Saturday, 24 September 2011

Practical Magic Blog Party 2011


I'm so happy that Anna of Frosted Petunias invited me again to her Practical Magic blog party. Such a magical time was had by all last year and the magic is in the air again, swirling and wrapping around us as we all gather to celebrate once more.

Click on the invite above to find all the other fantastic party guests.

I love watching the film of Practical Magic and have seen it so many times, but I do have a confession to make, I actually prefer the book for the story because there is space for the characters to have more depth, but then I guess that is true of most books and films. The film though is a complete visual delight and I can never get tired of watching it. I so love that house and I have dreams of recreating it in miniature one day but lack of space for another miniature house is stopping me for now. 

The garden is one I just dream over, I love it, such a delightful setting and in an understated way I think it actually runs through the whole story. The plants and gardening play a big part in the magic of the aunts and later Sally opens her shop of natural products.

 ....and that is where I think the whole practical magic comes in, for me magic is natural, it's all around us in what mother nature provides. The modern world has become far too reliant on chemicals, the product of science and laboratories. Some of these advancements have been a great help to mankind but sadly we have also lost something along the way. Just because we can invent something it doesn't mean it's always better then what nature can provide, in truth many of our great advancements in things like medicine, have their origins in the natural world.

Mother nature has provided us with her marvels of nature for us to grow and use, that I think is Magic.

I think plants have a unique magic of their own and just like magic, some are light and some are of the dark kind. I love to grow herbs both for cooking and use in the house. Flowers can say so much when gifted to another and have magical properties all of their own. 

Lavender can be use in so many ways, in food, in skincare and for household products. It is said to promote a feeling of peace and protection, long life, help ease restless sleep. Attract love and as a general healing plant. In the household it's delightful scent is suppose to protect your clothes from moths.

Lavender Shortbread
200g plain flour
50g ground rice
150g lavender sugar
2 heaped teaspoons fresh lavender flowers
two buttered 18cm cake tins

Preheat the oven to 160c / 325f / gas mark 3. Use your fingertips to rub together the flour, ground rice and lavender sugar. When the mixture has the appearance of breadcrumbs toss in the fresh lavender
flowers. Divide the mixture equally between the buttered cake tins. Pat the dough firmly down and prick the top with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes. When cooked allow to stand for minute or two then slice, set aside to cool before removing from the tins.

Lavender Sugar
Place 500g caster sugar in a large glass jar. Add 4 tablespoons of freshly picked lavender flowers and mix in. Sprinkle in 6 drops of lavender essential oil onto a cotton wool ball and place in the jar. Seal the jar and give it a good shake. Set aside for 2 weeks. Open, remove, the cotton wool ball and sift out the lavender flowers and you will have 500g of lavender sugar.

Roses, who can resist the gift of roses, said to promote love, protections and luck. The rose has been used for generations in magical spells, often to attract love, the idea of magic may have left many but the sales of perfume are still strong, and what is perfume but a way to attract? Rose petals sprinkled around the house are said to promote calm and ease stress.

Rose Milk Bath
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of rolled oates
1 cup of dried fragrant rose petals
8 drops attar of roses

handful of fresh rose petals

Make simple bags of muslin, fill each bag with 4 tablespoons of the mix, tie with long ribbons and place in a large glass jar. To use, suspend two bags from one of the bath taps. Run a bath to a comfortable temperature, sprinkle with fresh rose petals and your oat - milk bath is ready to enjoy.

Rosemary is a powerful plant of protection, placed under the bed it will ward of nightmares, place near the door it protects the household and place in the bath it purifies. It is also helpful as an aid to concentration and memory, have a fresh sprig or plant on your work desk. Of course what party could be with out a punch drink.

Rosemary Punch
2 handfuls of dried rosemary
2 cups of water
1 litre of Ginger Ale
12 oz pineapple juice

Heat water and rosemary until boiling, then simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool then strain out the rosemary. Combine with the ginger ale and pineapple juice, add ice cubes and enjoy.

"There are somethings, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your your garden gate. Add pepper to your mash potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can."
~ Alice Hoffman Practical Magic

Thanks so much for visiting me, it's been such a lovely party.
Many thanks to Anna for hosting such a magical
gathering once again.


Encyclopedia of magical herbs ~ Scott Cunningham
from Mother to Daughter ~ Vivienne Bolton
Wicca in the kitchen ~ Scott Cunnigham


Moncha said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes !!! I love shortbread. I have to try this !!
Have a magical weekend.

bertie said...

That was a really lovely post and I so appreciate your love of herbs and the recipes! Thanks so much for sharing and hope you will stop by and take a peek at my post and enter my giveaway for a spiced lantern! bertie

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Wow..gorgeous post..beautiful and enchanting and love the recipes..yay..thankyou kindred!

Tina said...

Such a beautiful post filled with some wonderful natural recipes. Thankyou so much for sharing, I really did enjoy my visit.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Hi! I am linking from the Practical Magic blog party. Your post is so lovely, and I think that lavender shortbread sounds divine! Thanks so much for posting all of the wonderful recipes. Fantastic post :D

wickedfaerie said...

Beautiful Practical Magic Party, great recipes, great company. Stop by sometime there are still plenty of midnight margaritas left.


everymagicalday said...

Mmmmm Mmm Mmm, I think I'll have to try the punch first. All the recipes look just delicious, thank you for sharing! Have a Happy Blog Party Weekend!

storybookforest said...

Those recipes look fun and readily make-able. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

What a great post. I love the recipes. I'm going to have to try the rose bath! Blessings, Lisa

rachelsmith133 said...

Simply wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing so many recipes, I can't wait to try them, especially the lavender shortbread.

Misty said...

I love your recipes!! They sound delicious :) I am trying to still get around to everyone still too! Blessings!

Stampinmama said...

A beautiful post--I love the recipes especially the lavender recipes--I love lavender especially after I visited a lavender farm in New Mexico several years ago

Zoe said...

Fantastic post! love all the things to make cant wait to try them out.

Zoe x