Monday, August 29, 2011

[Recipe Monday] Sausage and Lentils

1 pack of chicken sausages, grilled and chopped
1 pound of dried lentils
1 onion, diced
2 pieces of bacon, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup garlic and herb infused oil (wegman's makes basting oil that I used)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and then once that starts crisping, add the onion. Cook for about five minutes. Add everything else except the sausage. Now add water so that the lentils are covered and there's an inch or two of water above the lentils. Cover. Cook covered for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Uncover. Cook for about another 15 minutes, the lentils should be al dente not mush. If there's still liquid in the pot, cover again off heat for about ten minutes to absorb the liquid. Top with sausage. Nom!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

[wedding borkery] Honeymoon Contemplation

While we were thinking to take a cruise, hurricane Irene gave us a lot more downtime than we're used to so I decided to look into some other options. I really like ship life and the structure a cruise has as well as how offline it forces you to be but . . .you can't really get to see v. much of an area, the food isn't the most awesome ever (though it's decent, free and plentiful), it's a little pricey and . . .let's be frank. The rooms aren't the most romantic ever. A balcony and room service are romantic and the easy access to booze and nightlife is fun so there's a lot of pluses to consider but I wanted to make sure that it was the right choice.

I started researching places in the New England (as both Jow and I find it romantic) area covered under my mom's timeshare as she has a good amount of weeks and we'd just have to pay the exchange fee which would be v. nominal and showed Jow what I found. He liked the idea of a cruise but wasn't completely sold on it either, so right now I think we're going to go to the Berkshires as it's become a really interesting arty area with pretty scenery and really great restaurants and we'd stay here. It won a gold crown award (which they don't give to many), got really good user awards and every villa has a sexy fireplace and many have hot tubs along with full kitchens and nice master bedrooms. Neither of us have ever been to the Berkshires (important for me as I've been a lot of places and I want us to both experience it for the first time), it's only three and a half hours away so it's a fun lengthed road trip and I think it's a better fit. We save a lot of money going there so we can go for really nice dinners and really do it up. Plus . . .villa.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Items at La Sirene et Le Corbeau

My shop is now filled to the brim with lush smelling hand poured beeswax votives, luxuriously soft handspun yarns, posh apothecary style hand blended oils and beautifying hand felted goat's milk soaps! <3

We're all sold on the copy and the pics? Awesome. I'm tired. Today was supposed to be resting but my new camera came and everyone on my facebook went on and on about how the expensive to me camera I was looking at was barely a camera and the camera above that was the bottom of the barrel and . . . I'm not much of a photographer. I'm usually throwing the party so I'm too busy hiding/hostessing to take pics, I still haven't mastered taking pics of myself and really I just mostly need it for my etsy shop and a little bit socially. So . . .fuck it. I sold some items with my old shitty camera, surely anything would be an improvement. So I read a bunch of reviews (user and CNET) on what I thought was a reasonable amount of money to spend on camera and wound up with a Kodak Easyshare. It's pink and it came with a memory card and is dumbed down to a level that is insulting even to me as I have had to learn how to take okay pictures (really I just want a Melissa and whatever behind the scenes elves do the tedious parts of blogging for Penelope) to compensate for my five year old camera (and it wasn't a top of the line so no it didn't age awesome). The dumbed down aspect is flat out offensive and slightly aggravating but it takes good pictures within five shots, more within the third shot and it keeps registering what I want correctly (flash level, macro/landscape/portrait, etc.) so I can feel superior or I can just get it done. Then I needed to count the yards of yarn, figure out copy and upload everything onto Etsy which is tedious as hell. It took all day but now everything's in the shop which will make adding a thing here and there easy.

Feel free to critique or offer suggestions, I probably don't know where you live or have your personal concerns and besides as established I'm too tired to hex today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Other Lives. Further Scenes From a Pagan Household

Dear Muse,
You are a horrible fickle b*tch. You had nothing to say to me for months and now? Now? Last night when I had to be asleep to be up early to nanny you couldn’t shut up for hours about a story I haven’t touched in years.
I hate you. I love you. I’ll thank you tomorrow.

I'm posting more and going somewhat more off track from what this blog is "supposed" to be about, something I myself scold about but. Penelope has been delightfully off the rails lately which has endeared her to me a great deal.

