Recipes for the Ostara Sabbat

01
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Recipes for the Pagan Ostara Sabbat

Group of friends having dinner outside.
kristian sekulic / Getty Images

Ostara is the celebration of the Spring Equinox - it's the time of year when new life is beginning to form, and fresh little green things are starting to poke their way out of the chilly dirt. If you're really lucky, you may be able to find some spring greens to nibble on! Looking for recipes to brighten up your Ostara celebration? 

Try one of these seven awesome recipes for your Ostara celebrations!

02
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Hot Cross Buns - Cross Quarter Buns

High Angle View Of Hot Cross Buns In Plate On Table
Linda Long / EyeEm / Getty Images

During the pre-Easter season of Lent, many of our Christian friends and family members are busily celebrating with Hot Cross Buns. The Hot Cross Bun is a tasty pastry that’s been around for a long time, and the decorative cross on the top represents one of the most obvious symbols of Christianity.

There are a number of English traditions revolving around hot cross buns. It is believed that if you bake yours on Good Friday, they will not spoil or grow mold. Another custom says that sailors should take a hot cross buns on their travels to prevent shipwreck. The cross on the bun comes from a superstition that marking the bun so would prevent the Devil from getting into the baked goods. Interestingly, it’s possible that breads with crosses on top were baked by the ancient Greeks, which makes the whole idea pre-Christian anyway.

So, how can you incorporate a Hot Cross Bun into your Pagan belief system? Well, what sorts of things appear in fours in your path? Here are some things that the four quarters of the cross could represent, depending on what matters most to you.

  • The four elements. Choose a quarter to represent each of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water.
  • The four directions. Many Pagan traditions place an emphasis on the directions of north, east, south and west.
  • The four phases of the moon. Select each quarter to symbolize the dark moon, the waxing moon, the full moon and the waning phase.
  • The four seasons. Each quadrant could be representative of spring, summer, fall, and winter.
  • The fire feasts or quarter festivals. The Fire Festivals, or cross quarter days, include Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas/Lughnasadh, and Samhain. The Quarter festivals, or lesser sabbats, include the solstices and equinoxes.
  • The four suits of the Tarot. Each section can symbolize Wands, Cups, Coins or Swords.

So, can you do it? Sure. Should you? Why not? If it works with your spiritual path, and it doesn’t bother anyone else, it’s simply a matter of finding a way of blending your Christian upbringing with your newfound Pagan beliefs.

To make your own Hot Cross Buns - or Cross Quarter Buns, or whatever you’d like to call them - start with your favorite muffin or roll recipe. There are several ways you can make the X in the top to divide them into fours.

  • Prior to baking, press raisins or currants in the shape of an X across the top of the bun. That way, when it comes out of the oven, you’ll have a nice evenly baked cross.
  • Score the dough with a sharp knife, going across in each direction, before baking. This leaves the X as a pair of perpendicular indentations. If you like, you can even fill the indents with cream cheese or icing.
  • Wait until after the muffin or bun has baked, and then use frosting to pipe an X on the top.
03
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Mint Chutney

Make a mint chutney, or pesto, to go with your spring dishes. Image by Michael Brauner/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

This delicious sauce is perfect for spring meals, especially if you're making a roasted leg of lamb. It also goes nicely with spicy dishes, such as Indian or Mediterranean food, or veggies. It's quick to prepare, or you can whip it up ahead of time and let it chill.

Keep in mind that the word "chutney" is a fairly wide-ranging culinary term that can be used to apply to a lot of things that involve herbs, fruit, spices, and other goodies. Traditional Indian chutneys are often cooked on a stovetop and reduced, but this recipe is simply a chop-and-blend variety. Technically, you could consider it a relish, a gremolata, or a pesto if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 3 C. fresh mint leaves, off stems
  • 1/2 C. fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 C. fresh parsley
  • 1/2 C. green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 C. red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp. sea salt
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C olive oil
  • Water

Directions

Throw everything in your food processor or blender and chop until it forms a paste.

Add water gradually to thin it out, and continue blending until the water and paste have formed a smooth sauce. Refrigerate if you're not going to serve it right away.

