This post could have been titled “How to Celebrate a Holiday When You Don’t Really Feel Like Celebrating.” I didn’t have much energy or enthusiasm for having a big celebration, but I decided doing anything was better than doing nothing at all. Once I got started, it got easier and I found joy in each recipe and craft. I think it is very important to acknowledge that there will be times in your life when you can’t do a big event. I had just gotten bad news after a surgery, but any illness or a trauma such as a death or divorce, or even a positive event like a wedding may be taking all of your energy when a holiday arrives. My advice is to be gentle with yourself and find small things that you can do. It is also ok to celebrate on a different day or over multiple days. That can make it easier, as you can choose a day or days when you are not at work, or when other family will be home. The photos below were taken over several days as we celebrated Lughnasadh.
For those of you who are not familiar with Lughnasadh, or Lammas, it is on August 1st or 2nd in the Western Hemisphere. It is the first of the three harvest festivals on the Wiccan calendar, and we celebrate the first fruits of the harvest and the very beginning of signs of autumn. (This article gives a good overview if you want more info.) Traditional foods include fruits like berries and apples, and all grains. Baking bread and making things with corn are great ways to enjoy the harvest. My mom got some beautiful blackberries at a farm stand and these other fruits at our local grocery store.
My first effort at celebrating was to make blackberry pancakes, and this really helped me to get in the holiday spirit. I really did use that big pat of Earth Balance too!
Next, I decided to make a loaf of bread. I love the smell of bread baking, and the act of making a loaf of bread is magickal if you put your good intentions for those who will eat it into your work. I use my own gluten free flour blend to make all of my baked goods, including this whole grain braided loaf. I brushed it with aquafaba and sprinkled it with poppy and sesame seeds. Aquafaba works great instead of an egg wash to get seeds to stick to bread!
We decided to make sandwiches out of this loaf and they were so good! The mayo is my Light Vegan Mayo recipe, and the vegan cheese is pepper jack from Follow Your Heart. We have also tried their American style, and love both of them!
We also got outside and checked on our little garden. I need to add here that neither my mom nor I inherited my grandparents’ green thumbs. As bad as these plants look, just the fact that they are (mostly) still alive is quite an accomplishment for us! The thyme, rosemary, chives, parsley, and mint are actually doing pretty well!
I also got some photos of some of the pretty flowers (I do know they are weeds but still think they are beautiful!) and fruit trees in our yard.
The pears weren’t ripe yet, but I picked some apples!
This leaves on this bush are just starting to turn color and it was a perfect sign that fall and everything pumpkin spiced are just around the corner.
We made cornbread to eat with chili for dinner. I used chopped Daiya vegan provolone in the cornbread because that was what I had open. I think their cheddar would have been better, but this was still very tasty!
The next morning, I used some of the apples to make some delicious oatmeal. I also added flax, craisins, raisins, and Apple Pie Spice. This was a great breakfast for celebrating the beginnings of Autumn!
My mom found these gorgeous peaches at the market and we had sundaes for lunch. I really like the Breyer’s non-dairy peanut butter swirl ice cream with fruit and it is ok to eat ice cream for lunch on a holiday!
We had popcorn for a snack and I used my new recipe for Low Sodium Magickal Cheezy Seasoning to make it special. (Recipe will be up soon!)
We harvested some tomatoes and herbs from our garden.
My mom washed them and then laid them out to start drying.
Finally, we made corn on the cob and roasted vegetables with more fresh produce and my Greek Seasoning.
On our third day celebrating Lughnasadh, we made an herb dryer so we could hang our herbs to dry. (Detailed photos and directions coming soon!) It was fun making it with my mom, and I am really happy with how it turned out!
I ended up having a really lovely Lughnasadh! It was slow-paced and spread out over three days, but each act of enjoying and giving thanks for the first fruits of the harvest season was wonderfully magickal!