Modraniht (the night of the mothers)
Celebrated the night before Yule, this is an event to honor the Disir of the family.
Known in ancient times as simply 'the mothers' evidence can be found of them
from the Rhineland in Germany to Hadrian's Wall in Northern England.
They were often pictured as holding fruit or horns of plenty. They were evidently
associated with fertility and with the protection of hearth and home.
If one is invited to share this night with a family or clan, consider it an acceptance
Since earliest times the Celts and Northern peoples have honored 'The
Mothers'. This one night of the year all come together as family to celebrate family
and to honor those Mothers who came before and will come after. The night
begins at Sundown with a brief blot to the Disir, then the rest of the night is spent in
cooking, doing crafts together and telling stories of the old ones. In this way the long cold night was spent remembering the Mothers, passing on recipes, skills and
stories so that the Ancestors and our past would not be forgotten. It is a time of
fellowship for kin.
Here are a couple of recipes that we share at our Mother's Night.
A fine way of serving wassil is to put an
apple in each mug and ladle the hot brew
over it. Provide each of your guest with a
spoon so they can eat the apple afterwards.
12 small tart apples
6 pints ale (I use Apple Cider in place of the Ale)
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons each ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
4 whole cloves
Zest of 2 lemons
2 pints red wine
Peel and core apples and dry roast them
(no sugar) in a slow oven until they almost
Combine half of the ale with sugar and
spices and lemon zest. Simmer over low
heat for 20 minutes. Add remaining ale and
wine and heat but do not boil. Serve.
1 5 –pound venison roast
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons port
1 pound red currant jelly
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of 2 oranges
Marinate the venison roast in the marinade
Sauce overnight. Place everything in a
roasting pan and add enough water to half
cover roast. Cook at 350 degrees until tender,
roughly 10 minutes per pound. Baste continuously.
Serve with currant sauce, made by combining
port, red currant jelly, cinnamon and the