Living in Season
The official newsletter of the School of the Seasons
Volume 3, Number 11
July 17, 2005
Ice Cream Day
- My Season: Fire and Water
- Feedback Loop
- Living in Season: Ice Cream Day
- Recipes: Summer Treats: Ice Cream, Sorbets and Granitas
- New: Autumn Online Class
- Last Chance Holiday Packet: Lammas/Lughnasad
- Calendar Companion: Leaves from the Tree of Time
- New Panelists for Take Back Your Time conference
- Signs of Summer
- Subscribe - Unsubscribe
Welcome to my periodical newsletter featuring ideas for bringing the beauty of the current season into your life. If you enjoy this newsletter, please forward it.
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My Season: Fire and Water
Thanks to those of you who sent me stories about how you celebrate Fourth of July. I loved hearing about the foods that are part of your tradition and the places and people with whom you enjoy the day.
Several Canadian readers reminded me of Canada Day, the Canadian equivalent of Fourth of July which is celebrated on July 1st with picnics and fireworks, and in some towns, slices of red and white birthday cake. I liked the intimacy and domesticity of this gesture. Celebrating a country's birth with cake makes it seem more personable than the display of might which is associated with American Fourth of July.
This year I celebrated Fourth of July at a tango dance held at a restaurant on the shores of Lake Union. As the fireworks display began, I led two friends down a back stairway and out onto one of the docks for the nearby marina. We were almost directly across from the barge from which the fireworks were launched. The boats around us were full of onlookers, including kids that shrieked with delight at each new explosion of color and light. My favorites came close to the end, a quiet lull before the final bravado, when fountains and waterfalls of gold and white filled the sky, dripping down from the roof of heaven towards the dark waters of the lake. How interesting that water and fire should go together so beautifully on this holiday as they do in the most ancient summer solstice customs.
Blessings of the turning point of summer,
Readers sent me two important dates to add to the July calendar:
July 31 is Harry Potter's birthday. Pam Sekula is celebrating the occasion at her store, Seasons in the Sun, in Avoca, New York.
In response to all the strawberry recipes in the last newsletter, Pam also reminded me that the full moon of June is sometimes called the Strawberry Moon. Pam wrote in her newsletter about the Strawberry Moon Festival for women celebrated at Lily Dale, NY in June each year. If you don't know about Lily Dale, a spiritualist community which has been around since 1879, you should. You can go to their website for more information:
or read this fascinating book on the community:
Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town That Talks to the Dead by Christine Wicker, who started out as a skeptic and found herself changed by her experiences.
Another reader informed me that the third Monday in July, July 18, this year, is Ocean Day in Japan, a time to celebrate the gifts of the ocean and to reflect on what we are doing to keep the ocean healthy. (There is another Ocean Day, with similar motifs, on June 8).
Dr. Gaby Grieves, whose wonderful haiku site I featured a few months ago when I was writing about kigo, the seasonal references that are integral to haiku, sent me a link to a page on her web site, featuring the lotus, the flower of the month for July:
See my article on the lotus here.
Living in Season: Ice Cream Day
Normally I'm not a big fan of invented holidays, like Take Your Ferret to Work Day (I just made that upit might be a good idea). Most such holidays have an agenda, often a commercial one.
For instance, I just went searching on the web and found that July 15 & 16 were Zippo (the lighter) Days, while July 28 is National Drive-Thru Day (which might be a fun one to celebrate by driving through as many things as possible: the bank, the espresso stand, a fast food restaurant, etc.). I also found Rat-Catchers Day (July 22), Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day (July 27) and Walk on Stilts Day (July 27). Although I'm sure rat-catchers deserve their day, I can't imagine the impetus behind the other two. And the fact that they coincide leads to the unfortunate picture of someone attempting to take a houseplant for a walk while on stilts not recommended.
I do have a few favorites invented holidays including Hamster Memorial Day which I declared to honor the beloved hamsters who were with my family for too short a time and Ice Cream Day which I did not make up but often celebrate.
I have always believed that Ice Cream Day occurs on July 23, but while doing research for this newsletter I learned that in 1984, President Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and declared the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day, that is, July 17 this year. Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
So there you have it, Americans can justify eating ice cream as a patriotic duty. You have two opportunities, Sunday, July 17, and Saturday, July 23. And if you need some additional incentives, you might also observe:
July 17 National Peach Ice Cream Day
July 23 National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
Aug 2 National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
Aug 14 National Creamsicle Day
Aug 21 National Spumoni Day
Nov 25 National Parfait Day
Dec 13 Ice Cream and Violins Day (I went looking for more information about this one but can't find an explanation I'm curious to know about the connection)
For strange holidays, go to this site:
For ice cream holidays:
Recipes: Summer Treats: Ice Cream, Sorbets and Granitas
I've known I was going to write about Ice Cream Day for several weeks and have been collecting recipes. Then today when I sat down to write the column I couldn't find any of them. (I know Mercury is going retrograde (on July 22nd), but still
..) So instead I did a quick hunt for recipes on the Internet and came up with the following. I recommend that you do the same--just type in your favorite fruit, herb or flower and the words sorbet, ice cream or granite and you're sure to find a way to celebrate the flavors of summer.
Glace a la Lavande
This recipe also appears in the sample pages from the Lammas packet. This is the only recipe I've tried. It comes from House and Garden magazine. I like it because it doesn't require an ice cream maker, since I don't have one.
