Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Now that I am stuffed better lay me on the spit and turn me..."

Here in Memphis, where I live I know that when I go to my parent's house or my mother in laws house or my cousins homes in Mississippi, there are going to be a few staples that I should expect on the table for Thanksgiving.  I say this, because if you have ever been to another part of the country during this time (and I have been out east, north, and west) you will realize that Southern and Thanksgiving are customized for those of us that live here.  Now, I understand that soul food cooking can spice it up a bit making you expect pig knuckles and green into the mix; but other than those two things even the Soul kitchen witches down south pretty much offer the same spread.


* Roast turkey with Cornbread dressing that is in a pan
* Brown sugared ham with pineapples and cherries and cloves
* Some sort of vegetable casserole (usually squash, broccoli and rice, or green bean)
* Corn (I have never been to a Southern meal without it somewhere)
* Homeade pickles (sweet and sour)
* Cranberry sauce (jellied or homeade)
* Sweet Potato casserole with marshmallows on top
* A fruit salad concoction (Green goo, Orange marshmallow delight, or fruit cocktail with coconut)
* Pecan Pie
* Pumpkin pie or Sweet Potato pie (this depends on whether the Hostess likes Pumpkin)
* A Cake (usually Carrot Cake, or German Chocolate Cake maybe Orange Slice cake)
* Sweet Tea, Colas, and Rich Coffee

I am going to share with you some of my favorite recipes for this...because we all differ, I would love to have you email me some of yours!  I would love to post recipes from my readers...who knows?  Maybe we collectively could MAKE a Southern Fried Pagan Cookbook and donate part of the proceeds to a charity that means alot to us!


  • 1 cup light corn syrup or dark (I use dark)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 heaping cup pecan halves
  • 1 pie shell, unbaked, 9-inch
In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla; mix well. Add slightly beaten eggs and blend well; stir in pecans. Pour into the unbaked pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes, or until set.



  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 10 inch cake pans.In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting. 



3. Southern Cornbread Dressing


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 (16 ounce) package dry corn bread mix 

1 (1 pound) loaf day-old white bread, torn into small pieces 

4 tablespoons margarine 

1/2 cup chopped onions 

1/2 cup chopped celery 

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup 

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 

6 eggs


Place the chicken breast halves in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and easily shredded. Shred chicken and set aside. Reserve 4 to 6 cups of the remaining broth.
Prepare an 8x8 inch pan of cornbread according to package directions. Crumble the corn bread into a large bowl. Mix in the white bread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine and stir in the onions and celery. Slowly cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Stir the onions and celery into the bread mixture. Mix in the chicken, 4 cups reserved broth, cream of chicken soup, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, pepper and eggs. Blend with a potato masher until the mixture is the consistency of gelatin. Use more of the reserved broth as necessary to attain desired consistency. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until golden brown. 

4. Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze: 

  • 1 (5 pound) fully cooked sliced ham
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 oranges, juiced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place the ham in a roasting pan and dot with cloves. In a saucepan combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey and orange juice. Stir and simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour the glaze over the ham.
Bake the ham uncovered for 1 hour in the preheated oven 

5.  Mamie's famous Fruit Salad (my mother in law)
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, halved
  • 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, oranges, cherries, marshmallows and sour cream together. Chill and serve.
Now this is not the whole she-bang these are just staples in my families, that when visitors start coming over to eat they ask for these recipes.  I have never given them out on such a large scale before...but why not?  Since I am a proclaimed Kitchen witch you might ask where is the magick?:  There is no greater magick than to SHARE food and what you love to do (I love to cook) with other people.  Sometimes, when my mother and mother in law (whom I know are really too old to cook) fix me food, I eat them just to injest their love and pride in their families.  That is why alot of us Southern women cook you know, because we have no other way of showing our kin folk how proud we are of them, and how much we truly love them.
Please, take the time to injest the love in the dishes you eat this year, think about how much time goes into preparation of a dish (typically twice the amount ) than in the cooking and consuming!  Know, that some woman or man who made this for you did it because they cared.  They may not care or love you in the way you wish they would; but you cannot choose the form of love or "force someone to love you" just be glad that you are.  

