Typically, we think of harvest time being closer to Halloween or Thanksgiving. Harvest festivals have sprung up as alternatives to Halloween celebrations, and Thanksgiving celebrates the bounties of the harvest.
Yet, the harvest season actually begins a bit earlier. A Celtic holiday, Lughnasadh (Lu-na-sa), celebrates the beginning of the harvest on August 1st. We may have missed that by a little, but that’s no reason not to celebrate. After all, when we think of the harvest, it conjures up thoughts of cooler weather to come, without yet the dread of another bitter winter. Harvest season is a happy one, full of bounty. Although we have grocery stores with bountiful produce throughout the winter, we are in the full swing of truly fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets and in gardens.
Elizabeth Knight’s Celtic Tea with Friends, a book of tea parties, has suggestions for a Lughnasadh tea party. To celebrate the harvest, she suggests a canning and bread-baking party. With the number of tomatoes I have, this sounds like a great idea. Here is her bread recipe:
Heirloom Brown Bread
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 medium loaf pans, or 4 smaller ones. Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bread tests done. cool in pans.
I feel that this tea party would be a good thing well into the fall. Maybe I’ll have an apple butter party.
(Side note: Lughnasadh goes by many names, including Lammas. The nurse in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tells Juliet’s mother that “On Lammas Eve shall [Juliet] be fourteen.”)
Don’t forget to catch Stephanie’s blog, The Tea Scoop!
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