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Yule is the ancient name for the Winter Solstice, the longest night
and shortest day of the year. In northern climates, this is the

darkest and coldest time of the year. The sun seems to be weak, even
dying, and we fear winter will last forever.

But just as soon as the Solstice passes, the days begin to grow
longer again. The Solstice is a turning point in the wheel of the
year, when the sun symbolically dies and is reborn from the womb of
the Goddess.

In our tradition, darkness is not something bad or something to fear.
Of course, we wouldn't want the world to be dark all of the time -
that's why we're so happy when the sun begins to return after the
long nights of winter. Light and dark must always be in balance. But
we know that without the dark, nothing could live or grow. Without
night, we would have no day, no chance to rest and sleep. We would
have no dreams - and dreams are our gateway to the Otherworld. Babies
develop in the darkness of their mothers' wombs. Seeds must be put
into the dark earth in order to send out roots and push up new shoots.

Now, at Solstice, the balance has tipped as far toward the dark as it
can go. We are ready for the light to come back, and we must do all
we can to help it.

Yule is also one of the words Christians use for the Christmas
season. This time of year was sacred long before the birth of Christ.
Nobody really knows what time of year Jesus was born, but because
people were so used to celebrating at this season, the early Church
chose it for one of their most important holidays.
During this season, people of many different religions try to
strengthen the light. Pagans and Christians bring an evergreen tree
inside and decorate it with twinkling lights and shiny ornaments, to
remind us that life goes on even in the depths of winter. Jewish
people light candles for eight nights, adding one more each night to
the Chanukah Menorah. And African-American people celebrate Kwanzaa,
lighting candles for seven nights to symbolize the qualities of
unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility,
cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

On Solstice night, many Pagan grownups stay up all night to keep the
Mother Goddess company as she labors to give birth to the sun, the
new year, from her night-sky womb. We sing and chant and feast in our
night-long ritual, hoping that the sun will be reborn. Children and
grown-ups who can't stay awake ask for special dreams as they sleep
in the womb of the Goddess

In the very early morning, we like to climb up on a hill to watch for
the dawn, to drum and dance and welcome the reborn child who brings
back the light and the promise of summer. The sun rises, and we are
reborn with the year. Within each one of us, whatever our age, the
miracle child we were at birth emerges anew. The secret we learn from
the Solstice is that just when everything looks darkest, the light is
sure to be reborn.
The Goddess

At Winter Solstice time, the Goddess appears to us as the Mother, but
in a very special way. She is the Dark Mother, Mother Night, Mother
Winter. Because death is always followed by rebirth, the Crone
Goddess of Samhain becomes the Mother who gives birth to the year.

The Dark Mother is the giver of gifts and the teacher of lessons. Her
love for her children is without limit. Her greatest gifts are given
to us freely. We don't have to earn them or deserve them; we simply
receive them. We are worthy of her love simply because we are.

Life, of course, is the first gift that comes to each of us. Every
child born is a miracle, as wondrous as the reborn sun. If we're
lucky, in our lives we will also receive other gifts of the Mother -
love, abundance, beauty, pleasure, learning, and fun. As we grow, we
become capable of passing her gifts on to others. The Goddess teaches
us to be helpful, kind, generous, and brave. Sometimes her lesson may
seem hard, but she always gives us another chance to learn. No matter
how many mistakes we make, she never gives up.

In Germany, Mother Winter was called Frau Holle, Holy Woman. Another
of her names was Bertha; the name is related to the name of the birch
tree, with its snow white bark. She is the goose-footed Goddess who
migrates with the seasons, and who works the treadle of the spinning
wheel with her big foot. As the Goddess of spinning and weaving, she
spins our fate and waves our lives. She also knows how to spin a
tale - so she is the Goddess of storytelling as well.

With every new life comes new possibilities. In the realm of the Dark
mother, anything is possible. So if you want to change something in
your life, or something about yourself, the Winter Solstice is a good
time to work on it.

The God

The gifts of the Mother are like seeds that grow in the dark. They
are born from her, but the God is the Bringer of Gifts, they one who
carries them into the world and into our lives so they can be used
and enjoyed. He is her messenger, dressed in her colors of red,
black, and white. He may come knocking at your door in the middle of
the longest night or swoop down your chimney looking like Santa
Claus. Or he may awaken in our hearts the desire to give gifts to
those we love, gifts that will warm the cold nights and help the sun
to shine

Old and tired by the longest night, the God goes to sleep in the arms
of the Goddess and is reborn at dawn as the sun, the new year, the
fresh possibilities reborn in us all. He brings all of our hopes and
wishes and dreams for the new year with him. From him we learn to
rest and be renewed when we are tired, and to trust, even when life
seems hard, that change will come.

