Blessed be to everyone who today is celebrating Mabon on this lovely (or in my case, not so lovely weatherwise, as it's about to rain) fall day. It's officially autumn! The days will now grow shorter and the nights longer, and as a night person who thrives on darkness and the moon, I'm now coming into the time of the year when I feel most energized and alive.
I've been feeling the Mabon vibe for a couple of weeks as I've been working to put my yard to bed for the colder months, cutting back the unsightly plants that have completed their life cycles for this year and marveling at those who are just beginning to come alive as the season ends. The trees haven't turned yet, but there have been a few leaves here and there that are showing their glorious colors of red, yellow and orange. And every time I leave my house I drive by farm stands selling apples, pumpkins and gourds and I itch to stop and buy a car full of everything they're selling.
I celebrated today very quietly, with a simple circle to give thanks for all I have been blessed with. I would have preferred to honor the equinox tonight, but as I won't be home I grabbed the only time I had and it was still quite sweet, if not dark. I made oat cakes last night for an offering, not only because they're made from harvest grains, but because I felt it appropriate to offer something old, something that has been feeding people for millennia. I like the idea that people were eating these when the Romans were subjugating most of the world. There's something very earthy about using a recipe that's that old. I also finally got around to consecrating my cauldron. I didn't intentionally hold onto it until now, but as this is a day with much meaning for me, it felt appropriate to ritually prepare it during this circle. It's now ready for its inaugural use on Samhain, my favorite sabbat on the wheel!
This is the recipe for the oat cakes. It's been tweaked a little by me, in the interest of making it contemporary and simple. After all, we aren't going to be pounding the grains by hand, nor will we be slaughtering our pigs for lard and then slaving over our hearths as we cook our cakes on a iron griddle in the flame. They still taste delicious and are nice and crunchy, as any self-respecting oat cake should be. They can be used, really, for any sabbat, not just the harvest ones. Enjoy!
Traditional Oat Cakes makes approximately 48 3" cakes
3 cups rolled oats (not minute or quick)
3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, slightly melted
2/3 cup cold water, approximate
Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
Combine the oats, flour, sugar, soda and salt. Mix well. Add butter and stir till blended. Mixture will be crumbly. Add the water a little at a time. The dough should be moist enough to form into a ball but not so moist as to be very sticky. It should hold its shape nicely, like a cookie dough used for rolling. Roll dough onto a well-floured surface to 1/4" thick. Cut into 3" circles with a cutter and place on sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden in color. Cool and store in an airtight container.