As y'all know, I is a riter. But I get distracted. Gordon is patient. He should consider some kind of high power cat herding career for his next move. But finally even he had enough of my squirrely writer ways and scolded from across the pond to say something like Darling, it doesn't matter which you pick. But write something and stick to it damn it. I'm supposed to be writing a kitchen witch book as you know. I set deadlines and word counts and then just sort of started chasing moths. I started focusing on my crafting and even going to the gym to dodge it.

But. She sneaks up on you. I needed to get up early this morning to herd my tiny charge who has now learned to throw toys but smiles while doing so, so I did what any chick would do - I went to the gym (*dodge*), took an extra xanax (*double dodge*) and a shot of vodka before bed (*suuuuuuuper dodge*). I was curled into bed with Jow and all of a sudden, I heard her. She was insistent. I told her to shut the fuck up as she's been ignoring me for months so I'm ignoring her now and I had work the next day, damn it. She didn't care. She never does. I try to explain work as an orderly concept of punching the clock and getting things done and getting paid for it regardless to inspiration but she rolled her eyes, smelling of tequila, last night's club makeup still smeared all over her. I have a theory. Remember that story you wrote like way more words than you ever have? But it sort of faltered and you didn't touch it for years? You didn't know what to do with her either, your heroine was unlikable in a Bella Swan kind of way before there was a Bella Swan? There were even two boys like in Those Books sort of? I fixed it. You're welcome. Meet Anna. Between my muse and Anna [a new character, the first time it's ever happened like that honestly], I was tossing and turning for hours and generally driving poor Jow crazy until I gave up and stumbled into the office and scribbled down some notes in the dark and tried to get them both to shut up already until I slept fitfully for a few hours.l

I got up and went to work, glad that my tiny charge can't talk yet. My arms were killing me from the gym and the baby. I stumbled home trying to jazz myself up for cooking and house cleaning but Jow had other plans. He enticed me into bed and to take my bra off and put on comfy 'jamas. Once we were lying in bed bullshitting about our days I knew there was no hope of any productivity which was only further proved by Jow seductively whispering that we could clean the house this weekend and order Chinese food. Since that was established and neither of us had slept (if I can't sleep, he can't sleep), I decided to share with him my encounter with my muse and Anna though I got shy feeling like it was a brilliant idea I had when drunk that wasn't so brilliant in the daylight. As we talked more about it and he got more interested, he said I needed to write this. And I realize I do, it's a burning in the blood now fueled by exhaustion. Of course, today I learned about my Florence's new song which led to this conversation:

Me (points to the screen): Why don't I have a work space like this?
Jow (patiently): You have the office.
Me: But . . .it's an office. I want creative romance!
Jow: She's a musician.
Me: She writes things too! It shows it right here! Plus I want candelabras and fancy water bottles. I concede I don't get the white frilly dress to flounce around in.
Jow: We'll invest in . . .candelabras?
Me: I want to go to thrift stores and get teacups and candelabras for next to nothing like MsDirty's and Italics' thrift store runs.
Jow: Okay.

So . . .it's on. Starting tomorrow, this is my project. But for now I need to cede the computer to Jow's Book Removal Wednesday.

End times, folks.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fantasy Rooms and Initiatory Experience (Sleep No More)

Okay, first, OMFG, Earthquake! When you live on the east coast of the US that's not even supposed to be *possible* let alone a 5.8. Role playing games have apparently taught me nothing, I botched my initiative roll. Everything was shaking and I vaguely wondered if it was the quarry (What!) and by the time it sort of occured to me to find a doorway, it was over. All I kept thinking was this couldn't *possibly* be an earthquake. Then it stopped so I was like, *ignore*. Until everyone confirmed what it was and that there are probably aftershocks to look forward to and now I'm anxious about it again.

Anyway. After my last blog post some stepped in to defend Jow's right to books (also I think we can blame Jow for the earthquake as he *is* prepping to sell some). As I scolded in the comments, I'm an occultist/witch/sorceress/magicsprinklepony too and I have my weaknesses as well. I'm personally a component junkie which is why I love Hoodoo so much - herbs, candles, incense, circle equipment, I love all that crap. However all of my components reside neatly in two small bins under our altar (okay maybe three) and his books take up four Ikea Billy sized bookcases. When living in a small domicile, it's important that division of space should be equitable. I have a slightly larger clothing closet, he gets more bookshelf room, equitable.

