Last year, on Fifth Night, I wrote about the Mothers. Because of calendar reckoning, I did that yesterday; so today I will look at traditional food and drinks.
We each have our own unique Yule (Christmas) memories. I grew-up in a folkloric family (Celtic, Theosophist, and Masonic) .. brimming with rich traditions, each with a meaning ready to be discovered. But the kitchen at Yule! Roasted Goose and Cranberry Bread with fatty hand-churned butter, Mince Meat and Spiced Beef with wild harvested Juniper Compote! As the decades have flowed, I remember the scents and laughter, not the presents. Ahh .. memories can be wonderful things.
Today, I still relish traditional recipes. I scour the minds of elders, equally as I surf the internet looking for recipes from Old Europe. For me, Yule is not a standard American table of turkey and/or ham with mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and the questionable greenbean casserole (all of which resembles Thanksgiving Part II). No, my table varies widely. Ive prepared Irish and Norwegian meals, Russian and Bulgarian meals, German and Italian meals, and more – all from top to bottom, or from main dish to dessert to everything inbetween.
This year, because of a delightful find at a local international market, we are preparing a Moroccan meal: Camel Stew, Traditional Fruit Couscous, and Flaky Flatbread. Which doesn’t mean we have left-off the traditional things we enjoy, like Mince Meat Pie – with its shaved butter crust from a Medieval recipe; just that we are ever discovering new additions like Cardamon Citrus Cheesecake (a bit of a homage to the Moroccan meal), and Chocolate Coconut Butter Pistachio and Cranberry Bites (a new endeavor).
My point here, on this Fifth Night of Yule, is that traditions are the cornerstone of being Heathen, equally as the making of new ones!
Pic: The Chocolate Cardamon Orange Ginger Cheesecake!