Approaching Winter

It’s funny, the ‘dark half’ of the year in Australia isn’t that dark. Sure, the weather cools (a little), however in Sydney at least, it’s not the harshness of a Northern hemisphere Winter. For me, it’s a time of renewal and rest. Sleep is easier to come by, and cooking doesn’t feel like it’s a chore on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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Here are a few things I’m looking forward to:

  • marking Samhain this year – last year was raw with another recent death and upheaval in our household. This year will be easier and more fitting to honour my family who have passed.
  • celebrating Yule with my family and friends with a feast.
  • meeting new people at a few of the events we’ve got coming up around the Western Sydney region. There’s a lot happening, and we’re really feeling a renewed sense of energy and interest in what we’re doing. It’s a good feeling and is helping to build a solid little community.

What are you looking forward to this year? What inspires you at this time?

Even if you’re not looking to cook a massive pot of something delicious in the oven, this stove top chai recipe is incredibly satisfying, very tasty and will fill your kitchen with the most delicious scent. Enjoy 🙂

Chai

Ingredients

  • 2 Teaspoons English breakfast loose tea or x1 teabag
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 2cm knob of fresh ginger – sliced
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Black peppercorns (whole)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (or more to taste)
  • 400mls whole fat milk (dairy milk works best as the sugar will help the recipe to reduce down) You can use almond, soy or other non dairy milk, however the recipe will not reduce to a thick consistency. If using non dairy milk, steep the tea and spices separately for 30-45mins and then add the non dairy milk of choice.

Method

Put English tea into a small saucepan.

Break up the cinnamon stick, bruise the 3 cardamom pods and add to the saucepan along with the 2 cloves, ginger, sugar, pepper and bay leaf. Add the milk.

Boil and reduce down to thick syrup, reducing the liquid by half (being careful not to let the milk catch on the bottom of the saucepan). Strain.  If using non dairy milk, you should end up with thick aromatic syrup a similar consistency to condensed milk.

Adapted from this recipe

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The Jamison Hotel – Meet Up #3

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After a few quiet months, yet somehow busy with Ironfest, Yule and other activities, we resumed our Sunday pub lunch meet ups last week.

Feedback from our last meet up at The Alroy suggested we should have a topic to discuss and this month, we talked about public paganism. Is it relevant in 2015? What are our attitudes to being ‘open’ and out of the broom closet in our personal and professional lives.

The group sentiment concluded that it is important to have some level of public paganism so events like the one were at could happen – requiring someone, (a would be organiser), to pop their head above the parapet and signal to other pagans and witches that we’re out there. Otherwise, being ‘public’ about our paganism wasn’t a huge priority in our lives. Some people were more secretive than others, for fear of being ridiculed, or simply fear of being associated with some of the more colourful characters that are drawn to paganism and witchcraft.

Stay tuned for more pub meet up dates in August-October.

It’s worth noting that we’re also in talks about a potential workshop space, however we’re seeing a lot of interest online in attendance at our meet ups, however only 1/3 of those people who RSVP as ‘attending’ actually show up. If you’d like to attend future workshops or rituals in the region, please come along to our pub lunches. It helps us get to know you, so when we do move to an invite only structure, you’ll get yourself on the list.