"At every level of manifestation, humor
spells freedom in some sense ...
Humor means freedom; this is one of its most distinct characters
and virtues ...
The freedom to laugh which moves within the conflicts, doubts
and tensions of life ...
becomes the freedom to laugh on the other side of enlightenment.
[They] who are no longer in bondage to desire, to the self, to
the law ...
[they] who are no longer torn apart by alienation and anxiety
and who are no longer determined and defined primarily by seriousness
can now laugh with the laughter of children and great sages."
Hyers, in his book Zen and the Comic Spirit
1/2 c Gingersnap Crumbs
1/2 c Finely Chopped Pecans
1/3 c Margarine, Melted
16 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
3/4 c Sugar
1 t Vanilla
3 ea Eggs
1 c Canned Pumpkin
3/4 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Ground Nutmeg
Combine crumbs, pecans and margarine; press onto bottom and 1
1/2-inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees
F., 10 minutes. Combine cream cheese, 1/2 c sugar and vanilla,
mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add
eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reserve
1 c batter, chill. Add remaining sugar, pumpkin and spices to
remaining batter; mix well. Alternately layer pumpkin and cream
cheese batters over crust. Cut through batters with knife several
times for marble effect. Bake at 350 degrees F., 55 minutes. Loosen
cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.
2 cups of canned pumpkin
2 cups of flour, and then enough to keep the consistency just
2 tblspns dry yeast in 1/2 cup of 110 degree water
1 tblspn salt
2 tblspns vegetable oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup molasses
2 cups of fresh cider
Start with two cups of flour, then slowly sift in more after wet
ingredients are added. After the flour and salt are combined,
mix in the rest of the ingredients from wettest to most solid
(cider, then yeast mix, and so on).
Once mixed, pour the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it
with a cloth or plastic wrap, and let it in rise until it’s
doubled in size in a warm place. (Generally, this takes from half
an hour to an hour). Punch down the doubled dough. Roll the dough
out into a long, thin, relatively narrow strip and roll from one
end. Place in a greased pan (probably circular in this case),
and let rise until doubled again.
Baking bread is not for the impatient! Finally, put it in a preheated
oven at about 400 degrees F for about 50-60 minutes. If it looks
like it’s browning too quickly turn the temp down a notch
or two. You’ll know it’s done when tyou can poke it
with a fork and the fork comes out clean. If the fork has some
dough on it, let it bake a little longer.
are a nice variation on pancakes, and the bonus for this particular
recipe is that they are sweet without any additions, requiring
no syrup, sugar or jam. Many people have had fritters of various
types, especially the popular apple variety. But . . . "elder
flower" fritters? Yes, these actually contain elder flowers!
Flowers were a common ingredient in cooking during medieval times,
which is where this recipe comes from (England, specifically).
In this recipe's case, the flowers mixed into the batter help
add a kick and a minty taste.
of the elder flowers, these sweeties have been associated with
faeries in folk myths. Because of that, they have been used at
Pagan celebrations of Beltane, Litha, and Lughnasadh to help as
a protection against the malevolent and mischievous fair folk,
and sometimes these are even made at Samhain season as a symbol
of keeping away bad spirits.
never made a recipe incorporating flowers before, you might start
with this one--you'll be pleasantly surprised! (Read on after
the directions for variations and notes.)
1 teaspoon rose water
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups elder flowers, freshly picked and cleaned
Mix egg, rose water, honey, and brandy in a bowl, then stir in
flour and cinnamon. Should be thick like pancake batter. (Add
flour if it's too thin, and add more brandy if it's too thick.)
Fold in the flowers. Fry like pancakes, OR drop by the teaspoonful
into a deep-fat fryer until golden brown. Serve with orange water
sprinkle and fresh lemon, or dip in sweet cream.
Fried like pancakes: About 10. Deep fat fryer: About 2 dozen.
Paraphrased from Telesco, A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook
Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Samhain
In many areas it may be tough to find fresh elder flowers. I myself
made this recipe with dried elder flowers ordered from Living
Earth Herbs. It still tasted fine. If you order from somewhere
or pick them yourself, make sure they are the Nigra variety because
there is a kind you shouldn't use due to high toxicity.
CANNOT FIND ELDER FLOWERS or you are squeamish about eating flowers,
there is a variation:
can make this recipe by substituting very finely diced apples--about
a cup's worth--for the flowers, and adding a little fresh mint.
If you do this substitution I urge you to not neglect the mint,
because with either elder flowers or with apple-and-mint, the
minty taste is really what makes it so good.