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the Urban Hedge

Living in Ireland is one thing, living in an American city quite another.  I find city magic different from the magic of the countryside.  I also find central Texas magic different from southern Irish magic.  This is common sense really, as there are different partners in the work.

The energy of the American city  I live within is one of motion, and literal energy generation.  Perhaps it is more like a stellar nursery, or star-forming region: a dense area of exotic cosmic brew.

I don’t work with the entire city.  I build relationship with the area I can –and regularly do– walk the bounds of.  Boundary walking, and tending, is the age-old habit of the witch.  It’s where we draw our power.  During the liminal times of day, it is easy to find the urban Hedge.  Within my own bounds, those are odd crossroads, where odd numbers of pathways or streets intersect.  Also, the alleyways.

In any Hedge crossing endeavor, caution is needed.  Persons of dubious nature are attracted to liminal spaces, and times.  Do not trust every Person you meet, corporeal or not!  Victor H. Anderson cautioned his students to make such journeys with their Lights on.  That is, have a strong and direct relationship with your own Godsoul, the ancestral spirit directly connected to you.

Also, test the spirits.

Just because some non-material dude chats you up, doesn’t mean you should give him your number.

During urban hedge crossing, I do not sit and trance.  I walk.  This is a skill I developed working with the Reclaiming Pagan Cluster, and learning to use my magic during direct action protest.  I also carry a protective talisman in my pocket, or on my person.  I set an intention, whether that be exploratory or specific.  These forays are not for entertainment.  They are for the purpose of accomplishing my will, and my work.

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The danger in possession is if you let alien beings in to use you — and there are plenty out there that will. They’ll split your personality. They’ll touch certain parts of your personality that you don’t even know you have. And then, you won’t be able to consciously remember when one takes over or when one doesn’t, even though it’s all you. That’s the danger of possession. Another danger is that they can come in with cruel and terrible ideas and infect you with them. Because when someone knocks at your door, and I’m not just speaking about spirits, don’t let them in unless you know who they are. You turn on the light first and that light is right above your head. — Victor Anderson, The Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons

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Red Rite

Of all the strange and terrible powers among which we move unknowingly, sex is the most potent. Conceived in the orgasm of birth, we burst forth in agony and ecstasy from the Center of Creation. Time and again we return to that fountain, lose ourselves in the fires of being, unite for a moment with the eternal force and return renewed and refreshed as from a miraculous sacrament. Then, at the last, our life closes in the orgasm of death. Sex, typified as love, is at the heart of every mystery, at the center of every secret. It is this splendid and subtle serpent that twines about the cross and coils in the heart of the mystic rose. -Jack Parsons

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from Ultra Culture: UK censorship of a esoteric sites

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I  am an initiate and abiding student of the Faery Tradition of witchcraft (also known as Feri), which was passed through Victor and Cora Anderson.  This tradition is a beautiful, and uniquely American, order of Old Craft.  There are many things I feel and believe about my practice of Faery witchcraft, and I do not speak much publicly about those.  However, I want to express a few things I feel are important, and make them available publicly in the event they prove helpful to someone seeking out this tradition.

1.  There is no ‘one’ way of practicing Faery.  There really aren’t any agreed upon ‘core’ beliefs or practices within the tradition.  The only fundamental and congruous element is the unique Faery Current.  However, having said that, each initiate has a very specific way of working and practicing, and anyone studying with an initiate will first learn their way of practice, just like the old apprentice model.

2.  The majority of Faery initiates teach for free, in a rather old school ‘in-person’ way, or at least more one-on-one. There are a handful of very public initiates who teach according to a large classroom model, some of whom teach via the internet and charge a fee. [Edit: There are, within the handful of more public initiates, those who teach fewer students, using various methods, and charge a fee.]  But most initiates within the tradition are more private, and take students as they meet them, or not at all.

3.  Since the fundamental thread of the tradition is built around a living current, in-person contact with an initiate is paramount.  My one and only advice to anyone interested in this tradition of witchcraft is to ASK, ask, ASK if an initiate lives anywhere near you and contact them directly, or indirectly (through an initiate willing to make introductions) if they are private.

4.  There are now Feri initiates located all over the world.  If you have heard of this wild, queer, androgynous, non-degree system of witchcraft, and are drawn to it, I suggest you ASK, ask, ASK until you find an initiate close enough to your location to visit in person, and contact them. [Edit: Since the majority of initiates are private, you won’t be able to find them doing a google search.  You will need to ask around.  You can even email a more public initiate and ask them to introduce you to an initiate living closer to your area.  We initiates have ways of contacting each other.]

