Monday, November 1, 2010

The Dark & Light Samhain

Cooking Adventure: Baked Apples
The Bellydance Soundtrack: Aria by Medieval Baebes
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30-45 min.

I've always loved the Medieval Baebes, and one day I will find the time to choreograph a veil piece to one of their gorgeous songs. For now, though, I'm letting their music carry me into the new year. The baebes song, "Aria", talks about children chasing their shadows. The lyrics go:

The shadowe catchen they ne might,                                       This shadow never shall be caught
Fo no lines that they couthe lay.                                              In any trap they lay.
This shadewe I may liken aright                                              This shadow in the likeness
To this world and yesterday.                                                   Of this world and yesterday.

We can never have the past back - although some of us try. And those of us who do will only find ourselves grasping at shadows of what was. This is the darker side of Samhain - the pain that we experience when relatives or friends pass onto the next life. Whether that next life is Heaven, reincarnation, or even decomposition, we mourn the emptiness that's created when that person leaves us.

But whatever your beliefs, we can all agree that death is never the end. Our spirits move on, memories are made and kept (And sometimes, as is the case with my father-in-law's stories, embellished.), and our bodies go to feed the earth. Several of my Mexican students are celebrating Día de los Muertos tonight. They will cook food for the dead, tell their (possibly embellished) stories, and finally, will end the night praying for their loved ones who have passed. They will also light candles for the dead in order to guide them home for the night. Tonight I took from the Catholic page a bit and lit my own candle for my grandma.

I acknowledged death, but I also celebrated life. And what better way to enjoy life than through desert - an ending that only encourages us to cook more sugary endings. In this case, it has inspired my husband to cook on the next sabbat (He's already itching to cook goose for Yule.). 

A Blessed Samhain to you all. May we be ready to face the new year and the adventures it brings us.

 -4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold
 -1/4 cup brown sugar
 -1 teaspoon cinnamon
 -1/4 cup chopped pecans
 -1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
 -1 Tbsp butter
 -3/4 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash apples. Remove cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer, but if not, you can use a paring knife to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about 3/4-inch to an inch wide.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans. Place apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture. Top with a dot of butter (1/4 of the Tbps).
3. Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.
4. Serve warm.


Faerie Sage said...

Wonderful song! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and your beautiful music, I cant wait to get back to dancing, just have to heal first :)
Blessed Be

Diandra said...

Sounds delicious! At home, we usually bake apples with marchpane and candied orange peel and almonds, but I might try this one in time... maybe next weekend, when my sister's family comes over... ^^

Foxy said...

Oooh sounds delish!

Mrs BC said...

Yummo! Also loving the new banner :-)

Kally83 said...

That sounds delicious!!

If you get a moment, I'd love if you could pop over to my blog, I have a little something for you :)

Tea Witch said...

Well that sounds incredibly tasty. Wanna come and make it for me?? LOL.

Loving the new look of your blog. I really need to redo mine...Samhain is over.

SpiritWings said...

This sounds wonderful! I can't wait to give it a try. =)