Lughnasadh is here… Happy Litha!

Confused yet? I am… but I’m happy to say that we’ve finished tweaking and testing and fiddling with Lughnasadh, and it’s now available on Smashwords, Etsy and soon it’ll be up on Amazon for the Kindle. Probably within another week or so, it’ll start popping up through other retailers as well.

Lughnasadh, also known as Hlaf-mass (Loaf-mass), August Eve, Tailltean Games, Lammas, and Harvest Home, is named for the Celtic God of fire and sun, Lugh.

It is the beginning of the end of summer, of the growing season, and marks the first harvest of grain, garden and orchard. It is one of the cross-quarter festivals, a Great Fire festival, where bonfires are lit to give strength to the aging sun.

Would you like a little taste? If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where the garden produce is starting to become available, this recipe works well for Litha, too.

Depression Stew – aka Creamed Vegetables

This recipe is enough to feed a family of four. It doubles and trebles easily; leftovers are always welcome in our home, served cold or heated through.


2 lbs fresh, baby potatoes (reds or mixed)
1 lb fresh, baby carrots
3 c fresh shelled peas
3 c snapped green beans
3 c snapped yellow beans
1 c pearl onions (optional, we rarely use onions)
4 c 2% or whole milk
2 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c milk
2 tbsp flour


Scrub the baby potatoes until very clean, and the rough part of the skin has been washed away. The remaining skin can be left on, and the potatoes cooked whole. Carrots should be scrubbed, topped and tailed (top and bottom bits snipped off) and cooked whole as well. Peas should be shelled*, and beans topped, tailed and snapped.

Start potatoes to boil in a large pot of lightly salted water. After they have boiled for several minutes (a fork should go in part way fairly easily), add the carrots and beans, and then about ten minutes later, add the peas and pearl onions. When the potatoes, carrots and beans are tender, and the peas wrinkle when pulled from the water, it’s time to drain them using a colander (you’ll need the pot free).

Pour the milk into the pot and bring to a rolling, gentle boil. Add the butter, and stir as it melts. Mix the thickening using the half-cup of milk and two tablespoons of flour. Slowly stir it in, and watch to see how thick it gets. It should be a medium-gravy thickness; not custard-thick, but not runny, either.

Fold the vegetables into the sauce, and let them rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.

* Save the pea shells to use later during the bonfire (if you have one). Have everyone write a wish on a piece of paper, fold it tight and place it inside one of the shells. Tie it tight with white ribbon or cotton thread, and toss into the fire. As it burns, the wish is released into the universe.

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