Luminous : Æ

Luminous : Æ

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Professor Fergus Kelly’s (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) presentation on Early Irish Charms for Animals came with an extensive reference handout.  Because the two keynote speakers had run over time, Prof. Kelly sped through his offering.  I would have enjoyed hearing more from this distinguished scholar, but I am thankful to have his list of sources.

The thrust of the presentation concerned the narrative of a hunter-gatherer people, transitioning and transitioned to a life dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry.  Where once the herd animals had been robust in size and number, with domestication, their physical size and numbers were reduced.  This necessarily increased concern over disease, which was directly linked to domestication.

This new concern can be seen in the highly significant burden placed upon local Kings, which tied the health of the land and animal population to the King’s justice, as well as the compensation an animal healer was entitled to, as outlined in the law tracts (1/4 of the wound price).  It is from this concern that the use of animal charms arises.

Language of the Literary Sources:

Seirthech, a disese of horses (seir ‘heel, hock’)

Sinech, a disease of cattle, perhaps ‘cow-pox’ (sine, ‘teat’)

Conach ‘rabies’ (disease affecting dogs, cattle, pigs, poultry, etc.), derivative of cú, con ‘dog’

Liaig ‘animal doctor’

gono míl, orgo míl, marbu míl  “I would the worm, I strike the worm, I kill the worm”

Milliud ‘destruction, bewitching’

mart leicter la sruth .i. ar g(l)einntlecht leicter ‘an animal which was swept away in a stream, i.e. it is swept away by sorcery with g(l)einntlecht being associated with paganism

mimir do cor do coin ‘giving a bad morsel to a dog’; froma uptha dus inbud amainsi: lethdiri ind, uair ni fo fath narbtha .i. fromad felmais .i. fromad na pisoc, anfot indethbiri he ‘trying out the spell to find out whether it is magic: half penalty-fine for that, because it is not with the intention of killing, i.e. trying out a magic spell i.e. testing the charms, and that is culpable inadvertence’

amainse ‘magic’

felmas ‘spell’

pisóc ‘charm’

Other Charms

There was mention of the use of charms, in general, with an interesting note concerning marriage.

bean dia tabair a ceile upta oca guide co mbeir for druis “a wife whose husband gives her love charms while wooing her so that he brings her to lust” is entitled to a divorce, and to keep her bride price!

Corrguine(ch) ‘crane / heron-slayer, sorcerer’ could be one who practices the crane stance, etc.

Herbs in Charms

An incredibly interesting portion of the talk skimmed over the different uses of herbs, specifically, that each class used a different herb for the same problem.  There is an indication that certain plants were only used for the noble class, etc.

Ar ni inun cosc sair [] dair [] leth[s]air: ‘for the prevention of [the evil eye from ?] the noble and base and half-noble is not the same’

Tri losa atheclthar and: righlus [] tarblus [] aitheclus: righlus do righaibh guna comhgradhaibh [] tarblus do gradhaibh flatha, aitheclus do gradaib deine “Three herbs are recognised here: royal herb and bull herb and plebeian herb: royal herb for kings and those of equal rank with them, bull herb for the grades of lord, and plebeian herb for the grades of commoner’

Time, and it’s connection with Charms

Another topic, which could have received its own treatment, was the notion that time mattered: that when you plucked or cut an herb was associated with status, of the herb and the person it was to be used on.

is ed dleghar a buain ‘maseach [] in lus resa[rai]ter is ed dleghar a buain cach nuairi do ‘it should be plucked in turn and the herb which is said [to correspond to his rank ?] is that which should be plucked every time for him’

[] is airi danither sen mada teccmadh a athair do gradhaibh flatha [] a mathair do gradhaibh feine ‘and it is for that reason that that is done, if his father should belong to the grades of lord, and his mother to the grades of commoner’

Agricultural Year ?

Prof. Kelly mentioned the lack of information present in early Irish MS regarding cereal crops.  He indicated that the climate here was never fit for them, and even the more hearty barley can be a struggle.  It is interesting to me that there should be a lack of literary reference to cereal crops in the early period, when they seem to overshadow the current practitioner (pagan) mindset of an agricultural (harvest based) year.  It puts me in mind of the theory espoused by Barry Cuncliffe of the university of Oxford and Social anthropologist Lionel Sims, that the transition to agriculture from a hunter-gather way of life was motivated by a reduction in large game after the last ice-age, and that turning to stationary lifestyles which required more intensive periods of work, and dependence on climate, was resisted.  This subject needs further practitioner (pagan) scholarship, if it has not already been done. 

