Monday, November 29, 2010

Angels in the garden

Advent begins today, a couple of days after Thanksgiving is celebrated by Americans. We may celebrate with solstice with a circle chant, remember distant relatives with a card, spend far too much money or simply look towards the beginning of a new year. Regardless of our religion and beliefs, this time of year is a pause for reflection and for thankfulness for the richness of life.

I always feel strangely out of kilter over this holiday period. My Celtic born being craves short cold days and the longest night to signal the ending of the year and detest Christmas carols that feature kangaroos. We greet the December solstice here with some relief as it heralds the end of long days, signalling some respite from the summer sun.

As part of my Christmas preparations, I am processing angelica, the herb associated with St Michael and petit fours at the Savoy Hotel, so you can see that I am tuned in on a holy and a secular level! At the start of the warmer weather I had noticed it was getting ready to bolt. It has been years since I last candied angelica stem and thought it would make a nice Christmas treat. Easy to follow instructions for candied angelica, historical, medicinal and gardening with angelica in Down the garden path and a recipe for Angelica aftershave are all on my website.

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