But. If we weren't being fair, one of the rooms in my house would look like the picture. I didn't get to see that room in person when I went to Sleep No More, I had heard about it. Which brings us to initiatory experience, magic and theater. Let's talk some truth talk here, to get any kind of Pagan/Occult experience to have a certain level of theatricality, you're still dealing with your regularly practicing group and you're probably in someone's living room. It can still definitely be a super powerful experience but if you want to have an experience like out of The Craft or that one episode of Bones or basically any kind of awesomely executed movie scene . . .good luck. It's not going to happen. Why? We're not actors. We haven't practiced that scene six times or whatever. Neo-Paganism, like it or lump it, has more in common presently with coming from the sixties radical movements than when theater and religion used to mesh together in Greece.

The closest to that Greek theater/nitiatory experience that I've gotten is seeing Sleep No More. Firstly, you're wearing masks and you're not to speak. Secondly, each room is amazingly detailed as it took over 400 volunteers to put together the rooms. Thirdly, they separate you from whomever you came with so that you can have a solitary experience that is exactly what you want to do at all times.

Mush a silent super sexy dance version of MacBeth with Rebecca and Vertigo and put it in a huge warehouse that you've turned into a hotel out of the 30's/infirmary/insane asylum/graveyards and woods and you've got the play pretty much. Each performance lasts about an hour and then (sort of)loops three times to give you a dream like experience. There are smells everywhere (like the hospital wing *shudder* I'm still getting that out of my nose) and music and lighting and you're allowed to follow whatever characters you like and ransack the rooms at your leisure (they have guides watching you, masked and silent). If it gets to be too much you can hang out at the bar which looks and sounds like a club in an old movie where they have actors and musicians singing and you can text and not wear your mask.

Everyone from Amanda Palmer to Dita Von Teese to Adam Lambert have been, why not? You're masked, no one knows you. And all during the production, rooms are opening and closing (and locking and unlocking) so you're never sure where you've been or what you've seen. And if that wasn't enough, there are rooms that only a few people will get to see because an actor takes you to it (Inside the nurse's hut where you possibly get pricked on your thumb for blood, the three people who get to see Lady MacBeth's chapel a night, Lady MacDuff's private room, becoming one of the dead king's dead sons). It's been estimated that anyone who goes only sees 1/16 of the show in a night.

It's an experience unlike any other magical or theatrical experience I've ever had, it's out in the middle of nowhere Chelsea and has a real hotel plate, you don't give your ticket at the desk, just your name. It felt like being part of a secret occult society that I wasn'/t even allowed on the inner circle of. It was like a dream I can't quite describe to anyone but remember vividly - eating candy stealthily in the candy shop, still nervous about touching things, going into a coronor's office through a funeral parlor for four and finding that the dead girl wasn't dead after all and finding my way to a blood orgy/ritual in an abandoned club with strobe lights and a half man/half goat and naked witches making out with MacBeth and the animal/man and breast feeding a fake baby under Hecate's blood curdling cries, slow dream like dance movements as I watched scenes familiar and unfamiliar, the debutante's ball, getting into a four minute staring contest with a silent bellhop, dialing phones, trying to peek into the nurse's hut in the woods through the cracks on the outside of the hut, the room covered in tiny chalk words in strange patterns, the serial killer boards all over the place, watching things be buried and dug up in the cemetery, the Catholic idolatry everywhere, shaking presents and going through drawers and files, finding the bloodied torn apart padded room I was too afraid to enter, being splashed with Lady MacBeth's bloody bathwater in the room full of clawfoot tubs and everywhere you went, you were surrounded by a tableau like this one (attendees are masked, actors unmasked).

And after a certain point, it's hard to tell where you've been and what you've seen and things that are similar but not exactly the same and who is observing who and the fatigue that starts to give over to the ecstatic experience as it becomes harder and harder to tell what's real and what's dreamed. The *only* way you can ever experience such a ritualistic immersive experience is this way - to pay for your ticket and for there to be a cast of nearly a thousand people who have put this together to be so detailed and choreographed and the cast of thousands of devotees who have started their own strange rituals (like leaving their own hair samples in the room full of the four hundred volunteers' samples) happening under the sanctity of the production, just like it's happened in religion since religion started.

