Imbolc Lavender & Rosemary Seed Cake

There is nothing like cake to celebrate a special occasion and Imbolc (on February 1st) is no exception. And I think this “naked” sponge cake would be a wonderful addition to any Imbolc Feast! It’s kept gorgeously moist with brushings of lavender and rosemary syrup (between cake layers)  but the slight tang of the Mascarpone […]

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La Befana Cake: Honouring The Old Witch of Winter

Inspired by the many Italian cakes baked on Epiphany Eve as offerings to “La Befana”, this fruity golden cake (with a dash of spirit) is a Witches Cake. According to legend, Befana is an old witch who flies through the night of January 5th on her broom delivering presents to children. And as they lie […]

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Dutch Puff Pancake with Lemon Curd & Primrose Cream

My favourite childhood food was (and still is) the pancake, so I’m pretty happy that from Imbolc (Feb. 1st) to Candlemas (Feb.2nd) to Shrove Tuesday (Feb 13th) – there are going to be plenty of opportunities for ceremonial indulgence!  I’ve started off celebrating the season of pancakes with this scrumptious Dutch Puff laden with Lemon […]

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Rosemary Oat Bannock For Imbolc

The grace of a grey bannock is in the baking of it… Scottish Proverb Oatcakes or Bannocks were traditionally eaten on old-world feast days to mark the changing seasons. And roundabout Feb 1st or 2nd, they were known as “Bannoch of Bride” in honour of St. Bridget or Brìghde. This goddess (and later saint) of […]

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Gather’s Guide For Celebrating The Midwinter Festival Of Lights

Rediscover the ancient food magic of the Midwinter Feast of Lights. Known to the Celts as Imbolc or Brigid’s Feast Day, it celebrated the arrival of the sun goddess Brigid (and the first stirrings of spring) with oodles of candles and plenty of magical foods – all of which ensured Brigid’s blessings in the coming […]

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Imbolc & The Rites of Women: The Midwinter Festival of Lights

Across the world, for thousands of years, our ancestors celebrated the turn of the seasons through sacred feasts and plenty of magic.  Marking the astrological alignments of the sun and moon, theses activities had one central purpose – to harmonize human activity with the great cycles and forces of nature, thereby ensuring fertility, abundance and […]

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Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at Winter Solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of […]

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The Magical Herstory of Food

“When we learned to cook is when we became truly human, but we’ve lost touch with how that food got to our plates.” Michael Pollan in Cooked. As is so often the case with history, the “herstory” tends to get left out – and food is no exception. While there are as many books on food […]

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Lavender Tea Milk Punch: A Libation to Toast the Returning Light

For my ancient ancestors, February was a time of great anticipation for the coming growing season. To ensure bountiful crops, productive livestock and healthy mothers and babes, they practiced fertility and purification rites—many of them featuring milk. Recreate some of this intention for your own feast day with a creamy, decadent libation fit for dairy-loving fairies, goddesses and the rest of us. Cheers!

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Rosemary & Lavender Lemon Curd “Tassies”: Here Comes The Sun!

Nothing says Imbolc better that the bright yellows of lemon, butter and egg yolks. So what happens when you infuse a sweet, zesty, creamy, lemon curd with the aromatic herbs of the sun? Glorious food magic is what! Lemon Tassies are old-fashioned dessert tarts filled with easy to make citrusy curd. And while no one […]

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Infused Wassail Cider: A Recipe For Blessing The Earth (and Ourselves)

Yes, the sun has begun her official return. But as I write this, frost shimmers, the ground is frozen and every footstep crunches. And it’s easy to understand why our ancestors, as the pantry grew lean, wanted to give mother nature just a little loving nudge in waking up. So to me, in the barren starkness of […]

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Winter Woodland Medicine: Delicious & Warming Tonic Syrups

When dark, winter days challenge our bodies as well as our spirits, nothing makes a better remedy than old-fashioned tonic syrups. Time-tested & true, these potent preventatives and remedial healers call on the nourishing, medicinal powers of conifers, wild berries, tonic plants and adaptogenic herbs, honey and warming spices. And not only will they help […]

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Protectors Of The Earth: The Radical Legacy Of The Witch

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about witches. Not just because top ten lists of hot tv witches and sexy Halloween selfies currently swamp my social media feeds, but because my tables and shelves are currently so laden with herbs, plants, berries, phials and bottles that if an inquisitor of old were to enter, […]

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Recipes for a Feast of Light: Reviving the Magical Foods of Imbolc

I love the ancient feast days that once celebrated the turn of the “wheel of the year”. Marking celestial alignments such as solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days, these “holy days “are the origin of most of our modern holidays. And no matter what ancestral culture you descend from, it’s a pretty safe bet that most […]

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Cranberry & Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

It’s no secret that baking confections, cookies and fruit cakes have long been part of feminine customs surrounding the winter holidays. But one beautiful baking tradition is now almost entirely forgotten, and it served as the inspiration for this fruity, dense Mother’s Night Honey Cake. And while it may be a bit rustic, I tried to […]

