Thursday, 28 November 2019

Beltane 2019

See this post for the meaning of the sabbats for me, and see my food celebrations of the other sabbats this year here.

Beltane (31st October - 1st November, 2019)

Beltane is one of the major sabbats of the year, the point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, the peak of spring. Traditionally, it has always been one of my favourite holidays, I used to love spring. However now, when Brisbane is just summer about 80% of the year, I find that I now yearn for cooler months. In the Southern Hemisphere, Beltane falls on what is culturally Halloween (which has origins in the sabbat Samhain in the Northern Hemisphere, which is on the 31st of October). Halloween has become a little more popular in Australia every year. So it is a bit of mind trip celebrating Beltane while a lot of Halloween stuff is going on!

My way of marking the sabbats and the wheel of the year is through food, so this is what I did.

Basic Creamy Garlic Sauce from The Everyday Vegan by Dreena Burton: Beltane food is based on spring, which means lots of spring vegetables. Also baby sheep, but they are not food, they are friends! Don't eat them ever. I made this spring based pasta dish, using some fresh vegan chickpea linguine, roasted asparagus, peas, portobello mushrooms (save sheep, eat a mushroom), and this basic creamy garlic sauce. I made half batch of the sauce, which is based on roasted garlic. It uses a lot of garlic, and my tummy no longer handles large amounts of cooked garlic (and no raw garlic at all), so I did decrease the amount down to six cloves. It is a simple sauce once the garlic is roasted and pureed. I didn't have any fresh herbs, so I used some dried thyme, and I used nutritional yeast instead of vegan parmesan. It was tasty, though I don't know that I would call it creamy? Still, a nice spring based pasta dish.
Rating: :)

Basic Creamy Garlic Sauce

'Honey' Mustard Vinaigrette from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton: Honey is another traditional food of Beltane, but honey belongs to bees, not to me. I made a lovely spring salad with this dressing, which uses agave instead of honey. I made a third of a recipe, for one salad, and used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. I also used a mix of water with a pinch of guar gum instead of the oil, not because I think oil is bad, but because oily dressings can make me feel a bit ill. I tossed it through a salad of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and roasted asparagus.
Rating: :)

'Honey' Mustard Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with 'Honey' Mustard Vinaigrette

Raisin Bannocks from Wholegrain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes: Oatcakes known as bannocks are also traditional for Beltane. This recipe uses a blend of oat, spelt, barley flour, and pastry flour. I halved the recipe to make two bannocks rather than four, and baked them in my cute 10 cm springform cake tins. These are very dense little cakes, and not too sweet, making them excellent for any time of day. I had one fresh with a cup of tea. The second one I had the next day, sliced, lightly toasted, and spread with a smidge of Nuttelex and strawberry jam.
Rating: :)

Raisin Bannocks

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


This little sweetie is Pansy, who is hanging out in their tunnel in this photo. I have to confess, Pansy is my favourite. She is a chonky little floof of black and white. She has a cute little white spot on her butt, which you can kind of see here.


  1. Spring is my favorite season, but since the summers are so brutal and long here I don't enjoy the two weeks of spring as much.
    UUUMMM, Pansy could not be any cuter, I am in LOVE!!!!!

    1. I used to love spring, but like where you live our spring is so short now and then goes straight into harsh summer. I am much more an autumn person these days. Just anything to end the heat!

  2. The pasta dish definitely looks perfect for spring!
    Such a beautiful picture of Pansy!

  3. I like the part of spring when the sun returns, because our winters are so dark and seem to last forever, but I can't shake a sense of doom because I hate being hot! But the food is exciting. Sorry your pasta wasn't creamy, but glad it tasted good.

    I use a honey substitute called Bee Free Honee and it tastes just like honey! It also looks and feels and behaves just like honey. It's magic. I don't know if you could get any there but I know that there are online recipes that use similar ingredients (apples, sugar, and lemon juice--that's it).

    1. We don't get Bee Free Honee here. There is a brand of fancy vegan honey, though it is $$$ and the jar I bought of it went mouldy really fast, so I haven't bought it since then. It was a bit too runny as well. I have seen some of those recipes to make my own and I am keen to try it.

      Also with you on hating being hot. It is over 30 degrees C here every day this week... up to 38 at the end of the week, and I just want it to end.