It's an ecstatic, spiritual experience that is not like anything you'll ever be able to experience again (and even people who have gone five or seven times have different dreamlike experiences each time) so as Ferris once said, If you have the means, I highly recommend it. If it gets extended until the end of the year, I'll sell whatever organ I have to so I can go again. It's been two weeks and I'm still dreaming and thinking about it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Scene From a Pagan Household

Jow (said slowly so as to not cause sudden movements from Deb): I kind of want the new Picatrix.

Deb (crossly): No. You don't play with the Pictatrix you have now.

(Jow looks sad) (Deb glares anyway because there are nine MILLION magic books in their house threatening to overtake their rabbit burrow/condo at any minute)

Deb (tries to be reasonable): Why do you need the new Picatrix when you don't play with your old Picatrix?

Jow: The new one is going to be way better because - (blahblahblah, something)

Deb: Does it come in eBook format?

Jow (crestfallen): Not yet. But it might I guess . . .But the book is only $65.

Deb (who has grown accustomed to ridiculously priced books desired by Jow knows that this is not bad especially compared to the first one): Fine. If you sell your old Picatrix.

Jow: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Deb: Fine. I don't really care what you sell but books have to go. I mean it. You manage to manifest stacks of free books in the mail like a junkie and it's getting out of control. Space in this house is finite. Get a storage space if you're that attached but some have got to go before you get a new Pictatrix. And not, like, 'I'll sell them some day and they've lived in a rubbermaid for two years!' But gone gone.

Jow: Deal!

The end times are coming. He's actually sorting. If they all actually leave the house then you know to get into your bunkers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

[The Onion] Are Our Teens Turning to Shamanism?

To wrap up our fun with shamanism month.

Do Glass Pipes, Incense Prove Teens Are Practicing Shamanism?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Shaman Class: If you don't ask the right question/ every answer seems wrong

As some of you may recall, I stupidly agreed to give a workshop on Totemism 101 for my local Pagan Picnic. I made sure my notes were perfect. Decided on my clothes (changed my mind about what I was wearing as I was unexpectedly engaged and would likely be running into wasband friends/other judgey people there. It's been three years since my divorce, wasband has been engaged since last year, he left me and did't want to work it out, Jow and I have been together longer and waited longer to get engaged than he and fiance #2 did, we bought a condo together, blahblahblah not that any of that stops anyone from judging with great vigor because I am not the Pagan Prom Queen. For my younger peeps: expect if you fuck where you pray for that to bite you in the ass for many fun filled decade(s) to come). So being socially anxious staring down the barrel of giving a class that would be hard for me to give *and* knowing that I would be judged by some of my peers with great enthusiasm as if I'm the Elizabeth Taylor of the local pagan comm (for the record, I was married only once before to wasband. We were together for seven years total) didn't fill *me* with great enthusiasm esp since I was going alone. I baked my bread to share like a good pony and packed my spinning.

To my surprise, it was a light turn out. I did realize to my chagrin I was definitely not a baby pagan anymore (and man do they dress differently - for us it was all gothitygothgothgoth with cloves for them they look like something out of an Urban Outfitters ad - all floral rompers, huge sunglasses, wedges and american spirit cigs). So I settled in comfortably with those of my grove who made it and dealt with my bits of Requisite Pagan Drama. I got excited when I thought no one would show up to my class, but eventually eight people trickled in. Fine. I was ready. I had my scope defined narrowly from a modern Neo-Pagan perspective as Lupa advises and was ready for some jerk to start shit with me and call me a plastic shaman.

Well. I was prepared for completely the wrong thing. Some of the people in my class were youngish so I wasn't sure what they knew.

