TRANSCRIPT: Seasonal Recipes & Crafting: Autumn
Hello everyone and welcome to episode 4 of Amber & Amulets. The autumn equinox has passed here in the Northern Hemisphere, the leaves are just beginning to turn yellow at the elevation I am at in Colorado (~5,403ft above sea level/ ~1647 meters), and the mornings are cold and crisp. To quote Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch original series, “I need a little fresh air, and a latte.” This episode is about autumn recipes and crafting, and it's been a while since I last released an episode so I'd like to do a little catch-up for on autumnal things I've been experiencing this season and why I'd like to primarily discuss recipes.
First, is that we, my husband and I, have a pear tree in our backyard and it is ripe for picking. A few pears fall off it each day and so my husband and I just picked them last weekend. The squirrels, wasps, and other unknown local wildlife have been enjoying the fallen fruit since we saw a few cores lying around and wasps activity eating the ripe and probably fermented fruit in the ground.
Because we get such an abundance of pears each year we try to find new ways to use them. Originally we made spiced pear butter/ spread but this year I want to try and make pear empanadas. So for me, pears are a big part of my summer to autumn seasonal transition alongside the changing of the leaves.
Just the other week my husband and I went on vacation in Cripple Creek, Colorado and I found out that it was only three votes away from being the capital instead of Denver. The leaves were just starting to change when we arrived and when we left, the entire mountain was bright yellow with a sprinkling of green from the evergreens. There was this stunning oddities and coffee shop in the town just over called Victor which had this beautiful greyscale mural on the inside depicting a more spooky version of the area. There was a hidden giant spider in the forest that had stored humans wrapped in its silk, there was another creature underneath a bridge whose name I will not say but their origin stems from cannibalism and they have antlers, there was a three-eyed jackalope, and so much more. Oh! And there was another oddities shop in Colorado Springs that we stopped by that had an ofrenda for the queer/ LGBTQIA2S+ community which I stopped to pay my respects at and there was a cauldron you could write your manifestations on paper and put it in the cauldron for the shop to burn at the next full moon. For those who do not know what an ofrenda is, ofrenda is Spanish for "offering” and is an altar during the annual and traditionally Mexican Día de los Muertos celebration, usually to venerate ancestors and loved ones. Traditionally it has three tiers to represent heaven, earth, and the underworld and photos are placed on them alongside the favorite foods of those passed and much more.
During autumn, fruits and veg that are in season are apples, pears, grapes, plums, squash including pumpkin, carrots, cranberries, corn, brussel sprouts, beets, cabbage, and many more. One of my favorite drinks during autumn is pumpkin spice lattes and my favorite dessert, pumpkin pie. I also adore pumpkin ravioli, if you like pumpkin you have to try it! Sometimes they have them in the frozen section at grocery stores during autumn, or find a recipe online to make your own! So to start off, let's discuss pumpkin spice alongside apple magick.
Pumpkin Spice & Apple Magick
Pumpkin Spice: First, I am going to list what is usually in pumpkin spice: ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, and some recipes even call for a pinch of ground black pepper for additional warmth. There is no pumpkin in pumpkin spice, but rather some coffee shops use a pumpkin flavored syrup and some use pumpkin puree or extract that accompanies this spice mix, and this mix is commonly used for additional pumpkin recipes. Let’s put the spotlight on the pumpkin for a moment. Certain species of pumpkin, like the ones we see at fall festivals and pumpkin patches during this time of year, are native to North America and was and is an important food staple amongst some of the indigenous peoples of North America, starting from the Oaxaca region and spreading to the eastern region of the United States (Wikipedia). Some magickal associations for pumpkin are protection, prosperity, cleansing, and abundance to list a few.
