Sunday, October 31, 2010

She Can Bake a Cherry Pie, Quick's a Cat Can Wink Her Eye!

(Endora’s voice is the only one wearing
an All-Hallows-Even costume: French! Give listen:)
L'Halloween Heureuse,
mes chéris, mes chéris!

This summer’s late June, I made certain an extra two pounds~worth of Sour Cherries found themselves riding home from The Local (farmers' market) in my bicycle basket, jiggety~jig! At the kitchen table, my dearsweet friend, Soose, and I did set ourselves down and, then, making with the hasties, we stems~stones~and~all turned the fruits out onto cookie sheets headed to the deep freeze to hibernate the cherries for freshness, purposefully.

At last, their long anticipated, circled~and~starred in orangest~glitter~on~the~calendar day has finally arrived! (How lucky~stars lucky we are that someone took it upon themself to invent my close pal, the irrepressible hyphen! Thank the heavens and the planets, too, that I most times have the presence of mind to touch this punctuation mark that I call favorite, with my FullOfFancy paintbrush, causing it to ruffle-- a keyboard~artistc stroke that renders it helplessly beautiful! Wouldn’t you have to agree? Looksee! There go by a few strays as we speak: ~ ~ ~ ~ !)

This morning, I ceremoniously opened the Arctic part of Gemmama’s fridge (Yes, indeed I did not forget to suitcase the bagsful of the rock~solid~frozens, when I packed my things to come to my grandmother’s house to custodian it while she is Across the Pond.) to thaw the main integrals of a time~honored tradition: The Spirit Night Pitting!

It was Gemmama’s younger brother, Ned, who twice~bounced this about to be mentioned ball before getting it to roll for me, when I was a teen~ager learning pies: It was Halloween morning and I was in a snit. My needs and wants were all about baking a pie for the Trick or Treat Afters. But thoughts of making a pumpkin or sweet potato or apple or any other expected harvest pie, tired me. In addition to that particular sulking, I was upsetting over the fact that I did not yet have Halloween ringing in my heart, then right down to the tips of my striped~socked toes and back again. At this game’s stage, I would have been happy merely to hear it chiming in my ears!

Suddenly, my Great Uncle Ned appeared in the doorway. Wearng a crisp white laboratory jacket and an enormous “Nedward”~grin on his face (Nedward is my Fond Name for him!), he would announce: “Methinks I have the cure for your No ‘Boo!’ Boo Hoos!” As he plopped onto the kitchen table a bucketful of saved back from summertime cherries and two silver pitters not unlike Frankensteinian surgical instruments, he went on to say, “What is best needed here, is to do

a big ‘something’ mad scientisty!”

As that proclamation’s loom did take over the room’s mood and mine, I exchanged my flowered apron for the pristine lab coat that my Great Uncle merrily was teasing my undernose with.

An InDeppth Look at Mr. Todd
A Beyond Dark Johnny About to Cut Loose !

Quicker than

a bat indoors
can conjure up a fiercely swinging tennis racket
aimed in the direction of itself,
the kitchen was

a red~splashed scene

straight out of the Victorian penny dreadful, The String of Pearls! Crimson cherry juice was not only here and there, but everywhere! And harmlessly macabre Neddy and I (the Sweeny Todds behind it all) were giddy for it!

Indeed and positively, on Samhain 1999, a miracle did happen: my curious Great Uncle Ned gave birth! To a new Halloween tradition, that is: The Spirit Night Pitting!

Which in turn---upon his kind and a hungry~tinged suggestion, as Nedward does wear a bottomless belly, when life is all about pies and tarts!---brought forth yet another annual practice:

She Can Bake a Cherry Pie,
Quick's a Cat
Can Wink Her Eye Tart!

It pleases me, it does,
to share with you this:
my once a yearly baked receipt!

She Can Bake a Cherry Pie,
Quick's a Cat Can Wink Her Eye Tart

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, but not together
2 tablespoon measures of cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted Sour Cherries (when unpitted cherries, 2 pounds it will be)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon of mik, aboutish

For crust and topknot: Use the Do Ahead, chilling in the refrigerator ever since two days ago.

For filling and "bakes":
Position your range shelf to set in the lower third of a preheated to 425°F oven. Move quickly together and in a bowl a bit less than large 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Disturb the blend with the cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; keep back.

From its fridge hold, kitchen counter the pie crust and a short while more make it wait.
On a flour~sprinkled work board, roll a Do Ahead dough puck into an 11-inch round whose thickness belongs to 1/8 measure; aside it. Spoonfeed the Sour Cherry filling to the pie~panned Do Ahead evenly. Make cut-up pieces of butter be dots on top. Blanket the patient uppercrust. With water, make damp the top and bottom crusts where they happen on, then under turn the top crust to be under the bottom crust: make edges flutey (I much raher the pinches as big as biggest.). Steam slits numbered five or six are next cut into the tightened dough lid. Like Fairy dust, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on a dribblecatch (baking sheet) and bake 15 minutes before making lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Until the filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, bake some more, with foil coverings edges if browning does not behave (about 1 hour longer). Rack cool completely. Wedge and serve with vanilla~laced ice cream.

Merriest Halloween!

Credits:. pitter, winker, pie,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Time Like the Presents!

Although yesterday’s Sun was being shiny, in chorus a softhearted, steady~down rain arrived –-a light-footed pouring, that of which all-at-once took me by surprise with its impulsive swings: this a way and that a way, then back into a quiescent state it did once more situate itself.

Meanstwhile, our Brightest Star had not taken leave of his senses and glowed he still did. In and out, his brilliance was now more akin to glitter. All of these together-weather bits put this wondering into my head: was I soon to stand under a rainbow?! A fabulously magical rainbow?!?! Lo and behold! Just like that, I was! Because my Thomas was on the front door knocker, turning it into all gentle brass poundings in order to deliver Gemmama and Luella’s cards to me with a parcel ever so carefully barnacled beneath them!

I think I’ve made before mentions of Thomas? He is my grandmother’s postal carrier and my intended Romeo, but, thusfar, only from afar! My feelings for him are unbeknowst to Thomas. Thence, a deadline I have set for myself to ask him, “Scotch Broth is a filling soup of which I am stove-simmering. Please do feast with me this night?’ or “A dessert of Molasses~Ginger cookies so nicely goes with my special receipt Chicken Barley Stew. Please, might I share both with you on an evening of your choosing?”

Too forward? “Heavens to Betsey” be my oath! My internal planning of such an event makes for tizzies and pretty, winged creatures who give me stomach ruffles during this time that the Nervousy Bug does take big bites of me! Courage, Cellar, courage! Deep, deep breaths be mine, and “All in good time” are words I speak to me for the calming. Secretly I do pine for dear, sweet, unaware Thomas. I long also for the day on which the “un” easily drops away from his descriptive.

Goodness! How my mouth is a dash-about! Tee~hees then be yours and mine, since this Cellar Door chapter is to be not about the whys, wheres and howfores of the romantic brew bubbling in my caldron. Here be the instead:

Two days after yesterday marks my being on this lovely Earth for twenty-six years in all! (“Nearly born on Halloween, was I,” my voice gives. “Wouldn’t you agree, that measures for something?” lol) And sweethearts are Gemmama and Luella to


When Thomas handed me the birthday package (at which time, flutters hastily replaced the beating of my heart as his hand did brush mine!), I was profoundly green at the start, as the postmark divulged Gemmama and Luella’s corking whereabouts. Their Halloween holiday has taken them to Amsterdam (where, conceivably, they will conjure up the spirits of Vincent van Gogh, Johann Vameer, Jheronimus Bosch, and Rembrandt van Rijn. With both girls wearing a Master on each arm, because so very much do they enjoy the Arts (“The finer, the better,” claims Luella.) and are quite fond of accessorizing as well, they will go for the Dutch gusto, to be sure! Oops! Please not to disremember Gemmama’s funnyman Jan Steen, who is as gay and animated as any of the party~goers in his paintings! For that, Gemmama has nicknamed him The Carouser. What a fun ‘n frolic his spirit be! O how his humor ensorcels! Many are the times she has called upon Mr. Steen, which makes him a frequent ghosty guest in her home. Positive I am that she will enlist him whilst Netherlanding.

Upon opening my present box, instantly, my envy would turn into ear-to-ear smiling that crossed my face again and over and again! Luella had made for me one of her

signature “ variegateds”: a cozy, hand-knit scarf with an accompanying notecard on which was written:
Dearest E. That Ever Be:
Best Birthday Wishes!
I love you in the ‘worsted’ way!
Smooches, L

(Not about to put into place a case of the Left-Outs, because “It makes for hurts that truly linger,” generously, Miss Luella did send Josiette one of the same, only in yellows!)

And great HUZZAHS to the sends
Gemmama lovingly full-chocked
the carton’s bottom half:

(Second only to pie, Jimmies are my life!)
Dutch Chocolate Sprinkles!

(A custom of edible letters goes back to Germanic times when, at birth, children were given a runic letter.)
A Sinterklaas Chocolate Letter
molded to be an

the initial of my given name!

And last but not least (because it is best of all!):

(A Barbara Wiggins notebook)
A foiled amethyst Spellbook,
bearing a secret castable created by Gemmama especially for this Birthday Girl, penned in her delightful nervous-pigeon-walking scrawl!

By the by: most possibly
could I interest you in a hardy slab of

Pre-Birthday Cake???

Credit where credit is due: Birthday Cake:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Anything Can Happen Night! (Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon)

Hat up top?

Manicure complete?

Then gather 'round and make hands joined, as we do

Sing a song of teacups
A pocketful of nigh,’

and twenty berries black
baked in

a pie!

The last grain of hourglass sand
has made its trickle!
HUZZAH! and give nods of approbation:
At long last, let the merriment commence!

In celebration of

“Follow me along a moonlit path.
Into the deepest heart of the autumn woods.
Where burnished moonflowers and twinkling lanterns light our way”
--Frosted Petunias
Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon,
ever so graciously hosted by Frosted Petunias, along with her sweets Lucinda, Fiona, Luna and assorted witchy kin, whose furtherance is nothing short of sterling, and because pie is my life, I have baked a Four and Twenty, Then Some More (an old-fashioned blackberry pie), truly whose dressing is as indigo as the night’s sky during this auspicious All Hallows' Eve Moon’s tea~feast!

How howling that whatever streams from Gemmama’s teapot nozzle is the exact tea blend your tongue bits have tastes for!

What be your pleasure then?

Dragonwell Green? Blue Oolong? Or mayhaps my old trusty, Bergamia~Chamomile (hinted with Spearmint)? O what a magic this night owns! ‘Neath a Moon, whose fullness belongs to this Halloween, it is lovely to know that its moonlight is a “same” we are sharing!

Now, have your fork be lively, for I shall serve pie! (<~~ A pause that most certainly promises to be toothsome!)

Pie-seconds and teacup morepours must make waits, as some unsecretting is what I have forthcoming. Perchance not really a hush ~~likened it more to an at last happening of an opportunity to impart the how-tos regarding a little “something” that makes for happy catch and carry. Your curiosity is what I’ve piqued? Let us then put hoof to

a hoot~lit path,

leading us more to than fro, yet a mere four pumpkin luminaries from the garden’s open-edge, where Moonlight is its shiniest.

Whilst we find our way, your ears be open to my spill:

Halloween Moon

Ago two Octobers, I was passing the time in an apothecary that offered magazine reads while orders were put to prescriptions. My paging-through was lackadaisy, being that I was seized with thoughts of Full Moon charged water, before all else, using clear jars to hold the in progress water. “There simply must be a prettier way to contain water go-abouts and its transfer,” said my thinking. Straightaway, the next article featured in the Garden Gate I was strumming, was one concerning the making of a sand-cast birdbath, that of which we are standing before presently, and that of witch which is not a feathered-friends’ tub, but my

(Ever so nicely does the Full Moon Water drizzle from the folio’s “pointy” into a decanter! Not to mention, this rhubarb is portable as well. From my home to Gemmama’s I brought it with me, at the time in which she crowned Cellar Door her Household Custodian, while away she is Across the Pond.)
Drawing Down the Moon Leaf!

Although a mix of jumbles did infect my plan, kind Mr. Google did save this night. Originally, I was to picture “leaf” doings and list jottings of most important instructions. But Josiette and her camera had before now vamoused the coop (a weekend’s holiday on her horizon be), and then not for the life of me, could I conjured up the sand-casting proceedings, specific. Determined not to begin this sentence with “alas,” but most probably due to a happening by a lucky chance, I was able to locate the precise tutorial that did guide me twice-years back! You’ll discover the need-to-knows on THE VERY PAGE (<~~Please see the outloud-printed link at this post's end, if this "click" leads you to an "Oops!") that I’ve turned to for you, in the Garden Gates magazine archive.

Since its season has come and gone, sand-casters might be hard-pressed about their edges to find a rhubarb leaf for the picking. Thoughly, methinks

a Catalpa fan
might whole-heartedly be up to the task.

. . . . . .

Shall we reappear at the awaiting tea table?


Now where were we?

Ahhhh, yes!

(Hopes be you kept your fork?)

If the above link to Garden Gates is best described as out of commision, copying and pasting would best do the trick:

How To Build Hooty Luminariums:
Martha Stewart

Witches Sipping Tea found at
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Blackberry pie

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Enchanter Claire de Lune Is About to Be!

Make ready, make steady...

Hourglass sands shall
soonly sprinkle their glad tidings

Frosted Petunias Tea Party Under A Halloween Moon
Follow me along a moonlit path.
Into the deepest heart of the autumn woods.
Where burnished moonflowers
and twinkling lanterns light our way”
--Frosted Petunias.

