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Author Topic: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?  (Read 3782 times)

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Green Seeker

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Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« on: September 08, 2011, 12:05:29 PM »

Just wondering what my fellow Pagans will be doing for the 2011 Autumnal Equinox (assuming you celebrate the Sabbats, of course).

I'm thinking about harvesting a bunch of acorns (if they are ready in time) and crafting some homemade acorn meal/flour. I hear some varieties (especially the white oaks) have a pleasant taste once the tannins are removed through boiling. I plan on using the meal to make really hearty and dense breads. Half I'll sweeten with honey and maybe add some apples to the batter, the other I will use some wild onions and garlic to create a savory flavor.

I'll be sure to leave the best two loaves of each batch as an offering to the tree, share the rest with friends and family, and then perhaps retire to the backyard to relax outside and enjoy the changing colors of the foliage around me. I love this time of year!
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Eternal Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 12:13:46 PM »


I will be leading three rituals, (prison ministries) and attending a third, (a CUUPS group), in addition to the private family one. I don't yet know what forms they will all take.

peace,
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Tirya

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 12:15:30 PM »

Acorn flour - I wish I'd thought of that last year when my post oaks were dropping acorns like rain! :)
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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 01:12:07 PM »

I guess they're also easy to store for future use if you keep them in the hulls. Just make sure you hang them in a cloth sack or other similar method so that mold doesn't grow if you pack them too tightly.

With the cost of nuts being so high I think it's going to be fun to experiment with the acorns since the price is just a little time and effort. They can be used any way that you can use a typical tree nut. After processing (which is just boiling them in a couple changes of water until the tannins are dissolved and the water stops changing color) some varieties of oak trees produce acorns that rival chestnuts in flavor.

I'll keep you guys posted and let you know how they taste. Anyone have a squirrel familiar/totem guide?? Perhaps eating acorns would be a good way to get in touch...haha.
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 03:43:49 PM »

GW and I are going to the Serpentsone Harvest Gathering!  Can't wait to see our Pagan family and dance around the fire!   :yeah:
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Tirya

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 03:47:32 PM »

I'm going to try to make bread. One of my dance sisters gave me a recipe for oven-made foccacia that looks easy enough for me to try. Aside from that I'm going to focus on maintaining balance - Mabon would have been my fifth anniversary.
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 04:20:10 PM »

Too bad you can't come up here for the weekend.  We could go to the RenFest!  :D
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Tirya

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 04:25:24 PM »

When I heard that KCRF was dog-friendly, I just about flipped! Gonna have to save a vacation day next year to take Friday off to come see you!
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Fox

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 04:38:49 PM »

That would be awesome!   :yeah:
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earthmuffin

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 09:39:42 PM »

Acorns... I've always wanted to do that with the kids, GS. Let me know how it turns out and please post recipes.

With any luck we will visit a local power spot we visit every year around Mabon. I don't know about baking bread.... but I would love to harvest some elderberries for making jam and liqueur also if I can find the time.
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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2011, 09:12:12 AM »

I'm going to try to make bread. One of my dance sisters gave me a recipe for oven-made foccacia that looks easy enough for me to try. Aside from that I'm going to focus on maintaining balance - Mabon would have been my fifth anniversary.

Mmmm foccacia. You should share the recipe!

I'll let you guys know how the acorn bread turns out and I'll post my recipes when I decide on one. My bread baking experience is just banana bread...so we shall see. Making other types of bread sounds a little more complicated. I'm hoping to find a recipe for a really dense and hearty bread that I can adapt.
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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2011, 09:14:57 AM »

GW and I are going to the Serpentsone Harvest Gathering!  Can't wait to see our Pagan family and dance around the fire!   :yeah:

I have yet to attend any kind of Pagan gathering. I'm going to have to check out some websites and find some local events in the Upstate NY region. Years and years ago, in my early teenage days, I was too young to attend events and my parents were not very supportive. After a decade I've decided to reclaim my spirituality so a Pagan event sounds like a great idea!
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2011, 02:53:36 PM »

While making my pizza dough this afternoon, I was thinking about this thread and something occurred to me.  There really isn't any reason why you couldn't use a bread recipe similar to the banana bread you are already comfortable with and adapt it to fit using your acorn flour.  Using a non-yeast bread recipe would be a little less complicated and give you the denser bread result you are looking for.  Similar to most whole wheat bread recipes, you use half or a little less of the total amount of flour as the whole wheat and the rest is an all purpose flour.  You could easily do the same using the acorn flour (probably less than half the total flour as it will be even more course than whole wheat flour).  I think trying it with even the bananas would be a very interesting bread.  Just some thoughts to hopefully inspire you!  :D
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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 09:44:20 AM »

