Happy Celebrations on this, the day of the year with the longest amount of daylight. Whether you know it as Litha, the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, today is a day to give thanks to the sun and all blessings it provides; light, warmth, fire, creativity, and action.
Will you be creating an outdoors altar today? Or perhaps you got an early morning jump and are already sitting around your outdoors Summer Solstice altar, giving honor to the Sun. Were you able to watch the sunrise from the positioning of your altar? There is nothing quite like it!
If you are still looking for ideas, or decided last minute to set up space, consider flowers such as marigolds, orange roses, daisies, Indian Blanket, or sunflowers. Rosemary, Vervain, Lavender, and Mugwort always have a place on my Summer Solstice altar. If you have any artwork or statuary or drawings that represent the Sun, those are perfect, too. Candles!! What Witch could ever forget candles?! (If candles are not your thing, more power to you!!) Orange, gold, yellow, red, and white candles are very fitting. Think of veggies and fruits that are in season (oranges, berries, cherries, lemons, etc.), and crystals which have an association with the sun, such as carnelian, garnet, sunstone and citrine.
Maybe you would like to try your hand at Sun tea or Honey cakes. However you choose to celebrate or acknowledge this turn of the wheel, I hope you have a day full of love and sunlight and warmth.
Anyone interested in a recipe for Sun tea and Honey Cakes? I am sharing mine with you!
Place desired amount of tea into a clean, clear, glass vessel of your choosing. Fill with clean, cool water and place a lid/cover over the opening. (A glass container with a screw on lid is best, as it keeps the ants out!)
Place vessel outside, in the sunlight for a minimum of 3 hours; longer times = stronger brew. Move your vessel, if necessary, in order to keep it in the sunlight. When your tea reaches your desired strength, remove it from the sun, remove tea (if desired), and it is ready to enjoy! Store any remaining tea in the refrigerator.
Things to note—sun tea will not last quite as long as boiled tea. Enjoy within 2-3 days. You can add any sugar, lemon, or herbs to your tea before placing outside, or add right before drinking. Sun tea has a different flavor than hot water-boiled/brewed tea. It is a lighter, fresher flavor; very refreshing.
Honey cakes (In cupcake pan)
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup honey
-2 sticks butter (softened)
-1 cup milk
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 315-325, depending on how hot your oven runs.
Combine flour, baking soda/powder, and salt in one bowl. Set aside
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add honey. Beat in vanilla.
Slowly add flour mixture, alternating with the milk, to the butter mixture. Beat until just smooth.
Pour batter into lined, cupcake tins; fill each cup 1/3 of the way with batter. Place pan(s) into preheated oven.
WATCH THEM!! Honey will caramelize much faster than sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the center cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP + 1 tsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
Honey, as desired
Lavender buds, or other edible flowers, for garnish (optional)
Mix all ingredients (add additional water if needed), and drizzle over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with flowers (optional).