Tea~Party~Under~a~Halloween~Moon Telltale:
The more, the merrier!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

O Witch Who Emboldens Me, I Am Beholden to Thee

On bended blog~knee, a plenty humble pardons I do beg. Even so it be but a mere wiggle-worm after the calendar’s circled day intended, I am nevertheless tardy sans excuses. A College Witch’s Experiences (who has since bibbity-bobbity-booed into Confessions of a Couuntry Witch) merrily hosted an

“Inspiring Witches Halloween Blog Party” on October 13 (one day x three ago = the wiggle-worm span). Presently, please do consider my late-to-the-table? I send lacey~hearted thank yous!

Ever and again --and consistently, too– it is the little things in life that this Cellar Door draws sweet inspiration from! A perfect illustration: the wee witch I did first encounter in one of my Mother’s well-savored comics, saved back from her early years. With all my heart and soul and, in all likelihood, several select eyes of newt, I wanted to mirror the hocus-y pocus-y do~gooder that

Wendy the Good Little Witch was!

Her certainty to use her magic powers to do all things charitable only, would leave an impression of the most forever lasting kind on me. Miss Wendy, my rooftop let~loose remains uninterrupted: “Estimable” be thy middle name!

Latterly, she would be

realized "live,”
top billing with friendly ghost friend (but and thus farly, not so “live”),
Casper, in the bewitching television movie,

Casper Meets Wendy,
over again and gently reminding me of where I needed to be.

HUZZAH! In the wave of a wand, Miss Wendy has grown up, and guesses be yours? She has flown her besom high plumb! My meaning: again inspiring and delighting, she has successfully navigated another air path yet! This go, it be the literary one called “Authoress”:

(Look what found its way into my shopping basket, today, it did!)

O the courage and sugared inspiration “Wendy” unknowingly and constantly offers! Perhaps, then, my time be the nowly, too?! YES and YAY-HOO! I shall gather my inked snippets and coral my many savings of jottings~downs, and weave them together, because *sniff-sniffle* methinks I might finally be catching scent of a Cellar Door page-turner, bubbling in that shouldered caldron I call “topknot”!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Dub Thee...

At midnight twice ago, beneath the passing clouds that hid from us the night sky’s sparkles (whose twinklings we so largely hard~hoped would accent our evening’s planned and merry pandemonium, but, alas, could not ~~ yet make do, we did: several strands of blinking yuletide incandescents extention-corded from out the house’s jib door-window, snaked its way to the grapevine arbor where it draped quite nicely and began its stint as a magical, stellary garnish!), my dear friend and house guest, Josiette; her new catta kitty, Clarinet; my from~the~same~kindle tom,

(Look who is sprouting by bounces and pounces!)
Gemma’s gib and my charge while she is Across the Pond, Spot (who, in point of fact, had better things to do, so he was more “there” than “here”); my other dear chum, Soose, and I curled round Soose’s preferred lantern,

a family "heirloom,"
or so he claims (ahem),

middled on one of Gemmama’s plenty big, black sateen bedtop veils in the backgarden. Soose was about to draw the curtain on our ceremony with a reading. As it goes, during the afternoon’s early, whilst Josiette prepared our pre-ceremony supp: her variation of Shepherd’s Pie (Culinary genius that she be, Miss Josiette spins the original receipt by merely substituting the word “Shepherdess” for the word “Shepherd” in its title. VOILA! A more favorful dish indeed!), and

I stoved

a Streuselkin
(Pumpkin Streusel Pie)

for the desserting, Soose searched out Gemmama's library (in which the book is housed) for Mother’s from~when~she~was~a~little~girl edition of Margaret Embrey’s tender and charming and oh so sentimental Halloween story,

The Blue-Nosed Witch.

But first, if you asked our Moments Before, which found us on the coverlet under the outside night, this tale they would tell:

Howbeit I had chosen the name “Puddle” for Puddle upon my first looks at him, his formal Dubbing Ritual had not transpired until minutes ago, because it had to make waits until I settled on a Call Name before the rites could be made true. A Call Name is the name used by a cat’s keeper to literally call his or her pet. Typically, a one-syllable, peaky moniker works best. If it be more than one vocable, it most definitely must shrill the air upon meeting it to be effective.

