Once upon a time, not too long ago, in the country of your choice, there lived a woman who took care of people. She enjoyed a strong connection to the land and the people living on it. She knew the lore of the native plants and animals. She knew what to do when any of these in her care felt dis-ease.
She tried to prevent disease and treat the whole of a person. So, when she prescribed a root or leaf the instructions were to brew half into a tea. The rest would be tied with great skill and hung on the bed post where the patient could see it and feel gratitude.
Gratitude brings abundance you know. That applies to health as well as wealth. So mote it be.
As time marched on some folks started to consider the brew to be folk medicine but the talisman to be folk magick. Superstition and new ideas made it necessary for the woman to hide her talent or at least, disguise it. Using the new ideas themselves to hide in plain sight.
Goddesses became saints. Amen replaced So Mote it Be. The woman took on fewer and fewer apprentices. The Old Ways got lost for a while but not forgotten. Ancestor memory can be very clear sometimes when you open yourself to it. I believe my spirituality comes directly through that channel and it is strong this time of year. It is strongest when I am cooking.
I want to make Pasta Fazool for Samhain to honor my Grandmother Albina. She crossed the veil before I was born so I never got the chance to cook with her in person, so I must allow her to guide me in spirit. I found a nice recipe. I think she will like it.
The blog I found it on is called
“My Italian Grandmother”.
Now if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is. Check it out. There are lots of recipes there I want to try.
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
appx. 3 cups of chicken broth
1 packaged of diced prosciutto or pancetta
2 - 15 oz cans of cannellini beans
2 bay leaves
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
5-6 basil leaves
1 rind parmigiana Reggiano (optional)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of orecchiette pasta or any small shape
In a large saucepan sauté prosciutto in extra virgin olive oil. When browned add onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper and lower heat. Sweat the veggies until the onions are translucent. Add bay leaves, Italian seasoning, red pepper, 1 can of beans drained, and 1 can drained and rinsed (You want some of the starch to thicken the sauce but not too much) and the chicken broth. Cover and let mixture come to a boil, then add the basil and cheese rind if you are using it. Let cook for 10 minutes or so or until veggies are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste. In another pot cook pasta in boiling water. When pasta is just under al dente add to saucepan using a slotted spoon. (Some of the starchy water will fill the pasta and help create a tasty thick sauce). Toss the pasta with the beans and sauce. Enjoy!
Nothing sparks the memory like a dish from the past. As we uphold tradition the woman returns to the land she loves. Her essence is in the very minerals that make up it and us.
and Stay Crafty,