Foods for Mabon
Food Ideas for the Pagan Sabbat of Mabon
The festival of Mabon marks the time of the second harvest, when apples have ripened on the trees, squashes are ripe on the ground, and thoughts turn to preparing for Winter in earnest.
The Pagan Sabbats are traditionally celebrated with ritual and feasting and a frequent question I hear is to ask what sorts of foods one should bring to the different Sabbat festivals.
The good news is that it's a very simple answer. You bring what is in season to you locally at the time.
These are some foods you could serve at your own Mabon festival.
The History of the Festival of Mabon
Mabon comes on the Autumnal Equinox. It is one of the lesser Sabbats on the Wheel of the Year and marks the time of the second harvest festival.
Cultures around the world celebrate the harvest, including the American and Canadian Thanksgiving Holidays and the British tradition of Harvest Festival where fruits from the fields (and in these modern times, tinned goods) are taken to the churches to be blessed then distributed to the poor.
The Festival of Mabon is celebrated at the Autumn Equinox, commonly called the first day of Autumn, and falls between the 20th and the 22nd of September each year. It is the time when day and night are equal in length and the world hangs in balance.
Meat and Fish
- guinea fowl
- sea trout
Sabbat Foods are Seasonal Foods
Foods for Mabon
Of course, what foods are in season will vary locally.
Some of the foods which would be in season this time of year where I live include:
- aubergine (eggplant)
- broad beans
- butternut squash
- courgettes (zucchini)
- potatoes (maincrop)
- swede (rutabaga)
The Mabon Feast
On the menu
If you're having friends round to celebrate the Sabbat, I suggest doing a potluck dinner and having everyone bring a dish. You can co-ordinate between yourselves who brings what.
- Set out bowls of nuts and vegetable crisps.
- Venison stifado (see below)
- Roasted root vegetables
Some ideas include potato, beetroot, swede, sweet potato, and carrots
Thinly slice a selection of root vegetables.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/400F
Dry the slices well. If using potato, rinse first under cold water to remove the starch. Put the slices in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
Lay the slices out flat on a cooling rack set in a baking tray. Invert a second cooling rack over the top to keep the crisps from curling up in the oven. Season with sea salt and fresh black pepper.
Bake for 4 - 7 minutes. Parsnips and carrots take about 4 minutes and potatoes take about 5-7 minutes.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and leave to cool.
Rate this recipe
a family recipe
This Greek recipe is traditionally made using beef or lamb, but we tried it with venison once and really liked it. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law when I got married. It is one of several recipes which she graciously passed on to me.
I recommend using the SKK Sauté Pan or casserole cooking pot to make Stifado. This pot can easily move from stove top to oven and back again, making cooking easier.
- 1 pound venison, cut into large cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1 cup fresh tomato juice
- 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound small white onions
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- few allspice berries (1/4 teaspoon ground)
- fresh parsley, chopped
- In a heavy flame-proof casserole brown meat in olive oil over a medium heat; season with salt and pepper. Add chopped onion and sauté until soft. Add tomato juice, vinegar, wine bay leaf, spices, and 2 cups hot water.
Cover and put in the oven (Gas mark 3 - 4/325 - 350F/170 - 180C) for 1.5 hours or until meat is tender. Add white onions and parsley to the meat. Cook slowly for a further 1/2 hour or until the liquid is reduced and the onions are soft.
Serve with rice or boiled potatoes.