The Summer Solstice is quickly approaching and I'm excited to celebrate!
The Summer Solstice, also known as Litha by Neopagans, is not only the longest day of the year but also marks the zenith of the Sun's power. From now on, the night will slowly but surely reclaim our days.
So as they say, it's time to make hay while the sun shines!
Today I was looking for recipes to make for our Midsummer celebration and I came across the idea of using strawberries and basil. Strawberries make sense, right? They are ripening as we speak and abundant at the farmer's markets and grocery stores. They are reaching their peak just as the Sun is glorying in his. Also, the Algonquin's referred to the full moon around Midsummer as the Strawberry Moon.
But why basil?
I did some research and the practical gist is, well, it's also abundant this time of year. But there are some magical and emotional properties that seem to blend well with the advent of Midsummer.
Basil is known for its rejuvenating effects. According to the English herbalist Gerard, it lessons sorrow and "makes a man merry and glad." In aromatherapy traditions, basil may assist with adrenal fatigue and give hope and optimism after a long bout of burnout and exhaustion.
After the long winter and the busy-ness of spring planting who couldn't use a little rejuvenation?
This recipe is not unique. You'll find many examples on the web but I originally found a version in my copy of Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2017, but I made some changes to suit my family's taste. Instead of making whipped cream I used plain low-fat yogurt mixed with some whipped cream from can.
32 oz. Plain, lowfat yogurt
1 can Whipped Cream
1 14 oz. box of graham crackers, crushed
4 cups sliced stawberries
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
Strawberries and basil for garnish
Mix yogurt with whipped cream just until combined. Don't over mix.
Layer as follows:
Thin layer of the yogurt and whipped cream.
Thicker layer of yogurt and whipped cream.
Sprinkle of chopped basil.
Repeat until dish is almost full.
Top with yogurt and whipped cream.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, garnish with berries and basil.
Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turned out.
Have a blessed Summer Solstice!
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