Friday, September 30, 2011

Michaelmas Celebration

Yesterday we celebrated Michaelmas, which is one of the four cornerstone festivals in Waldorf traditions (along with Christmas, Easter and St. John's Tide). Archangel Michael has conquered Lucifer (the dragon) and thrown him down from the Heaven, and this festival helps us gather our inner strength before long winter to conquer our own inner dragons. St. George is thought of as the Earthly representative of Archangel Michael, so his story is often told during this week. Since this is our first year of celebrating it, we kept it simple. I made the Dragon bread and told Kitten the Harvest Loaf story as I made the dough using the recipe and the story in "All Year Round".
The ingredients are added one by one as the story unfolds, for example the frothy yeast mixture is the dragon that destroys the land (flour), sugar and salt is the ice and egg yolk is the sunlight that Archangel Michael throws down from the sky to help people. Kitten really liked the story.
Here is our dragon before baking (I know, he looks a lot like a dinosaur!)
He got quite puffier with baking but tasted great and Kitten ate three slices with butter and milk thus conquering her dragon :)
I also decorated a regular candle with a dragon using modeling beeswax. This is the first time I've worked with it and my sculpting skills can definitely be worked on but I love how it turned out and even my husband was impressed. The flame represents a sword with which Archangel Michael conquers the dragon (as the candle burns).

I tried telling Kitten the story of St. George but she was not interested, she is still quite young for it. I plan to make the dragon and other figures for next year and then tell it properly.

It is amazing how festive I felt the whole afternoon even with such simple actions. Perhaps it was because suddenly a thunderstorm started, it finally felt like fall (it is still 100 degrees down here!), and the smell of baking bread and beeswax along with candle light ought to make you feel good. Fall is definitely my favorite season and yesterday was a great start for it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Magic Starch

Kitten loves to play with this stuff! It is probably no news to a lot of you but I have never seen it and was as amazed as Kitten. Basically you mix 2 parts of cornstarch with 1 part of water. The resulting mixture looks like liquid but feels like solid. I also like to let Kitten play with the starch before I add water. To play I assemble spoons and cups, sometimes I add a little food coloring and just let her explore.
Last time I added a sheet of blue paper and encouraged her to dribble the mixture on it, it is quite interesting, unfrtunately when it dries it crumbles off paper, so no keepsake value here.