By Dawn Hunt
Spring. Just the word on my lips seems like a sigh from deep within my heart. Warm breezes that hold a linger of Winter’s bitterness and evenings seem to hold off night just a touch longer then the night evening before. Even now, in the cold of late February, with snow and ice still piled out my window the sun seems stronger than just a few weeks ago. I even saw the first robin of the season just recently atop a huge pile of snow in a parking lot promising Spring will be here before we know it. Although, technically, the first Fire festival of Imbolc in Feb, signals the warming of the Earth most of us won’t really feel it until Ostara. By mid to late March the first tulips bravely poke their heads up from under the seeming dead ground a remind us of all the promise that Spring holds. You may even notice a bit more Fairie activity. If you do any Fairie Work, you know they become ever more active as the air warms and the flowers begin to bloom!
Unlike the Winter celebration of Yule most of us tend to not think of food by the time Spring shakes off the final bits of snow from her branches. Most people, me included, are regretting all the rich foods we have consumed over the winter months and dreading the warm months of tank tops and bathing suites. We no longer want to be confined to our homes under layers of sweaters and blankets. Like a brave daffodil we want to emerge from the blankets of cold and get out of the kitchen. But what we are forgetting is that Spring is the perfect time to celebrate Earth though Food!
Early Spring brings with her so many wonderful foods of the season. You will start to see asparagus on sale at your local grocery store and out of nowhere Cherries seem to take over the produce department! Some farmers markets open with offerings of lettuce and the first fresh herbs of the season. Now, I realize in today’s world that we can get these things any time at any large grocery store, but Spring is the time when these foods are natural and local to our region. Focusing on seasonal eating to stay connected to spirit and Mother Earth is not the only form of Kitchen/Food Magick there is, but I find it to be a very important part of my spiritual path and one that is very easy to share with others.
Ostara usually lines up with the Christian Holiday of Easter. Being raised in a traditional Italian Catholic home meant that Easter was solemnly observed. But one of the many things I never understood about the Holiday was what was the big deal with all the Eggs??? We would decorate them, hide them, eat them, bake wreath breads that looked like nests with eggs in them and the list went on. Why Eggs??? Eggs are a traditional fertility food. No surprise there! Eggs symbolize the fertility of Earth and encourage growth from within her sleeping belly to the new beginnings of growth. Eggs are one of the best foods to work with and eat at this time of year to help us bring forward all the seeds we have planted in the Winter months. Remember, fertility is not just about making babies, but about bringing forth new life in your job, relationship, personal goals, ANYTHING!
With so many wonderful foods to celebrate Spring it is hard for me to just pick one recipe to share with you. Ostara comes first, but just behind it is Beltane and I could talk forever about my most beloved Beltane! But first things first: Ostara sets the stage for Spring and below is a really quick and easy recipe from my cookbook, “Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery Cookbook”. Here I have combined the fertility of Eggs with Spinach. Spinach is a money food. That is right, a MONEY food. So this recipe is a great one for helping to bring growth to financial prospects or investments. It is also great if you are in need of a raise. Just remember to think clearly, meditate on what it is you need and that it harm none.
Ostara Spinach Quiche
1/2 cup Milk
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 8oz package chopped Frozen Spinach thawed
1/2 Yellow Onion chopped fine
1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese
1 refrigerated Ready Pie Crust
pinch dried Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350. Form pie crust in 9″ pie pan and set aside. Beat together eggs and milk with wire whisk. Set aside. In a medium skillet, heat oil and sauté onion for 3 minutes or until tender not brown. Add spinach and sauté another 5 minutes. Add spinach mixture to beaten eggs and beat again until combined. Add salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese. Pour into prepared pie crust. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center is set.
Dawn Hunt is the owner/president of Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery. Her products include everything from Herb and Energy infused olive oils to cooking tools. Her self-published cookbook has sold more than 250 copies in 6 months. She is currently working on a compilation Cookbook with Christopher Penczak and the Temple of Witchcraft called “Tastes of the Temple” due out in 2011. She teaches classes on Kitchen Witchery, Food Magic, and Seasonal Cooking on the East Coast. To find out more information, to purchase products, or for booking visit www.CucinaAurora.com.