What a beautiful time of year in Pennsylvania. We’ve made it through the cold, dark days, and we’re now in the season of warm sunshine, thunderstorms, lush gardens, and long days. The summer solstice, or Midsummer, is coming up on June 20th--the longest day of the year, and a day that holds spiritual significance for many. In European tradition, Midsummer was celebrated as a time to honor the sun and the abundance of plant life blooming that could be used for food and healing. For ancient Europeans, the significance of solstice and the returning of the sun’s light was so powerful that it was woven into the mystical stone monument Stonehenge. The sunrise on solstice aligns with certain stones in the monument and alights the center on this day only.
There are so many ways to celebrate this beautiful, energetic time of year! Have a bonfire, make flower crowns, and eat and drink delicious things from your garden. Below are some simple recipes to try.
Herb Honey Cookies
Adapted from GatherVictoria.com
- 1 & 3/4 cups of flour
- ¾ C. softened butter
- ¼ C. honey
- ¼ brown or cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon lavender buds
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced sage
- a few crushed cardamom seeds
- pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons milk
- 1 cup icing sugar
- Grated lemon
- Natural food dye
- Combine your milk and icing sugar. Slowing add in your colouring and mix until you find the desired colour/consistency
- Preheat Oven to 300
- Beat flour, sugar and soft butter together until creamy.
- Slowly drizzle in honey while beating until mixture pulls together.
- Add minced herbs and petals, mix well through the dough.
- Divide into four balls and chill for an hour or so.
- Roll out and cut into round shapes. Add flour as needed.
- Bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Decorate using the flowers and herbs of the sun: petals of calendula, daisy, St. John’s Wort, rose, or sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage.
Green Garden Goddess Dip
Recipe from Hearth and Home Witchery
- 1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 T. garlic, minced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 8 oz. spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and de-stemmed
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 cup loose parsley, washed well
- 1/4 cup chives, sliced
- 1 T. freshly chopped dill
- 1 T. lime juice
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. hot sauce, of choice
- 1 - 8 oz. container plain vegan soy yogurt
In a non-stick skillet, saute the green onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the spinach and continue to saute until the spinach just wilts. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Transfer the spinach mixture to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegan yogurt, and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Add the vegan yogurt and process well to combine. Taste and add additional salt, hot sauce, or lime juice, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover, and chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve as an appetizer with raw vegetables, bread slices, crackers, or chips, or use as a condiment on sandwiches, cooked vegetables, or grains. Yield: 2 Cups
Aquavit is a traditional Scandinavian spirit that is often enjoyed at Solstice.
- 1 1/2 cup cucumber puree
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
- 8 cups soda water
- 1 750L bottle Krogstad Aquavit
- Lemon zest
- Cucumber slices
- Make your puree by blending peeled cucumbers. It should last about a week in the fridge.
- Bring a simple syrup to a boil and add fresh thyme and lemon zest to taste. Allow this to cool and strain off the solids.
- Combine all the ingredients in a punch bowl.
- Skewer a thyme sprig through a cucumber wheel and place in each glass before serving.