A Toast To Ukrainian Christmas: Wild Winter Berry Uzvar

I shared this lovely healthy Uzvar recipe with my Gather patrons last year, but I’m sharing it tonight in honor of Ukrainian Christmas and my beloved mother-in-law Rosie who passed away late November 2021.  For the many, many years I’ve been married, I loved hearing her remembrances of this holiday, how the house was full […]

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Mother Holle Cloud Tart w/ Cranberry & Hawthorn Berry Curd

Happy Winter Solstice! I’m sharing this recipe from the Gather Victoria Winter Magic ECookbook because it encapsulates the archetypal drama of the season – the rebirth of the light. And that meant plenty of cakes, cookies, and confections for the old winter witches like Frau Holle! Their symbols are very much alive in our holiday […]

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Baba Yaga’s Wild Spiced Honey Cookies

Ever since I called upon that beloved old witch of Slavic, Baltic and Russian folklore 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 […]

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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 16th) to the Russian & Slavic holiday Maselenitsa (March 8th)  there are going to be plenty of opportunities for ceremonial indulgence!  I’ve started off celebrating the season of pancakes […]

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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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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 Winter Solstice

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 winter, that the white-bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born. Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas […]

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Citrusy Spruce Glazed Shortbread: Flavour Of The Forest

This recipe was inspired by an incredibly lovely and vigorous Sitka Spruce tree that lives in a woodland area near my neighbourhood. Standing out amongst the other conifers, her bluish-white branches positively sparkle on dreary rainy days. At first, I was sure she was a Blue or White Spruce, but on closer look, I now […]

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Aromatic & Spicy Juniper Berry Sugar Stars

Juniper Berry is simply divine. For those who have never encountered the juniper berry, imagine the spicy exotic notes of eastern spices like nutmeg and allspice, and the scent of fresh-cut evergreen branches combined. Aromatic and perfumey, it is just the perfect spice for a buttery cookie. But how to best capture their flavour? Baked […]

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The Magic of Conifers: A Video

As cold and flu season begins to loom, it’s time to call on the protective and healing powers of 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 demands on our reserves of energy, endurance and warmth, […]

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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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