1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons butter
4-6 cups veggie or meat stock
1/2 cup dry lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 large fresh burdock root, sliced
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 small can crushed tomatoes
1 rib celery, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, chopped
a bunch beet greens, chopped
spash of honey
splash of apple cider vinegar
salt or tamari to taste
In a soup pot, saute garlic and onion in butter until brown.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hrs or until the lentils
Add more stock or spring water if the stew gets too thick.
Share and enjoy!
by Pamela Hobson
cup thick persimmon pulp (seeds strained out)
2 eggs , beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2/3 cup butter (softened)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch or two of salt
Cream butter and sugar
add eggs beat more
add milk and flour alternately
add persimmon pulp
Bake 350 for 1 hour
Best results from using an iron skillet as a baking dish (
this makes the outer edge a bit crispy while the inside remains
nice and moist)
Note: This recipe comes from my great grandmother Lottie Cochran.
She lived in a small country home in the woods in New Albany,
Indiana. Her whole life they never had electricity, running
water, or indoor plumbing(i.e.toilets) She had ten kids. My
grandmother was the eldest. She lived to be 80 years old.
hope you enjoy this recipe.
by Margaret Perrault
“How might it have been different for
you if, on your first menstrual day, your mother had given
you a bouquet of flowers and taken you to lunch, and then
the two of you had gone to meet your father at the jeweler,
where your ears were pierced, and your father bought you your
first pair of earrings, and then you went with a few of your
friends and your mother’s friends to get your first
lip coloring; and then you went,
for the first time,
to the Women’s Lodge,
the wisdom of the women?
How might your life be different?”
This passage, from a wonderful little book by
Judith Duerk called Circle of Stones, has provided the impetus
for many women to begin an endless journey of soul-searching
Can you imagine the difference such an introduction
to this perfectly normal occurrence would have made to the
self-image of every woman. Instead, we got “Oh God,
it’s the curse!” or something equally negative.
Perception is an incredibly powerful tool. A
soldier doubled over in pain and bleeding from a wound meant
to maim or kill, is a hero. On the other hand, a woman with
cramps and flowing blood that could one day lead to the creation
of new life, is regarded by many as ill.
I was recently watching an episode of “Roseanne,”
when Roseanne decided to tell DJ a story about her first period.
His reaction was to run screaming from the room. This is the
kind of thing our daughters are subject to all the time.
Quite some time before my introduction to Circle
of Stones, I became aware that I wanted to do something different
in my home when my daughters reached their first menses. I
wanted to treat it as a special event-a rite of passage, complete
with family rituals.
Plans and preparations began several years before
our first actual “Woman’s Dinner.” This
consisted of reading countless books and articles as well
as bouncing ideas off several of my women friends. The latter
met with very interesting results. Some of my friends thought
the idea interesting and even great, but there was certainly
the another side of the menses coin. There were those who
assured me that I’d lost my mind.
They reminded me that what I was dealing with
was not Mother Nature’s greatest gift to womankind.
That it was at best a monthly inconvenience and there were
those who used much more colorful language to relate their
particular experiences. “Leave it alone,” they
I refuse to be dissuaded. Many tribes have rites
of passage for their young people. I wasn’t talking
visionquest or suggesting some form of mutilation. I simply
wanted to celebrate becoming a woman. (No wonder so many people
had a difficult time understanding.)
PMS and dysmenorrhea aside, I couldn’t
help but feel that this very natural occurrence had received
some pretty bad press. Surely having a celebration to mark
a young woman’s first menses could have a very positive
and long lasting effect on how she perceived herself and this
particular aspect of her womanhood.
The first thing I did was to go to a local jeweler
and pick up two woman symbol pendants, one to present to each
of my daughters on her big day. I bought two silver chains
to go with them and tucked them away in my dresser drawer
until it was time for them to make their appearance.
Long before the physical fact occurred, I had
discussions with my daughters regarding what a period was,
as well as its purpose. My daughters had very different reactions.
My older daughter couldn't wait until her period arrived,
whereas the younger daughter showed absolutely no signs of
being in any hurry for her big day.
In her 1978 essay, "If Men Could Menstruate,"
Gloria Steinem states:
"So what would happen if suddenly, magically,
men could menstruate and women could not?
would become an enviable, boastworthy, masculine event.
"Men would brag about how long and how much.
"Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning
of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and
stag parties would mark the day."
So the decision was made. I would, on each daughter's
special day, prepare her favorite meal, get out the good china,
make a cake, decorate it with a woman symbol and present her
with a woman symbol pendant as a memento. We would celebrate
her womanhood. Hmm, would there be a fly in the ointment?
How was Daddy going to take this? Would he be supportive as
he said he would be or, when faced with the actual fact, merely
tolerant or just plain negative?
The night he was met at the door by a very happy
and proud young woman, with the announcement that we were
having her "Woman's Dinner," he congratulated her
and was a willing participant in her special day. I'm sure
his attitude made a major difference in how she felt about
being a woman.
have since discussed the two celebrations that took place
at our house with a number of people and met with the same
kind of mixed reactions I had encountered before the events.
A friend of mine told me that she simply tried
to downplay the whole issue with her daughters and treat it
as a natural occurrence. No big deal. Another told me that
she wanted to do something similar to what I did but that
her daughter refused to have anything to do with it.
So, what am I trying to say? Cramps and inconvenience
are wonderful? I think not. The point I'm trying to make is
that people in general, and women in particular, need to celebrate
what they are. A first menses is one of the most logical times
for women to come together and do just that.
We can take an event that is treated with embarrassment
and scorn and turn it into something empowering for adolescent
girls passing into young womanhood. It doesn't have to be
the dreaded thing it was in the past. Truth is that it does
mean that it is now possible to have babies. An option most
women would not want to give up.
We all have pain and embarrassment as we go
through life. Young women have to put up with varying degrees
of discomfort and inconvenience when they have their periods.
Adolescent boys have their uncomfortable and messy dreams,
not to mention untimely and unwanted erections.
How have our family celebrations affected my
daughters? Well, I don't have to worry about running to the
phone every month to accept their calls beginning with "Guess
what Mom? I got my period today. Isn't that wonderful?"
But, they've both developed into bright, creative young women
who are well aware of their worth as women and human beings.
I believe that those little dinner parties,
in the not too distant past, gave them a little shot of self-esteem
that has helped them to be proud of who amd what they are.
Our young women deserve all the positive stroking we can give
above story is an except from
Creative Writings About Menstration
edited by Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D
a great collection of women's writings on menstruation, edited by
Cassie Preemo Steele, twenty-six writers explore the "silent"
parts of women's lives; reawakening menstruation memories of embarrassment
and shame and transforming them to wonder, excitement, and laughter.
176 pages, illustrations. .
available through Ash
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here to learn more about Moon Days
an Excerpt: Amazons in Appalachia
an Excerpt: The Woman's Dinner