Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009


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Sun Bread

A reader asked me what Sun Bread was today and I remembered that I have yet to write about it on the blog before haven’t posted a picture of it on the blog just yet.  I can’t claim ownership of the idea because I got my idea from Elisa Kleven’s picture book, “Sun Bread.”  It just dawned on me that I’ve been searching the blog under the name of the bread trying to find a post and coming up empty, but I haven’t searched for the author’s name.  Silly me!

Sun Bread began as a Candlemas/Imbloc/Groundhog’s Day ritual back in 2010 and has morphed since then.  The first time I made it I used the recipe in Kleven’s book, but it bombed spectacularly.  I have since replaced the recipe with one called “Mary’s Challah Bread Recipe” and then shape it as the book describes.  I’ve never met Mary, but if I ever get the chance I’d gladly wax poetically on the wonders of her recipe.  There isn’t a single person that has shared the ritual of eating this bread with us that hasn’t fallen in love with it immediately.

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Sun Bread, Winter Solstice 2011

Over the years I have made it for Groceries’ birthday and a few family gatherings, but mostly it’s something that appears in our home on the Solstice and reappears a few times in the winter months up until Imbloc even though I never really consciously made that choice.  It was one of those accidental traditions that found a life of its own.  The last time I made it for a non-solstice-y, sun related event it felt kind of off to me.  I mentioned it to the husband and he pointed out the attachments we had made with it and gently suggested that there would be nothing wrong with honoring its sacred form and function in our lives.  So, while I will gladly make bread for any gathering, even Mary’s Challah Bread, I save this particular shape for sun related holidays.

This year I never made Sun Bread for the Winter Solstice and it felt…wrong.  Seeing as it’s been cloudy and rather gloomy lately, it seemed right to make it today.  Solstice part two?  I’ll make it again for Imbloc for sure and maybe for the Summer Solstice.  I’m also going to take the base recipe and make a loaf in the shape of a sheaf of wheat for Lammas.

 


Cookies for Yule – #6 Chocolate Pillow Cookies

A few weeks back the family and I got together with my mom and dad to make some tasty holiday cookies.
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Even Remus got to make the trip and had a grand time playing with Sadie’s toys.  We were rather pleased with their ability to get along which unfortunately did not extend to our trip away.  Sadie’s your typical small dog and seemed uncertain about the big dog so far away from her home turf.  At home?  No problem.  She’s the queen of the castle and as long as she can hide Remus’ bully stick in her kennel, it’s all good.  Poor Sadie, he’s only going to get bigger.  Perhaps we just needed more bully sticks?  Who would have though bull pizzle would have been so important?

Or that we would be talking about bull pizzle in a post about cookies?

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These chocolate pillow cookies (recipe over on my mom’s blog) were so spectacular that they broke the cookie press.  I’m thinking a little extra moisture was in order.  Not pictured were the red ones which went through the back-up cookie press with no problems.  Not to worry, we bought a good old aluminum Mirro cookie press for next year.  If you’re planning on making this recipe I would highly suggest picking a vintage one up yourself (or the one Williams and Sonoma used to sell) because the plastic ones just aren’t the same.

I haven’t made any more progress in my seven kinds of cookies for Yule challenge.  I’m still hopeful that I’ll work in number seven before the year is finished seeing as that’s the point at which I consider the Yuletide season over.  Honestly?  It’s looking doubtful.  I may just have to make this a six kind of cookie holiday and shoot for the proper odd number next year.

 


Quotables – Anne Lamott

A reblog from last year and a good thing to think about today.

Under the Maple Canopy

…I used to think that paired opposites were a given, that love was the opposite of hate, right the opposite of wrong.  But now I think we sometimes buy into these concepts because it is so much easier to embrace absolutes than to suffer reality.  I don’t think anything is the opposite of love.  Reality is unforgivingly complex.

– Anne Lamott, “Bird by Bird

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