Yule Recipes

Yule EggNog Bread

4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tbs. butter
1 6 oz. packet Sun Maid Sun Ripened Dried Fruit Bits
Equal amount chopped pecans
1 1/2 cup egg nog
1 pkg. dry yeast, in 1/2 cup warm water, Warm everything to room
temperature. Pitch yeast in warm water, with a pinch of sugar.
Mix flour, sugar, and salt; cut in softened butter. Mix in fruit and
nuts. When yeast is good and frothy, mix in egg nog and yeast mixture
and knead, adding flour as necessary. Let rise about an hour, punch
down dough, form into a ball, and let rise againPreheat oven to 350.
Bake approximately 30-45 minutes until done.

Yule Gingerbread

A dark traditional ginger bread for the longest night of the year,
and a celebration of the rebirth of the Sun.
1 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup hot water
5 tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
a few pieces candied ginger, diced very fine
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt butter in hot water, mix in molasses. Add flour, salt, ginger
and baking soda. Turn into greased pan, sprinkle with candied ginger.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Spinach Balls Appetizer

1 10 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach
1 cup herb stuffing
2 eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess water. Combine spinach with all
ingredients and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a
greased baking sheet. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve
warm. You may also freeze these for use later.

Cheesy Corn and Shrimp Chowder Soup

1 16 oz. frozen package sweet corn
1 cup Fontana cheese, grated
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. thyme
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled, cut into bite sized pieces
1-cup half-and-half or light cream
Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté onion, celery and carrots for
about 10 minutes. Add dry mustard, broth and thyme, and simmer for 10
minutes. Add corn, half-and-half and shrimp and simmer for 10 minutes
until shrimp turns pink. Add cheese and stir until melted and serve.
Baby Greens and Pears Salad

3 Bartlett pears, cored and thinly sliced
8 cups baby greens
1 avocado peeled and diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, basil and salt and pepper
together in a cruet and shake well. Place baby greens, pears and
avocado together in a large bowl. Just before serving, add dressing
and toss.

Stuffed Pork Loin

2 - 12 oz. pork tenderloins
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. sage
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cup beef broth
Heat oil in a skillet and sauté celery, garlic, onion, sage, rosemary
and salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs and about 1cup of the beef broth
to moisten. Cut each tenderloin in half lengthwise without cutting
all the way through. Pound meat with a mallet until it is about 1/4
inch thick.
Place equal amounts of stuffing between each loin and roll up
securing with string to keep closed. Place stuffed loins seem side
down in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until
pork is cooked through. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces and serve with
sauce recipe to follow.
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red or green seedless grapes
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup brandy
Salt and pepper to taste
Place flour, thyme and salt and pepper in a saucepan, slowly add
broth and then cream stirring continuously, add brandy and grapes and
continue to stir until thickened. Pour over pork slices.

Date Squares

1 cup dates, chopped
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 cups flour
Place dates and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar in a saucepan and add 1/4
cup of water, heat over high heat until mixture thickens. Set aside.
Combine butter, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla,
mix well. Slowly add flour mixing constantly.
Pour batter in a greased 8-inch square pan, top with dates. Beat egg
whites until stiff peaks form, slowly add 1-cup brown sugar, pour
mixture over dates and bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice into
squares and serve.
Apple Dumplings

2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Shortening
1 cup Milk
6 each Apple
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pare and core apples. Sift flour, baking powder and salt; cut in
shortening, add milk and mix to smooth dough. Turn onto floured board
and divide into six portions. Roll each portion large enough to cover
one apple. Place an apple on each piece of dough; fill with cinnamon
and sugar; wet edges of dough and fold over apple. Place on greased
baking sheet, and bake at 350-F until apples are tender (about 40

Classic EggNog

2 cups whipping cream
1 cup half-and-half (equal parts cream and milk)
blend cream and half-and-half in pan and bring to a simmer.
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
separately, whisk egg yolks and sugar to combine, then gradually
whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return to same pan. Stir
over medium-low heat (do not boil) about 4 minutes until it thickens
and and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when finger is drawn
through it. Strain into bowl.
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
cool slightly and stir in nutmeg.
6 Tablespoons dry sherry
Divide into glasses (warm or cold) and stir in 1 Tablespoon of sherry
into each, if desired. extra nutmeg to sprinkle over, then serve.

Mulled Cranberry Cocktail

1 qt. cranberry juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan, combine the juice, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer.
In another saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, and water; cook over
medium-low heat, stirring until cranberries pop and are coated with
sugar mixture.
Let cranberries cool.
Skewer three to four cranberries on a toothpick and add to cups. Pour
in cocktail mixture, and serve!
Remember to stir in your intention for Health, Wealth, Happiness,
Wisdom and Love, and make this a magical brew for all your guests!
Makes 1 Quart