Have a fabulous family day, try not to argue too much, drink too much, hold too many grudges, take everything too seriously.  Let the religion prayers, the football talks, the "you should do this or that", your children are not as great as mine, being the black sheep (yep that is me), roll off your back.  Seize the bigger picture, understand that many of these people may not sit with you next year.  Just accept, share, receive, and give the love...and DO NOT skip dessert!

I love, and truly care for each and everyone of you! So thank you for reading and the gift of your time!  See you all next year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

" One two three, One two three, Step, shuffle, slide, Dance in the Dark with me!"

So it has been awhile.  My husband got bronchitis which developed into pneumonia, I got a severe cold and then the baby got the same.  Life decided to show me how I was not in control…at all.  Which is funny because at the time, it seemed like I was surfing the big wave of life, doing aerials, body curves, and not crashing; I was euphoric and mesmerized at my abilities to do things I had no idea I could do.  The water went still, there were no waves to ride.  I had to wait. I was not happy, I was frustrated and struggling with the new tempo of my life.

Now I have never claimed to be a patient person but as I have grown older I realize I am more patient than I seem.  However, I think the Gods were getting a big whooping laugh that made them roll on the floor to see me chomping at the bit for several weeks realizing physically I could not do what my mind “instructed me to do”.  

Sitting still, and not doing much of anything other than staring at pictures on a Television screen is almost meditative and very trance like.  It can bring to the surface all those things you were “on purpose” or “not on purpose” staying so busy for so that you did not have to deal with them.  I run and swim so fast in the stream of life that I can mark it in the following way.  Mamaw died when I was 30, two years later I finally admitted it, 3 years later I cried a lot, 8 years later I got peace with it.  WHY?  Because I made sure I stayed busy so as to “Not think, and Not feel, and Not have to deal with the truth of the matter.”  

However, my life does not work this way anymore I have no idea if it is the “instant manifesto Highpriestess thing” or if I have really just grown that much.  So out comes the issues I have not had time to deal with, and they were less than a year old…still hurting and I had to deal with them.  I am not saying I dealt with them the best way possible, like all of you I am still learning.  I am not perfect, nor do I know more than everyone, but I do listen, and work through things.  BTW in case you did not know, I am harder on me than anyone can ever be I do not give myself time to mourn, or feel sorry for myself, or to cry, or to even feel “loss or sorrow”.  I was not taught these things as a child, so as an adult I just kept on rolling….NOT.

This weekend I let “out” the feelings of loss and sorrow and betrayal and hurt I had felt several months earlier.  I let out the feelings of anger, and frustration.  I humbled myself and received back every inch of love and caring I had given to a person who “would not pee on me if I was on fire”; and I bounced back (btw they did not give it to me many others did).  I cried for about twenty four hours!  Yep, I cried  (something I never let myself do in public or private) and it felt good it was the damn being released; it was the balm of my soul; it was the arms of river goddesses telling me to let it go and flow and as it did I would realize it was just to feel this way and at the same time it was just an emotion.  Emotions are meant to be acknowledged, and to be expressed if you do not do either then they will come out in very strange ways.” That is what I heard, and what I saw, and what makes me smile.  

Big whoop I feel!  Big whoop I am not perfect!  Big whoop life is not always flowing and tossing and turning! Thank goodness it got still and placid for me to see the truth of what was going on inside and outside of me!  I had to strain out my well and get rid of the debris and yuckiness hanging about…I needed to be silly, and just let it all hang out.  I think I am getting amused at all the Dark Goddess offerings I am making lately; but I really am enjoying the wisdom and insight she is showing me…I know later on down the road these lessons will be pivotal.

“Thank you Dark Mother, for pointing out to me gently that I am too hard on me; that I need to take the time to feel and mourn and express my emotions and that does not make me a “drama queen” but absolutely perfectly your co-creation.  Thank you Dark Father for showing me that sometimes you have to sit still and do what ‘appears to be nothing’ so that ‘something powerful and beautiful’ can occur on the surface.”

How do you cope with being sick?  How do you cope with having to take care of so many others that are sick in your household?  How do you flow with the slow periods in your life when it feels you are dragging a tugboat of people and things and projects behind you?   Do you stay so busy all the time that you have trouble reacting to loss, sorrow, and feelings or emotions? When you sit still, and there is no sound, no pictures, only you breathing are you scared and try to direct your thoughts to what you “have to do” or are you open and do you listen to see what you “need to hear” not “what needs to be done by X day”?  These are the words of the Dark Moon, this is one of the mysteries revealed here.


