Although I wasn’t born in a Rabbit year, I’ve always felt a connection to rabbits. Besides being adorable (and having vicious bites, which I learned the hard way!), rabbits symbolize intellect and cautiousness. The Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be one of peace and prosperity– something I think we all need.
Chinese New Year also takes place during the new moon, which is a time of change and fresh starts. I’m fully embracing this aspect, as I’m in the midst of moving (finally!) My posts (and comments) might be on the light side for the next while (I’m also still working on the new book), but I will be around. In the meantime, I wish everyone all the best for the lunar new year!
Aspasía S. Bissas
PS: Start something new for the new year– download my books!
Wishing you all a happy (and creepy!) Hallowe’en/Samhain! Are you doing anything special to celebrate? Share in the comments….
For me, this year feels sombre. My lost loved ones are on my mind, so I’ll be honouring them today. I’ll probably also indulge in some movies: Nightmare Before Christmasfor sure, and possibly something else, as well. Any suggestions for a film on the lighter side of the horror spectrum?
If I have time, I’d also like to make Pan de Muertos, AKA Bread of the Dead. If you haven’t tried it, Pan de Muertos, a lightly sweet bread, is traditional during Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It’s usually shaped into skulls and bones, but you can make it in any shape that suits you. This recipe is very close to the one I use: Pan de Muertos.
If you’re looking for something to read in the spirit of the season, download my books now:
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I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone familiar with me, my work, or this blog that this is my favourite time of year. I love the energy in the air, the myth and magic surrounding Hallowe’en, and the general spookiness of it all. It’s also my favourite time to cook and bake, so I’m sharing a couple of recipes that perfectly capture the season.
I wish you all a memorable night tomorrow, full of high spirits (and maybe definitely some candy)! See you on the other side…
Jack o’ Lantern Soup
Whenever we have a jack o’ lantern, I make this soup. It makes use of the pieces of pumpkin you carve out, and it’s mildly pumpkiny and delicious. (Recipe originally found in Ancient Ways by Pauline and Dan Campanelli.)
pieces of pumpkin cut from your jack-o-lanterns water butter 1 chopped onion per cup of mashed pumpkin 1 1/2 cups milk per cup of mashed pumpkin 1/2 tsp salt per cup of mashed pumpkin dash pepper per cup of mashed pumpkin 1/4 tsp curry powder, or according to taste, per cup of mashed pumpkin cinnamon or nutmeg
Peel the outer skin from the pieces of pumpkin and boil them in water until very tender, about 20-30 minutes. Mash pieces with a potato masher.
Meanwhile, in a pot of appropriate size, melt some butter and saute chopped onion(s). When onions are ready, add the mashed pumpkin. Add milk, salt, pepper and curry powder. Cook until heated through. Bowls of the soup can be garnished with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg just before serving.
While you’re at it, you should also save and roast the seeds from your jack:
Rinse and drain seeds (if they’re really wet, you might want to pat them dry with a towel) and place in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt (you can also sprinkle with a bit of cayenne or chili powder). Stir well. Spread on a large, greased baking sheet. Place in preheated 325F (160C) oven for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them as they burn quickly. Best served warm.
The last book I read was purportedly a retelling of Faust, but seemed far more interested in Greek mythology (and conflating Hell with Hades, which is personally infuriating). So I thought I’d follow that up with a book that doesn’t pretend to be about anything other than Greek mythology. I read this several years ago and liked it at the time. I hope I’ll still like it.
What are you reading these days? Share in the comments…
Aspasía S. Bissas
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