Yule Tidings Turkey

18 to 22 pound turkey, giblets and fat removed and reserved,
rinsed and patted dry
Oil to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the gravy:
Giblets (neck, liver and heart)
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 clove garlic
Salt to taste
For the dressing:
Bowl No. 1:
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 orange, peeled and diced
20-ounce can crushed pineapple
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
10-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
3 tablespoons chopped preserved ginger
Bowl No. 2:
2 teaspoons Colman's mustard
2 teaspoons caraway seed
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 teaspoons poppy seed
2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves
1 large bay leaf, crushed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/4 cup minced parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cloves, minus the heads, well chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 large onions, medium chopped
6 celery stalks, medium chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh savoury, preferably summer
1 tablespoon each minced fresh thyme and sage leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Bowl No. 3:
1 1/2 pounds fresh bread crumbs
3/4 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ground fresh pork
1/4 pound butter
For the paste:
12 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of Colman's mustard
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons onion juice
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Cayenne, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, or enough to make a paste
3 cups cider
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. or as high as it will go -- for at
least 1 hour.
Chop fine the reserved turkey fat. In a small saucepan set over
moderate heat combine the reserved fat with
1/2 cup of the water, bring to a boil and simmer until all the water
has evaporated and only clear fat and small pieces of solid remain.
Reserve fat for stuffing.
Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Rub the skin
all over with the oil and season with salt
and pepper.
Make the gravy: In a saucepan set over moderate heat combine
ingredients for the gravy, bring to a boil and simmer while preparing
the dressing.
Make the dressing: prepare and combine ingredients in bowl no. 1;
prepare and combine ingredients from bowl no. 2; and prepare and
combine ingredients from bowl no. 3. In a large bowl combine
ingredients from all three bowls. Mix it well. "Mix it with your
hands. Mix it until your forearms and wrists ache. Then mix it some
more. Now toss it enough so that it isn't any longer a doughy mass."
Loosely stuff the turkey. Stuff the neck cavity and sew closed the
openings. Tie legs together.
Make the paste: combine all ingredients for paste in a bowl, adding
enough flour to form a thick paste.
Arrange turkey breast side down on a rack wrapped in foil sitting in
a shallow roasting pan. Brush foil with oil.
Put the turkey in the oven and roast it for 15 minutes, or until
browned. Turn it breast side up and roast for 15 minutes more. With a
pastry or paint brush coat the turkey completely with the paste -- in
every nook and cranny. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
To simmering gravy add cider and water. Remove from heat but keep
warm on top of stove. (This is your basting liquid.) Roast the bird,
basting it frequently, (the original recipe says every 15 minutes)
for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, or until an instant meat thermometer reads 180
to 185 in the thigh; 170 in the breast and 160 in the stuffing.
Let rest 15 to 20 minutes, before peeling away crust.
Acorn Squash and sweet potatoe soup

1 large Onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed (5 cups)
1 small Acorn Squash, seeded and cubed
13 3/4 ounces Chicken Broth
4 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds; toasted
Ground Nutmeg. Bake onion in oil in large saucepan over med. heat
until onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes, squash and
broth. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 25 min.
Cool slightly. Working in small batches, place the vegetables with
the liquid in a blender or food processor. Whirl until pureed. Return
the puree to the saucepan. Stir in the milk to desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper. Heat over low heat. Remove to heated
bowls. Top each serving with dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of
almonds and nutmeg.

Apple Dumplings

2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Shortening
1 cup Milk
6 each Apple
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pare and core apples. Sift flour, baking powder and salt; cut in
shortening, add milk and mix to smooth dough. Turn onto floured board
and divide into six portions. Roll each portion large enough to cover
one apple. Place an apple on each piece of dough; fill with cinnamon
and sugar; wet edges of dough and fold over apple. Place on greased
baking sheet, and bake at 350-F until apples are tender (about 40

Almond Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
Cream together butter and sugar, then add egg, then flavorings
1 well beaten egg
1/2 t. almond
1/2 t. vanilla flavoring
2 cups flour
Mix together all dry ingredients, then add to creamed mixture. Stir
in nuts.
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 t. soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
Drop onto a plain cookie sheet and criss-cross with fork tines.
Remove cookies before the bottoms darken: should have a golden yellow
color, not dark at sides.

Butternut Squash

2 Butternut Squash, halved with seeds removed
Margarine or Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash cut-side down on greased
shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until fork
tender. Wipe cut surface with a little butter and sprinkle with salt.
Return to bake cut-side up about 10 minutes longer or until browned
and soft. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Scrape out the
squash into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, honey, ginger, pumpkin pie
spice and butter. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until
smooth. Put in buttered casserole. Return to oven, covered, for 30

Cocoa Snowballs

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered cocoa
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 containers of white frosting
2 3/4 cups flaked coconut
Beat eggs, gradually beat 1/2 cup sugar into the eggs and set aside.
Combine remaining sugar, cocoa, milk and butter in a pan and cook on
low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from
heat and add vanilla and salt. Pour egg mixture into that. In a bowl,
put remaining dry ingredients and slowly add the cocoa mixture,
beating all the while.... fill 30, 2 1/2" muffin cups about 1/2 full
and bake 20-25 mins at 325 degrees.
Cool completely and frost bottom, top and sides. Then roll them in
the coconut. Let them stand at room temperature until the frosting
is firm, then serve or store in a container.
Danish Gingerbread Recipe

1 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup honey
1 teasp grated lemon rind
1 teasp vanilla extract
1 teasp ground ginger
1/2 teasp ground cloves
1 teasp ground cinnamon
1 teasp salt
1 teasp baking soda
4 1/2 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add syrup, honey, lemon rind & vanilla,
spices, salt & soda. Add enough flour to make soft dough. Chill until
firm enough to roll.
Set oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour baking sheets. On floured
cloth roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Bake
8 min or until puffed and dry. Cool on a rack and decorate with
colored icing.