1.  Find out when the dark moon cycle is. It is always BEFORE the new moon and is last period of your moon cycle. Research! Magick works with cycles not against them this is why you learn them and they are pivotal!

2.  Pick a deity to work with that is associated with a Dark moon or is a Crone or Sage deity (I am using THOTH this year, you do realize there are Gods associated with the Dark moon right? ) can use Persephone as a Dark Maiden one month and Sekhmet another month, and Khonsu another month...but make sure their personalities and attributes resonate with that moon.  Magick is a type of mathematics, the more you have in each column the more it adds up and the more likely you will get great results!

3. Use purple, grey, or black candles (Please take the time to look up what each color means, or think…what do these colors mean to me? For me Purple is dealing with deep psychic issues, grey with my shadow self, and black is for banishing) Research!  Colors have been proven even in psychology to affect your moods this is deep magick when you light those candles you are telling your psyche what it is working on!

4.  Use the appropriate incenses and herbs for your ritual (Hint: Black pepper, Sage, Damiana, possible Pine all will be welcome here).  RESEARCH!  Remember the more additions and bells and whistles you click off the more likely your magick spell will work as intended if you honor the Deity by doing research and presenting the proper herb for the spell "forgiveness" or "working with Hekate" you better believe they will take notice and respond!

4.  For offerings you can just use one night of the dark moon, but for any kind of magickal working utilizing EVERY day of the phase is the most effective.  On Dark moons I like to use all three nights, and I repeat what I did the nights before…and I am open to anything new I experience or receive. REMEMBER!  Magick is worship, it is also an exchange of energy. Magick is also practice.  How do you expect to get good at anything if you are not willing to do anything more than read about it?  You have to practice it, the more you practice the better you get...three nights in a row, now that packs a punch.  Seven nights?  Two weeks, now you are getting the picture the more you concentrate on one spell until you get a result the more focused and more likely you are to get your result!

5.  Realize that the Astrological phase of the Dark moon does have something to do with whatever issue you might want to learn about or work with,or are working through during a month.  Yep there is a Scorpio Crone Mother moon, and a Maiden Aquarius Dark Moon both have strengths both insights are pivotal to your new you emerging. KNOW WHICH one you are working with and plan your spell, God or Goddess, Candles, herbs, stones, etc accordingly.  Do not be the kind of person that thinks the Gods are just lucky you showed up with anything at all, respect the craft do the work and research and it will respect you!

6.  Are you scared of the shadow you see when the sun hits you? Are you scared of the concept of DARK vs LIGHT ?  Are you scared of what is really deep inside you beneath the surface?  “I love my shadow!  Isn’t she/he cool!”  These are things you should say when you notice your real shadow.  Dark Moon work happens whether you call on it or not.  Whether you seek it out or not…so it is best to mark it, acknowledge it and have fun with it. Dark Moon magick is essential to learning, evolving and growing, as a human being and spiritual practitioner it is not about hexes and curses.  Unless you call working on your own issues a "hex or curse".

So you have your candles, deities, salt, water, stones, herbs and you are sitting there in the dark after invoking your God or Goddess…now what?  Tell them the truth!  Tell them what you are going through, what REALLY happened, how you felt about it, how you feel about it now make sure you make the story as funny as possible or as sad as possible this is the time to really let that BIG emotions pour out.  Tell them you do not know what it all means, or how it is going to help you or etc.  Ask for their insights, thank them for showing you the “shadow of yourself”, thank them for everything warts and all…and remind them gently that you would like to learn these things about yourself in a gentle way, in a smooth as possible way.  If you have a piece of jewelry, a card, a physical object, a mantra you want to dedicate to this time this would be the time to do it with earth, air, fire, water.

Lay out an appropriate offering for your deity, take what you just learned and Burn it, Bury it, or Drown it.  It is that easy.

“Dark moon,
burning bright,
for those who have the blessed sight,
Accept my offering
Hear my prayer
Remind me that you are always there
nothing to fear
only to share
the truth. 

May I embrace you
my shadow
May I remember that without you
there is no light
May I seek out and maintain
a state of balance in my life
in myself
and in the world I live in.

Dark moon
shine bright!
Dark Moon
let me see your light!
Dark Moon
come dance with me
and reflect back to me
my light!”
-----------Sonya Miller