Holidays need special meals, and sabbats are no different. Imbolc is a time of celebrating newness, the awakening of the world as it readies itself for spring. As with most holidays, the food choices for Imbolc reflect traditional dishes, ones that best fit with the “blossoming and warming world” mindset.

To start the evening meal off right, make a loaf of your very own bread. And if you’re really adventurous, your own butter. Easy to do and totally worth the effort.

For the main meat course, go for a young animal: veal or lamb. I prefer lamb myself (it’s still a bit pricey but is slightly cheaper), and I use this recipe: Curried Lamb with Barley. I’m not a great fan of curry, but I do like a bit of it, so I tone it down some in this recipe, maybe 2 teaspoons intead of 2 tablespoons. It makes for a great comfort dish and is really good for a cold Imbolc evening.

For side dishes, think bright! After all, the sun is becoming more prominent, and we want to welcome the warmth back into our lives! Carrots are always a good choice, especially baby carrots. Cut into thin circles, they look rather representative of the sun itself, and they make for a very pretty accompaniment. I see a lot of recipes for sweet carrots, but a savory carrot dish is just as good. Leeks are also a vegetable associated with Imbolc, but I prefer them in a soup compared to just a dish by themselves. I prefer asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Easy to do too: just roast the asparagus at about 450° for no more than 8 minutes, then smother with the sauce (I cheat and use the packet version – much simpler!) and serve.

Imbolc is associated with dairy products, so anything involving milk – just one of a mother’s many gifts to her child – is appropriate for this holiday. Baked Custard is a good choice for a dessert, or perhaps you could try the slightly more challenging Boiled Custard. I’m taking an easier path and just combining a package of Jell-O pudding (cheesecake flavor, yum) with 1 cup of milk and 8 ounces of whipped cream. Fast, simple, easy, and delicious!

And there you have it! Imbolc is usually celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, depending on the calendar. It’s exactly six weeks after the Winter Solstice and six weeks before the Vernal Equinox. This year, I’m celebrating on the 1st, but the 2nd is just as acceptable. Whenever you celebrate, I hope it’s a good day for you. Blessed Be!

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