The summer solstice is nearing for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and our little part of the world will be filled with light. This day is celebrated by many cultures, tribes and aboriginal peoples around the world. It marks the longest day of the year, but also the beginning of the journey towards winter. For this reason, the Summer Solstice actually marks the ‘end’ of the solar summer for me, not the beginning of summer, as it is noted on many a calendar. It also marks the beginning of Grandmother Bear’s journey, as the carries the sun to the norther caves to rest, till the Winter Solstice awakens her once again. Last year on YouTube, I shared this more deep and meaning full journey with you as we constructed Honey Cakes. The honey was made in advance, infused with specially (intentionally) selected herbs to add healing medicine, and energy.
This year, I wanted to observe the more fun and joyful aspect of summer, by hosting a Midsummer Afternoon Tea! Midsummer, always makes me think of Shakespeare and one of my favourite of his plays. Which in turn, makes me think of the Fae, the true Ancestors of Lands all around the world, for they do come in many shapes, colours and stories of myths, legends and lore. We even have our version from my home lands in the Caribbean! To honour the Fae, I decided to create an Edible Fairy Ring! It was a definite labour of love and I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks with you here, so you can create one of your own!
When I personally image a fairy ring, It’s tucked in a deep enchanted forest, with a moss covered floor, speckled with stones. Some of these stones found there way from streams and rivers, deposited by wayward hikers. They have little holes formed from the waters edge and hold a secret. They are called hagstones and rumour has it, if you look through them, you can see the Fae! So it’s not surprising so many have been left scattered, deep in the forest, around a Fairy Ring!
Moss covered dirt mounds! The construction of the moss was actually pretty easy! Make your favourite cake pop base (I did use a box mix, and most appropriately selected devil’s food cake, because the Fae of fairytales are known to be little tricksters!). You can select any base, but I do recommend a dark one as it helps give the illusion of ‘dirt’ mounds. When forming the ‘balls’, instead of making them perfectly round, and mounted on a stick, I went for natural, misshaped ‘clumps’ in different sizes. I refrigerated them overnight to firm up. That same night, I made the ‘moss’, which is simply graham cracker crumbs coloured with food dye! I used a gel based dye and diluted it in a little water. As you will see in the video, it is best to get your hands in there and work it through. Add a little at a time as you want it crumbly and dry! Spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 200F at 15 minute intervals for 1 hour. At each interval, turn the crumbs for even baking. Essentially, you are ‘drying’ them out. It was then recommended that you turn off the oven, but leave them in overnight, and so I did! In the morning I took the Moss out and transferred it to a bowl, melted some chocolate chips (I did 15 second intervals in the microwave, till just melted, and then stirred to allow the rest to melt down and incorporate). I removed the ‘mounds’ from the fridge, dipped, sprinkled and done! Edible Moss Mounds for my forest floor!
Stones & Hag Stones! Probably the quickest aspect of the ring, but admittedly the most expense! I used premium white chocolate, and cut the recipe in half and still only used 1/2 of what I made! The stones are essentially Cookies and Cream Fudge! I take no credit for this amazingly clever creation! You can find it, as I did, at: “My Dad Rocks” – Cookies and Cream Fudge Rocks for Father’s Day. (hungryhappenings.com). The one addition I made, was to use one of my reusable straws to ‘drill’ peep holes into a few of the larger stones to form ‘hagstones’!
The Mushroom Ring! The mushrooms seemed to have gotten the best feedback from my YouTube online family, and I was really grateful for that! I have actually never made any of the items that comprised the Fairy Ring so I too, was very pleased with how it turned out. Despite all the challenges in the three days of baking! For that entire week, here in Toronto we were under an extreme heat advisory, with temperatures in the high 30’s – low 40’s, with humidex warnings. Not idea for making meringues, which is what these delectable mushrooms were made from! I am testing out this new template on WordPress, so fingers crossed you can save/copy/download the instructions I typed up for the Meringue Mushrooms!
To round out the afternoon tea, I made a no bake cheesecake, however I did make it in a beautiful baked pecan crust! And for a little healthy to offset all the yummy sweets, I made a simple butter lettuce wrap filled with julienne cucumbers, mangos and chicken! It was really refreshing and I highly recommend it!
I hope you enjoyed the video I shared on YouTube providing a little history lesson on the Myths, Mystery, Legends and Lore… as well as the actual science (such a spoiled sport, aren’t I? :P) surrounding Fairy Rings! If you haven’t seen the video, here’s a link! I hope you have as much fun watching it, as I did crafting it!
I hope that the Midsummer Fae grant all your wishes, and you embrace the work to make them manifest. Many blessings!