By Sandra Dailey
Yule has been called by different names in several regions around the world. It has also been celebrated in many ways. What Yule celebrates is the return of the sun and the awakening of the earth after its winter sleep. Long ago, some thought it was a rebirth of the sun or earth. Now we know the earth never dies but is dormant during the winter and the sun is just further away.
When is Yule?
In the northern hemisphere we celebrate Yule on the winter solstice which takes place on or around December 21st. Like most Wiccan and other Pagan holidays, it’s celebrated at night, this being the longest night of the year.
How do we celebrate Yule?
Family gathering, decorating, wreath headdresses, feasting, and gift-giving are all a fun part of the holiday, but light is the most important element. Candles, bonfires, lighted trees, and the burning of Yule logs are used to guide the sun home.
How is Yule related to Christmas?
When Christianity was first formed, the people of the new religion wanted to convert everyone to their ways. They decided using some of the pagan symbolism would attract more followers. They adopted the lighted tree, wreath, Yule log, candles, and traditional foods to their celebration of Christmas which took place soon after Yule.
What are the traditional Yule foods?
As in all pagan celebrations, the gifts from the earth at the time are used in celebration. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are saved from the final harvests and are in short supply. That’s why many dried fruits are used.
The recipe I’m including is modernized and a much easier versions of the traditional.
· 1 cup flour
· 1 cup soft bread crumbs
· 1 cup chopped suet
· 1 cup prune pulp
· 1/2 cup brown sugar
· 1 cup uncooked chopped prunes
· 1/4 cup candied lemon peel, finely chopped
· 1/4 cup molasses
· 3 eggs, separated
· Hard Sauce, recipe follows
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Mix together the rest of the ingredients, except the egg whites, adding just the yolks. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Grease a pudding mold dredged with sugar and pour in batter. Cover the mold with its lid or cover tightly with foil. Steam for 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of your mold. Serve hot with hard sauce. If you are not serving the pudding immediately, store in the refrigerator soaking in 1 ounce of brandy. Add 1 ounce each week.
Serve with warmed Hard Sauce.
· 1/4 cup butter
· 1 cup powdered sugar
· 1 tablespoon dark rum
· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the butter in an electric mixer until pale in color. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the flavorings and mix in then adjust, to taste.
While that pudding is steaming you can pass the time reading ‘The Chief’s Proposal’ http://amzn.to/MCNbDU
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Burned by love once, Brett Silverfeather finds his bachelor life more than satisfying. He’s facing re-election for sheriff, but this time the voters are looking for a family man. Brett finds himself pursuing a marriage he doesn’t want.
Ginny and Brett are opposite in every way, but opposites do attract. Can Brett protect his heart as well as he does his town? Can Ginny hide a secret past that could possibly destroy her future?
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