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.)
150g ground almonds
1 large egg-white
115g caster sugar
¼ tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp almond essence
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.