Hello, Strawberry Moon and Vestalia!
Recipes and Time Travel
Hello, wonderful witches!
I’m so excited for today’s newsletter because we’re celebrating TWO occasions. Tonight’s full moon is the Strawberry Moon — or more accurately, the Strawberry SUPERmoon. So we’ve got some great strawberry-focused treats excerpted from the lovely Time Travel Kitchen newsletter. AND, we’re in the throes of Vestalia! It runs from June 7 until tomorrow. Learn more about it below and make the included recipes for a final Vestalia bash.
Featured Excerpt: Eat the Strawberry Supermoon
Excerpted from Time Travel Kitchen, a newsletter cooking recipes from throughout the 20th century. Subscribe below — you’ll love it!
From the The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a little history about why the June Full Moon is called the Strawberry Moon:
This name has been used by Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota and Lakota peoples, among others, to mark the ripening of “June-bearing” strawberries that are ready to be gathered.
If you’d like to watch the Strawberry Super Moon rise in your time zone (while eating strawberry desserts) there is a calculator on the site at: https://www.almanac.com/astronomy/moon-rise-and-set
This couldn’t be easier. Wash, dry and hull your strawberries and cut them in halves or quarters, depending on their size. Toss them with sugar — about 1-2 Tbsp per 2 cups of strawberries (depends on how sweet you like them) — Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Fill a pretty dish with your favorite ice cream and spoon the strawberries over it. Add a cookie if you like and since I didn’t have any mint on hand, but did have basil, I garnished with that, it tastes great with strawberries.
So simple and good. Wash, dry, hull and halve or quarter the berries, put in bowl and this time add a grind of fresh black pepper, the sugar (about 1-2 Tbsp per 2 cups of strawberries) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Macerate the strawberries for 20 minutes. Serve and drizzle with good balsamic vinegar. It’s a syrupy glaze with sweet acidity and is great over ice cream, with goat cheese, yogurt, in salads - versatile and delicious.
In honor of Wimbledon which starts later this month — the easiest strawberry dish of them all. Wash, dry and hull your berries and if they are small leave them whole. Pour cold, heavy whipping cream over the sweet berries and that’s it. Delicious. Note: in the U.S. the fat content in heavy whipping cream is 36% - 38% while in the U.K. the butterfat content in double cream is a luxurious 48%.
By Michelle Roe
Vestalia is upon us, a celebration of a centuries-old Roman tradition in which the inner sanctum of the Vestal Temple was open only to women to honor the Goddess Vesta. The Vestal Virgins, owning to the privilege of avowing chastity for thirty years, guarded the sacred flame illuminating the altar during the week-long Vestalia festival. This celebration gave ode to the goddess, family, and the importance of the feminine.
In thanksgiving, the Vestal Virgins made a mola salsa (also known as “salted flower” and “bread for the Gods”) made of ground and toasted flour, salt for purification, and water drawn from a holy spring. Crowned with handmade floral wreaths made of violets, the young women would bring oil, wine, and their “sacred cake” as offerings. Bakers and millers, as well as the donkeys that worked the mills, were given a day off and all was decorated with garlands and loaves of bread. All Romans were said to eat bread baked in their hearths to further honor the women responsible for being the backbone of the family and home.
As spring turns to summer, modern daughters and kitchen witches can prepare a spectacular Vestalia thanksgiving ritual with a modern twist that will please the palate. Start by setting the mood and crown yourself with a beautiful violet, rose, and daisy wreath. Then light a candle flame to celebrate the feminine vibe as you prepare a simple and savory Mola Salsa flatbread, followed by an offering of zesty and sweet dessert Lemon Poppyseed Flower Cake.
Mola Salsa Flatread
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup water
Pinch of salt
Rosemary or any other savory herb for seasoning (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Tip: Add a bit of water if too lumpy or add a bit of flour if too wet.
Cover the dough in a bowl and let it rest for approximately 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into pieces and use your fingers to stretch them into rustic, flattened circles.
Place a skillet on your stovetop and heat it until it gets very hot. Place each flatbread in the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds, until the dough as puffed up or has darkened. Flip the bread over and cook for another few minutes. Cool and serve with Greek yogurt, guacamole, hummus, or your favorite dip.
Lemon Poppyseed Flower Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk or water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Prepare three bread loaf pans by spraying non-stick spray on the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Add the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
Combine the milk and lemon juice, then slowly add the mixture to the batter and mix until well combined.
Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
Add the lemon zest and poppy seeds and gently stir to combine.
Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
While baking, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk or water, and vanilla extract to create a smooth glaze of your desired consistency for drizzling over your cakes. Set aside.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool before removing from pans.
When cooled, gently pour your glaze over each cake. Sprinkle a pinch of lavender seed over top of each glazed cake. Decorate with violets and serve with a delicate toast of champagne to honor your inner goddess in the name of Vestalia!
Michelle Roe has more than 25 years of creating remarkable content for agencies, private corporate clients, and various lifestyle publications. Michelle’s articles and press releases promote travel destinations, food, fashion, entertainment and celebrity profiles that drive audiences to venues, gigs, places and spaces. She has covered red-carpet events, produced fashion shows, scripted media productions, penned blogs, and hosted international diplomats. She is a seasoned writer/editor with an eye for capitalizing on trends as well as evergreen subjects. Michelle is also an avid cook with an Italian flare for celebrating the good life. Follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.
In the next issue…
Paid subscribers, watch your inbox for a special Litha issue. The next newsletter will have… well, I’m not sure yet. We’ll find out together!
See you then!