A modern festival which I had read about previously was mentioned: Féil na nairemon ‘the festival of the ploughmen’  Prof Kelly indicated that this festival took place in mid June, when the crops had reached full growth, after 3 months of tending.

Additional Time related activities mentioned by audience members:

At Bealtaine – hawthorn was collected after sunset, placed on house before sunrise.

Vervaine is only collected when Sirius is rising, which is sometime in July.

Roots are collected after the November full moon.

Sources:

The majority of Irish texts cited are from Corpus iuris hibernici  (Dublin 1978)  D.A. Binchy

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Charm-of-the-Sprain

Barbara Hillers (Harvard University) gave a wonderful presentation, entitled “Joint to joint and sinew to sinew”: an international healing charm in medieval Irish literature and modern folklore.  She began the talk discussing the connection between mythology and folklore, reminding us of the use of the bone charm in Miach’s cure in the Irish mythological cycle — pointing out that this tale comes from a single 16th century MS that uses some 9th century language.  This charm is also found in Germanic and Vedic sources.

There was some time spent dissecting the structure of charms and folk prayers.  Namely, that in charms the speaker affects the cure, aided by supernatural powers, and in folk prayers the cure is accomplished by the supernatural power.  The bone to bone charm is an epic, or narrative, charm.  The event or story told around the charm, which includes its narrative structure, is actually part of the charm itself, and includes formula transference where the speaker – the charmer — impersonates a divine being.

Part of Professor Hillers focus was in connecting the bone charm to IndoEuropean roots.  She explained that within scholarship three cultural sources are needed to substantiate such a connection.  The charm is found in Germanic, Vedic, and Irish sources, though scholars do not view the Irish source as ‘distinct.’  There is an additional Hittite variant of the charm, but it is not similar enough to supply the needed third cultural connection because it combines parts from different bodies, while the other two share the same function – repairing a single body.

Looking at the charm from a modern ethnographic perspective, we see more of a fusion of the charm across Europe, which indicates a non-IndoEuropean root.  The Irish folkloric sources are underwhelming. It is found in clusters in the SW and North of the country, which links it to Viking settlement areas.  This is important, because Scandinavia has a predominance of the charm; indicating a Viking source with diffusion spreading the charm in Europe.

I.  Irish Source

Miach went to the hand which had been replaced by Diancecht, and he said, ‘Joint to joint of it and sinew to sinew,’ and he healed Nuada in thrice three days and nights.
 The Second Battle of Moytura

II. Germanic Source

Phol and Wodan rode into the woods,
There Balder’s foal sprained its foot.
It was charmed by Sinthgunt, her sister Sunna;
It was charmed by Frija, her sister Volla;
It was charmed by Wodan, as he well knew how:
Bone-sprain, like blood-sprain,
Like limb-sprain:
Bone to bone; blood to blood;
Limb to limb — like they were glued.
second Merseburg Incantation  (another source: wikipedia)

III.  Vedic Source

Let marrow be put together with marrow,
let bone grow over with bone;
we put together sinew with sinew,
let skin grow with skin
Atharva Veda 4.15.2=4.12.4

NOTE:

The identification of Scandinavia (and Vikings) as a source for this charm is significant when you consider the political discourse of the “stranger” and “foreigner” so prevalent in the narrative of the 2nd Battle of Moytura.  If you have not listened to the Story Archeology podcast which covers Lugh’s identity as a ‘shiny foreigner’ (i.e. non-Irish origin), I highly recommend it!! 

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rdzx0

Episode five of a thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.

Around the world charismatic individuals claim the ability to change the weather, heal illness and help crops grow. Professor David Hendy explains how sound – and its manipulation – is central to the shaman’s power.

David introduces the eerie rituals of Siberian reindeer herders as they summon spirits, before coming closer to home to hear a mysterious singing angel high in the facade of Wells Cathedral.

