Summer Solstice excitement

Summer Solstice excitement

Above top ‘painting stones’ from our local beach. above’Our Solstice Tree’
Orange essential oil in the burner

One of the things GD and I wanted do when we moved to Cornwall was to connect more with the seasons and to get out of town mode. With the summer Solstice just around the corner we began researching to find out a few things about what the Solstice is so we could celebrate it with understanding. It can fall on different dates from year to year between the 20th and 22nd of June, in 2016 in the UK it falls on the 20th, the sun will rise at 4.45 a.m.and set at 10.34 p.m. Summer Solstice is the longest daylight hours of the year, 17 hours, and marks the beginning of Summer. Many different cultures celebrate it being symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest. 2016 Solstice is special because it coincides with the Strawberry full moon which only happens once every 70 years. Native American Tribes called the June New moon Strawberry to mark the beginning of the strawberry season. The name Solstice comes from Latin solstitium meaning sun stands still, the sun stops heading North at the tropic of Cancer at this point we are farthest away from the darkness than at any other time and then it journeys back southwards, in the Northern hemisphere the days now become shorter. At Solstice nature is at its peak in full abundance. There is fullness in both the green and the animal kingdom yet it is now the cycle is ready to turn to its waning phase and we need to prepare to go into darkening days. We found a lovely meditation in our earth pathways diary which GD and I will be doing in different versions from tonight through to Thursday, Thursday GD and I will be finishing our solstice celebrations when we will be going to a local event to celebrate in community with fire, food and song.

 The lighting of the fires remind us of the heat of summer. Solstice is a time to remember that nothing lasts forever and to love all the more while we are here, that in letting go of what is completed we allow growth to happen and sometimes change is not easy, there are sad times and happy times, but change is always happening, change is just sometimes something different, by letting go of resistance we let go of our suffering. The summer Solstice allows opportunity to give thanks for the blessings and abundance of the season, in celebration of it take time to pause for breath and acknowledge all that you have been through. Take time to be present to the transition that is taking place, from the light of summer to the darkness of winter,  as Bethanie Pitsky writes in Elephant market, without the darkness of winter there would be no awareness of the sweetness of summer. 
‘soak up the glory of summer with a grateful heart. Just as squirrels gather food for winter, we can store this energy away as a reserve of light and warmth that will linger deep within as the days grow shorter, like the last glowing embers of a fire’.
Meditation from Earth pathways Diary
So we have lit our burner today and in keeping with the colours of the sun chose orange essential oil to embrace the energy of the summer. We found sticks that had finished budding and placed them in a pottery vase and gave them some water then hung their branches with ribbons to remind us of the sun. GD’s brother left us with a horn to drink honey mead from and will certainly give that one a go. We collected some stones from our local beach an painted them.Now I am preparing a shopping list for the red berry fruits I will need to make this Solstice berry cake I found on Pinterest, posted by Nourish Atelier
Mmmm making this Tomorrow
INGREDIENTS
Cake
wet ingredients:
125 g coconut oil
125 g honey (or agave syrup for a vegan option)
⅔ cup nut milk (Iused almond milk)
zest of ½ orange or lemon (optional)
1 banana, mashed
¼ cup mango or orange juice

2 tsp vanilla extract
dry ingredients:
250 g spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
75 gram cacao powder
⅔ tsp fine salt

½ tsp cardamom
Raspberry filling 
200 gram mascarpone or cottage cheese (or vegan creme fraiche)
75 gr raspberries, frozen or fresh
3 tbsp white cashew cream (optional)

2 tbsp honey or agave syrup (vegan)
Mascarpone icing
200 g mascarpone (for vegan creme fraiche)
3 tbsp honey or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

a dusting cinnamon
Decoration
0.75 – 1 liter strawberries, halved
INSTRUCTIONS:

THE CAKE
1. Heat up your oven to 180 ℃.
2. Grease a 20 cm spring form pan with coconut oil.
3. In a mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Melt the coconut oil slowly in a pan. In a bowl; add mashed banana, almond milk, vanilla extract, juice, orange zest, and honey to the pan and the melted coconut oil.
5. Mix the moist ingredients together with a whisk, by hand or use an electric mixer.
5. Pour the wet mix into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix well. Mix together.
6. Pour the dough mixture into the greased form.
7. Make the top surface flat and even using a dough scraper or a spoon.
7. Bake in 180 ℃ for 1 hour. Test with a thin stick to see that it comes out dry and clean to know if the cake is done. Bake it longer if needs it. Let the cake rest and cool.
THE RASPBERRY FILLING
1. Mix raspberries with the quark or vegan creme fraiche, cashew cream and honey

2.Set aside in the fridge until montage.
THE MASCARPONE ICING
1. Mix the topping ingredients together by whipping it briskly and set aside.
CAKE MONTAGE
1. When the cake is cool, gently half it with a knife and lift off the top and set aside carefully.
2. Add a generous layer of raspberry filling on the the cake base.
3. Gently place the top cake half on top of the raspberry filling.
4. Carefully add a thick even layer of the mascarpone mix to the top of the cake.

5. Decorate placing the halved strawberries on top of it all. It’s beautiful and festive to add flowers and berries of different sorts around the base of the cake,
Voila! this is how mine turned out

 



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