2 oz superfine sugar
1/2 oz lavender petals (make sure they have not been sprayed)
Put the sugar and lavender in a sauce pan and melt over medium heat until brown and caramelized. Pour into a greased tray, cool, then grind into a fine powder.
1 cup milk
1 sprig lavender
4 egg yolks
2 oz superfine sugar
1 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped
Bring milk and lavender sprig to boil. Remove from heat. Cover. Let infuse for 30 minutes in warm place. Meanwhile beat the yolks and sugar together until creamy. Remove the lavender from the milk and whisk the milk into the sugar mixture. Heat slowly. Stir constantly until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Cool. Fold the whipped cream gently and thoroughly into the custard. Spoon into a deep freezer container. Cover and put in the freezer. When the ice cream is half frozen, stir in the praline mix and refrezze. Stir well once more before ice cream sets hard. Makes 1-1/2 pints.
Honey-Lavender Ice Cream
This recipe from Chef Craig von Forester of the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur requires an ice cream machine, but I love the simple, fresh ingredients:
Lavender Ice Cream
From one of my favorite seed and plant companies: Nichols. This recipe starts with vanilla ice cream (so you don't need an ice cream maker) and uses lavender oil to intensify the flavor:
From the same website, a list of all edible flowers and recipes associated with many of them.
New Online Class: Autumn Correspondence Course
I had such a great time teaching the Spring Online correspondence course, and felt that I was so much more attuned with the season, learning from doing the tasks I assigned to students as well as from their feedback, that I decided to offer an online course for Autumn.
If you would like to
- have a richer and more satisfying experience of the season of Autumn
- explore crafts and holidays of the season
- align with the energies of the season (harvesting, teaching, honoring the ancestors, letting go)
consider signing up for this brand new course.
Each week I'll be sending out a lesson that includes questions you can answer and post to a private list-serve. These lessons and questions will help you interact with the natural world where you live, celebrate the holidays of autumn, develop personal spiritual practices that help you connect with the energy of the season, and accomplish creative projects that reflect the themes of the season.
Enrollment is limited to ten students.
The cost is $150 for twelve weeks.
The course begins on August 15 but I will start sending out introductory pages the last week of July.
To enjoy all the benefits of the course, you should be able to devote at least two hours a week to your studies, which includes reading the weekly lesson, carrying out an activity and posting to the list serve.
Here's how one of the participants in the spring course described her experience:
I found that I made much more effort to honor spring holidays, traditions and time with the information I gleaned from this course... Being able to share ideas and learn from the other students was a very satisfying, grounding experience that makes my memories of this spring really stand out...
To register, click here.
Registration is first come, first served. The Spring Online class filled completely.
If you need more information, including an outline, just send me an email at
Calendar Companion: Leaves from the Tree of Time
Its not too late to order the Calendar Companion, the latest offering from School of the Seasons. This is a graceful way to incorporate spirit and seasons into your life. Use it along with your usual planning tools and calendar to help you:
- Slow time down
- Consult your soul while creating your schedule
- Make time for what's truly important in your life
- Move in rhythm with the seasons and the moon
Every week for 52 weeks you will receive a brief email with a reflection on the qualities of the present time period and one suggestion, task or question that you can savor throughout the week.
Start whenever you like. The topics for May were: Lusty Month of May (Celebrating Lifes Pleasures), Thinning in the Garden of Time (Choosing Priorities), Bottom Line in Self Care (Mothering Yourself), Attracting Pollinators and Taking a Question for a Walk. When you order the Calendar Companion, you will receive the next weeks calendar companion, along with an introductory email.
$20 for a year's worth of gentle reminders to help you stay aligned with natural rhythms. Click here to order, or to see a sample reflection.
Holiday Packet: Lammas/Lughnasad
Order now to receive the holiday packet for one of my favorite holidays, the mysterious and evocative Lammas or Lughnasad, celebrated on August 1/2.
This illustrated, 30+ page portfolio includes:
- Ancient Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions of Lughnasad and Lammas
- Transformation mysteries of beer and bread
- Recipes for mead and methlegyn, medicinal and fermented honey beverages
- Instructions for creating wheat weavings and lavender wands
- Lyrics for Lammas songs, including Brigg Fair and John Barleycorn
- And much more
The packet is available in two versions: sent email as a Word attachment for $9 or as printed pages sent via regular mail in a portfolio for $14. You can order a packet by clicking here.
You can download a free sample from the packet here (PDF file).
New: Panelists for Take Back Your Time Day conference
I'm presenting a workshop on Natural Time on Friday, August 5 at 2:45 PM as part of the Take Back Your Time Day conference being held at Seattle University in Seattle from August 5 to 7. The original panelists were not able to attend but I am happy to share this topic with two colleagues whose work I admire:
Carol Vecchio, the executive director for Centerpoint Institute for Career and Life Renewal, a Seattle-based organization that inspires people to discover creativity, passion and renewed commitment in life and at work through the use of a seasonal change model, and
Sally King, a Community Certified Herbalist, who runs the education programs at Ravencroft Garden, in Monroe, Washington, where I've taken many wonderful classes in gardening, herbal medicine-making and artisanal foods.
Take Back Your Time Day Conference
Signs of Summer
I haven't received any signs of summer since my last newsletter. I guess you are all so in the thick of it that you no longer notice what is going on. Here in Seattle, I'm already seeing ripe red rowan berries and the wild grasses are turning gold, early signs of autumn.
Send me your signs of the season and Ill post them on my website.
Copyright ©Waverly Fitzgerald 2005
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