Icing for Gingerbread

1 1/2 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 egg white
1 teasp lemon juice
a few drops of vanilla extract various food colorings
(Collect flavored extracts and food colorings and get creative)
Beat everything but the colors and extracts until the icing peaks. If
necessary add more sugan and egg white. Divide into separate bowls
for each of the different colors and extracts...have fun!

Ginger Cakes

1 cup Shortening
1 cup Brown sugar
2 each Egg, well beaten
1 cup Molasses
4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Soda
1 Tablespoon boiling Water
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 pinch Salt
Use a mixture of butter and lard for the shortening. Cream the
shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Add the
molasses and baking soda which has been dissolved in the boiling
water. Sift the flour and ginger together and combine with other
ingredients. Mix well. Pour into well-greased muffin pans and bake at
350-F about 20 minutes.


1/2 t. dried saffron
3 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup scalded milk
1 egg
1/2 cup dried candied fruit rinds (can be omitted but increase amount
of currants added)
1/2 cup currants
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg yolk
Soak the dried saffron in the boiling water for about 2 hours (you
can omit this step by using powdered saffron). In a large warm bowl,
dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Put
remaining sugar, salt and butter into the scalded milk and stir until
everything is melted. Strain the saffron and add the saffron water to
the mixture. Cool milk to lukewarm and pour it into the bowl. Beat
the egg into it. Coat the currents and candied fruit rinds with 2
tablespoons flour. Gradually work the remaining flour into the yeast.
Add fruits; turn out onto a floured board and kneed for 10 minutes or
until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough in a butter bowl
and roll it around to grease well. Cover with a cloth and let it rise
in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours). Punch
down and put onto the board and kneed a few times. Divide the dough
into 24 rounded buns. Punch 2 raisins into the buns to look like eyes
and place on greased cookie sheet and let rise for 1/2 hour. Bake in
a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350
degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. An alternative form is a
wreath. There are several ways to make one. This is a plaited wreath:
Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll them out into 24" long
rolls. Start plaiting from the middle. Alternately put the right and
left roll over the middle roll. Finish the other half alternately
putting the right and left roll under the middle roll. Tuck in the
ends and let rise. Brush with whisked egg before putting them in the
oven. Oven temperature: 375F for 15-20 minutes for wreaths.

Moravian Christmas Cookies

2 cups Shortening
2 1/4 cups Brown sugar
1 quart Molasses
8 cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Cloves
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda *dissolved in 1 teaspoon Vinegar
Use a mixture of butter and lard for the shortening. Sift the flour
and spices together. Add sugar and mix well. Work in the shortening
with the finger tips or with a pastry blender. Add baking soda and
molasses and mix thoroughly. Chill. Roll very thin on floured board
and cut with fancy cookie cutters. Bake at 350-F about 10 minutes.

Moravian Scotch Cakes

1 1/2 cups Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Caraway seeds
Mix the flour, caraway seeds and sugar together. Work in the butter
with the finger tips until well blended. Roll out about 1/3 inch
thick on floured board. Cut in small squares. Bake on a greased
cookie sheet at 325-F about 15 minutes. When cold, cover with boiled
icing and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Nyponsoppa -- Rosehip soup

Children and grown-ups alike enjoy rosehip soup as a dessert or a
snack. Its vitamin C content makes it excellent for treating a sore
throat. The soup is served hot or cold. Hot soup is often served with
vanilla ice cream and/or macaroons. Cold soup can be somewhat diluted
to make a nice thirst-quencher. 6-8 servings.
1 litre (1 liquid quart) fresh rosehips or
8 Deci litre (3,5 cups) dried ones
2 litre (2 liquid quarts) water For 1 litre (1 liquid quart) of
rosehip pulp:
15-30 milli litre (1-2 tablespoons) sugar
10-15 milli litre (1 tablespoon) potato flour
50 grammes (1/4 cup) almonds
Rinse the rosehips. Crush dried hips. Boil in water till soft. Press
through a colander. Measure the pulp and dilute with water if
necessary. Bring the pulp to a boil and add sugar. Add more sugar if
it is too tart. Mix potato flour with some cold water. Thicken the
soup while you stir and bring to a boil. Add blanched and shredded
Orange-Cranberry chicken with sweet potatoes