Serve over lamb or meat dishes, your favorite pasta or bread, or just eat it with a spoon!

04
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Roasted Lamb

Fix up a plate of roast leg of lamb for Ostara. Image by John Peacock/E+/Getty Images

Lamb is in season during the spring, so this is the perfect Ostara meal for us carnivorous types. For many of our ancestors, lamb was the first real meat they got each year, after the cold winter months. It's warm and tender, and the citrus marinade helps make it nice and juicy. Serve it with a side of homemade mint chutney to add a bit of coolness to the flavor.

Ingredients

  • Leg of lamb

  • 1 C white cooking wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 2 oranges (or 1/2 C orange juice)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
  • Pepper and sea salt to taste
  • Olive oil (about 2 Tbs.)

Directions

To make the marinade, combine everything except the lamb in a bowl. Blend it together with a whisk. Pour into a plastic bag and then add the leg of lamb. Seal the bag, and let it sit overnight.

Allow the lamb to reach room temperature before you put it in the oven. Remove from the bag, place in a roasting pan (along with all the marinade juices), and bake on the lower rack at 450 degrees. Roast the lamb until it reaches an internal temperature of about 135, or about an hour.

The secret to a good lamb dish is to not overcook it, so it should still be pink in the middle when it comes out of the oven. Place it on a rack, cover with foil, and allow it to sit in its own juices for about twenty minutes before serving. This will help the roasting process finish without drying out the meat.

05
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Deviled Eggs

Make deviled eggs to celebrate Ostara!. Image by Lora Clark/E+/Getty Images

Deviled eggs are supremely easy to make, and you can make them sweet or spicy. Did you know that the phrase "deviled," when used to refer to food, has nothing to do with devils at all? It was apparently coined during the late 18th century, when it was applied to any food item that was hot or spicy. According to our good friends over at The History Channel, by around 1800, deviling was being used as a verb used "to describe the process of making food spicy."

This recipe is for a tangy, spicy version of the classic spring dish. Make these delicious eggs for your Ostara get-togethers and celebrations.

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 C. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika
  • Parsley, for garnish

Directions

Hard-boil the eggs and allow them to cool before peeling. Peel the eggs and slice each one in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a bowl.

Mash the yolks up with a fork, and add the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, curry powder, vinegar and salt and pepper. Blend it all together until well mixed. Gently spoon the yolk mixture into the white halves, and sprinkle with paprika. Garnish with parsley sprigs for serving.

Deviled Eggs History

Even though the word deviled, when applied to food, has only been with us for a couple of centuries, it turns out that the ancient Romans are the ones who started this phenomenon. The History Channel's Laura Schumm says, "eggs were boiled, seasoned with spicy sauces and then typically served at the beginning of a meal—as a first course known as gustatio—for wealthy patricians. In fact, serving eggs while entertaining was so common that the Romans had a saying, ab ova usque ad mala—literally from eggs to apples, or from the beginning of a meal to the end."

Think about some of the magical applications of eggs. After all, they are a symbol of life, rebirth, and renewal in the spring. What can you put in your deviled eggs to represent your magical needs? Add a bit of basil or bay leaf for workings related to prosperity and employment, rosemary and thyme for healing magic, or dill, allspice, or cinnamon to enhance your romantic life.

Food historians trace the evolution of the deviled egg through the Middle Ages, and note that the earliest printed recipes for stuffed, boiled eggs appear in medieval European texts. 

The fifteenth-century Italian chef Platina wrote in De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, "Make fresh eggs hard by cooking for a long time. Then, when the shells are removed, cut the eggs through the middle so that the white is not damaged. When the yolks are removed, pound part with raisins and good cheese, some fresh and some aged. Reserve part to color the mixture, and also add a little finely cut parsley, marjoram, and mint. Some put in two or more egg whites with spices. When the whites of the eggs have been stuffed with this mixture and closed, fry them over slow fire in oil. When they have been fried, add a sauce made from the rest of the egg yolks pounded with raisins and moistened with verjuice and must. Put in ginger, cloves, and cinnamon and heat them a little while with the eggs themselves. This has more harm than good in it."