 

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This weekend I attended an excellent multi-disciplinary symposium on Charms and Magic in Medieval and Modern Ireland, organized by the Department of Early Irish at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.  Scholars from so diverse backgrounds as religious studies and archeology, linguistics and philology, and from applied disciplines likes herbal healing and veterinary medicine presented enlightening glimpses into their own work, as it related to the topic.  I hope to share what I took away from these talks.

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Worm and Snake Charms

The first speaker of the morning was Jacqueline Borsje (University of Amsterdam and University of Ulster), who delved into Irish snake and worm charms as export products.  She outlined the importance of charms as words of power, and how important context is when seeking to understand them.  Cultural, textual, and situational context is everything; in other words, don’t necessarily take them at face value.

Professor Borsje has written extensively about the evil eye in Ireland, and she brought this connection with “supernatural theft” into her discussion of snake and ‘wyrm’ charms.    Her reference to Professor Kelly’s work on medieval Irish Law tracts dealing with the stealing away ‘through envy,” with such concerns of butter and milk, was the thrust of her argument here.  A Babylonian incantation from the 2nd millennium BCE, in which women, babies, storage rooms, the god of the house, were all mentioned in their need for protection against this ‘supernatural theft.’

An interesting point connected ‘evil eye cultures’ — those cultures expressing a concept such as the evil eye or supernatural theft — with unstable ecological environments dependent on crop or cattle economies, with a concern over scarcity of resource.

Another non-Irish source mentioning supernatural theft are the 12 Roman Tables.  These tables talk of bewitched crops, evil spells, and the removal of crops by incantation.  In medieval Ireland, a particular concern was ‘stealing through the evil eye on the corriguinech (on May Day) — which seemed connected to milk theft.

Anglo-Saxon MS have references to Irish snake and wyrm charms that focus on remedies for swallowing a ‘wyrm’ and for ‘penetrating wyrm.’  These charms normally entailed singing the charm in various ways, and using saliva.  For example:

Wyrm Charm (MS  remedies)

Sing the charm 9 times, in either the right or left ear

Penetrating Wyrm

Sing the charm directly on the wound, then anoint with saliva. 

The charms are ‘aggressive’ in imagery, using the language of battle.  During this time, worms were seen as the cause of ailments as diverse as toothache and migraine, to pregnancy and actual disease.  An example of some of this language can be found in Lady Wylde’s writing, which, though not scholarly, does offer a glimpse into modern usage:

 for the Great Worm

 I kill a hound….

I kill a worm…..

for Pains:

evil worm

venomous charm….

rub with butter, etc.

The tendency of these charms is to treat like with like, similar to homeopathy.  The idea of a ‘snake charm’ was to use something venomous (the word of power) to treat a venomous disease (caused by a worm).  Another very interesting thing was the use of singing.  These charms, by and large, were sung, and often over the wound or over the water / liquid which held the charm and was then drunk.  If the patient could not drink, then the incantation of the charm was sung into the patients mouth.

Snake charms were used against illnesses associated with poison.  The absence of snakes on the island of Ireland was seen as a special property of this island.  This is why most of the snake charms found in continental Europe contain a portion written in Old Irish.  The really interesting thing to note here, is that the Irish found written in these charms was so garbled, it’s almost unintelligible.  Why?  Because it had been told to an original scribe by an Irish speaker, but had been handed down to non-speakers who were simply trying to copy, from memory, a phonetic representation.  They didn’t understand the Irish they were saying, but it was a Word of Power that held the protection of the ‘land without snakes.’  A potent charm against poison diseases!

A fun side note mentioned the old Irish hex of placing 13 eggs in someone’s haystack on Bealtaine.

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[excerpt from Folklore Research list]
*Bonnag Recipes*

*http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/history/diet/bonnag.htm*

Whenever a recipe for some ‘Manx’ foodstuff is required, Bonnag is usually offered. Originally I think this was just a large flat unleavened loaf cooked on the griddle (rather like oatcake) but over the years it appears to have become a much richer cake-like fruit bread or in later recipes a fairly rich fruit cake. The word does not occur in Cregeen’s Max dictionary of 1835 – in Clague’s *Manx Reminiscences* (1911) it is given as the ‘English’ for *Soddag Verreen* (defined by Cregeen as a thick clapped cake ; generally understood as the last of a baking and left longer on the griddle to harden (ref to 1 Kings xvii. 13) which ties in with its colloquial use in Anglo Manx  – “He’s like barley bonnag =E2=80=94 hard in the cruss”). Though Kelly’s dictionary (Manx Soc vol 13) gives ‘bonnag’ as a translation of cake, the word is not included in the Manx-English section. Roeder quotes O’Reilly’s Irish Dictionary simply giving bonnag as “cake”; the Scotch ‘bannock’ is probably from the same root. Elizabeth David in her section on Bakestone Cakes or Breads indicates that the words ‘Bread’ and ‘Cake’ could be used interchangeably in this context and that cake did not have today’s meaning of something sweet – Marie Antoinette’s misquote ‘Let them eat cake’ likewise refers to the use of a different grain than wheat.