1 Orange
1 4lb.Roasting Chicken
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 pound Sweet Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 cup Whole berry Cranberry Sauce
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
Preheat oven to 375%.Grate rind from orange (don't include the bitter
white part).Rinse chicken & pat dry.Sprinkle with salt,pepper & 1/2
the grated orange rind.Place,breast side up,on a rack in large
roasting pan.Roast for 30 minutes.Meanwhile pare & cut the sweet
potatoes into 1 inch slices,then toss with Olive oil.Place in single
layer in the bottom of roasting pan.Continue roasting 1 hour & 45
minutes,turning potatoes occasionally & basting chicken & potatoes
frequently,until the chicken juices run clear when the thickest part
of the thigh is pierced with fork & leg moves freely. During the last
1/2 hour of roasting,combine Chicken broth,cranberry sauce & vinegar
in a small saucepan.Bring to boiling over med.heat;boil 20 min. or
until reduced to 1 1/2 cups.Peel white pith from orange,seed flesh &
chop. Stir remaining rind & chopped orange into saucepan;simmer 5
min. Let Chicken rest for 20 minutes before carving.Cut chicken in
half lengthwise down the middle.Spoon Cranberry Sauce mixture over
chicken & serve with Sweet Potatoes.

Pepparkakor -- Gingersnaps

These are the gingersnaps that are ubiquitous in Sweden around Yule.
It takes a lot of time to bake out all the dough. NB: This is a two-
day recipe! 150 pieces
Oven temperature: 200C (375-400F) for 5-10 minutes.
Watch them closely, they get burnt very easily! 300 millilitre (1 1/4
cup) sugar
100 millilitre (1/2 cup) water
50 millilitre (scant 1/4 cup) treacle (molasses)
7 millilitre (1 1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
7 millilitre (1 1/2 teaspoon) ground ginger
7 millilitre (1 1/2 teaspoon) ground cloves
200 grammes (3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
(Optional: 30 millilitre (2 tablespoons) brandy)
1000 millilitre (4 1/2 cups) wheatflour (not selfraising)
10 millilitre (2 teaspoons) bicarbonate (=baking soda) Bring sugar,
water, treacle (molasses) and spices to a boil. Let cool. Add fat
little by little (and brandy, if used). Stir vigorously. Add flour
mixed with bicarbonate. Work the dough quickly and let it rest in the
refridgerator till the next day. Roll out the dough to a thickness of
1-2 millimeter. If it's too dry you can add up to 1/4 cup more water.
If you let the dough get too warm, it will stick to the roll. This is
best done on the non-stick paper. Punch out the desired forms with
cooky cutters and carefully remove the remaining dough. Bake. Repeat
until no dough remains. Dough can be stored for at least a week in an
airtight container in the refridgerator. No adverse effects are
reported from eating moderate amounts of dough. Traditional shapes of
cooky cutters are: woman, man, heart, pig. Other common shapes
include: goat, star, spruce, circle. Let the gingersnaps dry and cool
for an hour or so before storing them in airtight containers. They
are usually served as they are but the can be decorated with white
icing. Common decorations include adding more "realistic" detail to
shapes such as pigs. New ideas would be to make five-pointed stars
and inscribe a pentagram or to make circles and inscribe them with an
equal-armed cross.

Wishing on pepparkakor

Place a heartshaped pepparkaka in the palm of your hand. Firmly knock
on it once with the knuckle of your other hand. If it breaks into
exactly three pieces, you can wish on the pepparkaka. It's important
that you make your wish silently and not tell anyone about it, or it
won't work.

Roast Loin of venison with cranberries

2 thick slices of lemon
2 thick slices of orange
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 small bay leaf
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 pounds boneless loin of venison, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped juniper berries
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef or venison stock
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon, orange, ginger,
sugar and bay leaf with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil over
high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to
moderate and boil, uncovered, until syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in
the cranberries, then remove from heat and cool. Transfer the mixture
to a glass container, coer and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, stirring
once or twice during that time. Preheat the oven to 400F. Rub the
venison with the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of
the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the chopped juniper berries, pressing
the seasonings into the meat. Set the loin on a rack in a roasting
pan and roast, basting frequently with the pan juices, until medium-
rare (about 135 degrees F on a meat thermometer), 25 to 30 minutes.
Cover the venison loosely with foil and set aside for 10 to 15
minutes before carving. Meanwhile, remove and discard the bay leaf
and the lemon, orange and ginger slices from the cranberries. In a
food processor or blender, puree half the cranberries and half the
liquid until smooth. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, boil the wine
over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the
stock and bring to a boil. Add the cranberry puree, reduce the heat
to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10
minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the remaining whole cranberries and
add them to the sauce with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt,
pepper and chopped juniper berries. Swirl in the cold butter. Slice
the venison thinly (stir any juices into the sauce) and serve with
the sauce, reheated if necessary.
Saffransbröd -- Saffron bread

This cake is traditionally served for Lucia, December 13. The ways it
is formed are numerous. The most commonly seen are the lussekatt and
the wreath form. See the illustrations for details. Saffransbröd gets
dry very easily. For this reason I always freeze them as soon as they
are cold. I bring out only the number I will use on the same day.
They are delicious when defrosted in the microwave oven and served
hot. To get an even stronger saffron flavour and colour you can crush
the saffron and then mix it with the fat. Let it stand for a couple
of hours. This way the fat brings out more of the saffron flavour. In
my experience crushing the saffron with some sugar actually lessens
the saffron flavour even though it is often recommended. Use only
saffron of the highest quality you can afford. The woeful tales about
people who are miserly at Yule time are numerous. Makes 2-3 wreaths
or 36-42 buns
Oven temperature:
200-225C (375F) for 15-20 minutes for wreaths
225-250C (400-425F) for 5-10 minutes for buns

