Sookie

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:31 pm
[syndicated profile] dailykitten_feed

Posted by Tom "The Kittenmaster" Cooper

Please join me in meeting and greeting our newest Star Kit, Sookie. She is 4 weeks old from Louisiana.

Sookie

Hey y’all. Just got Sookie from our local non kill shelter. She stole my heart at first glance! She is so sweet and a purring machine!! She loves her pink blanket and takes biscuits and tries to nurse on it. She’s a beautiful ball of fur and I can’t wait to make many memories with her.

A Blessed First Harvest

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:31 pm
[syndicated profile] thewildhunt_feed

Posted by The Wild Hunt

TWH — This weekend and next, many modern Pagans, Heathens and polytheists are observing the summer festival of Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, Lughnassa, and Harvest Home. Typically celebrated on Aug. 1, Lughnasadh is one of the yearly fire festivals and marks the first of three harvest celebrations.

It traditionally honors Lugh, the Celtic god of light and many talents, and his foster-mother, Tailtiu.

wheat

[Sybarite48, Flickr/CC.]

In addition, the weekend brings the Ásatrú festival of first fruits called Freyfaxi. Both celebrations are celebrated with feasting, songs, games, thanksgiving, and the reaping of the first fruits and grains of the season.

There are many other late summer religious and secular holidays around the world, some of which are related to the harvest and some are not.

In Tibetan Buddhism, for example, followers will be celebrating Choekhor Duechen, or the first turning wheel of Dharma, July 27. The day marks the time when “the Buddha Shakyamuni first taught the four noble truths in Sarnath, India, and first turned the wheel of the dharma.”

The Order of the Black Madonna, based in California, hosts a number of feast days in August, including an annual dinner in mid-August to honor the Queenship of Mary.

During this time, several Native American nations celebrate the Green Corn festival. This was particularly true of “Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Timucua, and others, who used corn (maize) as their single most important food source.” The ceremony and festival, also called puskita or Busk in English, was “an expression of gratitude for a successful corn crop.”

Outside the U.S., the Slavic communities celebrate Dozhinki, a pre-Christian harvest festival that happens in late August. This year, the holiday is dated Aug. 28.  

In the Southern Hemisphere, Pagans, Heathens and polytheists are readying for Imbolc, and other holidays focused on late winter and the coming potential of spring.

This year, the full moon arrives Aug. 7, and a total solar eclipse is coming to America Aug. 21. According to reports, the entire country, from Oregon to South Carolina, will be able to witness at least a partial eclipse.

Here are a few recent quotes about the seasonal celebration:

“Lammas is basically about work, coming and going. Mind you, there are three harvest sabbats, and the trick with this first harvest that it falls midpoint of the fiery sign of Leo, which lends its ‘fixed’ energies of sustaining the cycle, to bring our work to full fruition; no slacking behind now! Magick demands much of us at this time. Toil and sacrifice are required if we are to claim the big prize come Mabontides.” — Heron Michelle, Lammas Ritual of Integration and Sacrifice

 *   *   *

“This August 1st, I suggest we forget everything we have heard about Lughnasadh or Lammas. Instead of treading that well-worn path, let’s forget about Celtic myths from long ago and the agricultural customs of 18th century English peasants.  Forget even the words ‘Lughnasadh’ or ‘Lammas.’  Instead, go outside. Look. Listen. Breathe in and breathe out. Bend down and touch the earth. And then ask what the world is telling you.  Listen for what calls to you. Discover what needs to be celebrated, or what needs to be mourned. And if the season still speaks to you of harvest or sacrifice or making bread, then so be it. But if not, don’t force it.” — John Halstead, “Why I’m Boycotting Lughnasadh Again

 *   *   *

“What will I do during those 100 or so sacred seconds [of the solar eclipse]? Will I hold a ritual? Just revel in it? Hug my kids?[…] Would the descent into darkness (and then the return of the light) be better times for ritual activity? After all, those times are ~90 minutes long each, and that would make the whole time of totality part of my ritual if I started before totality and ended after it.  […] All religions have sacred times and sacred places. For those of us with a Pagan spirituality (as well as for many others), reality itself – and especially our Earth, moon and sun – often show us those sacred times. For many of us (and certainly me), this August 21st will be one of those most sacred times. What will those 90 seconds be like for you? I don’t think that can be predicted – we can’t decide when the sacred will touch us.” – Jon Cleland Host, “The Spirituality of the Eclipse