Regardless of your magical purpose, deviled eggs are a welcome addition to any spring celebration!

06
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Ostara Peep Ambrosia

Put Peeps in your salad!. Image by April Bauknight/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Everyone knows Peeps, those overwhelmingly sweet little marshmallow critters that appear every Spring in the grocery store. Put your leftover Peeps to good use this Ostara, and make them into a delicious ambrosia salad! For the most colorful results, use yellow or pink Peeps.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pkg of 12 marshmellow Peeps (chicks or bunnies)
  • 2 cans mandarin oranges
  • 2 cans pineapple tidbits
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • 2 chopped bananas
  • 2 C. shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 16-oz tub cottage cheese
  • 1 8-oz tub of Cool Whip or other dessert topping

Directions

Dice the Peeps into small pieces. Drain the juices from all the fruit. Mix all ingredients together, and allow to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Serve as dessert following your Ostara celebration.

If you've got even more candies and Peeps left over, use them in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit!

07
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Spring Sprout Salad

Celebrate spring with some goodies from your garden. Image by Liza McCorkle/E+/Getty Images

Spring is here, and with it comes bright green gifts from the garden. What better way to welcome Ostara than with a plate of fresh sprouts and leaves? This is easy to make, and the honey mustard dressing is delicious. If you're not a fan of mustard, use your favorite dressing on here instead.

Ingredients 

  • 1 C Mung bean sprouts
  • 1 C alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 C baby spinach
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 C slivered almonds
  • 1/2 C dried cherries or craisins
  • Fresh dill
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges (optional)
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • A dash of lemon juice

Directions

To make the salad, place the baby spinach at the bottom of the plate or bowl, and then add the sprouts. Spread them out so they're not all clumped together. Sprinkle the top with the chopped green onions, the almonds, craisins, dill, and Mandarins if you're using them.

To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, honey and lemon juice and mix well. Drizzle over the salad to serve.

  • Cook's tip: if you're not crazy about the flavor of mayonnaise, you can reduce the amount you use by a couple of tablespoons.For a healthier and sweeter choice, you can substitute plain white yogurt for the mayo.
  • For those of you who have kids - this dressing makes a great dip for chicken fingers!
08
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Surprise Lemon Bread

Bake some treats into a tasty lemon bread!. Image by Paul Poplis/Photodisc/Getty Images

At Ostara, the earth is waking up in anticipation of Spring... and it's not uncommon to find small treasures peeking out of the ground at us. Green shoots appear from the mud, and bright flowers appear where there was nothing the day before. This easy "surprise bread" reflects the theme of re-emergence, and you can put it together easily by using a pre-packaged lemon poppy seed bread mix, or your favorite lemon bread recipe. Add small treasures to the mix, as well as a few edible additions, and you'll have a real treat on your hands for your Ostara celebration.

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of your favorite lemon bread recipe, or a package of Lemon Poppy Seed Bread mix 
  • Ingredients to prepare bread as directed
  • 1/2 C golden raisins
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • Non-meltable goodies to add into the bread, such as:
  • A shiny coin
  • A piece of gold or silver jewelry
  • A ring
  • A polished crystal
  • Vanilla ice cream

Directions

Prepare the bread mix as directed. Once it's all mixed together, add in the golden raisins, the orange zest, and the cranberries. Finally, fold in a few small treasures, such as a ring, a cleaned coin, or a polished crystal. Be sure you select items that won't melt when you bake it in the oven!

Bake as directed on the package, and then remove from oven. Allow to cool. If you like, top with powdered sugar or your favorite glaze. 

To serve, slice off pieces, keeping an eye out for the hidden treasures (be sure to warn your guests to prevent choking hazards!). Top each slice off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This dessert bread can be used as a snack or appetizer, or you can incorporate it into your Cakes and Ale ceremony, if you include that as part of your Ostara rituals.

Safety tip: If you're serving this bread to small children, you may want to omit baking anything into the inside of the bread - put larger, non-chokable items on the plate beside the bread as a much safer special treat!