changeling: (Default)
We celebrated Hethert's birthday tonight. I made birthday cake. It's my own recipe. I wanted to make rosewater and cardamom cake, but I didn't have any rosewater.

I actually made half quantities from this recipe, and I used two small decoratively shaped cake tins – one a heart shape (to celebrate her role as a goddess of beauty) and a star shape (as one of her titles is "Mistress of Heaven").

It was delicious. And it smelt like madeleines.



Date and honey cake

1 C self-raising wholemeal flour (or 1 C plain wholemeal flour and 2 tsp baking powder)
1/4 C pitted and chopped dates (about 4)
1/2 C honey
2 tB margarine (I used Nuttelex)
1/4 tsp each ground cardamom and cinnamon
oat milk until it looks right (about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup)

Set the oven to 180°C (356°F).

Sift the flour, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl. (OK, I never bother with sifting wholemeal flour, but whatever rocks your boat.) Toss the date pieces in the flour to coat – date pieces are really sticky and this means that you'll get more than one big datey ball in the middle of the mixture.

Combine the honey and margarine in a small saucepan and warm gently until the margarine is melted. Add the honey and margarine and stir to combine. Slowly add the milk until you get a consistency slightly thicker than pancake batter. Pour into a greased cake tin and place in the oven. Bake until a skewer inserted in the cake tin comes out clean (I'd guess 15–20 minutes).
changeling: (Default)
I have had a rather wonderful day so far. I got myself in gear early – even though I was up late with class last night – and managed to pray in front of my shrine, which is something I haven't done properly in weeks. I also turned the affirmation I was given in Kinesiology class last night into a prayer, and I'll be using that for the next nine days.

I picked up Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See, which my dad gave me a few years ago, and read it on the tram. I haven't read it all the way through before, and it tied in well with the later theme of the day. I also got to see my girl, as I was bringing in documents from home she forgot. She is feeling flat today, and I made her smile several times on the walk to her work, which was even better. Then, as there's a Westpac right near her work, I deposited my paycheque. *virtuous*

And I decided that I was sick of being upset about missing Anelisseia, especially since it involves Thoth, one of my favourite gods, and Hermes, who has been quietly moving himself to the forefront of my attention recently. So, refusing to wallow in misery any longer, I used my Reader's Feast voucher to buy a book on beginner's book of heiroglyphs published by the British Museum that I've been eyeing off (it's designed for kids and looks like a lot of fun), which is, unintentionally and unconsciously, for Thoth. RF didn't have any books on Greece that I wanted (they had Kerenyi's book on Dionysus, which I'm interested in, but felt a bit funny buying for Anelisseia), so I checked out their YA section and picked up a new-ish Diana Wynne Jones called The Pinhoe Egg, which I suppose is appropriately Hermean since it's about magic. I tend to associate Thoth with non-fiction and editing, and Hermes with the writing of fiction, so it worked out very well.

I went into Haigh's on Swanston St for some cheer-up chocs for Steph, and some ritual chocolates (a couple of dark-chocolate violet creams for Dj, a dark chocolate, bronze-foiled heart for Herm), and made a nuisance of myself asking which of the filled chocolates were dairy-free. There was one that seemed to be a new one, and the woman behind the counter couldn't find it in her book, and ended up ringing the Block Arcade shop to find out. While she was on the phone, the other girl behind the counter struck up a conversation with me. She was a little heavy and about my age. She said that the manager of the store's husband or partner (I forget) was vegan, so she knew all about which ones were safe, but she was on hols. I said I was vegan, and the girl was really interested, and wanted to know what I ate "as a replacement", and where I liked to eat out. She said she used to be vegetarian in her teens, but her parents told her it was too expensive (what bollocks) and put the kibosh on it. She had been vegetarian for animal-rights reasons, and asked why I went vegan. I said that Steph had eczema set off by dairy, and that the research we did caused us to believe that eating animal products isn't very good for people. I mentioned The China Study, and offered to write it down. (I wrote down Eat to Live, too, partly because she was rather heavy and I thought she might be interested, and partly because it's more layperson-friendly than The China Study. Steph refers to it as the "how-to guide" of The China Study.) She said that her brother and sister had really bad eczema, so I wrote down Eczema-Free for Life, which Steph found essential in finally coming to an understanding about what having eczema means.

Anyway, the other woman came back from her phone conversation, and I placed my order (as well as a couple of peppermint centres for me), and she was very stoic with the shopgirl chatting with me. Finally, as I was about to leave, the shopgirl said I had "lovely skin", which made me smile all the way back to work.

I set up an altar on my desk, where the books in their navy Reader's Feast voucher form an altar cloth, and the chocolates sat upon a CD-spindle pedestal. I've got a few important things done at work, which is nice, and as no-one is in the office at the moment, I performed a ritual in my lunchbreak. I read a hymn to Hermes, and a prayer to Thoth, skimmed through the heiroglyph book, read the first few pages of The Pinhoe Egg, and performed bibliomancy in same:

"I only came to find my cat, really," Marianne said.


... which is pretty revealing to me, for a YA fantasy novel.

So I've had a lovely Anelisseia, even ten days late.

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