I ended my last post with a reference to the autumnal equinox and the shortening of the days. This equinox, also known as Harvest Home or Mabon, on September 23 (beginning the evening before), marks the second time of the year (the first is the spring equinox) when day and night are of equal length. After the autumnal equinox, the days will continue to grow shorter and the night longer. Mabon, or Harvest Home, celebrates the “bringing home” of the summer’s crop, the time when harvest festivals (also known as state fairs) are held, and we can begin to relax a bit after the summer’s hard work. We can catch up on our reading, try out some new recipes, do a little painting…
The watercolors above are a set of four ATC’s, or Artist Trading Cards, that I painted for an ATC “swap”. The theme of this swap was pagan celebrations, and so I painted two cards with Ostara (Easter) symbols, one for Beltane, and one for Mabon, in the lower right-hand corner. It’s a representation of the Mayan maize god, depicted as an ear of corn.
Here’s a recipe I made up recently using some sweet potatoes our next-door farmer/neighbor gave us and some of our corn (steamed and scraped off the cobs):
Sweet potatoes, black beans and corn
Peel and cube sweet potatoes, cook in microwave with a little water and butter until tender. Add 1 can of black beans (drained), some fake crab (chopped), cooked corn kernels, shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, or jalapeno jack). Season with cumin, seasoned pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder to taste. Microwave until hot.
As you can see, this recipe was made entirely in the microwave. We’ve decided not to fix our stove, for various reasons: it uses lots of electricity, not good for our aging fuse box or the environment. We really don’t need it, because of having the microwave, toaster oven, camp stove (on the porch). Most of my cooking involves steaming or sauteeing vegetables, and maybe cooking some rice or couscous, for which I only need a burner or two. To supply this need without having to go out on the porch to use the camp stove in the dark and cold of approaching winter, we are going to purchase a small propane camp stove to set on top of the not-functioning oven. We’re also going to start using our crock pot again, which we’ve discovered uses surprisingly little electricity. In the winter we eat lots of soups and stews, and the crock pot is perfect for that. I also discovered that you can make bread in one; I’ll let you know how that turns out.