Barley Bonnag

Hall Caine describes his Manx Grandmother in the 1860’s, as laying out on the kitchen table “a crock of fresh water, with perhaps a bowl of new milk, and a plate of ‘bonnag,’ which was barley bread. – no mention of dried fruit etc. in the bonnag.

Bonnag made to a late 19th century recipe originating from an isolated farm, produces a breakfast plate sized, about an inch or slightly more tall, bonnag. It has some fruit in it, but it needs to be spread with butter.

Wheat was not the common grain on the Island – these were usually Oats and
Barley. Oats do not contain gluten which is needed to give bread,
especially leavened bread, its characteristic texture – oatcakes were long
noted as the staple diet of the Manx and probably differed little from the
surrounding lands where a wide variety of such cakes were also made.
Elizabeth David quotes a 1629 recipe for paper thin Kendal Oatcakes as well
as the more common Scots variety which add a little fat to what is
basically a flour and water mix. Skim (or whey) milk could be used instead
of water. Roeder who spent much time with the older families in the south of the Island in the 1890’s pines for the loss of “the crisp, thin-leaved, tasty bonnags=E2=80=94where are *they ? *Banished, too, from the Isle?”.


Barley contains gluten though not as much as wheat – it could be used in
place of the oats – as Elizabeth David says Oats and Barley produce the
tastiest cakes but because of the gluten it can produce breads with a
lighter aerated texture.

She dates the introduction of bicarbonate of soda and tartaric acid (cream
of tartar) to the late 1840’s and 1850’s though only reaching popularity in
the 1860’s. This mixture of an acid acting on a the alkali liberates carbon
dioxide, CO2 which aerates the bread during its baking – the gluten
allowing the trapped bubbles to expand and then, as baking alters the
gluten, to lock in the texture – a ratio of 3:2 soda:acid is recommended by
Ms. David (Self-raising flour already contains these ingredients – baking
power is also the same but with the addition of rice-flour to absorb
moisture during storage). Buttermilk (soured milk) can replace the tartaric
acid as well as adding extra taste. One key requirement is to evenly
distribute the soda throughout the mixture otherwise a bitter taste can
result.

It is possible that buttermilk on its own can provide a wild yeast that can
effectively leaven the bread – when used as an acid to liberate the CO2 it
must be added immediately before baking – as a source of yeast it of course
needs considerable ‘proving’ time to allow the yeast to grow.

The ready availability of dried fruit again dates from the mid 19th
century, Kelly’s dictionary gives the ‘englished’ Manx for currant as
‘french berry’, the adjective French usually meaning exotic, unusual or
outlandish. Thus all the ‘classic’ Manx Bonnag’ recipes are probably no
more than 150 years old (and probably younger) though the use of flat
griddle cakes probably dates back millennia.

In all the modern Bonnag recipes white wheat flour is used.

*References*

Elizabeth David *English Bread and Yeast Cookery* London: Allen Lane 1977
(ISBN 0-7139-1026-7)

*Recipes:*

For all these recipes I am thankful to Suzanne Daugherty for extracting
them from her collection.

Measures or equivalents

– 1 tsp =3D 5g or 1/8 oz;
– 1 tbsp =3D 15g or =C2=BDoz
– 4oz =3D 100g =3D =C2=BDcup (flour)

*’Basic’ Bonnag*

– 1 lb flour
– 1 oz fat (or 2 oz)
– pinch salt
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– fruit and sugar if liked
– 1 tsp cream of tartar rubbed in with flour and fat

Dissolve soda in sour milk Then mix and bake in moderate oven.

*’Fruit’ Bonnag*

– 2 1/2 cups flour
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup currants
– 1 tbsp margarine
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1 large tsp mixed spice
– few drops vanilla essence
– cup or more buttermilk

Rub butter into flour. Add other dry ingredients. When will mixed, mix with
buttermilk.

Bake about 1 hour in moderate oven.

