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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Beetroots

Family: N.O. Chenopodiaceae
—Synonyms—Spinach Beet. Sea Beet. Garden Beet. White Beet. Mangel Wurzel.
—Parts Used—Leaves, root.

——————————————————————————–
—Description—Beta vulgaris (Linn.) is a native of South Europe, extensively cultivated as an article of food and especially for the production of sugar, and presents many varieties.
It is derived from the Sea Beet (B. maritima, Linn.), which grows wild on the coasts of Europe, North Africa and Asia, as far as India, and is found in muddy maritime marshes in many parts of England, a tall, succulent plant, about 2 feet high, with large, fleshy, glossy leaves, angular stems and numerous leafy spikes of green flowers, much like those of the Stinking Goosefoot.

The lower leaves, when boiled, are quite equal in taste to Spinach, and the leaf-stalks and midrib of a cultivated form, the Spinach Beet (B. vulgaris, var. cicla), are sometimes stewed, under the name of Swiss Chard (being the Poirée à Carde of the French, with whom it is served as Sea Kale or Asparagus). This white-rooted Beet is also cultivated for its leaves, which are put into soups, or used as spinach, and in France are often mixed with sorrel, to lessen its acidity. It is also largely used as a decorative plant for its large handsome leaves, blood red or variegated in colour. Its root, thoughcontaining almost as much sugar as the red Garden Beet, neither looks so appetizing nor tastes so well.

The Mangel Wurzel, or Mangold, also a variety of the Beet, too coarse for table use, is good for cattle, who thrive excellently upon this diet, both its leaves and roots affording an abundance of valuable and nutritious food.

In its uncultivated form, the root of the Sea Beet is coarse and unfit for food, nor has any use been made of the plant medicinally, but the Garden Beet has been cultivated from very remote times as a salad plant and for general use as a vegetable. It was so appreciated by the ancients, that it is recorded that it was offered on silver to Apollo in his temple at Delphi.

—Constituents—The root contains about a tenth portion of pure sugar, which is one of the glucoses or fruit sugars and is very wholesome. It is softer than cane sugar and does not crystallize as well as the latter. There is a treacle principle in it, but this renders it all the more nutritious. Canesugar has to be converted by the digestive juices into fruit sugar, before the body can absorb it, but the sugar present in the Beetroot is already in the more easily assimilated form, thus making the Beet a valuable food. Its sugar is a force-giver and an energy creator, a source of vitality to the human body. Besides its tenth portion of pure sugar, Beetroot has as much as a third of its weight in starch and gum.

The Beet makes an appetizing vegetable, plain boiled, stewed, or baked and a good pickle, and in Russia forms an appetizing soup – called Bortsch – the red root in this case being made to exude all its juice into a rich, white stock.

A pleasant wine can be made from the roots and an equally good domestic ale has also been brewed from Mangolds. A considerable amount of alcohol can be obtained by distillation.

Although modern medicine disregards the Beet, of old it was considered to have distinct remedial properties.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—The juice of the White Beet was stated to be ‘of a cleansing, digestive quality,’ to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, and, says Culpepper, ‘good for the headache and swimmings therein and all affections of the brain.’ Also,
‘effectual against all venomous creatures and applied upon the temples, it stayeth inflammations in the eyes, it helpeth burnings, being used without oil and with a little alum put to it is good for St. Anthonys Fire. It is good for all weals, pushes, blisters and blains in the skin: the decoction in water and vinegar healeth the itch if bathed therewith and cleanseth the head of dandriff, scurf and dry scabs and relieves running sores and ulcers and is much commended against baldness and shedding the hair.’
The juice of the Red Beetroot was recommended ‘to stay the bloody flux’ and ‘to help the yellow jaundice,’ also the juice ‘put into the nostrils, purgeth the head, helpeth the noise in the ears and the toothache.’

The Sugar Beet, or White Beet, is a selected form of the ordinary red-rooted Garden Beet and is now the chief source of our sugar; as food for animals, it has been preferred to turnips and carrots.

About 1760, the Berlin apothecary Marggraff obtained in his laboratory by means of alcohol, 6.2 per cent. of sugar from a white variety of Beet and 4.5 per cent. from a red variety. At the present day, as a result of careful study of many years, improvement of cultivation, careful selection of seed and suitable manuring, especially with nitrate of soda, the average Beet worked up contains 7 per cent. of fibre and 92 per cent. of juice. The average yield of its weight in sugar was stated in 1910 to be 12.79 per cent. in Germany and 11.6 per cent. in France.

