2015 Pascha Basket: Part 2

It’s hard to post during Holy Week! I’ve started to work on all the homemade stuff for my Pascha basket, I’ve got two things down and many more to go. So far…

One ingredient coconut butter: start with plain shredded coconut. Blend, blend, blend. It smells heavenly, and I can’t wait to taste it.

And one batch of raw macadamia nut cheese. It’s not pretty yet – I’m putting it in this glass dish to chill, then hopefully moving it to a more appealing mold. This picture, though, shows how nicely the macadamia cream firmed up after about 36 hours hanging in a nut milk bag.

I have a tiny 1/2 C of pine nuts fermenting right now for a second cheese, and I’m about to start a batch of cashews. Then I’ll need something to eat them with.

Will you have any homemade specialties in your basket?

2015 Pascha Basket: Part 1

Yesterday I had to make a stop at Harvest Health, so I figured I might as well start grabbing things for my Pascha basket. One cool thing about Orthodox Easter (besides everything) is the candy is usually half off by the time we celebrate. Unfortunately that does very little for vegans :( But I did find some gummy candies on sale at HH. No chocolate bunnies or anything.

It’s okay, though, because I’ve found some great recipes for homemade peanut butter cups, and I’m going to make my infamous booze-soaked chocolate cake. I also have macadamia nuts and pine nuts for making fancy vegan cheese (hoping to get it fermenting Saturday). Since I don’t break the fast with the usual stuff, I just like to splurge on things like $5 bags of marshmallows or whatever.

What plans do you have for your basket this year?

Light from the Light

This is just me bragging about my Pascha candle. In our parish on Holy Saturday everyone gets a skinny little taper to “take light from the Light”, and we carry it outside and then come in and blow it out and throw it in a bin. Last year my sister and brother-in-law wanted to keep the flame going through the whole Liturgy like they do at their home parish (they live out of state), so we grabbed a bunch of the used candles and kept passing our flame from candle to candle throughout the service. At the end, I got a big red votive and lit it, and my sister brought it home for me. She placed it on the mantle. I happily went to gaze upon it first thing the next morning…and found it burned out. Personally I think someone blew it out on purpose (someone who didn’t know better), but no one admitted to it.

this year I was given what was left of last year’s Paschal candle, the one that burns behind the altar all year. That’s it on the right. I was so pleased, I decided to use it for the procession on Holy Saturday. So. One nice thing about the skinny tapers is they have a wax guard. My big Paschal candle was too fat to fit in the wax guard. Every time I moved, hot wax poured down the side and all over my hand. Luckily after the first couple coats of wax I couldn’t feel it too much anymore. When we got inside and turned the lights up for the Liturgy, I saw wax all over my leggings, jacket, and gorgeous vintage dress. Gaah. But it was worth it. But I was sick of getting burned, so I got a red votive and passed on the flame. I had to leave the votive at church overnight and pick it up the next day after Agape Vespers.

By then there was a ton of hot melted wax. I ended up driving home with the candle in my lap, hearing the wax splashing around every time I had to make a turn. Then when I was *almost* home, the driver in front of me slammed on his brakes, and I had to slam on mine…and hot wax spilled out and onto my leg. How do people do this every year??? But I did manage to get it home and keep it burning.

This is from Friday night. You can see the flame is way down at the bottom of the votive on the right, and a there’s a new votive on the left. They last just less than a week each, so to keep the flame going all year is a big investment. Has anyone done it? Do you just let it burn out at the end of the year and start over with a new flame? I have 5.5 days to decide whether or not I’ll try to keep mine going all year.

I found This Website about taking the Holy Light. It’s a little different than the way we do it in Antiochian parishes, but it’s neat to read about what they do at in Greece. I like the part about “The less devout, dressed in their Easter best, gather outside smoking and chatting.” He also mentions the difference in Easter dates. Last year I blogged about it, you can read that post HERE.