Me: Does anyone not know anything about Shamanism?
::all hands raised::

Me: Okay! Um, no problem. Has anyone not meditated before?
::all hands raised::
Me (feels cold fear like I never have before)(thinks: Oh shit. Whatever I say is actually likely to influence these people)

I managed to conduct the class just fine, everyone came back from the meditation in one piece. I talked about grounding a lot and how acting normal after is subjective based on whatever is normal for them. They asked some good questions (Is it like normal for your totem to be mad at you when you meet them for the first time? Me (dryly and immediately): Yes.), everyone met their totems and seemed thoughtful about the experience. But there were definitely some rough patches . . .like when I was explaining how Shamans can be called through a near death experience and/or dreams of being ripped apart by animals (the poor young guy in my class looked terrified. I was like look, not everyone is a shaman by far. But you can still work with your totem in Neo-Pagan context and in fact that's what you should to to start with) and I actually lost a couple people in explaining that while we are all going internally and not externally and I would do my best to make sure everyone was okay and help after if needed but I couldn't *promise* to be able to "save" you . . .that was not well received. But seriously? I don't know you people at all, I have no idea what your inner landscape looks like or what's horribly broken in you or what will work for you to help. I just learned your names, dude!

While it went well ultimately, I have to tell you, I'll take someone trying to undermine me and get into an argument wit me any day over complete newbs. That was terrifying. *sigh* Something to look forward to for my Rutgers Pagan class on Hoodoo 101.

I also got to go to a public rit done by another ADF grove. It's amazing how we all have the same basic ritual format but how going to my grove is like going to a tent revival in the back woods - half carnival show, half sincere worship and it's what I've done all my ADF career (ten years now) but for one other public rit by another grove so it's what I'm used to. Going to their rit was like going to a Catholic Church after only having been to tent revivals. I was like, you say some of the same words and do some of the same things and you sure are dressed up fancy and give fancy offerings but this sort of makes my skin crawl, y'all. No offense! I think you'd say the same about us!

Monday, August 15, 2011

[Retro Recipe Monday] Recipes for Invalids

So this is one of my oldest cookbooks and probably published in the beginning of the cookbook era in 1911. The Butterick Cookbook contains no pictures and is not set up in a way that is familiar to modern cookbook readers, it reads more like a crypt note that you should know how to decipher from at that time. Ovens were more like fire places from the sound of it verses a modern oven. There is however a charming and practical chapter on cooking for invalids as per the book. Here are a few tasty treats for the infirm:

Sherry and egg - Beat the yolk of an egg and one teaspoon of sugar together and add this to two teaspoons of sherry, brandy or port, stirring well. Beat the white of an egg to a very stiff froth, stir it in, beating well, and serve at once. This will quite fill the glass. If wine is not desired, nutmeg may be used for flavoring.

Arrowroot Blanc Mange - Put half a pint of milk into a double boiler, scald and stir into it three heaping teaspoons of arrowroot which have been dissolved in one-half cup of cold water. Stir until thick and smooth; remove from the fire, flavor with a half teaspoon of vanilla and pour into a mold to cool. Serve with sugar and cream.

Beef Juice - When much nourishment must be given in small compass, the best nurses now prepare beef juice. This is made of the round of beef cut at least an inch thick. Take a piece of the meat about four inches square, place it in a wire broiler and broil it over a bright fire until both sides have been browned and the meat has been well warmed through to start the juices. If the fire is bright, two minutes of broiling will generally be sufficient. Lay the beef on a plate, sprinkle it with salt, cut it into pieces, place in a small piece of cheesecloth or a presser and squeeze out all the juice. About three tablespoons of juice will usually result from a piece of meat the size mentioned.

Sufficient juice for two servings is generally prepared at one time and the second portion will, of course, require warming. This must be done very carefully, as too high a degree of heat will cause the juice to coagulate. Place the juice in a cup, set the cup in boiling water, stir the juice constantly until it is a little above blood heat and then serve.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

[Pagan Agony Auntie] Moar Honey Pots

As always, if you have a burning question that you want my input on, feel free to drop me a line at corvaxgirl [at] gmail [dottie] com and I will keep you anonymous and dazzle you with my insight or not. Whatev. As always, you're the captain of your own ship and feel free to disagree with me as often and loudly as you like!

A reader asked a bit ago about what a honey pot is. I need to preface this with the fact that I am not a root worker and I am a neophyte at best in hoodoo. If you would like to speak to an actual hoodoo adult, check out:
Association of Independent Readers and Root Workers

Lucky Mojo

Old Style Conjure

cat yronwode gives a lot of good background and example spell workings over at Lucky Mojo, including supplies should you wish to purchase them.

