Thursday, October 31, 2013
It's October 31st again and the shops are full of black and orange ghoulish gimmicks that make most Australians groan at in anticipation of your kids begging to door knock for lollies, and those without kids groan in anticipation of other peoples kids knocking at their doors begging for lollies.
It's a holiday that is not embraced by most Australians and unfortunately is seen as just that - a gimmick. However the history of halloween or "All Hallows Eve", the pagan celebration of the dead, is fascinating.
Linked to the Celtic festival of "Samhain", the Celts celebrated this time of year as the end to the long winter farming season, a time that saw the close of one cycle and the beginning of another. It was now that the souls of those who had died that year would pass into the otherworld - a time that this world is open to faeries, ghouls and ghosts. Bonfires were lit to keep these otherworldly beings from straying here and to guide the souls of the dead to pass over. Offerings of animals and the years harvest were sacrificed to bring fortune and luck for the coming year and to placate the spirits. With the spread of Christianity, All Hallows Eve was adopted as a Christian festival that also became known as the "Feast of All Saints" as it was the death of Saints that became more widely celebrated, trying to quash the pagan belief in faeries and other such sprites. The Celts however were strong in their beliefs and the supernatural archetype of Halloween still exists today.
Many other cultures celebrate the dead around the same time, also generally following harvest.
The Hindus celebrate "Pitru Paksha" in September-October at the Autumn equinox as according to Hindu mythology, the last three generations exist in a realm between heaven and earth called Pitru-loka, and offering of food must be given to the departed to ensure the safe passage of their souls into heaven.
The mexican "day of the dead" is held from the eve of the 31st of October to the 2nd of Novemeber, with offerings of marigolds and sugar skulls being left at alters, shrines and graves to honour the dead, these customs being taken from their Aztec ancestors.
While many Australians shy away from Halloween, possibly due to its commerciality, possibly due to the American garishness many of us associate it with, why not make it a time to remember our loved ones who have passed on? Have a glass of wine outside tonight, look at the moon and reminisce the good times. Tell your children stories of those the may not have had the chance to meet or to remember so your own heritage and ancestry is not forgotten.
It is something often lost these days and hence the worth in looking at the tradition in these holidays we tend to celebrate without a second thought. Better still, pick some marigolds, light a candle and pop them in front of a photo. There is a magik in ritual that strikes something old, and deep in our own souls.
Happy Halloween! (boo!)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
I'm so sorry its been so long between posts! I had phone and internet dramas and suddenly realised how dependant I am upon technology these days. Sometimes I wonder if it happens from time to time in order to reconnect us with reality. Although I'm glad I'm back up and running I did enjoy time away from my screen and am reminded that its healthy to have a break every now and again.
Speaking of healthy (relatively), heres a recipe for one of my faves that I have been making for years - quiche lorraine. This recipe is so simple and quick to make and very forgiving if the quantities are not perfect. In fact I can't even remember the exact recipe I started with, I kind of make it up each time with the amount of eggs, milk etc and its fun to experiment to see what you end up with. I think it would be hard to finish with something inedible! A great one if you have guests for lunch, a quick and easy dinner for the family or wholesome snack for toddlers - just pair with a healthy salad and some good crusty bread and you're laughing
· 4 rashers short cut bacon
· 1 large onion
· 1-2 sheets puff pastry
· 4 eggs
· 1/3 cup milk
· Salt & pepper to taste
1. Thaw puff pastry if frozen and pre-heat oven to 180oc.
2. Cut up bacon and onion into small chunks and fry over medium heat until onion is translucent
3. Meanwhile blind bake puff pastry in an oiled dish for 10 minutes, then bake normally for another 5 to cook pastry (google blind baking f you are not sure what this means)
4. Combine eggs, milk, S & P in a small bowl with fork until just mixed through, put bacon and onion mixture into puff pastry base and top with egg mixture, pop into the oven for about 40 minutes.
· You can add some cheese or spinach to egg mixture if desired.
· I like my quiche quite moist so if you want your eggs firmer, cook for longer.
· Substitute cream for milk for a denser, more luxurious quiche.
· Whip up a quick salad full of leafy greens, fresh tomatoes, olives, cucumber etc to serve on the side
I'd probably avoid adding mandarin as my sous chef below attempted too. I will set her to work on a tart next time
Monday, October 7, 2013
I have a very independent eighteen month old toddler who wants to walk without holding hands, who won't let me help her put the shapes in the right holes in her toys, who wants to choose her own clothes and lately I've realised that my little baby is no longer a little baby, she's a little girl. This makes me feel both sad and proud at the same time. Those baby days are short and sweet, but emerging personalities are so, so amusing.
This long weekend complete with glorious weather however has been spent inside, a tummy bug making mums arms the only comfortable place for this hot, quiet little girl of mine. And although I hate seeing her unwell, a part of me has secretly enjoyed this fleeting return to dependence and made me realise that my job as a mother is to wait and watch from the sidelines as she learns to run and grow and learn and fall and make mistakes and cry and that I will always be needed, and always be there for those moments she needs a reassuring cuddle before she is on her way again.
Friday, October 4, 2013
These new designs from Finders Keepers caught my eye, especially the "Wait For Me" playsuit . These Aussie designers use stunning fabrics and very cool shapes in their range and are pretty affordable for the quality. What do you think? Another Australian icon to be proud of
|Wait For Me Playsuit $149.95|
|Back To December Bra $79.95|
|Wildfire Skirt $119.95|
|Tangled Secrets Dress $129.95|
|New Baxter Playsuit $159.95|
|You Sent Me T-Shirt Dress $119.95|
You can purchase Finders Keepers from The Iconic (affiliate link)
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The talented girls over at Love Mae have just put up this desktop wallpaper calendar for October that you can use to keep track of your hot dates. They put a new one up most months so follow them on bloglovin' to keep updated.
and Amy Moss over at Eat, Drink, Chic has created this super cute printable calendar for 2014! Jump over to her blog to download and get printing. She is an amazing graphic designer and you'll find lots of other goodies she has shared with her readers.
Don't you love it when creatives share their gorgeousness with the world? If you download these from their blogs, leave a little note to say thank you and show your appreciation :)