A common recipe is

– 1 lb plain flour
– 4 oz margarine
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp cream of tartar
– 4 oz sugar
– 4 oz currants

Bake in moderate oven 3/4 hour

A much richer cake-like recipe is ‘Mrs. Kerruish’s Manx Bunloaf’ – note the
addition of eggs which is not mentioned in any earlier recipe.

– 18 oz plain flour
– 2 oz margarine
– 2 oz lard
– 2 oz brown sugar
– 2 oz white sugar
– 2 eggs
– 18 oz currants
– 5 oz sultanas
– 2=C2=BD oz peel
– =C2=BD level tsp Cream of Tartar
– =C2=BD level tsp Carbonate of Soda
– 1 teaspoon spice
– Buttermilk to mix

No method given but judging from the ingredients rather like a rich fruit
cake :beat fats and sugar, add eggs; sift flour spice and raising
ingredients, then add with fruit and cook in a slow oven (150C – probably
around 2 hours but needs experimentation). Alternatively possibly rub fats
into sifted flour/spice mix and then add eggs, fruit and buttermilk to
produce the required dropping consistency

*BUN LOAF or SPICE CAKE*

– 1 lb Plain Flour
– 8 oz lard
– 8 oz brown sugar
– 8 oz currants
– 8 oz sultanas
– 4 oz mixed peel
– 8 oz raisins
– 1 teaspoon mixed spice
– 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
– 2 cups of milk
– 2 tablespoons of black treacle

Method: Sieve dry ingredients, rub fat into flour, add fruit, mix treacle
with milk, mix to a soft consistency. Turn into greased tin, bake in
moderate oven.

Other variations are

*Bunloaf (Special)*

– 1 lb flour,
– 4 oz margarine
– 2 lb mixed fruit
– 8 oz sugar
– 2 tablespoons syrup
– 2 teaspoons spice
– candied peel or marmalade
– 1 dessert bicarbonate of soda

mix with sour milk or buttermilk (dissolve bicarbonate of soda in milk and
add to dry ingredients)

Bake 2 hours in slow oven

These last two have a different method, and are good and moist. They were
attributed to May Green, who used to demonstrate cookery, and s connected
to Creer and Creer Ltd.,the Grocers of Buck’s Road, Douglas.

*Bunloaf (I)*

– 4 oz margarine
– 4 cups fruit
– 2 cups sugar
– 2 cups water

Put in pan and boil for 3 minutes. Allow to go cold and add:

– 4 cups SR flour
– 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
– 2 teaspoons vinegar

Dissolve bicarbonate in the vinegar . Stir together

Bake at 300 deg F for 10 minutes then reduce to 275 deg F for 50 minutes.

Variation: As I, but add 2 tsp treacle and 2 tsp mixed spice in flour
mixture.

*BONAG (The Sunrise Way)*

– 12 oz Plain Flour
– 4 oz Sugar
– 4 oz Butter or Margarine
– 1 teaspoonful Bi-Carb. Of Soda
– About 4 oz Dried Fruit
– Sour Milk to mix to fairly soft dough (about a good teacupful)

Method. Rub fat into flour, add the sugar, then the fruit, add some of the
milk in which the Bi-Carbonate of Soda has been mixed. Then add the rest
until required consistency is obtained. Put in greased Baking tin and
sprinkle sugar on top. Bake in a moderate oven about 45 minutes.

* Rich bonnag*

Here is a recipe for Manx Bunloaf, which incidentally came from the 1971
Kathie Webber’s International Star Cook Book (TV Times Extra) 1971. It
measures up to the hand-down recipes which I have.

– 8 oz plain flour
– pinch of salt
– pinch of mixed spice
– pinch of nutmeg
– 3/4 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
– 4 oz butter
– 4 oz soft brown sugar
– 1/2 lb sultanas
– 1/2 lb currants
– 1/4 lb stoned raisins
– 1 oz chopped mixed peel
– 1/2 level tablespoon black treacle
– buttermilk or milk to mix

Method: Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice, nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda
into a bowl. Rub in the butter until mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.
Stir in the sugar, fruit and peel. Add the treacle and mix to a fairly
stiff dropping consistency with buttermilk or milk.

Turn mixture into a well greased 1 lb loaf tin and bake for 2 1/2 hours in
centre of oven, pre-heated to 325 deg.F or Mark 3. Test with a skewer to
see if cooked.

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