We had a wonderful Samhain this year! We started celebrating early because I had recipes I wanted to post ahead of time, and we just finished a couple of days ago! For those of you not familiar with Samhain (pronounced sow-en), it means summer’s end and is the third and last harvest festival of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.
Samhain is the last of the eight Sabbats, and is a time for remembering our ancestors and for celebrating the new year that is about to begin.
This is a photo of the soy field next door being harvested. The farmers share equipment and it takes hours to cut the fields, so some of the fields are harvested at night. The cutter of the harvester cuts the soybeans. As the harvester machine drives through the field, the soybeans are pulled into the harvester in the front section, then the soybeans are collected by the rotating reel and cut by the cutter. Then the soybeans are fed into the threshing cylinder where the soybeans are separated from the plants.
Here is the empty field the next day:
I made spiced cider (which is great hot or cold!),
My mom carved our pumpkin:
And we harvested the last of our herbs and tomatoes:
I roasted the seeds from our pumpkin:
I made honee graham crackers so we could make s’mores. I think the ghosts and pumpkins are so cute!
Candy apples look so festive!
These chocolate pretzel bonfires are really fun and easy to make!
Bread making is a traditional part of Samhain. I made a pumpkin quick bread with craisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips, and it was so good!
I also made two crusty loaves of yeast bread. The one on the left is a sweet loaf with cardamom, dried cherries, and walnuts. The one on the right is savory with dried tomatoes and rosemary from our garden:
The sweet loaf was very good fresh but also lovely as toast with hot cocoa the next morning:
The savory loaf was great with soup and also made fantastic grilled cheese with Follow Your Heart’s vegan smoked Gouda slices:
We had to wait until the full moon on the 4th of November to finish celebrating because of my mom’s work schedule. My grandpa taught my mom how to build great fires and this one turned out to be her best ever! She built it while it was still light outside:
I made a pie because my grandma taught me how to make the best pie crust!
I made a veganized version of my Grandpa’s bean soup. He always added a pat of butter (I use Earth Balance), green onions, and lots of pepper!
We set a place for our ancestors and invited them to supper:
We also had a slice of my apple cranberry pie!
My mom and I both wrote out two lists. The first one was all the things we wanted to leave behind in the old year, and the second was all the things we want to attract in the new year. We sealed the lists up and took them outside:
We lit the fire:
We remembered our loved ones who are no longer with us, then we talked about the past year and burned our first lists:
I played Samhain music:
My mom put chocolate squares on our graham crackers in a pan by the fire to let the chocolate get melty:
We roasted Dandies marshmallows and made s’mores:
The full moon was bright and beautiful!
After midnight, we burned our second lists and sent out wishes and goals to the universe:
Once the fire died down, we went back inside and toasted the new year:
We made a delicious mushroom bourguignon for dinner and served it with mashed potatoes and peas:
That was the end of our Samhain celebrations! I ended the night with a glass of my fabulous vegan eggnog and listened to Yule music while planning my upcoming Yule blog posts!