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A Guide To Conifer Magic

When days darken, cold winds blow, and the damp settles into our lungs and bones, we can turn to our ancient plant allies, the evergreen and ever vital, conifers. Towering over the forest canopy, their top branches are always nourished by the sun but their roots extend deeply into the earth. And when winter makes […]

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Baba Yaga’s Wild Spiced Honey Cookies

Ever since I called upon Baba Yaga to be my winter baking muse – I’ve had nothing but trouble.  Which should have been no surprise, Baba Yaga is renowned for testing your mettle with endless impossible tasks which determine whether she will help you- or hinder you – according to her liking! And from burning, […]

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Strawberry Tree Crumble Cake…The Magical Forgotten Fruit!

The Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) is an ornamental shrub that grows all over Victoria but its abundant, plush, juicy fruits just end up littering sidewalks. Seems no one remembers we’ve been eating these succulent fruits for thousands of years!  Right now in the PNW the fruits are bright red & ripe with a mild, sweet flavour […]

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Cake For The Priestesses Of The Dead

Halloween takes its roots in ancient festivals and feasts honouring the dead, like Samhain. Which makes it a perfect time for cake…not just any cake, but a cake in remembrance of the Haliorunna. Never heard of them? They were the oracular priestesses of the “underworld mysteries” whose rites of divination and ancestor veneration were demonized and […]

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Wild Mustard Tart w/ Potato & Gruyere Cheese (drizzled with Coastal Mugwort Honey)

One of my favourite herbs is the peppery hot wild mustard and I think it’s peppy flavour pairs perfectly with savoury potatoes and melted cheese – as in this Wild Mustard Tart. The fact that I dribbled the sweet sagey warmth of coastal mugwort infused honey (recipe here) over the top makes it just plain irresistible. […]

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Wild Cakes for Camossung: A Prayer For Restoring The Garden

My family background is pretty diverse (stretching across Europe, from Spain, France, Greece to Eastern Europe and Russia) so I harvest and write about the many foods my ancestors have eaten for literally thousands of years. But I also resonate deeply with the food cultures of the Coast Salish Peoples whose territories I occupy. How could […]

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Staghorn Sumac Sugar Fritters

A Bunyol is a Spanish sugared fritter, so these are Staghorn Sumac Sugar Bunyols. Imagine a warm doughnut (without the hole) rolled in a silky lemony tasting icing sugar and you’ve got the idea. A bunyol (or buñuelo) is a small yeasty bun traditionally enjoyed in Spain on All Saints Day (Nov.1st) which is dedicated to the memory of the […]

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Wood Sorrel Mini-Cream Tarts: Wild Food Treats

​Here’s another recipe from “Gather Cookbook” for Gather Patrons! I’m releasing a few of last year’s recipes to the Gather website – so the rest of you can see what you’re missing! First up was a Chunky Rose Petal Pesto (recipe here) and now these creamy & tangy yogurt mini-tarts.  Made by processing wood sorrel leaves […]

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Chunky Rose Petal Pesto: Summer Savour

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” Maud Hart Lovelace It’s been a whole year since I first started working on the “Gather Cookbook” for Gather Patrons. And since I’m going to be adding some new summer solstice recipes to the cookbook this […]

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Rhubarb-Rose Pannacotta Squares: Keto Darlings!

T’is the glorious season of rhubarb and roses, one of my most beloved flavour combinations. And since practically everyone I know is eating keto, I was inspired to create these Keto Rhubarb-Rose Squares. With a buttery ground almond base and a creamy pannacotta style filling, these rosy tart  “no bake” darlings are sooo simple to […]

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The Goddess Feasts: The Magic of Gratitude, Pleasure and Plenty

This April I’m celebrating Goddess Cuisine. I made a Floralia Cake for the Goddess of Flowers, Violet Cream Cupcakes for Venus, honeyed libations for the Goddess Bona Dea and a savoury fresh white cheese made with plenty of “herbs and blossoms born of the earth’s free will” for the Great Mother, Cybele. And more! This […]

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Drinking in Spring Blossoms: Red Flowering Currant Elixir

Right now in my back garden, a Red Flowering Currant Bush (Ribes sanguineum) is in full radiant bloom. Her drooping clusters of “soul-piercing pink flowers” are sending out an entrancing floral, fruity and spicy perfume. Which is probably one reason ethnobotanist and author Abe Lloyd describes the blossoms as “capable of transforming winter sodden pessimists […]

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Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections!