For the pumpkin spice:, cinnamon and nutmeg can be used for protection, abundance, luck, prosperity, allspice for healing, attracting wealth and to banish bad luck; cloves are associated with attracting prosperity, wellness, strengthening relationships, and cleansing negative energy; ginger for healing, banishing negativity, love, and protection, and black pepper for protection and releasing negative energy (Crows Bone). So, next time you’re enjoying a pumpkin spice latte or anything pumpkin spice really, think about spelling it for one of the listed associations before consuming. With an iced pumpkin spice latte, when I have the energy, I use the straw to draw my preferred pentagram to start the spell, and whisper my intentions into the coffee before mixing the coffee by holding the cup in my hand and kind of shaking or rotating the cup clockwise while saying my intentions out loud again before taking the first sip. You can also add pumpkin spice to a simmer pot, other baking recipes, and more.
Apple Magick: Apples are another common fruit throughout the year, but they are especially popular during autumn. Apples are used for many things including but not limited to garnishes and flavor for savory dishes, apple flavored syrups, simmer pots, pies, buttes/spreads, cider and additional beverages. The flesh of the apple is soft, so it is easy to lightly make a pentacle or pentagram in the flesh with a toothpick on each slice. Also, if you cut the apple in half, the placement of the seeds resemble a star, a pentagram. Magickal associations with apples are healing, love, abundance, and protection (Learn Religions). If you’re baking a pie, consider lightly scratching a sigil of your chosen intention or pentagram at the base of the crust. Pies are a great way of incorporating sigils in your cooking, alongside stirring ingredients in a particular direction, or talking to them out loud.
Apples are also commonly used for divination work by peeling it or eating it a certain way, but I am unfamiliar with the detailed methods since I have not personally used apples in divination. I do know that for the peeling method, you peel the apple in one long piece and the letter it makes when it falls to the floor or counter is the first letter of the name of your “true love” (Learn Religions).
A fun apple drink that I have been wanting to try is from Blair Horton @holisticrendezvous on Instagram and @blairhorton on Lemon8. It is called an “Apple Honey Spritz.”
Apple Honey Spritz Recipe (makes 2):
1 cup apple (Blair uses honeycrisp)
2 cinnamon sticks for garnish
1 thumb ginger (roughly cut)
Pinch of salt
1 cup of water
1 tbsp honey
Optional: freshly ground nutmeg
Combine chopped apple, cinnamon sticks, ginger, salt, and water in a put and simmer for ~15 minutes. This will make your house smell phenomenal. After ~15 mins, pull the cinnamon sticks out and set them aside for garnishing. Pour the rest of the cooked ingredients in a blender with honey and strain. Pour mixture over ice and top with sparkling water. Stir, then garnish with cinnamon sticks and a slice of apple.
Simple Autumn Recipe Ideas
Popcorn: Corn is a common crop associated with autumn as it usually grows to harvest around mid-late summer through autumn. There are a variety of magickal associations from corn depending on the part you use and/or what it means to you and your practice. For me, the ears/husk/cornsilk is associated with protection and wealth, the stalk for protection, stability and prosperity, and the cob that has the kernels are associated with fertility and abundance along with prosperity. And, when you make popcorn you can speak your wishes whether it be finance, romance, growth, transformation, wealth, prosperity, etc. to the corn while it is popping to manifestation work. Don’t forget to season your popcorn to your liking! Usually, I like salt and a little butter mixed with the Red Robin (restaurant) seasoning or my husband’s jalepeño green chili seasoning which is *chefs kiss* absolutely delicious and he originally made for just my mom since she loves eating jalepeños with her popcorn.
Mushroom Chocolate Drink or Coffee Mix: Now, you may (or may not) have heard of those supplemental adaptogenic mushroom powder or mixes that have been circling around lately. Usually, the dried mix consists of a variety of dried mushrooms like chaga, cordyceps, lion's mane, reishi, and turkey tail mushrooms without any added sugar. Even though some mushrooms are available for harvest in late spring, the harvest season lasts all the way through November so to me, mushrooms feel very autumnal. I purchased one of these dried mushroom mixes from a local apothecary and have been occasionally adding it to my coffee since the serving size is 1-2 tsp (I usually use 1 tsp) throughout the year. When I do add this, I also add about 2 tablespoons of chocolate Ovaltine. Ovaltine is a brand of milk flavoring product made with malt extract sugar and whey and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It usually is marketed to use for chocolate milk or a topping for ice cream, and I do prefer it over other dried chocolate mixes. Just to clarify, I am not sponsored by them. But overall, I use 1 tsp of the mushroom mix and 1 tbsp of Ovaltine per one cup of coffee which makes a delicious mocha at home.
