Thursday, 2 February 2012

First Spring... and I'm shivering!

Blessed Imbolc/Imbolg/Oimelc/Candlemas/St Brighid/Brigid/Bride’ Day! (Have I got everyone there? Did I miss anything out?)

Well, First Spring here is when the first snowdrop opens its delicate flower enough for the Witchlets to scream that they’ve found green fairy footprints up inside the flower (snowdrop fairies like to dance barefoot on the lawn, and they NEVER wipe their feet you know!), and this year the first snowdrop opens - and we’re hit with the coldest bit of weather we’ve had all winter. Ha! The Old Woman has a sense of humour, you know, you think you’ve welcomed the Bride, the blushing maiden, back into home and garden, and the Old Woman whips her backside with the wind-chill factor.

I’d wrapped sprigs of rosemary for the local open ritual, baked almond riciarellis (recipe below; I love these because they are so pale and are gorgeous dipped into hot frothy milk), and made a Bride doll of rosemary and pine sprigs, wrapped in a white, yellow and green floral printed silk scarf. I’d even sowed some chilli seeds, made room for lots of seed trays, and planted out some rhubarb. I get the distinct impression this has displeased The Old Hag. Frankly, she’s hardly held up her end of the deal - up until this week I’d only had one decent hard frost out there. I had lobelia and the hypericum still blooming from last year in the back garden, and the grass has got so long I really thought I’d have to get the mower out. Witchlet One was most put out at the lack of snow: “But it HAS to snow, Mummy, it’s WINTER, it’s the RULES!”

So now I’m freezing my effing tits off, we’ve all picked up a sickness bug (I’m writing this between dry-heaves) and I have just put out a VERY GENEROUS shot of whiskey for the Old Hag. Hope this will appease her somewhat.

(I still say it’s all her own fault for turning up late. But I do so *shush* very quietly.)

Almond Riciarellis

150g ground almonds

Pinch salt

1 large egg-white

115g caster sugar

¼ tsp vanilla essence

½ tsp almond essence

Icing sugar


Beat the egg white and salt until stiff and dry

Slowly add the caster sugar and beat until smooth and shiny

Stir in the almond and vanilla essence and the ground almonds

Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll in your hands, then shape - you could do a flattened circle, a crescent, a diamond - whatever you fancy. Just keep the shape about a centimetre deep, or it will over-cook. Dust your hands with icing sugar if the mixture is too sticky.

Place on a lined baking tray, and bake in the oven at 140 deg Celcius for approximately 20 minutes or until they are just starting to turn golden. Allow to cool, and dust with icing sugar before serving.


  1. We've just made the Almond Riciarellis, and they've got a big thumbs up from our household! Many thanks for sharing, but I'm wondering, after today's weather, do you need to give her a bit more whiskey??

  2. Aww, that's brilliant! So glad they turned out ok for you. They keep for a week to ten days in an airtight container (not that mine ever hang around that long in this house).

    I may have to stick the whole bottle out for The Old Woman. After that, she can have coffee and sober up... lol!