sprinkles in springs

A Springtime Ritual, Called Ostra in the Old Norse Calendar

You will need:

  • A broom
  • Water left outdoors in a bowl from dusk the night before the spell
  • Salt and pepper

 Timing:

Between September 21 and 23 in the southern hemisphere and between March 21 and 23 in the northern hemisphere.


The Spell:

Sweep your home, sweeping all dust in counterclockwise circles out the front door.

 Chant as you work: “Dust to dust, away you must, health and luck and joy to bring. Begone winter, welcome springs.”

 Sprinkle water droplets clockwise around your home, saying: “Enter new light and life, banish strife. Welcome luck, love, money, and new beginnings.”

 Pour any remaining water out the door.

 Finally, sprinkle salt and pepper on the doorstep threshold, saying: “Enter not here with ill intent, the power to harm me/us now is spent [name any unwanted visitors, human or otherwise].”

 

-  “1001 Spells: The Complete Book of Spells for Every Purpose” by Cassandra Eason

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Vegan miso soup with kale, red and spring onions, and leek dumplings.

I filled a big pot 1/3 full with water and added 1-ish tsp veggie “better than bullion.” Brought that to a boil and added frozen leek dumplings I got from my local bodega (the super nice Korean grandma makes them, they’re delicious.) Simmered that for 3-5 minutes, then added chopped lacinato kale (3 stalks, de-ribbed), ½ sliced red onion, and 1 tsp grated ginger. Around this time, I took about ½ cup of the broth out of the pot and stirred in like…idk, 2-3 tbsp red miso until it dissolved. Once the dumplings were fully heated up, I turned off the heat and stirred in the miso, and then sprinkled on 2 chopped spring onions. Boom, that’s it. 

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Red Velvet cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes and Ice Cream located in Disney Springs.

Edible Blossoms

Adapted from Every Garden Is a Story: Stories, Crafts and Comforts by Susannah Seton (Conari Press, 2007).

Many flower blossoms are quite wonderful tasting. But before you start randomly eating flowers from your garden, be sure you know what you are doing-some are deadly poisonous. And of course, if you use pesticides or herbicides in your garden, you might want to avoid eating those blooms. Caveats aside, flowers do wonderfully in salads, as a garnish for chilled soup or serving platters, sprinkled on ice cream, atop spring cocktails, or to decorate cakes.

The following is a list of some of the edible beauties:

  • Bee balm
  • Calendula
  • Daylilies
  • Hollyhocks
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtiums
  • Pansies
  • Roses
  • Scarlet runner bean
  • Sunflowers
  • Violets

How to make candied flowers:

These delectable treats are easy to create; use them on top of ice cream or cakes. Pick the flowers fresh in the early morning.

Ingredients:

A generous handful of violet blossoms, rose petals, or any flower from the edible flowers list
1 or 2 egg whites, depending on how many flowers you use
Superfine sugar


1. Gently wash flowers and pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl. Pour the sugar into another bowl. Carefully dip the flowers into the egg whites, then roll in sugar, being sure to cover all sides.
3. Set flowers on a cookie sheet and allow to dry in a warm place. Store in a flat container with waxed paper between the layers. These will last for several days.

Back to Ostara, the Spring Equinox

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I chopped up some chicken thighs and marinaded them for a while in a mixture of soy sauce, root ginger, garlic, thyme and a little honey, then threw in some spring onions. Then I sautéed the chicken in a little olive oil until cooked through. I also quickly boiled some wholewheat noodles, which I then drained and stirred through the chicken mixture before sprinkling over some reserved spring onions and serving.

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I’m a bit confused as to where this recipe belongs, as it makes a brief appearance when Hayama is formally introduced. But as it is a Japanese-Chinese fusion dish, I’m more inclined to believe that this is Houjou’s. Here is an incredible ingredient, once you consume it, you will then proceed to add it to every dish imaginable. If it replaces bacon in your life, do not come after me with a pitchfork. Lạp xưởng, or Chinese sausage is used in the same manner that bacon is due to its saltiness and fattiness (seriously, its literally just fat.. delicious fat), to add a complexity, richness and luxurious to a dish. My dad uses it as a sort of comfort food when he can’t be bothered to cook, in omelettes which I gleefully steal pieces of, if only he knew how close he was to making this, haha. Tenshindon (天津丼) differs by region and to the beaten egg, crab, pork, shrimp, spring onion and shiitake mushrooms are added. It is served in a deep dish with a thickened sweet soy sauce.

Miyoko Houjou’s Tenshindon ( 天津丼) Recipe

1 bowl of rice, lạp xưởng (or crabstick), spring onions, leek, 1 onion, half a carrot, garlic clove, bokchoy, shiitake mushroom

Sauce: 1 cup water, 2 tblsp soy sauce, 2 tsp honey, 2 tblsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp potato starch

Wash the bok choy and strip off the outer leaves to use the smaller leaves underneath.

 Finely dice onions, dice carrot and lạp xưởng into small cubes and thinly chop spring onions.

Start in a cold pan, render lạp xưởng. Add onions and garlic (If using a leek, add finely diced with onions) and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, then mushrooms and spring onions, sauté until soft. Remove from pan and let cool slightly

Sauté bok choy until it wilts.

Beat eggs until well incorporated. Mix eggs with sautéed vegetables and lạp xưởng (omit mushrooms for a more pleasing presentation). 

Coat saucepan with ½ tblsp oil, heat up then tilt the pan to make a thin layer of omelette.

Arrange bowl of rice onto a plate, drape omelette on top.

Mix the sauce ingredients together and pour into saucepan. Cook on medium heat until it thickens, add bokchoy.

Pour sauce around the egg and sprinkle with spring onions (or more true to anime, slice the white end of a leek finely). Done! Enjoy this new way to eat eggs and rice!

Hermes’ opportunism combined with his reputation for cunning to earn him a reputation as a divine trickster. He was credited with the invention of dice, and gamblers invoked his name when betting. He was also the patron of thieves. An unexpected piece of good luck was referred to as “a gift from Hermes”, just as a sudden silence would be explained with the remark that “Hermes must have entered the room”. Perhaps because “hermes” were often set up in market-places, Hermes became a god of trade, and the Romans identified him with their deity of commerce, Mercury. For luck, merchants would sprinkle water from a spring sacred to him on their wares.
—  Tony Allan and Sara Maitland, TITANS AND OLYMPIANS: Greek & Roman Myth