Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice


June 21 is the longest day of the year and the most ancient and widespread holiday or celebration still in practice today. Anciently it was the most auspicious day for weddings. The term "honeymoon" comes from the moon phase at this time. It was believed to be the best time to harvest honey. Often solstice celebration food was made with honey. It was thought to bring fertility to the land and to the people. Herbs and flowers played a large roll in solstice celebrations. Many cultures wore flower wreaths in their hair or danced around flowered poles. Most cultures celebrated the evening around a huge bonfire, meant to give energy to the waning sun perhaps. Young men and women would leap over the flames, the higher the leap the better the crops. Late at night herbs were collected for the next year's medicines and use. On this night they were more potent than any other night. Young people placed certain herbs and flowers under their pillows to dream of their future spouse.

This year 35,000 gathered at Stonehenge, many across the globe participated in hike naked day, and others gathered to drink themselves into a stupor. In tribute to the sun and it's creator, we also celebrated Shakespeare's magical shortest night with a family dinner.

After a discussion of solstice, the power of the sun and our dependence on it we experimented to see if we could harness it's power. Inspired by Chef Tess, we created a miniature solar ovens out of pizza boxes, click here and here.
Our Smore's tasted better to the girls because they cooked them in their OWN ovens.

Bonfire or fire torches
Netting over our table
Double plates, white on bottom, flowers in the middle and glass plates on top
Edible Flower ice cubes (we used miniature roses and the water tasted magical)

"Hunt" for candy bar qualities we would look for in a future spouse.
Flower garlands for hair
Picked herbs and flowers to place under their pillows to dream about future spouse.

Honey Almond Balls
Honey Fruit Salad
Honey Dijon Crusted Salmon and Chicken
Honey Dill glazed carrots
Homemade Ice Cream

Honey Dijon Crusted Salmon and Chicken
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 T Dijon type mustard (the more flavorful the mustard, the better the dish)
1 1/2 T. honey
1/4 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 t chopped fresh parsley
4 fillets salmon or chicken (we used both, I prefer salmon, Briz prefers chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. In another bowl, mix bread crumbs, pecans, salt and pepper, and parsley.
  3. Brush each salmon fillet lightly with honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with crumb mixture.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes until it flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Garnish each with a wedge of lemon.
Fruit Salad with Honey Dressing from Paula Deen
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 t fresh lemon juice, plus the juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 t poppy seeds
1/4 t salt
1/4 t prepared mustard
1 apple, cored and diced
1 banana, sliced
1 avacado, peeled and sliced
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
red or green leaf lettuce

For the dressing, combine honey, orange juice, oil, 1/2 t lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt, and mustard in a jar with a tight lid; cover and shake well. Toss the apple, banana, and avocado with juice from 1 lemon to prevent the fruit from turning brown. combine all the fruit and nuts in a glass bowl. Add the dressing and stir gently. Serve on a bed of greens.

Honey Dill Glazed Carrots
1 lb baby carrots
2 T fresh dill
2 t orange juice
1 T honey
1/2 t lemon zest
1/4 t ground mustard
1/4 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper

Steam carrots until tender-crisp, 8-10 minutes
In a small bowl, combine dill, orange juice, olive oil, lemon zest, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk until blended.
In a larger bowl, combine the carrots and dill mixture and toss to mix well.

Honey Almond Date Balls: quick, easy, and healthy snacks for energy!!!


  1. think those are my favorite way to eat cooked carrots- i like the romantic/magical feel to it- oh and happy late anniversary by the way!

  2. Yea for solar ovens! I love it!!!

  3. What a great time of celebration and a great meal! :)