mermaiden: (Cozy)
This Wednesday being Samhain (Halloween for all those crazy kids who don't wear pentacles and "Goddess Loves Me" shirts), I'm priestessing the FIRST EVER Samhain ritual at our Unitarian Universalist church. I orchestrated a Yule ritual there, and a very short and sweet Mabon ritual before our First! Annual! Mabon potluck, but they were both Pagan lite, in the sense that these were introductions to Pagan rituals for the congregation. This Wednesday will be the first ever COMPLETE Pagan ritual, which everyone seems to be super excited about. <3 This is what I wrote-up for our church newsletter:

Open Samhain Ritual -- The Beloved Dead
It was believed by ancient peoples--and still is by modern Pagans--that Samhain (Halloween) is the day of the year when the veil between worlds is thinned, and our loved ones who have passed on come to visit us again. Come and take part in a ritual that honors those loved ones who have gone before you, hallowing out a time and space in your life for magic. This will be a full Pagan ritual, including circle casting, Goddess invocation and a meditation. Please bring an image or trinket that reminds you of the loved one you miss most.

Samhain, I believe, is one of the most perfect Sabbats for non-Pagans to get super involved with. Everyone has a person or pet who has gone beyond, who they miss, and everyone understands the idea of honoring those who have gone before us. About a half hour before the ritual, I'm going to explain all of the building blocks of ritual--why we do it, and why we do each piece of the ritual itself. There are several people in the congregation who have been wanting to become Pagan, and several who are just open-minded awesome people, who want to be involved in meaningful rituals, so it's a very varied group. I'm so excited that people are so enthusiastic about this, and have a couple of surprises and magical ideas so that everyone carries something away from this, hopefully.

Jenn and I are both so blessed in the fact that our pastor, Lee, is so impassioned on how he backs up everything we want to do in the church. He *wanted* more Pagan involvement, and has asked me to do these things, when I showed interest in priestessing there. Everyone is so interested and supportive of our ideas, and backs us 110%. Sometimes, it makes me a little misty-eyed when I talk about our church family, and how deeply entrenched they are in our lives and hearts. We're more blessed than I could articulate. <3

So yes! Samhain! Open ritual! Lots of candles and cider and drums and magic! I can't wait. <3

~*~


I don't cook very much during the summer months because of how SATANICALLY HOT our house gets when it's hot outside. :D But cooking is one of my favorite things in the world, when I actually have five minutes in which to do it. And cooking in CROCK POTS is my FAVORITE. <3 I just whipped up a vegan pot pie in our slow cooker. SORCERY. Crock pots were invented by All of the Gods at the annual God Consortium one day, because they were like: HUMANS. THEY NEED SOMETHING AWESOME IN THEIR LIVES. And lo, verily, the crock pot was BORN. I know lots of people think crock pots are for old ladies with blue hair, but it is ALSO for YOUNGER LADIES with PINK AND PURPLE HAIR and everyone else, too.

C'mon folks. LET'S BRING CROCK POTS BACK. Like SEXY. But with more CARBOHYDRATES, surely. I will even give you my secret, super-duper crock pot recipe for my SORCERY Pot Pie:



Slow-Fashioned Potpie with Biscuit Crust from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson, AKA THE BEST DAMN COOKBOOK IN THE WORLD.

3 Tbs olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 large all-purpose potato (as opposed to a NOT all-purpose potato?), peeled and diced
2 15.5 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 c frozen peas
3/4 cup veggie stock
1 Tbs Braggs or tamari or other soy sauce
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried savory
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c milk alternative (I use almond milk, but WHATEVER YOUR LITTLE HEART DESIRES works as well!)

1. Heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, cover and cook until softened, about five minutes.

2. Transfer the onion and carrot to a lightly oiled 3 1/2-4-quart slow cooker. (We have the MASSIVE SLOW COOKER OF DOOM, so I just double the recipe). Stir in 2 Tbs of the flour. Add the potato, chickpeas and peas, stir in the stock, soy sauce, thyme and savory and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on Low for 5 hours.

3. About 1 hour before you're ready to serve, make the crust: In a large bowl, combine the remainingg 1 cup flour, the baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Quickly stir in the milk and the remaining 1 Tbs oil until just blended.

4. Spoon the biscuit topping over the surface of the simmering vegetables. Turn the heat setting to High, cover and cook until the crust is cooked through, about 1 hour longer. Serve the potpie within 10 to 15 minutes after the crust is finished cooking for best taste AWESOMENESS.

You can make this faster if you convert the 5 hours on Low to 1 hour on High (so one hour without biscuit topping, and another hour with biscuit topping). Also, if you get a unicorn to heat the crock pot for you, prior to cooking. I have not tried this latter method.
Music:: "Saltarello" from Music from the Time of the Crusades
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry

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