Now our work's done, thus we feast,
After labour comes our rest;
Joy shall reign in every breast,
And right welcome is each guest:
After harvest merrily,
Merrily, merrily, will we sing now,
After the harvest that heaps up the mow.
Old English Harvest Song
Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox or Mabon to some. Mabon is ruled by the Wine Moon and marks the completion of the fruit harvest. In ancient times, this was the time of second harvest. Most of the crops have been reaped, and if the crop was bountiful, a celebration of thanks and feasting would take place. It is always a time of joy and thanksgiving, and although I have always loved this time of year, the harvest has become so much more meaningful to me now than it has been in the past.
It wasn't until I came face-to-face with my own mortality this year that I realized just how poor my diet was and how delicious fruit and vegetables could be. Oh, we always had our totem vegetable with our meal each night, something heated up from a can. And, I made sure I had my morning smoothie. In my eyes, that took care of the fruit end of it. Huge plates of Italian food and steak, sausage, or other meats made up the biggest part of my menu. Now my diet falls mainly on fruits and vegetables, as I tired of the summer fruits, I found myself longing for the fall and winter vegetables to arrive...and I am armed with plenty of new recipes.
This year, because of my new diet, I have discovered that one of the best things about fall is the abundance of fruits and vegetables at the farmers' markets and produce aisles at the grocery store. The stalls and shelves are literally overflowing with the fall harvest -- eggplants, grapes, squash, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, pears, and, of course, apples. This year I've a Mabon meal planned that includes some Oatnut bread (store bought) and a low sodium stew of chicken, carrots, onions, corn, and potatoes (already made and frozen for the special day). For dessert, some baked apples, simple and easy to make after a long day at work.
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter (non-salted for me)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Scoop out the core from top of each apple, leaving a well. Be sure not cut all the way through. Fill each apple with 2 tablespoons pf brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter. Place in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize and apples are tender.
I've much to do this autumn. When we moved, I let a lot of my stuff go, including most of my fall decorations. The old home had been such a nightmare that I just wanted to start from scratch. When decorating for Mabon be sure use harvest colors of red, russet, orange, brown, indigo and gold. Decorate the table with bunches of dried herbs, sunflowers, and colorful autumn leaves in a basket. Display the fruits of the harvest. I dohave the most marvelously scented pumpkin candle that I have been saving just for this occasion.
And, while Mabon is a time of giving thanks, we sometimes forget and take our blessings for granted. Sit down and make a gratitude list. Write down things that you are thankful for.
I am grateful for:
My husband and my two wonderful sons.
My fur baby Miss Minga who has been my loyal companion for over 20 years now. We have grown old together.
A new sunrise each day. My home. It may not a mansion, but it is home to me.
The food on my table.
For this blog and my wonderful fellow bloggers who have become my friends.
I’m so, so grateful for life.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Happy Mabon to all.