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Fantasy Foodie: It's a Harvest Feast!


Come one, come all, Parliament people and fantasy foodies everywhere...

Our trek through the year's long and exceptionally sunny summer has come to an end. We celebrated the official start of Fall on Monday, September 23rd, marking the official beginning of fall! As stated in our 5 Mini Harvest Moon Rituals post earlier this month, the Autumn Equinox marks the end of the second harvest. Many take this time to reap what they've sown in preparation for the dark and frigid winter ahead. Today, this holiday is named after the Welsh sun god, Mabon ap Modron.

In this sense, it truly is a magical Thanksgiving.

On this week's Wednesday segment, we're celebrating with not a recipe, but an entire feast, fit for for family, friends witches, warlocks, Fair Folk, elves, banshees, and vampires everywhere. Perhaps not the latter two, but you catch my drift—everyone who's willing to be accommodating.

And we musn't forget to watch out for that darned Shrike...

Before we share these recipes, here are some Mabon correspondences. You might even spot some in our ingredient lists!

Colors: Orange, gold, ochre, russet, brown, burgundy

Stones: Yellow topaz, lapis lazuli, sapphire, amber, citrine

Herbs/ fruit: Grains, honeysuckle, sage, cinnamon, rosemary, myrrh, thistle, raisins, apples

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is a traditional late medieval dish thought to be popularized by King Henry IV. It's a hearty stew perfect for the chill of autumn, and it's a potted dish, making it easy to prepare for a bunch of people.

Ingredients:

3 lbs chicken legs and thighs

3 cups Burgundy red wine, or any dry red to substitute

4 oz bacon or pork belly, diced

2 onions, diced

8 oz white or brown mushrooms, sliced

1 large carrot, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 bay leaves

3 tsp olive oil

1 tsp tomato paste

1 tbsp white flour

3 tbsp butter

1 tsp dried rosemary or 2 rosemary sprigs

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup dried thyme

A pinch of brown sugar

Salt & pepper for cooking and to taste

First, brine your chicken in a large bowl or ziplock bag, mixed with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, your wine, olive oil, bay leaves, and thyme. Cover and leave for 2-3 hours, or overnight for intenser flavor.

In your cooking pot, render the bacon/ pork belly down over medium-low heat until the fat has liquified, then transfer the pieces onto another plate on the side.

Remove the brined chicken, saving the wine marinade. Place the chicken into the pork fat and fry until golden brown, turning them so they brown evenly. After they're finished, transfer chicken to the same plate as the pork belly.

Add the onions, mushrooms, carrots, butter, and 1/4 tsp salt to the pot. Cook over medium heat until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally. Then, add the garlic and tomato paste, stirring in flour and cook for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the wine marinade, thyme, parsley, and sugar, and let this reduce for about 10 minutes.

Lastly, add chicken, pork, and accumulated juices to your pot, topping with the dried rosemary; however, if you're using fresh rosemary sprigs, then place them on top of the mixture and the flavor will steam in. Cover and simmer for one hour. Serve with steamed potatoes, mash, or with buttered toast or brioche—and be careful to warn your guests about those lurking bay leaves before they dig in.

Bara Brith

Since Mabon is named after a god in ancient Welsh mythology, we had to incorporate a delicious ode to the most musical Celtic culture! Thank you reader, Aimee Jones, for the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup mixed dried fruit

1 cup hot water

1 teabag (any will do)

1 tsp mixed spice (ground allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, coriander, ginger; if you don't have all of these, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger will do)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp marmalade

1 tbsp honey and more to drizzle

1 egg

1 cup self-raising flour

Butter to grease pan and serve

1 small-medium sized loaf tin

Combine the boiled water, mixed fruit, and teabag in your mixing bowl, leaving to soak overnight. Cover with tin foil.

When you're ready, set the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your tin with melted butter. Add honey, sugar, and marmalade into your mixing bowl with the tea and dried fruit. Remove the tea bag!

Add the egg and sift in your flour and mixed spice. Stir until all ingredients are combined, then bake for 60 minutes.

Once cooked and risen, remove from the oven and glaze with honey and butter while still hot.

Poison Apple Crisp

No Mabon feast would be complete without apples, would it? You should know... the real poison apples are the green kind! *Scoffs and flips cloak* What did that Evil Queen know, anyway? Here is our Blog Maven's special family recipe, perfect for poisoning or enchanting your local kingdom princess—whichever you're feeling that evening.

Filling:

5 Granny Smith apples, sliced

1 stick butter, melted

0.5 cup stevia or raw brown sugar to sweeten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cinnamon

Crisp topping:

1 stick of butter, softened or left out overnight

1.5 cups almond flour

0.5 cup stevia or brown sugar

1.5 tsp arrowroot powder (or 1 tbsp honey if you can't get to a local health food store)

1 pinch of salt for good luck

Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the filling, melt one stick of butter in a stovetop skillet, then add the sliced apples. Add the sweetened, vanilla, cinnamon, and stir over medium heat until it reaches a lovely brown—be careful to not burn the sugar if you choose to use that over stevia. Pour filling into your baking dish and set aside.

For the crumble, take a second mixing bowl and combine almond flour, sweetener, honey, and salt. Mix thoroughly and add in the softened stick of butter. By mixing with a fork, this should form small clumps. After all the loose flour is absorbed, sprinkle evenly into baking dish, atop the filling.

To garnish, add some extra stevia/ sugar and cinnamon on top!

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is crisp and brown. The aroma wafting from your hearth will make the entire home smell incredible.

Don't forget—if you enjoy our bewitching books and blog posts and would like to kindly support us, we accept glowing toadstools, ground newt eyes, but most preferably monetary donation of your choice in exchange for behind-the-scenes treats, early peeks at upcoming title covers and first chapters, and author exclusives found nowhere else. Become a Patron of Parliament, and remember, if we ever sound like a secret society, it's probably because we are. Inquire within.

The Parliament House coven wishes you much merriment, blessing, and jovial spook this autumn season as we rejoice alongside everyone that hold traditions in the second harvest. Food brings folks together, friends both new and old. Propose a feast, and if you're hosting, make it a potluck and have each person bring a dish, side, or dessert! Take the time to savor each bite with gratitude and acknowledge the hands that have contributed to your meal, from seed, to harvest, to plate.

Happy Harvest, from our family to yours.

Mwynha dy ddiwrnod! Bon appètit!

Kindly,

The Blog Maven


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