100-150 grammes (2-3 tablespoons) butter or margarine
500 (2 1/4 cups) millilitre milk
50 (2 teaspoons) grammes yeast
1 gram saffron
2 milli litre (1/2 teaspoon) salt
100-150 millilitre (1/2 cup) sugar
1-2 eggs
(For wreaths: 1-1.5 Deci litre (1/2 cup) seedless raisins)
1500-1700 millilitres (5.5 - 6 cups) wheat flour (not self-raising)
Egg and raisins for garnishing Melt the fat.
Add milk and warm to fingerwarmth (37C). Mix out yeast in some of the
milk. Crush the saffron in a mortar and pestle, or dissolve it in the
milk. Mix milk, yeast, saffron, salt, sugar and whisked egg (and
raisins if used) with most of the flour. Work the dough until it lets
go of the bowl, adding more flour if necessary. Spread some flour
over the dough and cover it with a clean towel. Let it rise to double
its size. Work the dough lightly on a floured surface. It should be a
light, pliable and rather loose dough. Form wreaths or buns. (See
separate instructions.) Put them on a non-stick oven paper on an oven
tray and let rise for 30-40 minutes. Brush with whisked egg and
garnish with raisins. Bake.
The most common form of saffransbroed is the lussekatt, Lucia cat.
Make two rolls 4 inch long and 1/2 inch in diameter, turning the ends
in towards the middle, and joining them back to back. Garnish with
one raisin in each of the 4 holes. Brush with whisked egg before
putting them in the oven. Another common is the kuse, horse. Take a
4" roll and turn the ends in towards the middle on either side so
that the kuse forms an s. Garnish with raisins in the 2 holes. Brush
with whisked egg before putting them in the oven. A common large form
is the wreath. There are several ways to make one. This is a plaited
wreath: Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll them out into
24" long rolls. Start plaiting from the middle. Alternately put the
right and left roll over the middle roll. Finish the other half
alternately putting the right and left roll under the middle roll.
Tuck in the ends and let rise. Brush with whisked egg before putting
them in the oven.

Soft Ginger Bread

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Butter or other shortening
3 cups Flour
1 cup Milk, sour
2 teaspoons Ginger
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cloves
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon Soda - dissolved in
1/4 cup boiling Water
Cream the shortening and sugar, add the eggs and molasses, and mix
well. Sift the flour and spices, and add alternately with the milk to
the first mixture. Stir in the dissolved soda. Pour into well-greased
cake pan and bake at 350-F 30 minutes.


1 1/2 c Milk; scald/cool to lukewarm
3 1/2 Yeast; dry/envelopes
3/4 cup Water; lukewarm
3 cups Flour; sifted
1/2 cup Eggs; yolks/lightly beaten
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter; softened
Flour; 10-11 cups, as needed
5 cups currants
1 1/2 c Almonds; chopped or slivered
1 cup Citron; chopped
1/2 Lemon; rind only/grated
2 teaspoons Rum
Milk should be cooled to about 100 degrees. Dissolve the yeast in the
lukewarm water and add 1/4 cup of the cooled milk and 3 cups sifted
flour. Cover the sponge with a cloth and let it ripen until bubbles
appear on the surface and it is about to drop in the center. Pour the
remaining milk over the sponge. Add the egg yolks, sugar and salt and
beat until the ingredients are well blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat
well. Blend in the butter. Add more flour gradually to make a smooth
dough, or until 10 to 11 cups have been added. Some flours absorb
more liquid than others. Knead in the currants, almonds, and citron,
along with the lemon rind which should be mixed with the rum. Knead
the dough until the fruits and nuts are dispersed well through it and
it is smooth. Dust the top lightly with flour and let it rise in a
warm place about 45 minutes. Punch it down and let stand for 20
minutes. Divide the dough in half and knead the pieces until smooth.
Let them stand for 10 minutes longer. Place one ball of dough on a
lightly floured board, and with a rolling pin, press down the center
of the ball, and roll the pin to and fro 4 to 5 times, pressing all
the time to make an elliptical shape 6 inches long and 3 1/2" wide.
The center rolled part should be 1/8" thick and 4 inches long. Both
ends should remain untouched, resembling rather thick lips. Place
this rolled out piece of dough on a buttered baking sheet and brush
the center part with melted butter. Fold one lip toward the other and
on the top of it. Press the fingertips down near and below the lips,
pulling somewhat apart. Give a pull away from each end, pointing them
toward the lips. The shape should resemble a waning moon. Repeat the
process with the second piece of dough. Let the Stollen rise, covered
in a warm place until they double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake
them in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 35 to 40 minutes. Do
not overbake them. Cool them on racks. Brush them with butter and
cover with vanilla sugar.
Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

6 sweet potatoes
1 cup cranberry sauce
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon orange rind
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cranberries
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Boil sweet potatoes in their skins until barely tender. Peel, slice
thickly, and arrange in a buttered baking dish. In saucepan mix
remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Pour over
sweet potatoes and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or
until glazed and hot.

