The Caileach’s Red Ale Cake: An Imbolc Tale of the Darkness & the Light — Gather Victoria

I’ve been celebrating Imbolc for over a decade and each year I discover more layers to its mythology and food lore. Last year over at Gather Victoria Patreon, I created a Cailleach Ale Cake (the oldest spirit in the world) in honor of the dark counterpart of Brigid,  the Gaelic Cailleach, one of the oldest…

The Caileach’s Red Ale Cake: An Imbolc Tale of the Darkness & the Light — Gather Victoria

Good, Great, Gulp-able Ginger

The Herb Society of America Blog

by Pat Crocker

A tan and beige stoneware jar of ginger beerThe fresh or dried rhizome of ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used “as a condiment and aromatic stimulant from ancient times”. And from as early as the 15th century, ginger was exported from Zanzibar—a possible origin of the Latin, Zingiber—for use by healers, monks, and herbalists in tisanes, syrups, tinctures, and other carminative simples.

In England, from around the middle of the 18th century, ginger was fermented with sugar, water, and a starter culture to make an alcoholic beverage that quenched thirst and quelled stomachs at the same time. That drink was called ginger beer and it has survived—with and without alcohol—right up to the present time.  

Almost a century later (1890 to be precise), an enterprising Canadian chemist, John McLaughlin, began bottling his own soda water. Never one to coast, McLaughlin’s experiments with natural flavorings and recipes led him to his greatest accomplishment…

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Season of Feasting: St. Barbara Christmas Cake — Gather Victoria

Happy St. Barbara’s Day!  It never ceases to amaze that if you scratch the surface of any holiday dish you’ll find a goddess history thousands of years old. Take this German Lemon Loaf Cake baked by my Oma for as long as I can remember. Its intensely lemony glaze soaks into the cake making it…

Season of Feasting: St. Barbara Christmas Cake — Gather Victoria

Uncanny Fruits, Autumn Foraging & Chocolate Bundt Cake — Gather Victoria

From quince, medlar to barberry, I love to forage for the odd fruits which abound this time of year. The following recipe for this intensely moist almost pudding-like bundt, however,  is filled with two strange-looking fruits I’ve not cooked much with before. It’s adapted from the Chocolate Cherry Samhain Bundt I just posted on Gather…

Uncanny Fruits , Autumn Foraging & Chocolate Bundt Cake — Gather Victoria

Holiday Herbal Cocktail Party

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Debbie Boutelier

Join Debbie Boutelier for a new webinaron Thursday, October 20th, at 1 pm Eastern. See below for details!

Bourbon mint teaFall and winter are the perfect “thyme” to enjoy some new seasonal herbal libations. As we move away from the oppressive heat of summer with our icy and light drinks enjoyed by the pool or lakeside, we can curate our offerings with the stronger, more flavorful herbs. Herbal cocktails and mocktails continue to be very popular and have the perfect flavor profile for wowing our guests as we entertain for the holidays.

Throughout the ages, herbs have been added to drinks because they aided digestion; they were fortifying for the seasons; they lifted one’s mood; and they smelled and tasted absolutely amazing! Crafting a flavorful cocktail to offer your guests is easy and a lot of fun. Using your creativity and a few good herbal tricks, you can…

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Wild Chamomile (Pineapple Weed) Keto Muffins w/ Cream Cheese Filling — Gather Victoria

OH, MY GODDESS – you’ve got to make these Wild Chamomile/ Pineapple Weed muffins! Their unique aromatic flavor ( a cross between zingy pineapple and soothing chamomile) just permeates these moist fragrant muffins which are made doubly scrumptious by the cream cheese filling. These are one of my favorite summer treats and my poor pre-diabetic…

Wild Chamomile (Pineapple Weed) Keto Muffins w/ Cream Cheese Filling — Gather Victoria

The Perfect Lilac Shortbread & The Art of Enfleurage — Gather Victoria

I am enamored of lilac. Her scent on warm spring evenings evokes the happiest of memories. Every year I attempt to capture her glorious scent in baking and every year I learn yet another lesson about her culinary intricacies.  Through trial and error, I discovered what perfumers knew long ago, lilac’s intoxicating fragrance is notoriously…

The Perfect Lilac Shortbread & The Art of Enfleurage — Gather Victoria

Black Madonna of Montserrat: Chocolate Rose Crown Cake — Gather Victoria

I thought I’d share this recipe from Gather Victoria Patreon for two reasons. May is the sacred month of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in Roman Catholic tradition, roses are the emblematic flower of the Blessed Virgin Mary – and roses will be blooming shortly!  On May 31st  a “crown cake”  is typically baked “affirming…

Black Madonna of Montserrat: Chocolate Rose Crown Cake — Gather Victoria

Hawthorn Berry Brownie Cake w/ Hawthorn Berry Buttercream Frosting — Gather Victoria

What more appropriate treat could there be for an occasion of the heart like Valentines Day? After all, many herbalists consider hawthorn berries the ultimate heart tonic and every kitchen witch knows that bewitching hawthorn opens the heart to love.  Heart-warming.& heart-strengthening, hawthorn heals, protects and uplifts heavy hearts, supporting us physically, emotionally and spiritually. …

Hawthorn Berry Brownie Cake w/ Hawthorn Berry Buttercream Frosting — Gather Victoria

Mother Holle Cloud Tart w/ Cranberry & Hawthorn Berry Curd — Gather Victoria

Happy Winter Solstice! I’m sharing this recipe from the Gather Victoria Winter Magic ECookbook because it encapsulates the archetypal drama of the season – the rebirth of the light. And that meant plenty of cakes, cookies, and confections for the old winter witches like Frau Holle! Their symbols are very much alive in our holiday…

Mother Holle Cloud Tart w/ Cranberry & Hawthorn Berry Curd — Gather Victoria