The autumnal equinox is just around the corner. It’s a traditional time to celebrate the harvest and it’s a Neo-Pagan ritual of thanksgiving and sharing. This holiday is also called Mabon which was “coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology.” Aidan A. Kelly was a member of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn. (Wikipedia)
One of my favorite things to do on Mabon is to prepare a feast. Here is the full menu. The items I will make from scratch include a recipe.
Mabon Fall Equinox Feast
Micro-brewed beer from the local Piney River Brewing Company.
Fresh bread made in my bread machine.
Beef stew (southernfood.about.com) Mike and I don’t like lima beans so I’ll be leaving those out.
Feel free to add chunks of rutabaga or turnip along with the potatoes or add chunks of sweet potato about 15 minutes before the stew is done.
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup sliced celery
• 3 cups beef broth
• 2 carrots
• 2 medium potatoes
• 1/2 cup baby lima beans
• 1 cup apple juice
• 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
• 1 jar (12 ounces) small white onions, drained, or about 1 dozen frozen, thawed
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 tablespoons cold water
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the beef in the vegetable oil; add onion and celery and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add the carrots, potatoes, lima beans, and apple juice; simmer for about 30 to 40 minute longer, or until vegetables are tender. Add drained onions and corn; continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes.
In a small bowl or cup, combine flour with cold water until smooth. Add the mixture to the simmering broth, a little at a time, until stew is thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper.
1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Turn acorn squash upside down in a cake pan or large baking dish. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove squash from the oven and turn so that the flesh is facing upwards like bowls. Place 1 tbs butter and 2 tbs brown sugar into each half. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Place squash in the oven and bake another 30 minutes.
Buckeye Candy (paganwiccan.about.com)
In the midwest, the Buckeye tree, or aesculus glabra, flourishes. It’s part of the horse chestnut family, and although the nuts are toxic to anyone who’s not a squirrel, it’s a very prolific and abundant species. The small brown nuts, which begin dropping in late August, have been used for many years in some traditions of folk magic. The Buckeye is associated with prosperity and abundance. Why not whip up a batch of Buckeye candies for your Mabon guests, and share your wishes for a bountiful harvest with your friends? This recipe has been popular in Ohio – the Buckeye state – since the 1920s.
• 1 16-oz jar of creamy peanut butter
• 1 pound bag of confectioners sugar
• 1 C stick butter, softened
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 12-oz bag of chocolate chips for dipping
Combine peanut butter, butter, and vanilla together and cream until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar a little bit at a time until you’ve gotten it all mixed in. It should produce a really heavy, thick dough. Roll this into small balls (one inch diameter or less) and place them on wax paper. Chill in refrigerator until firm.
Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to dip each peanut butter ball into the chocolate — be sure to leave a bit of the peanut butter showing at the top, so you get the brown-and-black look of a real Buckeye! Return the balls to the wax paper and allow to cool. Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.