Archives for category: Holidays
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Last week I was contemplating various ironies that Thanksgiving sacraments of yore were more about fasting than feasting, as discussed in Ken Albala’s article “The Other Side of Thanksgiving.”  Meanwhile US activists had travelled to Cuba to enact a fasting ritual as a powerful, haunting protest against ongoing detentions at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Witness Against Torture also organises regular Friday fasts, as a means to keep the focus on this issue of justice and human rights. They are also organising a fast for the 14 year anniversary of indefinite detention in early January.

photo by Justin Norman

photo by Justin Norman

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What extraordinary pictures.  They show a family breaking the first Ramadan fast in Gaza, just last night, where so many people still live in dangerous homes destroyed last summer.  I saw these photos posted via We Are Not Numbers, an organisation that seeks to tell individual stories as a way to fight injustice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Those cute Passover confections are not my creations. They were born in the kitchen of a friend whose creativity and active spiritual questioning manifest in her culinary arts.  I’m often trying to lure her into “guest blogging” here on KitchenCounterCulture, but this time I asked if I could do a post-from-afar in lieu of anything Pesach-related of my own… So here we have Macaroons for Passover in her unique but inspirational style of “Intuitive Cooking,” from which I have much to learn.  …And want to share with readers as well.  Thank you Jess! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Festival of Holi —  a Hindu celebration of the beginning of spring, of love, and of colour, riotous colour, people throwing colour with spices, pigments, coloured waters, all over each other in frolicsome revelry.  I’ve only read about this, but it’s a source of fantasy, one day before I die to be somewhere in India during this time, to witness, no, to be part of it all.  The experience of colour is one of my greatest joys.  And vintage cookbooks!

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St David’s Day can feel like “Wales Day”, with children in Welsh Lady costumes and rugby shirts and woolen caps making daffodil crafts in school, shops trying to sell Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith, and plastic dragons made in China roaring all over the retail sector.  Yet the kitsch doesn’t feel sarcastic, or shallow, but rather an affectionate nod to the obvious signs of Welsh identity.  People dress their kids up as Welsh as they dressed up as Welsh and back and back, and in fact the early Welsh Ladies themselves were dressing up as Welsh Ladies as a way to go to market.   Much that is specific to Wales is invisible and elusive– a quality of heart and poetry and singing and performance and community. It’s hard to specify, this thing called “Welsh”– within it there’s the warm cuddliness of a cwtch combined with the hard-scrabble get-on-with-life of rugged hill people, and miners.  At least that’s how I see it after seven years here.  Any Welsh friends are welcome to correct me! Read the rest of this entry »

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What a beautiful sight to behold, these small February leeks grown locally by our friend Emma at Ash and Elm. Wear one into battle with the Saxons, hold it to your heart to profess love, make a crown with daffodils and honor St David, Patron Saint 0f Wales, whose feast day is Sunday and I am making different treats– tune in again soon for a developing situation.

Yesterday it was a gratin, as I’ve been thinking lately about ways to layer and bake vegetables in the oven

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— economical, healthful, easy vegetable-focused family food I want to make more often. These leeks looked so perfect for that, beckoning as they did to the Caerfai Caerphilly, a really fresh, grassy, un-pasteurised, organic traditional cheese from St David’s in Pembrokeshire– the very place of this important Welsh saint. Read the rest of this entry »

Pancakes for Climate Justice!

On the one hand this video is a great demonstration of how to write messages or designs into your pancakes.  I wonder if the batter in the bottle is coloured with cocoa powder –or what makes it dark?

On the other, this video will hopefully travel around and help get the word out about the absolute dispiriting disgusting demoralising disgrace of biofuels subsidised as renewables and campaigning work against Drax as the largest power station in the world that runs on them (and coal!). Please share.

Biofuelwatch is an important resource for information and action against industrial biofuels as a false and dangerous solution to climate change.

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Rose petals are all over internet recipes these days! I wonder if you have noticed this too.  Sprinkled on cakes and infused in creams and mixed with dried orange peel in harissa in all sorts of spicy North African-inspired dishes.

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Because roses are associated with romantic love, they’re an iconic Valentine’s Day flower.  There is in the perfume of roses something so love-ly indeed.  A few years ago, during a very low ebb, a friend who is a herbalist gave me a gift: a tincture of rose to spray on myself as a kind of self-love potion.  “A hug in a bottle,” she called it.  It worked.  That’s what a lot of us need: self-love potions.

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A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Him who made us all.

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