Lammas Muffins & Myths

It's the probably not-terribly-ancient festival of bread, Lammas, Hlaf-mas, Loaf Mass. This holiday is possibly an English variant on the Irish first fruits and fair festival of Lughnasadh, but compacted into one day and generally lacking any ritual or narrative. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, churches in East Anglia constructed elaborate displays… Continue reading Lammas Muffins & Myths

Paul Bunyan Day

Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor, Maine. (Wikipedia) It’s that special day in June again. No, not that solstice thing. No, forget graduation. No, not the wedding thing. It’s Paul Bunyan Day! A day to celebrate an absolute idiot who blundered through the north woods, wearing plaid flannel, leading a cow named Babe, and wielding an… Continue reading Paul Bunyan Day

Spring Eggs

It is time for regeneration. Nests of new life in satiny shells — white, blue, green, pink, yellow, speckled, mottled, striped and solid. No doubt our urge to paint chicken eggs for the late spring holidays is inspired by the wondrous works of art in every nest. And it’s also not surprising that humans have… Continue reading Spring Eggs

Penny Loaf Day

March 11th is Penny Loaf Day, though it is also traditional to set the observance to the Sunday closest to 11 March. This is an obscure holiday that I’d like to revive. Because first of all, it involves bread (so, duh, of course!), and second it celebrates generosity that has endured for nearly four centuries.… Continue reading Penny Loaf Day

Wednesday Word: 5 January 2022

It is Twelfth Night, the last night of Christmas and the night before Epiphany, the festival of the Wise Men. This is the night when all the drummers show up along with a veritable cacophony of birds; a party of lords, ladies and colorful others; and quite a few cows. I'm not sure I would… Continue reading Wednesday Word: 5 January 2022

Ginger Peachy Plum Jam

When life hands you crappy plums — or when an adorable farmer who you seemingly can not deny (ahem) hands you crappy plums — it’s time to make plum jam. And plum sauce. And maybe some prunes, though I haven’t found my drying rack yet and am not completely sure it would work in this… Continue reading Ginger Peachy Plum Jam

Kitchen Improv

I’m terrible at following recipes. I learned to cook from my grandmother who owned exactly zero cookbooks. Her recipe collection consisted of a few tattered notecards for family traditions and a head full of ideas. She was a master of flavor improv. I try my best to be like her.  I do have cookbooks. Quite… Continue reading Kitchen Improv

New Mexico Chile!

New Mexico chiles This time last week I was marinating in green chile. The skin on my hands has just about recovered. Each year I buy 25 pounds of fresh chile from Hatch. These are a mix of several varieties of New Mexican chiles, which are a kind of large-pod chile with moderately thick flesh… Continue reading New Mexico Chile!

Scones for Lammas

Like recognizing Imbolg on 1 February and the Church’s Candlemas on 2 February, I tend to begin Lughnasadh on 1 August and celebrate Lammas, the Loaf-mas, on August 2nd. So today is the Festival of Bread in my tradition. This might be idiosyncratic, but it works for me. I celebrated today by giving the house… Continue reading Scones for Lammas