Hrm...after looking into the whole acorn thing a little more...I'm thinking that I will pass on using them as a food source. It's not that I don't think they sound delicious...but they're such a valuable food source for our wild animals that I don't think I'm going to harvest any for myself. Since there is no more American chestnuts, acorns and beech nuts are a staple and can mean the difference between surviving until Spring or starving to death for many species.

I was only going to harvest acorns from trees on my property to begin with but I've noticed there are a lot of chipmunks that scurry around in my yard. I'd hate to think that one might starve to death because I wanted to make some acorn bread.

I'll have to find some other way to incorporate the spirit of the harvest into my Mabon celebration it seems...
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 10:42:47 AM »

They aren't in any danger of starvation because you harvest a few for yourself. Don't forget that we are a part of nature as well!
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2011, 12:30:00 PM »

They aren't in any danger of starvation because you harvest a few for yourself. Don't forget that we are a part of nature as well!
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2011, 01:09:02 PM »

To make a small batch of bread, you would probably only need about a cup of ground nuts.  Not enough in the grand scheme of things to make an impact on your local wildlife. ;)
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2011, 01:19:56 PM »

...and if you really feel guilty, you can pick up some seed corn at the store (like Lowe's or Home Depot) to put out as a replacement. ;)
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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2011, 02:31:11 PM »

This is true...the other issue is beating the chipmunks to the acorns on the ground. The oak trees are HUGE, so reaching up to shake the branches isn't feasible. Climbing is definitely out of the question.

There are acorn caps everywhere, but no nuts.

I was planning on keeping a steady supply of raw peanuts out this Winter for the squirrels and chipmunks anyway, so I suppose competing for a few acorns during this season of plenty isn't a big deal.
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2011, 03:06:10 PM »

Perhaps not a banner year for acorns where you are. I would send you some, but may be hard pressed to get them to you by Mabon. You could still make bread. What about trying a squash bread or some other vegetable you might find locally?

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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2011, 09:13:44 AM »

Perhaps not a banner year for acorns where you are. I would send you some, but may be hard pressed to get them to you by Mabon. You could still make bread. What about trying a squash bread or some other vegetable you might find locally?

That is so very kind of you! I appreciate the offer. This morning went well...I managed to find no less that seven unscathed acorns on the lawn. It seems the chipmunks start at their harvesting before it's light enough for me to see outside. At this rate, I should have one cup of acorn flour by mid-October.

The squash bread isn't a bad idea...perhaps acorn squash, even.
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2011, 09:38:48 AM »

Just the baking of the bread itself is very symbolic of Mabon. It is one of the main Harvest Sabbats. Any type of bread is suitable!

Think Thanksgiving type foods. Corn breads, Banana breads, anything pumpkin. The possibilities are endless really!
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Green Seeker

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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2011, 08:50:37 AM »

I have an update! Apparently I wasn't patient enough and the oak tree is so huge that it's hard to see whether there are acorns on the branches near the crown...

Just the other day, the acorns began to fall en masse. Every minute or so you can hear one bouncing through the canopy or landing in my neighbors pool. There's so many that fall every day now that I hardly have to worry about competeing with the local chipmunks.

I currently have about 8 cups of unprocessed and shelled acorns that I dried in the oven at 175 degrees for twenty minutes. I had about twice that number to begin with but after sorting them carefully for insect damage and whatnot the number was reduced by half. I'm hoping that by the end of the weekend I'll have a pretty decent amount to process and grind into flour. I'll be sure to take some pictures as the journey continues to share what everything looks like at the various stages!

One thing I noticed that was very interesting was the faint smell of the acorns after being dried in the oven. It smells like...Autumn...almost like that faint sweetness of fallen leaves as they begin to decay. I must have looked like a loon standing in my kitchen sniffing handfulls of nuts but it's really not very often that we can truly immerse ourselves in the spirit of a season during the crazy rush of our daily lives.
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2011, 09:08:11 AM »

Cool!   :D
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Re: Mabon 2011--What are you planning?
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2011, 09:09:28 AM »

 :groovin:
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