The Winter Solstice is a great time to reconnect with friends, family, and fellow- worshipers of Baphomet, but if you’re like me, the pleasure of hosting can get a bit overshadowed by practical concerns. “Where will I seat everyone?” you ask, “What will I feed them? Can they be trusted with my First Cohort knowledge of the Dark Arts?” The second question becomes particularly vexing if you learn you’re having vegetarian guests over. As a sort of traditionalist carnivore myself, I know how awkward a lunar rite can become when someone won’t partake of the blood feast. Consider adding one of these meat-free recipes to the usual fleshy fare, and this year you just might hear a vegetarian chanting “yum” instead of “om” during the six-hour Incantation of the Goat.
Dark Squash in Crimson Sauce
You might turn some cloaked heads serving a plant of the harvest in the solstice month, but once they taste this jazzy update on mashed potatoes your company will quickly forget what they were hexing you for. Simply boil one large butternut squash and skin it in the manner you would a ram’s head. