2 cups of diced onion

2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 cup of diced sweet peppers

1 tablespoon of dried sage

1 large wedge of hard cheddar  (shredded)

1 bunch of green onions  (Chopped)

2 cups of organic buttermilk

4 organic eggs 

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the eggs and buttermilk in a bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients  and fold together. Place the blended ingredients into a baking dish and bake at 350 until firm, approximately 45-50 minutes. My preference is that you use a cast iron skillet or baking dish because for some reason cast iron bakes the pudding very evenly.  Serve with  slices of country ham or sausage. 

 

Picture of corn from http://www.thespicehouse.com/


Wise Woman Traditions : Wassail !

12th night

It's Twelfth Night...known as the Epiphany to some and to us who prefer the older, wilder ways it's a time to engage in bit of revelry and celebration before the Yule tree comes down. In the older, Goddess centered scheme of things, 12th Night is also a time to Wassail the orchard or in other words to take a bowl of cider into the orchard and feed the fruit trees with it to ask for the gift of an abundant harvest. We have an enormous storm heading our way here in Ohio, but fortunately I was able to get outside with Jim before it hit and together we toasted our fruit trees and fed them this wonderful bottle of Apple wine from Julian, California. 

"Our bowl is made of a white Maple tree, with a Wassailing Bowl we'll drink to thee!"

 

Good Health to You!

With love from The Windesphere Witch

 

From Wikipedia- 

In the cider-producing West of England (primarily the counties of Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire) wassailing also refers to drinking (and singing) the health of trees in the hopes that they might better thrive.

An old rhyme goes: “Wassaile the trees, that they may beare / You many a Plum and many a Peare: / For more or lesse fruits they will bring, / As you do give them Wassailing.”

The purpose of wassailing is to awake the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn.{"England In Particular", Common Ground 2007} The ceremonies of each wassail vary from village to village but they generally all have the same core elements. A wassail King and Queen lead the song and/or a processional tune to be played/sung from one orchard to the next, the wassail Queen will then be lifted up into the boughs of the tree where she will place toast soaked in Wassail from the Clayen Cup as a gift to the tree spirits (and to show the fruits created the previous year). Then an incantation is usually recited such as this:

“Here's to thee, old apple tree, That blooms well, bears well. Hats full, caps full, Three bushel bags full, An' all under one tree. Hurrah! Hurrah!”

A folktale from Somerset reflecting this custom tells of the "Apple Tree Man", the spirit of the oldest apple tree in an orchard, and in whom the fertility of the orchard is said to reside. In the tale a man offers his last mug of mulled cider to the trees in his orchard and is rewarded by the Apple Tree Man who reveals to him the location of buried treasure."

 


Wise Woman Traditions: The Training of a Reluctant Healer

 

John_William_Waterhouse_-_Magic_Circle

All of my life I've been drawn to helping others create lives of full self expression. I spent most of my time in high school "counseling" my friends who would seek me out because somehow they thought that I had the answers. During a time of highly charged personal challenges that I was facing as a very young woman in a very young marriage, I spent much of my time with a marvelous social worker who encouraged me to look more deeply within myself and to express the passion and gift that I had for healing work , a concept which at that time seemed a bit New Agey to me, but was absolutely spot on.

Starting in 1984,  I spent the next 2 decades learning everything that I could from LaWanna Rine about traditional herbalism and essential oils. I became obsessed with the teachings of the Sacred Feminine and the Wise Woman Traditions. At the same time I was spending some weekends at the Phoenicia Pathwork Center in New York State with my mentor Robert Tobey and a group of amazing healers learning to work with the energy that flowed almost uncontrollably from my hands. It was a wonderful time for me. In Phoenicia I learned that the energy that I was experiencing wasn't "mine", but instead I was the conduit for something that to this day I don't quite understand, but acknowledge as a gift from a universal source. It was the very lesson that I needed to be able to use the  abilities I'd been given. I spent my time there working with others while at the same time healing my own wounds. Facing my own demons allowed me the wisdom and compassion to truly begin to work with others in a way that was safe, expressive and powerful.  

When I wasn't in Phoenicia, I was working with a group of extraordinary healers that my husband and I started, offering bodywork to anyone who needed it through the laying on of hands in the safe, loving space of our home. I'm convinced that anyone has the capacity to be a healer, mostly you just need to get out of your own way. Healing can happen anywhere at anytime.  

That whole time I was living a dual life. I was the President of one of the most prominent gift stores in the city of Cleveland, yet at I'd find myself sitting on the loveseat in my store with my hands on a customer who was sobbing because they'd just confided in me about some of the things happening in their lives. Finally my husband said to  me, " Do you think that you're missing something?" but I still wasn't sure that I was comfortable with the concept of "Beth , the Healer".

Around that same time I took a course called the Landmark Forum, a curriculum that really taught me so much about what it mean't to live a life of integrity. What I realized from that moment on was that I didn't have the answers, but what I was able to do for people was listen to them carefully and provide the supportive space for them needed to be fully present to themselves, their pain and their desires. I also realized very quickly the inauthenticity of living my life expressing only part of myself. I stopped ignoring the obvious, faced my fears and threw myself onto the playing field as a lifecoach!

 A few years later I found myself facing the death of both my parents and wondering after being their caregiver for so many years  just what was next. I watched my mother die from severe complications stemming from her type 2 diabetes, a disease which is largely environmental and in many cases easily controllable through diet and exercise. The epiphany came while siblings and I were working almost non-stop using herbs and other alternative modalities to keep my fathers immune system functioning well in the nursing home where he lived. There was illness everywhere, ranging from chronic urinary tract infections to staph, mrsa , klebsiella and cedif. It was easily traceable to the food that the residents were served, food that was cheap,  poor quality , unappealingly prepared and of the lowest nutritional value. I realized that many of the problems that we were facing with my father were systemic throughout our American culture. It is a simple truth....food matters and so does quality of lifestyle. We truly are what we eat. At that moment I began to look for a school that could give me the tools that I needed to help others learn to eat and live well no matter their means. 

I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program.

During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.

My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.

If you'd like to speak with me, please sign up for a free, absolutely no strings attached 50 minute gift session with me at http://beth-gehring.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/lets-connect-1

Also , please feel free to connect with me on my facebook page