Thin German Crepes

These pancakes are brilliant for the morning after the Solstice, and
are excellent served the European way: with a sprinkling of sugar and
fresh lemon juice squeezed on top.
5 well beaten eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups milk Add salt, sugar and flour to beaten eggs to make a
smooth paste. Add milk and stir well until thin and creamy. Let sit
for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Stir again and cook as pancakes with
a hot buttered pan. Re-apply small amounts of butter as needed. Serve
with lemons and sugar, rolled up and cut, or with any accompaniments
you can think of.

Wassail Punch

1 Dozen apples; baked
1 cup Water
4 cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground mace
6 Whole cloves
6 Allspice berries
1 Stick cinnamon
1 Dozen eggs, separated
4 Bottles sherry or Madeira wine
2 cups Brandy
Ancient England gave us the custom of "wassailing". It is based on
the tradition of friends gathering in a circle, whereupon the host
drinks to the health of all present. He sips from a glass of hot
punch or spiced ale, then passes the glass. A special bowl was used
as the vessel. As each friend raises the vessel, before sipping he or
she proclaims the Saxon toast "Wass hael!" meaning "be whole" or "be
well." Although many versions exist, this one contains the symbolic
ingredients: apples, representing fertility and health; spices,
signifying riches and variety; eggs, a symbol of life and rebirth; as
well as wine and brandy. The beverage is served hot, so plan on a
heatproof punchbowl. This makes enough for a crowd. Just how large a
crowd depends on your group's taste for rich, spicy wine drinks.
Figure on at least 16-18 servings. Cook's notes: This also can be
made with a combination of beer and wine, preferably sherry, with
roughly 4 parts beer to one part sherry. The resulting flavor is
authentic to the Colonial period, but far less familiar to
contemporary palates.
Prepare the punch: Combine water, sugar, and spices in a large
stainless steel, enamel or glass saucepan. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat, and boil for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg
whites until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the egg
yolks until light in color. In separate pans, bring the wine (and
beer, if used) and the brandy almost to the boiling point. Fold the
whites into the yolks, using a large heatproof bowl. Strain the sugar
and spice mixture into the eggs, combining quickly. Incorporate the
hot wine with the spice and egg mixture, beginning slowly and
stirring briskly with each addition. Toward the end of this process,
add the brandy. Now, just before serving and while the mixture is
still foaming, add the baked apples.
Presentation: Serve in heatproof cups or punch glasses. Guests are
welcome to take part or all of an apple.

Tradition Wassail (1)

The traditional, classic Yuletide hot mulled cider drink. 4 litres
apple cider or juice (fresh milled organic is excellent!)
1 orange, chopped
1 lime, chopped
1 lemon, chopped
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 t. ground cinnamon
1 inch-square piece of fresh ginger or 1/4 t. ground ginger
1 t. cloves, allspice and/or star anise
brandy or rum for adults, optional
Heat all and simmer in an enamel pot (aluminum can impart a metallic
flavor) on low for an hour, then serve to cold, caroling folks.

Wassail (2)

2 Quarts apple juice
2 1/4 cups Pineapple juice
2 cups Orange juice
1 cup Lemon juice
1/2 cup Sugar
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon Whole cloves
Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover,
reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer an additional
20 minutes. Strain and discard cinnamon and cloves. Serve hot.
Yield: 3 quarts.

Plum Pudding

1/4 lb. flour
1/4 lb. currants
1 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. sultanas (small raisins)
1 tsp. allspice
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tsp. ginger
1 ounce cut mixed (citrus) peel
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 oz. shredded almonds
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Juice and grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/4 lb. fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 lb. molasses (treacle)
1/2 lb. shredded suet
4 large eggs
1/4 lb. brown sugar
2 tbsp. brandy
1/4 lb. dried chopped apricots
1/4 lb. prunes
1/4 lb dates
Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs,
suet and sugar. Add fruits, peel and rind. Beat lemon and orange
juice, molasses and eggs together and add to other ingredients. Steam
for 6 hours -- a coffee tin filled with the mixture and placed in a
steamer in a covered pan does well. A little vinegar and lemon juice
in the water will prevent the pan from discoloration.
After steaming cover in a cool place and let age as long as possible -
usually about 5 weeks. To serve, re-steam for another 3 hours.
Remove from tin, douse with warm brandy and set it ablaze!