Spiced-Pear Butter: Now, spiced everything is quite popular during this time of year, but I find spiced-pear butter goes rather unnoticed. It is the lesser popular sibling of the famous apple butter. I only discovered it in 2018 once we moved into our house that had a pear tree in the backyard and we needed to find a recipe to use the abundance of pears. The recipe we use for our pear butter spread has lemon juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Because this contains similar ingredients to pumpkin spice, you can spell this spread for abundance, protection, prosperity, luck and other associations to the ingredients. Some magickal associations with pears are healing, joy, abundance, success, love, attraction, protection, and strength to name a few. Spiced-pear butter tastes great on muffins, toast, charcuterie boards, and even yogurt with granola.
Meal Recipe Recommendations Below:
Potato Leek Soup
Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pesto Bow Ties
Pierogies with Sausage, Cabbage, and Pear
Cinnamon Broomsticks: During this time of year, cinnamon scented broomsticks are available in almost any grocery and craft store, at least here in Colorado. I’ve seen them come in two sizes, a 6 inch broom and a 36 inch broom. Whichever your purchase, you can enchant it for household protection and other intentions of your choice and hang it above thresholds. You can use it for the rest of the year and refresh it or replace it every autumn, and it makes your house smell lovely as you enter. You can also decorate them as you see fit. Wrap ribbon around the handle, add feathers, charms, beads, buttons, crystals, rocks, leaves, etc. just for decoration or choose your decor to match your chosen intention if spelling these broomsticks. If it works or even if you want to improve upon it throughout the year, make a page for it in your grimoire.
Spooky Lamp Silhouettes: Do you have lampshades in your home? Using any paper you have lying around, cut out some halloween related shapes such as a bat, spider, or pumpkin/ jack-o-lantern. They can be any size of your choice to fit your lampshade(s). Once the design is cut, tape the shapes inside the lampshade so a silhouette is revealed once the lap is turned on. This is an easy craft to add holiday fun to your lights.
Make a Garland: Make a garland using dried orange and cinnamon, cranberry and pinecone, or even a ghost tassel garland with orange puffs to hang around your home. The best part about making your own garland is that you can make it as long as you need to fit the space you have. Remember to factor in a few inches to account for that low arch hanging look.
Ghostly Painting: Either purchase a cheap painting, reuse a painting you have that you don’t care about, or thrift a cheap one because for this craft you will be painting over the painting! A landscape or cityscape would work best for this, but don’t be afraid to get creative for something more abstract or surreal. So, grab your painting, white, black, or your colors of choice for acrylic paint, and begin to paint little ghosties in the painting for a little extra seasonal decor for your home. Search for “thrifted ghost painting craft” on your preferred search engine for visual examples.
Paint Ceramic Pumpkins: A friend of mine hosted a summerween craft night this year where we had a delicious homemade dinner and painted ceramic pumpkins afterwards while watching autumnal movies. If you are planning on doing the ghostly painting, feel free to reuse the paint to paint the ceramic pumpkins you can get at a craft store. It is a fun activity to do alone, or with a group of people. I painted my pumpkin to look like it was dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, another made theirs look like one of those poison apple skulls but on a pumpkin, one made a mummy pumpkin and my friend painted theirs black with flower embellishments.
That concludes this episode. As usual, thank you all so much for listening! If you’d like a transcript of this episode please visit the Amber & Amulets website at amberandamulets.com. Remember, there is magick in the everyday.