Spring Cleaning! The Magical Besom

Happy Spring Equinox!  Blue skies and blossoms, what a day to welcome the official coming of spring! I was up bright and early today with a mission, to craft one of the most hallowed objects of spring cleaning – the Besom. I’ve been so busy with my cookbook and creating rewards for Patrons, my home […]

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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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Imbolc Lavender & Rosemary Seed Cake

There is nothing like cake to celebrate a special occasion and Imbolc (on February 2nd) 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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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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Hot Cross Buns: Cakes for The Moon Goddess!

Right now every bakery to big box superstore has yeasty, doughy Hot Cross Buns for sale. I think this is amazing considering their history dates back to the dawn of civilization! According to a variety of food scholars, early Goddesses such as Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, Aphrodite and Venus were all offered small round buns marked with a […]

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Primrose and Pansy Coconut-Oat Balls: Pretty & Good for You Too!

Soon it will be officially spring – but here in Victoria the pansies and primroses have been blooming for quite a while! So of course, for the past few weeks, I’ve been plotting how to best eat them. The pansies delicate sweet scent and pretty colours make them popular as candied blossoms or garnishes, but […]

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Celebrate Spring! The Ancient Magical Language of Eggs

Coloured with magical dyes and painted with magical symbols, eggs have played a central role in spring rites and feasts for thousands of years. From Egypt, Persia, Russia to Europe eggs were sacred objects embodying the essence of life. For northern European peoples eggs embodied the fertilizing power of the spring sun because it was […]

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Wild Spring Green Tabouli: Super Nutritious & Super Delicious

The classic Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) Salad is made with bulgur, mint, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers and a lemony garlic dressing, but I love to spruce mine up with seasonal wild greens. For this Tabouli I added some of the earliest wild edibles sprouting up now, greens like tender miner’s lettuce, peppery bittercress, and the oniony sprigs […]

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The Lost Superfoods of Spring: Wild Green Cuisine!

Photo by Yam Magazine: Gather’s Wild Spring Salad. Today I drove up to the University of Victoria Community Garden to check out what was growing. I’m giving a walk there in March focusing on the wild edibles of spring. And by wild I mean the weeds that grow at the fringes of the garden, between […]

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Nettle & Wild Onion Rice Balls: Savouring Spring!

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a foraging favourite, so it doesn’t need much of an introduction. I probably don’t need to tell you that it has been a beloved spring tonic since time immemorial, or that many consider it the most nutritious of all wild plants, jam packed with vitamins, minerals, even protein. But aside from […]

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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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Plum Blossom Chocolate Truffles: A Taste of Heaven

What combines the delicate, yet heady scent of the first spring blossoms with creamy, rich chocolate? Why Plum Blossom Truffles of course! And they are so super easy to make, you won’t regret gifting your palate with this floral-infused chocolate sensation for one instant, I promise! One of Victoria’s most beloved harbingers of spring, the […]

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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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A Super Easy Old-Fashioned Creamy Dessert: Honey Lilac Posset (Or Rose, Elderflower, Lavender…)

“Be cheerful knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house”  William Shakespeare, Hamlet Dating back to the middle ages, the posset is making a comeback. Like a custard crossed with a pudding, it’s perfect when you want to whip up a special dessert with minimal effort. It’s made with three ingredients, honey, lilac-infused cream and lemon juice – […]

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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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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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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 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 the […]

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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 cooker 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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Fragrant Linden Blossom Sun Cake: A Magical Midsummer Treat

Delicately perfumed with the GORGEOUS scent of linden blossoms, this moist, crumbly cake truly is delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it – so now I have to bake a whole new one for solstice! But that’s okay, it takes no time to whip up and I’ll get to enjoy even more of it! In Latvia, […]

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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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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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Artemisia Moontime Elixir:  A Recipe For Dream Magic

“Has artemisia come to help us unlock the deep dreams that day to day living has swept seemingly out of reach? Has she come to guard us and protect us while we realign ourselves with the strength of feminine energy? Has she come–with her liver cleansing and digestive tonic– to help ease the pain of […]

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Pinterest: Regressive Feminist Scourge or Virtual Woman’s Temple?

(Note: I wrote this several years ago and while Instagram has now outstripped Pinterest as women’s favoured platform for sharing recipes and home decor,  I’m reposting the article because the issues it addresses are sadly far from outdated). Teeming with endless pictures of magnificent cakes, sumptuous floral bouquets and festive holiday decorations, millions of women […]

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Purple Plum Blossom & Wild Violets: White Chocolate Truffles!

As promised, for this April’s Gathering Diary Sneak Peeks I’m starting off by sharing this delectable melt in your mouth, spring blossom infused white chocolate truffle. I’ve made sinfully good Plum Blossom Dark Chocolate Truffles for several years now – but this year my sister-in-law made a batch of the chocolate, so I decided to alternately try […]

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A Bounty of Spring Recipes: A Gathering Diary Preview!

I want to deeply, from the bottom of my heart, thank all of you for your continued kind messages and gestures of support. I want to especially thank Gather Patrons as your generous financial support means I’m now not only able to spend more time cooking up recipes, but that I’m nearing my goal to […]

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Cookbook Preview: Plum Blossom Honey Panna Cotta, Wild Spring Dumplings & Staghorn Sumac Jellies

Before we get to what’s cooking I want to express my deepest gratitude to our Gather Patreons. Thanks to you we are nearing our funding goal of $1,000.00 and so I’ve been starting to lay the groundwork for the seasonal e-cookbooks I’ve promised y’all.  And while I’m wildly grateful and excited to be having such […]

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Dried Rose Extravaganza! A Gather Diary Sneak Peek

“Rose is sent to earth by the gardeners of paradise for empowering the mind, the eye and the spirit.” Rumi This is the time of the year I begin to release my stingy hold over my stores of dried roses. I know as the shimmering vibrant green of first growth spreads across the landscape – […]

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