That said, we'll put it into my words here. Honey pots are used traditionally in Hoodoo to bring money to you and also to potentially sweeten someone towards you (such as an ex you're trying to win back, your boss, a new love interest, the judge in a court case). I find honey pots to be an inexpensive "slow and steady" way to keep generating income.

I started to say you don't need a strong background in hoodoo to use a honey jar, but like all magical practices that depends on what you're going to do with it. If you want to use it to draw money, that's pretty basic and can be done by just about anyone. If you're starting to get into sweetening specific people toward you (i.e. using it as an influencing tool) and potentially bending them to your will, well, you better know what you're doing, champ because I'm sure as hell not going to help you out of a mess. I am not at all opposed to using a honey jar for that purpose, but you need to really be able to assess your magical prowess accurately so that you know if you can really handle any kind of fallout that may come from your working (again, like with any other working) should it go wrong (and in some cases, should it go right!).

How to Make a Honey Jar to Attract Income

A small hinged-lidded glass jar

Honey (you can use other sweetners, dare I say even sweetners like Equal or Splenda but I always use honey, preferably local)

A pinch of Irish Moss (steady flow of money)

A pinch of Chamomile (to hold onto your money)

A pinch of Cinnamon (to attract money quickly, it's a "heating" herb)

Small green taper candles

Money drawing oil

A small piece of paper bag

A pen

A pin

Matches (or a gas stove)

1. Write out your petition on your piece of paper bag. Write what you're trying to draw to you (a new job, a raise, job security, a second income stream, paid artistic gigs, etc.) but make sure your pen doesn't leave the page. Neatness doesn't count here, continuity does. Fold it up tightly towards you (to bring the money towards you).

2. Put the petition paper in the jar. Put the herbs in the jar. Pour honey over the herbs and paper until your jar is full. Seal the jar.

3. Pray over your jar. Psalms are typically recommended, if that's your bag rock out. If not figure out what is. (I usually pray/enchant/put my will into it and end it with "Please do this in the name of God Herself.")

4. Etch into your candle your intent. It can be words, symbols, runes, again, whatever's your bag. Dress your candle by putting a little bit of oil on it and rub the oil into the candle *towards* you.

5. If fire scares you, make sure your sink is cleared for this part. Put the honey jar into your cauldron or sink and light the candle. Melt a few drops onto the lid of your jar. Stick the candle onto the melted wax on top of your jar. I find it best to let it burn out in one go which is why I recommend small candles.

7. If you're on the ball, repeat steps 3-5 weekly. If you're a slag like myself, monthly has sufficed so far.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

[Wedding Borkery] All the Plans for the Interested

For the disinterested, just keep moving along. We're planning dorks so most of this came together really easily. Jow is honestly super involved in the whole process which has been bad ass. It's funny that we're pretty much done at this point, it will just be small things like getting documents to be married, finalizing my lingerie picks, etc. We need to get our wills drawn up (not such a small thing ;p) and we already have our financial agreements drawn up.

Ring: One carat amethyst (he surprised me with that, amethyst is my favorite stone and v. magically meaningful to me) with six quarter carat emerald cut diamonds set in platinum.

Venue: In my condo's development, we have a clubhouse where the office is and where residents can have parties. It's super cute inside, v. faux (small) English country house with a fireplace. My mom threw me my surprise 21st birthday party there, so good memories and just cozy enough for a cocktail style reception. The reception will be small, about 50 people total. We will likely get fresh local flowers to decorate in a few bunches, maybe some candles for the fire place. I'll prolly do a few little Miss Martha crafts to decorate too.

Activities: There won't be too much space to dance, so we'll be making our own iPod mix. We're hoping to be able to pull together a little photo booth because those look so fun and it's an easy way to keep the day. If it's not raining outside, we'll set up croquet outside using antique croquet mallets that I still have from SalonCon and will finally get to use. But I also find if people want to dance, they'll find a place for it ;p

We have a lot of friends/fam who are great with cameras to help capture the day and we're lucky to live near an awesome photog (Scott Church) who will give you the disc and is super reasonable so we'll likely get "engagement" style pics with him.