In Great Britain, the cultivation of Beet for sugar was first seriously undertaken in Essex in 1910, as the result of careful consideration during several years and since the War. The Beet Sugar Industry, aided by Government subsidy, can now be regarded as on a permanent basis. In 1926-7, no less than fourteen factories were handling the Beet crops, mostly in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, producing large quantities of white refined sugar.

Mary

Themes: Miracles & Sun
Symbols: Sun ( or yellow/gold Items ), rosary

About Mary: It is no coincidence that many of the world’s Goddesses
have “ma” as part of their name, being mothers of humankind. The
Virgin Mary became the maiden, virginal goddess archetype in
Christianity, faithfully interceding for people with the Gods and
attending to our needs.

To Do Today: If you feel like you need a miracle, besure to wear
yellow or gold-coloured items today. As you don each one, say:

“Mary hear me,
Mary see me,
Mary free me.”

This date commemorates the appearance of Mary in Fatima, where children
praying for peace began a cycle of visitors all looking for this goddess
to appear again. According to the story, when 70,000 people gathered
there on this day, the rain stopped and the Sun began to dance for joy
as if guided by Mary’s hand. Whenever the Sun shines again today, it
is a sign of her blessing.

To make your own prayer beads ( to beseech Mary or any goddess ), cook
rose peals in a little water in an iron pot until nearly black and
pasty. Add a little orris powder and rose-scented oil and shape the
beads to two times the size you want them to be when dry. Pierce them
with a needle and string them, turning them regularly until they’re
dry. Bless them in a manner suited to your path, then use the beads to
energize your prayers by holding them as you entreat the goddess.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation

Here is justice. Here is Maat.
You live by her. You find joy in her.
You rise in her. You rest in her.
You are made perfect by her.
You are made powerful by her.
You are judged by her.
You are pardoned by her.
~ Egyptian Prayer To The Goddess of Justice

At the end of each life, the ancient Egyptians said, we will each be
judged by the goddess of truth. Maat takes the form of an ostrich
feather on the underworld’s balancing scales. On the other side of the
scales is the heart of the deceased. If the heart of the deceased is
light with justice, then the scales will balance. In that case, Osiris
the judge will say. “Let the deceased depart victorious. Let him go
wherever he wishes to mingle freely with the gods and spirits of the
dead.”

Alas for the soul if the scales did not balance, for the heart heavy
with evil will be instantly eaten by the monstrous goddess Ahemait, part
crocodile, part hippopotamus and part lion. Finding a way to help our
hearts be light, both in this life and beyond, is the struggle of
every woman, every man. Judge each action that you take. Does it add
tot he world’s burden of fear and anger and hate? Or does it move you,
and the world with you, toward resolution and communion? As we act, so
will we be finally judged.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

Retreating

“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours
instead of one.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Life for most of us becomes routine. We do what we do day after day and
our level of stress becomes normal for us. Just as a loud noise will not
startle us if its volume increases gradually, if our stress builds
gradually, we may not even notice it. Tension, frustration, unresolved
anger and feeling unempowered can grow in us so subtly that they may not
reach our awareness.
We are vibrating beings. The breath rises and falls, our heart beats,
blood pumps, muscles contract and relax, brain activity fires in wave
patterns. As what we do and how we think becomes habit, we find
ourselves breathing, thinking and pulsing at our own frequencies. With
stress, our frequencies increase. We can find ourselves pulled taut and
vibrating like a violin string. On guard and under pressure, we need a
certain level of tension to carry on. If we are not alert enough, we
drink caffeine or consume sugar to give us a lift. As if it were not
enough to deal with our own lives, we read the newspaper and watch TV,
filling our minds with crime, war and trauma, which further adds to our
emotional tension. If we never intentionally calm ourselves, we run the
risk of growing increasingly unhappy, becoming less effective in our
activities and collecting aches, pains, and illnesses.
Seldom does the world of work and popular culture give us an experience
of peace. We need to create peace and calm for ourselves. That?s why
sometimes it is important to retreat to a quieter routine. Getting away
from it all can remind us of how we can be when the pressure is off, of
who we are in our natural condition.
To reduce your tension, create the intention to set aside quiet time
when you can let your vibrations settle at a lower frequency. Here are
some ideas for ways you can use that time.  
Arrange time for solitude.
Meditate, pray, sing, chant, dance, or walk.
Do a labyrinth walk.
Stretch your body.
Practice yoga, tai chi, or chi kung.
Go to an organized spiritual retreat.
Spend time at a spa.
Take a warm bubble bath by candlelight.
Get a massage.
Visit a monastery for a few days.
Get out into nature.
Feed some birds.
Go camping with the intention of not doing too much.
Take a break from the news.
Leave off the TV.
Read something pleasant, but not stimulating.
Reduce the amount of caffeine and sugar you consume.
Mindfully prepare simple, healthy food for yourself.
Meditatively create something.
Write in your journal.
   