 *   *   *

“Lugh was the first god I got to know as an individual being. Before that, most of my practice revolved around the Wiccan idea of the Goddess and the God, or other concepts that some would describe as panentheist and others would describe as vague. This was before my encounter with the Ennead of Egypt that put me firmly on the road to polytheism, and I honestly don’t remember what I thought about Lugh. But I clearly remember how I related to Lugh – as an individual deity with his own sovereignty and agency. Did Lugh call me or did I pursue Lugh? My notes from the time are sparse and I can’t begin to remember. I just remember I felt a strong affinity with him. I am no master of all arts, but I’ve always had a wide range of interests, and Lugh seemed like he would be the perfect patron for me.” — John Beckett, “The Birth of Lugh

 *   *   *

“Lughnasadh is a very good time to express gratitude to the gods and the earth spirits for their blessings and gifts that we are now receiving. In times of microwave and frozen pizza it may seem anachronistic to thank for the harvest. Many of our modern foodstuffs make it hard to still recognize the waving grain on the field in them. And yet there is a way to connect with nature via the food that we eat. This is especially valid for self-harvested fruits. But also conscious eating, eating with focus on the food and not on TV or newspaper, is one way of expressing our thanks for the harvest – all year round, but especially at Lughnasadh.” — Eilthireach, Deeper Into Lughnasadh

[Pixabay.]

[syndicated profile] stonesoup_feed

Posted by jules

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Hi there!

I’m just putting this little reminder out because I don’t want to get any emails from people who missed out on The Organized Cook…

24 hours after this post is published it’s OVER.

The doors to the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School (SVCS) will CLOSE because Module 1 of The Organized Cook is being released on Friday.

You have less than 24 hours to join us for The Organized Cook…

To make sure you don’t miss out, use the link below:
http://thestonesoupshop.com/toc/

With love,
Jules x
www.thestonesoup.com
__________________________

pork & broccoli-2

Asian Pork & Broccoli

I discovered this recipe by accident one night. I was cooking some pork and fennel sausages and had originally been planning an Italian-style dish but the smell of the fennel had such and ‘Asian’ vibe that I just had to change direction. I love when inspiration strikes mid meal!

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
2 smallish heads broccoli, chopped
450g (1lb) pork and fennel sausages, skins removed, meat crumbled
1-4 small red chillies, chopped
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
handful cashews (optional)

1. Preheat a wok or frying pan on a medium high heat. Add broccoli and stir fry until the broccoli is bright green and no longer crunchy. About 5 minutes.

2. Place cooked broccoli in a clean bowl then add a little more oil. Stir fry the sausages until browned and cooked through.

3. Add chilli and return broccoli to the pan. Add oyster sauce and stir fry another minute or until everything is hot.

4. Taste and season with salt and/or more oyster sauce. Serve in bowls with cashews on top (if using).

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Variations

no pork and fennel? – just use plain pork sausages and add 2 teaspoons fennel seeds to the pan. Or a tiny piece of star anise.

vegetarian – replace sausages with crumbled tofu or diced eggplant (aubergine). You’ll need to cook the aubergine with a lid on and for much longer – until it is soft about 15-20 minutes. And use vegetarian oyster sauce or soy sauce.

no oyster sauce – just use soy sauce or hoisin.

more flavour – add a little crushed garlic and/or ginger to the sausages at the end of cooking.

different meat – use any stir fry meat such as chopped chicken breast or thigh fillets, sliced steak, pork fillet or peeled green prawns (shrimp).

more veg – add in any veg that you like to stir fry such as red capsicum (bell pepper), carrots, zucchini, snow peas, sugar snap peas, frozen peas, even baby corn (if that’s your thing). Or serve with baby spinach, cauliflower ‘rice’, coriander leaves (cilantro) or fresh mint.

more substantial – serve with steamed rice or rice noodles cooked according to the packet.

___________________________

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ps. Does The Organized Cook really make a difference?

Honestly, I am so thankful for discovering the art of batch cooking. It helps me practically every day, especially now I’m cooking for 2 little ones.

If there’s only one thing do to make your life in the kitchen easier AND less stressful, using the practices in ‘The Organized Cook‘ would seriously be my number one recommendation.

It’s easily the most life-changing program I run.

Here’s what Michael & Liz said…

“TOC has helped me get my cooking done quicker. It’s makes my cooking time more efficient.”
Michael, The Organized Cook Student.

“I LOVED the ‘Organized Cook’ course & have found it’s made a real difference to my cooking habits – and hugely reduced my Thursday ‘urghh… there’s nothing here I want to cook’ attitude. So, thank you so much for that”
Liz, The Organized Cook Student.

pps. I won’t be sending any more reminders.

DOORS CLOSE in 24-hours from when this email was sent.

To make sure you don’t miss out, go to:
http://thestonesoupshop.com/toc/

__________________________

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