Yule Brew

4 parts cinnamon
4 parts allspice
2 parts nutmeg
2 parts lemon peel
2 parts clove
1 part bay
2 parts chamomile
50 parts black tea
Heat until well steeped. Serve with thin apple slices

Yule Moon Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cup. flour
1 1/2 cups grated almonds (blanched)
1 tsp. vanillaIcing:
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 T. water
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add grated
lemon peel, salt, flour, grated almonds, and 1 tsp. vanilla; mix
thoroughly. Place dough in bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly. When
dough is well chilled; or next day, roll out dough to 1/8" thickness
and cut with moon/crescent cookie cutter. Place 1/2" apart on
ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8 to 10
minutes. Icing:
While cookies bake, combine confectioner's sugar, vanilla and water.
Spread over tops of cookies while still warm, but not too hot as
icing will melt. Thin with additional drops of water if glaze is too
thick. Allow cookies to cool. Yield: 10 dozen cookies.

Yule Log Cookies

1/2 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tablespoons Butter or margarine, softened
1 Egg
1 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon Ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
Red and green decorator icing
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, beat the brown sugar and margarine until blended.
Add the egg; beat until well blended. Lightly spoon flour into
measuring cup; level off. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda
and spices; mix well. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured
surface, roll each half of dough with your hands to make two 10 1/2-
inch logs; flatten slightly to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. With a
spatula, place the logs 2 to 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie
sheet. Dip a non-serrated knife in water; score each log diagonally
at 3/4-inch intervals. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until set and no
longer moist. Cool for 1 minute. Remove from the cookie sheet; place
on a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut the
logs at the scored lines. Cool completely. Decorate each cookie with
decorator icing to resemble a holly leaf and berries.

Yule Cookies - Scotch Shortbread

3/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour, or whole wheat if you like
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix butter and sugar thoroughly, Measure the flour after sifting it (
you can use a fine strainer, if you like ), Or you can just eyeball
it. Work in the flour with your hands. Make a log out of the dough,
wrap it in cellophane and chill it for a few hours, until its cold
and firm. Take it out, Slice it up into about 2 dozen circles, and
bake it in a preheated 350 degree F oven on ungreased cookie sheets
for about 20 to 25 minutes. Don't look for them to brown. Just take
them out when they look like you want to eat them!
Now, you can do some add-ins. You could add a couple drops of food
coloring to the butter and sugar if you want to brighten things up a
little. You can also add some orange, lemon, or lime zest (that's
the skin of the cirtus, not including the pulp). Dried fruits or
nuts are nice, too. So's chocolate chips! You can cut them into
interesting shapes other than circles, too. Just have fun, and don't
burn your tongue eating them before they cool!

Yule Incense:

Burn during all Winter rites and also to purify
the home from November 1 to March 21
Equal parts of:

Yule Incense 2:
(Making Magickal Incenses by Keith Morgan)

Yule is the Sabbat that is celebrated on or around
the 21st of December, with dates differing from year
to year, as being when the sun enters the sign of
Capricorn, to mark the Winter Solstice.
5 parts pine resin
4 parts mistletoe
3 parts spruce resin
5 ml musk oil per 8 oz. of dry mixture

Yule Incense:loose only
(Wylundt's Book of Incense)

1 1/2 part sandalwood
1/2 part benzoin
1/2 part frankincense
1/4 part myrrh
bayberry oil

(Incense, Oils and Brews by Cunningham)

2 parts frankincense
2 parts pine needles or resin
1 part cedar
1 part juniper berries


3 parts frankincense
1/2 part mistletoe
1 part juniper berries
few drops juniper oil
few drops orange oil


1 part cypress
1 part oak bark
1 part juniper berries


1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp.nutmeg
1 tsp.pine
1 tsp. cedar
1 tsp. frankincense
1 tsp. myrrh, few
drops mulberry oil


2 drops cinnamon oil
2 drops clove oil
2 drops frankincense oil
2 drops myrrh oil
1 drop mandarin oil
1 drop pine oil


1 dram pine oil
1 dram balsam fir oil
5 drams almond oil
1 cinnamon stick
handful of cloves
1 drop musk oil, apple wood pieces;
Warm over low heat


One 6-8" branch fresh-cut spruce
One 6-8" branch fresh-cut short needle pine
One 6-8" branch fresh-cut cedar
2 tb. frankincense resin, ground,
1 tb. bayberry oil;
Cut branches into 1 inch pieces, put into a jar.
Add remaining ingredients and cover with base oil
and steep.


1 dram pine oil
1 dram cinnamon oil
1 dram olive oil
1 tsp.ginger root, broken into small pieces
3 tsp. sea salt

(Incense, Oils and Brews by Cunningham)

7 parts juniper
4 parts cinnamon
4 parts allspice
4 parts ginger
4 parts caraway
2 parts nutmeg
2 parts rosemary
2 parts lemon peel
2 parts orange peel
1 part clove
1 part bay
2 pinches orris root
Tie up in green or red cloth and give as gifts on Yule.

(by Gerena Dunwich)

1 cup oakmoss
2 cups dried mistletoe
1 cup dried pointsetta flowers
1 cup dried bayberries
1/2 cup rosemary
1/2 cup holly leaves and berries
3 crushed pinecones
20 drops musk oil
25 drops pine oil