* Brigit's Serpent: A Baking Meditation *
By Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill
Early on Brigit's morn
Shall the serpent come from the hole,
I will not harm the serpent,
Nor will the serpent harm me.
You will need:
- 4 C flour
- 3 T sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1 T double acting baking powder
- 4 T butter or margarine at room temperature
- 1 1/2 C milk (or soy milk)
- dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins, currants or cherries)
Set aside six raisins or cranberries. Chop the remaining dried fruit until you have a cup and place it in a bowl. Cover it with water and let it soak. Put the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a sifter. As you sift them together, say thank you for the different kinds of grains and foods that grow out of the earth. Cut the butter into small pieces, add to dry ingredients and mix, using your fingers. Say think you for any of the extra good things in your life - the things that you don't need but that make life more fun or richer, like butter on bread. The butter should end up so well mixed in that you can hardly see it, the four just looks a bit grainer than before. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Think about the well you have inside you, and what you need right now to fill it up. Pour the milk into the well, remembering that the Goddess always does fill our well of love and joy and ideas, and thanking her. Mix everything together, kneading it with your hands just enough to make it stick together. Don't knead it too much or it will get tough. Divide the dough into three parts. On a floured pastry board, roll and pull one section of the dough until it makes a long thin cylinder. Then roll it lengthwise with a floured rolling pin until it is even longer and thinner. IF you don't have room on the board, use the table. The dough should end up about 1/4 inch thick or slightly less. Spread jam on the dough, not quite to the edge. Make a line of the dried fruit all along the jam-covered dough. Think about what in your life you would like to see bear fruit, what poems you'd like to write, what pictures you'd like to paint, what creative things you'd like to do, and ask Brigit's blessing. Fold the dough up and over the fruit, so that you make a long tube. Pinch the seams shut. Grease and oil a cookie sheet. Place the tube on the cookie sheet and form it into a loose, open spiral. Form one end into a triangular serpent's head and place raisins or cranberries for eyes. Repeat with the other two sections of dough. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Baking temperature is important. If your oven is not reliable, take special care. Before serving, say:
Brigit, we offer you this serpent,
Made of grain, and milk,
With thanks for the food that feeds our bodies,
The fire that feeds our spirit,
And the waters of healing.
Break off pieces and feed each other, saying:
May Brigit's serpent bring you inspiration.