For me, the heady sweet almond-like fragrance of the Ornamental Purple Plum is the very essence of spring. Standing beneath their sensual pink and rose flower-laden branches on a sun-warmed afternoon is an absolutely swoon-worthy experience. Sadly underutilized as a culinary ingredient, plum blossom has a unique scent and flavour which infuses beautifully in cream, […]

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Golden & Sunny Fornacalia Bread: Goddess Magic for The Feast of The Ovens

When the landscape outside your window resembles an arctic tundra – as mine currently does – there is nothing better to turn to than warm bread fresh out of the oven. So appropriately, this hearty and flavour-filled loaf is dedicated to the Roman Goddess of Ovens, Fornax, and her February festival of baking. It’s a […]

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Dark Chocolate Cheesecake: An Offering For Hecate’s Night

“O night, faithful friend of mysteries; and you, golden stars and moon, who follow the fiery star of day; and you, Hecate, goddess with threefold head, you know my designs and come to strengthen my spells and magic arts; and you, earth, who offer your potent herbs to magic; and airs, winds, mountains, streams, and […]

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Sticky Toffee Acorn Bundt Cake: A Prize Winning Recipe!

This moist, dense and gooey Sticky Toffee Acorn Cake was made from acorns harvested from my neighbourhood. And despite the nearly full day it took to create (from harvesting, shelling, leaching, roasting and grinding – to the actual baking) it was well worth the effort! It took first prize in a most wonderful old-fashioned community harvest […]

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Crabapple & Rosemary Hand Pies: Ancestral Offerings

A couple of years ago, completely hidden in a dark thicket of trees, I discovered a beautiful gnarled crabapple – gleaming with clusters of hundreds & hundreds of rosy, autumn fruits. I was thrilled! I love crisp truly tart apples (which are getting harder to find) so the crabapple fits the bill perfectly. Crabapples are […]

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Dandelion Blossom Gnocchi: Golden Dumplings in Garlic Cream Sauce

With the summer heat receding, I’m so happy the sunny bright heads of dandelion flowers are on their way back! This means I’ll be making more Dandelion Gnocchi, a delightful dinner for the coming cooler evenings. Filled with golden blossoms, slathered in a garlic cream sauce, fluffy, puffy and satiating, Dandelion Blossom Gnocchi is one […]

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Diana’s Apple Pear Cake w/Queen Anne Lace: Fit for a Goddess!

As Goddess of the Wild and Queen of the Woodlands, Diana holds a special place in my forager’s heart. And so for her birthday, I wanted to make a special cake (as per ancient tradition) to give thanks to “She Who Provides.” And I think this moist luscious cake, made from foraged apples and pears […]

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Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars: Berry Delicious!

You may not have heard of Mahonia berries but I know you’d love them – and they’re likely growing near you. Mahonia japonica and Mahonia bealei are both extremely common ornamental shrubs found in a wide variety of urban spaces – and in early July both are laden with deep blue dusky berries hanging in fat grape-like clusters. […]

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Celebrate The Magic of MidSummer with Fragrant Floral Extracts

It is just before the summer solstice. All is lush and green, the air is perfumed with the blossoms of roses, lavender, linden and honeysuckle, and sunny landscapes are filled with yarrow, dandelion, red clover, and ox-eye daisy. Neighbourhood streets are lined with lacy yellow wild fennel, bright orange calendula and bluish purple blooms of […]

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Lilac Madeleine Cookies: Remembrance of Fragrances Past

These legendary sponge-cake cookies were immortalized by French writer Marcel Proust. In his book Remembrance of Things Past Proust’s narrator tastes a Madeleine dipped in tea and is immediately swept back in time to his childhood. “No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me […]

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Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Cake: Prosperity Magic

In my tiny wildish garden, nestling at the foot of a tall tree, is sweet woodruff. Her glossy leaves and small white blossoms may be hidden by a profusion of taller plants, but it is her scent that perfumes the air. Fresh, her fragrance (like rain, earth, fresh air and green grass all condensed into […]

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Dandelion Root Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars: Gather Diary Sneak Peek

My sister in law Gloria loves dandelion – especially dandelion pesto with a chilled glass of sparkling Prosecco. But recently she spread her wings and learned how to actually harvest – and bake – with dandelion root. A thrilling experience as you can see! And now she has a new love, these No Bake Dandelion […]

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Lemon Balm & Juniper Berry Sugar Cookies: A Gather Diary Sneak Peek

So here is my latest Gather Diary. This sneak peek is made possible by wonderful Gather Patrons whose support gives me the extra time to keep a diary of what I’m making, baking and concocting each month! Thank-you!!! I’m a little behind, but I’m determined to get the rest of the recipes out in the […]

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The First Pizza? Great Goddess Herbed Cheese: Reviving The Spring Offering Of Moretum

This Roman springtime dish is a kind of cheesy pesto once eaten in honour of the Goddess Cybele, The Magna Mater (The Great Mother). And according to Ovid, Moretum descends from a time ancient people drank only pure milk and ate only “the herbs that the earth bore of its free will.”  And as we’ll […]

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Garlic Mustard & Olive Oil Bread Dip

Words cannot say how much I love Garlic Mustard. Not just because of its velvety emerald coloured leaves, not because it is one the most versatile nutritious greens you can possibly eat, not because it is one of oldest food plants and possibly the oldest “spice”, and not because its green garlicky aroma fills me […]

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