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Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Glimpse of Astrology & Cooking

Are you sympathetic, organized, witty, charming, dedicated, knowledgeable about good health, modest, shy, meticulous, reliable, practical, diligent, intelligent, trustworthy, analytical, opinionated, over-demanding, fussy, a worry wort, over-critical or a perfectionist? Meet my daughter Michele. Today is her birthday and she was born under the sixth sign of the zodiac, Virgo. The sun sign of Virgo usually begins on either August 22nd, 23rd or 24th depending on the year. Virgo has been identified with the goddesses of fertility, of agriculture, and of the earth.

I had Big plans for today. The last week or so I have been making ever so slight changes and tweaks to the design of this blog. I thought I would be ready to put the icing on the cake by today but, alas, dear visitors, it's not going to happen today. That's okay. I've come up with an alternate, perhaps better idea. In the meantime, I thought I would take today to let you know what's going on. Now, don't fret, I've included a recipe below.

My Plans

First, I'm delighted to report, I'm leaving for Idaho on Tuesday (26th) to visit my daughter, grand children and son-in-law. True to her nature, and at the suggestion of her husband, Michele surprised me with a trip to Idaho just in time for my grandson's birthday. He's gonna be 4! It just so happens, that she and her husband just bought a new house and moved in just two weeks ago. So, I'm going to get to see the new house, clean up the yard, prepare a compost pile and tackle anything else that might come our way. Hey, what are mothers for anyway. (gee could this be the reason for the freebie?) Probably not. Like most Virgoans, Michele is extremely organized and probably has everything all unpacked already. I know they say people born under the sign of Virgo are associated with agriculture. That, is not the case with Michele. She doesn't know the difference between a sunflower and a basil plant. Well, she might know what a basil plant is she makes a killer Bruschetta (she's also quite the little bread baker) Just in case you need a refresher on the difference between Bruschetta and Crostini, visit Susan over at Food Blogga. She also just posted what looks like a zesty Fresh Fig, Arugula, and Marscapone Bruschetta.

As luck would have it, while I'm in Idaho, I will also get to see my grand daughter, Tabitha take her first baby step into the world of education. I will be there for her first day of school:(:) enough said...so why am I boring you with all the gory details? It pretty much comes down to this blog. I'm not sure if/when Michele is going to have any kind of internet connection. More importantly, I will be very busy in Idaho enjoying my family, perhaps cooking:) and certainly playing outside! I'll also be there for the Idaho State Fair which my service-oriented daughter will be working. (another trait of Virgoans) And, without even planning it, I will also be there for grandparents day, September 7, in 2008. (first time EVER, I will be with the kiddies for this special day) It seems my grand kids have a baking surprise for me...Not that I don't look forward to my visitors, I definitely do, but I'm sure you guys will understand if I don't post or comment.

Celebrations & Recipe

I'm going to be gone for two weeks returning on the 9th of September. There are so many days to celebrate in September. September is National Rice Month, National Chicken Month and National Honey Month. I plan on posting about them when I get back. If you can't wait, I've left a few leading links below.

The Earthy sign of Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury. Mercury has control over the brain and the nervous system. For this reason, those born under the sign of Virgo tend to have stomach ailments. In most depictions, Virgo is portrayed holding a spike of wheat in one hand which emphasizes her role as the Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture. Perhaps, that is the reason Virgoans love to bake bread. They like things to be precise and in order. Michele tends to follow recipes to the Tee. I, on the other hand, rarely follow a recipe at all. I thought I would share a recipe published in a book by Sydney Omarr titled Cooking With Astrology. The name of the recipe is Pancakes Mercury. According to the author, "this is probably one of the most exotic pancake recipes you'll ever find. I'm sure meticulous, and sometimes critical Michele will agree.

Pancakes Mercury
1 c. enriched flour, sifted
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/4 c. light cream
2 tbs. melted butter
1 slightly beaten egg
melted butter (for serving)
brown sugar (for serving)
1 marshmallow mix (recipe below)
1 pint fresh strawberries halved and sweetened or, 1-1/2 oz. frozen
Sift together dry ingredients. Add milk, cream, and butter to egg and mix well; add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Bake 6 inch cakes on lightly greased hot griddle. Brush melted butter on serving plate; sprinkle with brown sugar. Then spread each individual cake with melted butter sprinkled with brown sugar and stack six or more cakes. Cover with marshmallow mix, broil until golden on top. Heat strawberries to boiling point. Cut stacks of pancakes in wedges and serve with hot strawberries.

Marshmallow Mix: Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan. cook until sugar dissolves. (it doesn't say it but I'm assuming at a very low temp so it doesn't burn) When dissolved, pour over 2 stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly. Beat to stiff peaks. Cool slightly and beat in 1 tablespoon soft butter.

The thought of blending astrology and cooking intrigues me. I only wish I knew a bit more about astrology. Cooking, I can wing! Mike Roy, who was born under the sign of Cancer,  was also intrigued with the thought that food, cooking and astrology have so much in common. When author and syndicated columnist Sydney Omarr, born a Leo and astrologist extrodinaire, sat down with Mike Roy, they developed the above book in 1998. Perhaps, there is more to this in this blogs future.

Resources
1. National Chicken Month
2. National Honey Month (previous post)
3. National Rice Month
4. Fun With Alcohol And Astrology