In 2017 I started celebrating winter solstice with my son. I wanted to really connect with the winter season and start a new tradition in our family. I made homemade chicken pot pie, braided cranberry bread and stated what we were thankful for the past year and went to bed early. Not only did my son and I celebrate but I also made gift baskets for friends of mine last year (see below)
Last year I knew I would be with my family and I told my mom I would like to celebrate winter solstice and told her the menu plan for the evening. Here is this year's meal plan.
- Homemade chicken pot pie
- Kid friendly Wassail
- Fruit Soup
- Braided Bread
- Frozen sun catchers
Winter Solstice Baskets
When you're making a winter solstice basket for others you think about what you would want or need during this colder time of year. Years ago women used to give the baskets to their neighbors based on their strengths. So one women might really be good at knitting socks, while another scarfs, or another option is making candles, or a certain food item. The baskets I like to make combine all of those things and I don't hand make everything in my basket as I'm not much of a knitter yet!
Ideas of what to put in a winter solstice basket
- Homemade candles or candles for light
- Homemade or store bought chocolate for a treat
- Orange with cloves inserted in it for aromatic therapy
- Wool socks to keep you toasty warm
- A custom tea blend for sweetness
- Fire Cider for health
- Lemon or another citrus fruit for holding off sickness
- Custom bath blend for warmth
- Salve for oily the skin
- Custom blend to bring fragrance into the house where you can put the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon in water to bring a coziness into the home.
First I started off by making homemade chicken pot pies. I do buy the crusts as I'm still learning about how to homemake a crust that turns out.
The Final Product
This was the big hit of the night. My brother said it was the best chicken pot pie he's ever had and came back for seconds right away so this recipe is a winner! I love this as my go to recipe for the winter solstice for years to come. This is year two for me on making a pot pie and both years have turned out really well. They are actually not to hard to make you just need a little time and tender care to make it work for you!
Next up was fruit soup, which ironically my great grandma Clara used to make for the holidays years ago. I have been feeling super connected to her this year and it was no mistake I randomly chose this recipe as one to start incorporating into my solstice meals. Clearly some divine guidance was there.
This was not a big hit but my dad who's grandmother used to make it did enjoy it. Next year I will cut down the fruit into smaller pieces and exchange apricots for another dried fruit. I didn't add tapioca which is sometimes used to thicken it up if you prefer that vs a little more watery substance.
I made a cranberry orange braided bread that my son and I enjoyed last solstice and this year I did a cinnamon wreath bread. My grandmother and aunt came over and both said it was very good. I found it to taste like a soft pretzel so really did enjoy this as a great side piece to soup or as a breakfast bread. I added powdered sugar for a little more sweetness to it but you don't need to add that if that tips the scale a little too sweet for you.
Kid friendly Wassail
I made this the next day for us to sip on as we opened gifts. Another old recipe that was a tradition in the Scandinavian countries. I made mine without alcohol but you could do a mulled wine in it's place if you preferred. It was a great sweet warm drink to sip on during a cold afternoon. My brother did add alcohol to his and said it tasted just fine. So if you want to add in the alcohol on the side and keep it kid friendly that works for a wassail as well. This is also the only recipe I forgot to take a picture of but I made it in a crockpot and it sat on warm during the day. Another easy recipe to make for a celebration during the cold months.
I really enjoyed sharing my winter solstice traditions with my family and teaching them about some of the ways I want to celebrate this holiday going forwards. For me that was the highlight in getting to share the food and the warmth and coziness of the holiday.
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