Ceremony: Justice of the Peace, baby. Mom's looking into if the church will do a little blessing for us in the chapel for her as I would rather claw my own eyes out than get an annulment. If they do blessings, awesome. If not, oh well. Jow and I will get handfasted by our senior druid and her husband in their back yard under the grape arbor. It will be just the four of us present which feels v. romantic, just us and our officiants.

Either F. if she's able to or my usual stylist.

Registry: A small registry at Crate and Barrel (which is our fave store to wander through together) and "Fun Ship" dollars with Carnival.

Hen and Stag (Bachelor/ette) Party: I told Jow he can do whatever he wants but he's not v. interested in the "traditional" drinking/carousing/strippers/what have you so we've settled on a low(ish) key party where we can invite way more of our friends. We're going to do a "Tarts and Vicars" themed party with beer, pizza and wings and one of those tupperware-like sex toy parties in our apartment. We're thinking June for that.

Honeymoon: We're going to take a cruise to New England/Canada because we've always fantasized about that.

Menu: Caterers have been a total pain in the ass to deal with (as I think our budget is v. small fish to them), but as luck would have it, Jow and I were eating lunch at our favorite restaurant yesterday that focuses on being fresh, local and organic and he noticed they had a catering menu. Turns out, they do everything we want! Which is super awesome because we can stay in budget (even under a little bit) and support a local business we love.

Tentatively, we're looking at:
Antipasto Platter
Aged salami, olives, marinated artichokes, parmigiano reggiano and fresh mozzerella

Crudite Platter
Seasonal green market vegetables with house ranch and balsamic vinaigrette

Petite Sandwiches
BLT, Turkey Club, Ham and Cheese and Mozzarella with Tomato

Gazpacho Soup "shots"

Hor d'eorves:
Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almonds
Charred steak with a chimichurri sauce on the side
Fig & prosciutto with balsamic glaze
Potato pancakes with sour cream and homemade apple sauce
Chicken skewers with ginger lime

Penne With Market Vegetables Tray
Pasta and grilled seasonal vegetables with basil pesto

Chicken Milanese Tray
Chicken cutlet seasoned with italian herbs, breaded and fried crisp

Vienese Dessert table (I know a lot of bakers so that helps like whoa) - we definitely want french macaroons and cupcakes (we're thinking chai, pumpkin and chocolate-peanut butter-banana)
International Coffee (flavored syrups, whipped cream, cinnamon, after dinner drinks)

Wines, beers and French Greyhounds


Wedding dresses I'm considering:


Wedding shoes I'm considering:

Wedding Borkery

Are people interested in hearing the wedding planning details even though it's mostly non magical? This is not a full scale production as it's the second time around but if there's interest at all, I will dork out and make sure to label each entry "wedding borkery" so you can skip it if you're not interested.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Recipe Monday: My Chocolate Quickbread

Amazon had requested the recipe for my bread machine quickbread I made for Lammas and I live to serve. ;) I'm sure you could bake it in an oven too . . .maybe at 350 for 30-45 minutes? You would have to do some experimenting to figure out how long to do it in the oven.

Chocolate Quickbread

6 tablespoons 2% milk
1/3 cup low fat sour cream
1 room temperature egg
3 teaspoons honey
8 tablespoons sugar
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Put the ingredients in the order listed into your bread machine. Select small loaf, light crust and use the quick bread setting. In a little more than an hour you'll have nom!bread

Monday, August 1, 2011


Firstly, thank you all for for your well wishes, charmers! I'm not going to lie, part of me was like I got engaged, that's enough of a harvest!

It started out as an incredibly crappy fibro day for various reasons so my actual plans for the day were dashed. I managed a brief trip to a local farmer's market with Jow, to the liquor store next store and the butcher. There's something about butcher paper that feels magical, ditto for bakery paper. I'm going to incorporate it into my magical practice I think. We're suburbanites, there's nothing for us to personally harvest, but for $30 we got a beautiful harvest of fruit, vegetables and cheese. We also got a beautifully marbled piece of steak that we cooked with mushrooms and onions in red wine and freshly baked (not by me) pretzel rolls. We also got King Goblin and Harvest ales. I made a sour cream chocolate chip quick bread.

We made a pretty offering plate to our gods with incense and a candle I made and gave thanks and asked for our coming harvest to be plentiful and outlined what we harvested this year and contemplated harvest for next year.

Happy Lammas :)