We cast a magick circle in a clockwise manner and summoned the elemental spirits of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. On that occasion, in the circle’s center was lighted the lantern’s candle that had been anointed with a few driblets of Catnip essential oil. With arms like a loving cradle, I held my kitten; Josiette, likewise hers. We put gentle strokes to our animal’s fur, and when each began to purr, we visualized the feline surrounded by a protective aura of the whitest light and then nine times we did impart the following prayer (once for each of the cats' nine lives):

Puddle Pie
(Josiette spoke “Clarinet Teasweet”)
is the name I give thee.
Puddle Pie
(Josiette again spoke "Clarinette Teasweet")

is the one who ye shall be.
And may the sound
of thy new name
Magick and power ninefold claim.
May ye live free and blessed be
By goddess Bastet. So mote it be!

After the recitations, a consecrated wand traced the scared symbol of the pentacle in the air over each kitten. Along with Soose, we did give thanks, sealing a name to each cat with a forehead kiss. Before uncasting our circle, we bade farewell to the elemental spirits and stilled the candle’s glow. Including sleepyheaded kittens, Josiette and I did then gave listens while Soose read to us from

my favorite childhood novel:

[INTRODUCTION] "Not more than four of five Halloweens ago there was a very young witch named Blanche who owned a broom, a back cat named Brockett, and a bright blue nose. She belonged to a very special scurry of witched, Scurry No. 13, known in the best witch circles all over the country for its beautiful flight formation.

The Grand Madame, who had been leader of the club for as long as any of them could remember, flew center front. She used a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom, and when she gunned her motor it sounded as exciting as a fire engine.

On the far right was Minnie Max waving her blood-red finger nails in the dark; they really did shine like rubies. And on the far left was Blanche’s best friend, Josephine, who had long yellow fluorescent teeth that gleamed like stars.

In between and a little behind flew the nine rather ordinary witches who were only expected to follow the Grand Madame’s lead, and cackle with horrid glee at appropriate times.

And last came Blanche, usually far, far behind. If it hadn’t been for her marvelous blue nose that she could turn on and off at will, she wouldn’t have been allowed in Scurry No. 13 at all...”

POSTSCRIPT: If a cat number two be in my stars, I shall name it


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Closelies From Little Acorns Grow

Jubilancy blankets me!
Our anniversary
Two Witches
Oak Seed Switch
has once more been


As long as long, J______, who answered only to “Lolly,” because “This given name most certainly was NOT meant for me! I SHALL TAKE ANOTHER, and I fastfriended the moment our arms locked during a youth game of playground Red Rover, which ultimately resulted in us saving our team’s day and, thereafter, we have ever sincely and yearly cast the following charm:

Two Witches Oak Seed Switch

Begin this spell by presenting Dear Friend an acorn with. Marry hands in a circled embrace, so as to heartnear hold an Oak tree of both Dear Friends' choosing. (Fingertipping surely makes do, too, when trunks be that of mighty.) Ask its blessings by together saying:

We honor you, O Mighty Oak
Grant your strength unto these folk
Let it surge throughout these seeds
And make us strong in thought and deed

Each Dear Friend then entreaties the other to carry at all times the Oak seed. (Threaded as a necklet, or keychained can accomplish this "fine print" quite favorably!) As they do, the ties betwixt them shall grow and firm.

A few winters ago, Lolly, upon her heart’s urging, followed herdream” ~~all the way to Dairyland, USA! Regrettably and alas, that particulardreamof hers was of the two~timing variety and in short order got her boot! But because Lolly had so easily fallen into place with the cheeses and the mooing and all other things Holstein,

she swept up her broken pieces,
declared herself an honorary

Cow Belle,
and to this day and all those forward,
calls Wisconsin "home"

Witch Which beyond doubt created a situation remedied only by invoking the Spirit of Mild Modifications (<~~lol): Now our yearly acorn presents are exchanged by post. And our tree chantings and Oak hugs are solo performances across the miles, yet in harmony, as we renew our friendship pledge at a time and on a day specific, and still with each other!

Acorn Promises

1 3/4 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 pound of butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup raisins
1 ½ cups chopped acorns (Remember: the fresher, the better. Not to Forget: un~bitter by leaching)

Make Haste To:
Screen together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Earmark. In a large bowl, cream butter. Follow the additions of Vanilla and sugar with a hardy beating. Add the eggs and spoon~stroke until smooth. Steadily add the screened ingredients, turning again with your wooden until thoroughly commingled. Gently disturb the mix with a stir~in of the raisins and acorns. Place well~hilled teaspoonsful of dough distanced from each other by two inches on a tin foiled cookie sheet. Bake in a pre~heated 400*F oven for 12~15 minutes.

POSTSCRIPT: Lolly also sent word that she is recovering from a nasty tumble in which she sustained a wrist fracture! Although she mends nicely, her daubers seem a bit south. Might you put some kind thoughts to her? It would mean the world! Thank~you!

(I will hand image credits as soon as I have re-gathered them.)