Monday, 9 April 2018

Easter 2018

This year for Easter I baked the frosted white chocolate Easter cake that I made last year, and a few years before that as well. It has white chocolate in the sponge and cream cheese icing. For more on the cake and the recipe visit this post: http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/frosted-white-chocolate-easter-cake.html

Here is a picture of this year's cake:


Sunday, 25 March 2018

Oestara 2018

Last Tuesday was Oestara aka Ostara and the Spring Equinox. As I mentioned in my Celebrating Oestara and Spring post I baked a white chocolate Malteser cake. Here's the recipe: https://goodfood.uktv.co.uk/recipe/white-chocolate-malteser-cake/

I couldn't find white Maltesers so I just used ordinary ones for the top of the cake. I put Cadbury Mini Eggs on top as well. The recipe requires Malteser drinking chocolate, so I put in two 50g sachets and I used Tesco white chocolate for the icing. It came out quite nice. Here's a picture:


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Celebrating Oestara + Spring



At the beginning of the month I wrote a post on getting ready for spring. You can read that here:
http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/getting-ready-for-spring.html

Now it's almost officially here, Tuesday 20th March is the Spring Equinox, the first day of spring. It's also Oestara (or Ostara), so I thought I'd do a post on celebrating both Oestara and spring in general. :)

Note: If you're in the Southern Hempishere, Madron (or Mabon) and autumn are coming up for you. In that case you may like this post: http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html


Ironically we're having wintry weather again, like when I wrote my post about getting ready for spring! We're having what they're calling the "Mini beast from the East" in the UK. It's around 0 degrees Celsius (32F) here in Sussex and is snowing as I write this. But hopefully spring isn't too far away!


Oestara Ideas

Last year I wrote a post on Oestara and Spring Equinox celebration ideas. Check it out here: http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html


Monday, 5 March 2018

Getting Ready for Spring



Back in December I did a post on getting ready for winter. You can read that here: http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/getting-ready-for-winter.html

Now that spring is coming (in the Northern Hemisphere, those in the Southern might like the winter post), it's time to do one on preparing for spring. Well, you could say spring is already here because like with winter (see linked post), there are two days considered to be the official start of spring- "meteorological spring" which is 1st March and "astronomical spring" which is on 20th March. The 2nd one is also the date of Oestara aka the Spring Equinox, which is always around this date. You can read more about it here: https://www.kentlive.news/whats-on/whats-on-news/first-day-spring-2018-1239047

My birthday is on actually 1st March and I like to think that it's in spring, but it's only really the very beginning of spring and technically the end of winter. I was born in Swaziland in Southern Africa though, and their seasons are different, so I was born towards the end of summer there!

Right now I'm ready for winter to be over, lol. I'm more of a summer/warm weather person and don't like the cold. However, since we don't get snow very often it is nice to get it for a change and we've just had a lot of snow in the UK. When I started this it was the coldest week in February in 5 years and it seemed ironic to be writing about spring! Some days it was around -2C (around 28F) and colder at night. Now it's warming up a bit with daytime temperatures around 7C. So it's starting to feel more like spring!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Red Velvet Brownies + Pancakes

I recently baked some red velvet brownies and also last week was Pancake Day and I made some pancakes, so I thought write about both in a post. :)


Red Velvet Brownies

I made these the weekend before last. The recipe is from the current issue of Co-op magazine. Here's the link to the online version: https://main-coopfoodmagazine-rivergroup.content.pugpig.com/2018/01/11/food-news-8/pugpig_index.html

They came out quite nice. I've baked red velvet cake a couple of times but it hasn't come out that well for some reason! (I plan to try again in future). These were nice though. The only thing is they weren't red, even though I actually put more food colouring than it said by accident! I think they're supposed to have a red tinge. Never mind, lol. Here's a pic:


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Imbolg 2018

It was Imbolg (aka Imbolc) on Friday (2nd February) and as I mentioned in my Imbolg Celebration Ideas post I made pancakes (English pancakes, also known as crepes). This year I used a recipe from BBC Good Food and they came out really nice. I was happier with them than last years! lol. Here's the recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2907669/easy-pancakes

The only different thing to what I normally use was vegetable oil in the batter. (You can use sunflower or vegetable oil). They had a nice taste and texture, I ate them with lemon and sugar and had Ben Shaw's cloudy lemonade to drink. I'd like to make them again for Pancake Day on 13th Feb. Here's a picture:




Sunday, 28 January 2018

Imbolg Celebration Ideas



For Samhain 2016 I started a series of sabbat celebration posts I haven't done one for Imbolg yet though, so here it is. :)

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere then Lammas is coming up for you. :) You might like this post on Lammas celebration ideas: http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/lammas-celebration-ideas.html


Imbolg or Imbolc, also known on Candlemas is on  Friday 2nd February this year. (Some people celebrate it on 1st Feb because it begins at sundown on the 1st and lasts until the end of the 2nd). Candlemas is now a Christian festival but I believe it has pagan roots. Imbolg is a fire festival, first spring festival and also the feast of Bride or Brigid (pronounced something like "Breed") the Irish Fire Goddess, who became Christianised as Saint Brigid. The Irish Gaelic word "Imbolc" or "Imbolg" is thought to translate as "in the belly" meaning the ewes who are pregnant at this time of year. There is another word "Oimelc" which is said to mean "ewe's milk".

Imbolg is the time when the land is waking and the first signs of spring start to appear. It's one of the "transitional" sabbats because while we're still in winter, spring is coming. Although it won't officially be spring until Oestara/the Spring Equinox around 21st March (I like to think that it's spring when it's my birthday at the beginning of March, but technically it's the tail end of winter!) things are shifting.