© 2004 Tom Barrett
http://www.InterludeRetreat.com

EARTH INCENSE

Earth is usually associated with the direction of north. This element
is feminine in nature, and its
attributes include stability, fertility, prosperity, grounding,
money, planting, home life, the Mother
Earth herself, and many types of healing. For the basic earth incense
combine the following:
3 parts patchouli 2 parts pine 1 part bistort 1 part Vervain
Other earth-related herbs and plants include barley, cedar, corn
silk, juniper, magnolia, oak bark,
soybeans and wheat.

Grilled Garlic Potato Salad

Makes: 12 servings, 1/2 cup each
6 cups halved unpeeled small red potatoes  
1 medium head of garlic  
1/2 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing, divided  
3/4 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise  
2 tsp. KRAFT Pure Prepared Mustard  
1 cup chopped celery  

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Place potatoes in 2-quart
microwavable dish. Add 1/3 cup water; cover dish. Microwave on HIGH 8
minutes; drain. Meanwhile, cut about 1/2 inch off top of the head of
garlic (not the root end). Place on sheet of foil; drizzle with 1
Tbsp. of the dressing. Wrap garlic in foil, sealing ends tightly.  
INSERT potatoes on skewers; place on grill grate along with the
garlic. Brush potatoes with some of the remaining dressing. Grill
potatoes and garlic for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are
tender, turning the potatoes frequently and brushing with the
remaining dressing. Remove potatoes and garlic from grill; cool.  
REMOVE 4 cloves from the head of garlic. Remove pulp from the skins
(see Tip below) and mix with the mayo and mustard in large bowl. Add
potatoes and celery; mix lightly. Cover. Refrigerate several hours or
until chilled.  

How To Separate Garlic Cloves: Place the head of garlic in your palm
and squeeze from the root end to push the cloves from the papery
skins.

Creative Leftovers: Place the peeled leftover garlic cloves in a
blender with 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter or margarine. Cover and
blend well. Remove the butter mixture from the blender container with
a rubber scraper; spoon into an airtight container and refrigerate up
to 2 weeks. Add to scrambled eggs or use as a topping for your
favorite cooked meat or sauteed vegetables.

Fresh Melon Lotion

Adapted from Anti-Wrinkle Treatments for Perfect Skin, by Pierre
Jean Cousin (Storey Books, 2001).
Melons are cooling and hydrating, just what we need when summer sun
can dry and burn our precious skin. Vitamins A, B, and C, as well as
natural sugars, are the nourishing and healing gifts of melon.

This great book gave us two wonderful melon formulas. One of them,
besides being easy as pie to make, includes ingredients to balance
the pH of your skin. And the other formula is even easier! Both of
them will do very sweet things for your skin. A lovely, inexpensive-
to-make, and totally luscious summer idea.

1/4 fresh, ripe melon (any variety)
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Peel and seed the melon. Press the half lemon to extract 1
teaspoon of lemon juice. Using a food processor or blender, puree
the fresh melon. Filter its juice through a piece of muslin and
reserve. Add to the melon juice the olive oil and lemon juice, and
store in a covered bottle or container in the refrigerator.

2. Shake well before use. Apply twice a day to the face and neck,
using cotton pads, and allow to dry naturally. This formula will
keep in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

3. For a longer-lasting but less hydrating preparation, add 2
tablespoons good-quality European eau-de-cologne, aftershave, or 100-
proof vodka after the lemon juice. This variation will keep in the
refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Super Easy Formula

Simply apply the pureed melon to your skin. Especially good for
quickly calming the pain of a mild burn or sunburn.

Chalkboard Paint

 

I was thinking about decorating the other day. We needed to paint my nieces room that she has here when she stays over. I wanted to make her a small space where she could be artistic and creative. Then I remembered that I had seen a home repair show and they used a chalkboard paint and knew that would be the perfect thing for her to be able to creative but also have a small place she can write on the wall/door. This paint is really cool and is goes on just like regular paint would. The only thing you have to do is teach your child to stay in that area when they are writing or drawing on the wall/door.


Protective Blessing For Birds

“Rhiannon, flap your wings and rise-
Grant  (pets name) a happy life.
Shield him / her as he / she flies about,
And protect him / her night and day, throughout.
Wrap him / her safely in your wings,
And give him / her happy songs to sing”
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