Probably one of the most famous, popular and fun of the pagan Sabbats, we are now a week away from Beltane! As I’ve written before (on various platforms) in our modern times, we see and feel echoes from days long ago in May Day celebrations. Though, as we move ever forward, our quaint practices from decades ago fade from more mainstream practices. I can remember making May baskets in school when I was a child, filling them with flowers (most crepe paper flowers). My grandmother tells me that when she was a child, the May baskets would be left on the door of a neighbors house to give them a nice surprise.
Now, we’re afraid of our neighbors. Now, we’re afraid of offending someone so we banish any sort of holidays, because Goddess forbid our kids learn anything about anything outside of their own families traditions and practices. It’s kind of sad.
But that’s not the point of this post. We are a week away from one of the biggest sabbats of the year and I’ve got very little planned for it. About the only thing set in stone for the menu is the May Wine I’ll be preparing since I checked my sweet little woodruff plant and it will bloom in time for the holiday. I’m really looking forward to that, last year when I made it, everyone seemed to like it, so yay!
I’m still trying to decide what my main dish will be, I’m thinking Medallions of Pork with Riesling sauce OR Balsamic Chicken with an Orange Glaze. Both sound good, and at this point, I can’t care what the kids will think, because they never eat anything I make anymore, haha. For the side dish, I can’t decide if I want to make Spanakopita or Asparagus with Chives and Blossoms. Or maybe both. Actually, I think that’s a great idea and I will make both. Now what to do for dessert? There are like a million recipes for various Beltane themed desserts, so I guess it’s whatever floats my boat.
Oh. Wait. I know. Last year I had a recipe for Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Vanilla Bourbon drizzle. It was amazing. Then a couple months later, I was watching Fixate with Beachbody onDemand and boom! There it was, almost the exact same recipe and I knew it was meant to be. I think I will do that.
Okay, that’s out of the way, time to decide on the ritual.
Typically, Beltaine is revered as a holiday of fertility, love and lust. As the old saying goes “Hooray, hooray! ’tis the first of May! Outdoor diddling starts today!” or at least that’s what my Grandmother said it was, many people focus on the physical aspects of this day. I used to go to the Tacoma Earth Religions Revival Association (TERRA) Beltane event whenever I could (though that group is disbanded and I haven’t yet found another public event to attend) and I remember vividly a few years ago (wrote about it, here, too!) attending a ritual lead by a male Dianic priest who invoked Lilith as a goddess of sexual healing. I’ve been to a ritual invoking Pan and Aphrodite and I’ve been a part of an incredible Beltane ritual play that involved a love chase between the Goddess Flora and the God Faunus.
These days, I am content to spend my sabbats in quiet contemplation, though I confess, I feel a stirring in my heart when it comes to Beltane and a desire to celebrate with others of like mind.
I think this year I will spend my Beltane, not with ritual, but with fun. It’s not always about serious ritual, and sometimes, saying “I’m just going to play” is a great way to spend a sabbat. The Goddess says “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”, so perhaps I will (weather pending) spend the day at the park and have a picnic.
Oooh. I like that.
Now for the Fixate Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone (found on Beachbody ondemand)
- 3 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese
- ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
- ½ medium orange, orange peel finely grated (orange zest), juice reserved
- 2 tsp. Kentucky bourbon
- 2 medium peaches (preferably late-season freestones)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Beat together mascarpone and extract in a small bowl; refrigerate, covered.
- To make maple bourbon sauce, combine maple syrup, orange peel, orange juice, and bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly (being careful not to burn it), for approximately 5 minutes, or until sauce is reduced by half. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Coat grill with spray. Preheat grill (or cast iron grill pan) on high.
- Cut peaches in half; remove stones.
- Grill peaches, flesh side down, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until you can see juices bubbling beneath the skin, flesh is slightly charred, and peaches are soft to their core. Place peaches on a serving platter.
- Fill each peach center with about 2 heaping teaspoons of mascarpone mixture; drizzle with maple sauce.
- If desired, top each with a few crystals of fleur de sel (or any large, flaky salt) and enjoy!
- For a kid-friendly version, skip the maple bourbon sauce and drizzle the grilled peaches with plain maple syrup or honey.
- When possible, use Freestone peaches (available mid-June through August) since their stones can be easily removed. If using regular peaches, be sure to split them along their equator, not lengthwise, and remove the stone with a sharp paring knife.
- If you don’t have a grill, you can arrange peaches flesh side up on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 10 to 12 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn!