Well, no snow yet. This October and last year's October have been very different. The weather here in Colorado never ceases to surprise and delight me. The turning of the Wheel reminds me of one of the reasons why I chose to live here, and why I choose to stay.
This time I want to discuss a secular concern. Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day. I would like to encourage everyone who is registered to vote. If you are not registered but are eligible, please register so you can vote the next time. I'm not going to suggest voting any particular way - I am suggesting that you research the issues and make decisions before you reach the polls, as the ballot is long this year. Be informed, and vote - to me, that is a key part of being a citizen of the US. Please join me. As my father used to say to me, "If you don't vote, you can't bitch." I've never seen that stop anyone, but taking the time to vote is a small investment in the future of how you will be governed.
THANKS AND A TIP OF THE HAT
Our thanks to Coven of the Wildwood for their ritual, which was executed in front of the church rather than inside it due to no one being there to open the church for us. Graywolf and her group did a great job under somewhat taxing circumstances, and the ritual was enjoyed by those who were able to stay. Thanks also to Bucky, who joined me in tiling the circle so our celebration could proceed uninterrupted.
The Unitarian Church has assured us that the church will be available on the 30th for us, and I now have the phone numbers of people that actually possess keys whom I can contact should a problem arise.
OCTOBER 30 OPEN FULL MOON
The October 30 Open Full Moon will be on Friday, October 30, 1998, at 7:30 PM, at the First Unitarian Church, 1400 Lafayette, Denver, CO.
A Celebration of Life in Death
Join Vanahiem Hof for a Heathen celebration of the changing seasons. At this time of the year many Pagans focus on the transitions between life and death, and the freedom which comes from release. In this ritual we will travel to the borders of Hella's Realm and acknowledge various aspects of growth and death within ourselves. What is ready for harvest? What has withered? What must we let go of?
All traditions are welcome to attend this modern Heathen rite. Please bring a non perishable canned food item to be offered to the Food Bank of the Rockies as a harvest offering.
We will be using a simplified meditation traveling down the Yggdrasil, to the borders of Hel. We will not pass the river Giolle or travel the sword bridge, but will simply view from a distance the Great Hall where Hella sits with Balder, Nanna and the beloved dead. While we will not enter this realm we will observe our own reactions to death as a natural aspect of life. Once the meditation is finished we will pour out offerings for Hella and our dead comrades. This ritual is open to all Pagans and Pagan friendly folks. Allowing for the meditation and personal introspection, most children are welcome to attend.
After many years, I feel that someone should finally acknowledge the Herculean task Alia sets for herself each Thanksgiving. (And this is with no apologies to Kevin Sorbo, who I doubt could do this job even remotely as well as she does, although even Alia has to admit he has better hair than any of us.) She prepares a complete (some might say overwhelming) Thanksgiving dinner for up to twenty people, more than half of whom have allergies that are exclusive of the allergies of the other half. And she does it in such a way that everyone has more than enough dishes to choose from. One of the tricks she learned early was to stuff the turkey with rice instead of the more traditional bread stuffing. (I confess, it was actually the Butterball hotline that made the original suggestion, but Alia took it to heart and every year improves on it a little more.)
So I was tickled to find the following in the most recent edition of Bon Appetit magazine. As far as I can tell, all she needs to do is substitute olive oil for the butter and it's a wonderful, guaranteed gourmet (well, guaranteed Conde Nast, at any rate) Thanksgiving turkey stuffing that fits right in with what she's been doing for years in the first place. (The pecans might be a problem for someone, but I don't remember anyone having allergies to any nuts besides peanuts…) By substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth, it can even be presented from the side baking dish to a devout vegan without any qualms.
It's nice to see that even gourmets can take a hint from the real world once in a while.
Wild Rice Stuffing with Pearl Onions, Dried Cherries and Apricots
Bon Appetit 11/98
Melt about 2 TB butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Bring 4-½ C broth and 1 TB thyme to boil in large saucepan. Add wild rice; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add white rice, cover and simmer until all rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed, about 15 minutes longer.
Stir dried apricots, dried cherries, raisins and 2 TB thyme into rice mixture; cover and simmer 3 minutes. Stir pearl onions and remaining 4 TB butter into rice. Mix in pecans. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Loosely fill main cavity of turkey with cool stuffing. Butter glass baking dish. Spoon remaining stuffing into prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey until heated through, about 20 minutes.
To bake all of stuffing in baking dish, preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.
(My suggestions to Alia, as previously noted, are to substitute olive oil for the butter and to replace the chicken broth with canned vegetable broth. And to be sure to tell all skeptics that this recipe is right from the pages of one of America's premier cooking magazines…)
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CELEBRATION and EVENT DATES
1999 OPEN FULL MOON DATES
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