yesterday was the 21st of december, the day of the winter solstice, the day that the days bein to grow longer again.
and i can really use more daylight.
i decided to spend the day baking; i have a bread that i bake on the solstice day or when i'm asking special blessings. i call it "apple raisin spice" but it's more than that. it's heavily fruited with -yes- apples and raisins, but also with apricots and plums and sometimes currants. instead of water, i use for the liquid ingredients apple cider and dark amber maple syrup. the zest of a lemon is in there, along with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and a little black pepper.
all of these ingredients carry the traditional symbolism of ancient kitchen magic: they ask blessings of protection, prosperity, health, happiness, and love.
and so the baking of the bread is a prayer offering. with every added ingredient i think of what it symbolizes, and with evey turn of the dough, stirring or kneading, i consider carefully the prayers i wish to carry to those who will eat the bread.
it is hearty bread, heavy, substantive, and sweet.
so may you have what is substantial and sweet.