There is no doubt that Fall has arrived here in New England. The energy of the Sun has shifted as it pulls away from us. There is a silver grey hue to the sky. The wind’s kiss has a crisp bite to it, and the Standing Ones are covered in an array of autumnal color that has begun to blanket the ground around us. For many of us, October is one of the busiest times of the year. With Samhain almost here, the month is strewn with fairs and celebrations, and Witches are at our most popular.
Realizing that we are all on the run, I thought I would share two super easy and very tasty fall recipes with you—Baked Apples and Red Lentil & Pumpkin Chili. The first is one of my favorite autumn desserts that I originally learned to make while camping when I was a Scout. As for the chili, I thought I would share a savory preparation for pumpkin. Most of us associate pumpkin with lattes and pies, but they are a squash and can be very versatile.
- 6 Large Baking Apples
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Clove
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- A dash of Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
- 6 tablespoons Butter (room temperature)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- With a spoon, remove the center core of the apple, leaving a half-inch to inch of flesh at the bottom (you don’t want to go completely through the apple).
- Place 6 apples side by side in a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix butter and brown sugar with the remaining spices and salt until just incorporated. Make sure not to overwork or melt the butter.
- Evenly distribute the butter mixture inside the cored centers of the apples
- Cover with foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes to a hour. Remove when the apples’ flesh is easily pierced with a toothpick or knife.
The beauty of this traditional autumn dessert is that it’s easy to assemble and cook, plus the serving size is simple to change. You can wrap just one in foil for a single serving or make several sheets of them for larger gatherings. A more adult version can be made by adding rum or even a hazelnut liquor to the center of the apples along with thebutter mixture.
Red Lentil & Pumpkin Chili
- 2 15-ounce cans Kidney Beans, drained
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 2 15-ounce cans Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup dry Red Lentils
- 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 cup Pumpkin, medium cubes
- 1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1 medium Jalapeno, minced (Chilies can be altered to suit your taste)
- 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 2 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 3 teaspoons Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked Black Pepper
- Optional toppings (Pumpkin Seeds, Sour Cream, Cilantro)
- Add all ingredients to your Crock Pot and stir.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours (low for 8-10 hours) until lentils are tender and chili is thick.
- Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.
Doesn’t it make your mouth water just thinking about it? What an array of spices and veggies that are symbolic of Samhain and this time of year: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg—all fiery spices to warm the cold nights—plus apples that house the five-pointed star, and pumpkins, a veggie linked closely with All Hallows Eve.
I hope you enjoy these recipes, and I encourage you to play around with them and make them your own. I also encourage you to take a look at the list of ingredients, and if you don’t already know the correspondence for each, look them up. Better yet, sit with them. Speak to them, and share their stories as you share your meal.
What magick your cooking spice cabinet holds. If you are interested in learning the magickal uses for each of the culinary herbs you use every day, an effortless way to do so is to add a small sticker with key words to the outside of the spice container. That way, as you grab them and add them to your food, a simple glance will remind you of the power in the plant you have added to your meal, the energy you are taking in.
Ryan is an ordained Minister, Seminary Graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft & Deputy Minister of the Cancer Ministry. Ryan is passionate about Kitchen Witchery, the creatures of the Green World, working with Plant Spirits, & making magick in daily life. Crafting herbal infusions, candles, and sacred tools, Ryan is co-creator of Drops of Three. Visit his website at www.dropsofthree.storenvy.com.