Lughnasadh and the County Fair

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Lughnasadh (loon-ah-sah) is one of the Gaelic harvest festivals of old.  The word is from old Irish text and is a Pagan holiday celebrating the first of the harvests.  A harvest festival is always a welcome holiday in this farmgirl’s mind!  Tonight is also a full moon and I can just imagine my grandmothers of old times dancing under the moon celebrating the harvest of grains and other summer bounties.

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I study all religions and see the similarities in all of them, the same God with different names, the same holidays, many customs “borrowed” by other faiths, and the joy in all of the different ways to honor the great Creator.  Paganism was not a religion pre-Christianity since everyone from childhood was brought up with great respect for Mother Nature and the holidays were based on the agricultural calendar.  Paganism reminds me greatly of the Native American ways of worship a continent away.  The Christians use many of the same elements and traditions as the early Pagans.  I was always brought up thinking that Pagans were Atheists, this is not so apparently.  I love the various celebrations.

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Did you know that the local county fairs were originally the celebration of Lughnasadh?  The first harvest festival, showing off goods and livestock, morphed into what we now know as the county fair.

There I am on the Swingers, again 11 years old!

There I am on the Swingers, again 11 years old!

The ride that bankrupted Grammie and Papa!

The ride that bankrupted Grammie and Papa!

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This year’s county fair was more fun than ever with rides and a two year old who loved everything from the young people competing with their horses to the motorcycle ride she would not get off of until we were completely broke from buying tickets!

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Our friends at the annual Dutch oven cookoff.

Our friends at the annual Dutch oven cook-off.

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So tonight, the holiday brings with it a bright full moon, a promise of more crops, and a sense of peace.  The traditional way of late is to enjoy a beer (grains) and a bit of bread (or pizza?) and celebrate and have gratitude for the harvest.  And maybe a little dancing in the moonlight is in order!

How to Make Fabulous Fondue

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When I was little my mother let me and my sisters and brothers pick our favorite food for our birthday dinner.  Mine was always fondue.  I never did make it as my kids were growing up.  I always had a fondue pot but never knew a good recipe or felt I had the time to prepare it.  So last night when the fondue pot was brought out I felt like a little kid!  Pat and Margie also let me write down her mother’s recipe for perfect fondue.  And oh my, it was delicious!  Since fondue is a special way to celebrate (their daughter flew in from New York to surprise Margie for her birthday) they let me share the recipe with you too!

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Pour 2 cups of white wine (Pat used Chardonnay) into the fondue pot with 3 cloves of minced garlic and let simmer until fragrant.

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My job was to cut up a day old baguette into chunks.

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Pat poured just under a 1/2 cup of Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) into a measuring cup and whisked in 5 tablespoons of corn starch and set aside.

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16 ounces of Swiss Emmentaler was sliced.

8 ounces of Swiss cheese slices were at the ready.

And the real treat was 7 ounces of Gruyere.

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These were all slowly added to the pot.  A chopstick was used to blend.

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The measuring cup of cornstarch and Kirschwasser was poured in and blended well.  This is stirred until thickened and bubbly.  A good dash of paprika and white pepper was added.

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At the very end a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda is added to fluff up and perfect the fondue.

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Serve with a fresh salad, wine, and good friends!

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A Birthday Wish

Shyanne

Tomorrow the dawn will shine brightly at morn

T’will be nineteen years since my daughter was born.

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Her blue eyes so shine

her looks are quite fair

her smile ever bright

love her wavy hair!

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Her heart is passionate

a love of all so strong

A nature girl indeed

a love of the wild’s song.

shyanne

One of the sweetest souls I have ever met here

My beautiful child, Happy Birthday, my dear!

kitty and shy

Happy Birthday Shyanne Mae Elizabeth Little Deer Sanders!  My sweet, darling child has become a tremendous, amazing young woman.  Wishing you all you wish for this year and beyond.

December 28, 1995 5:25 pm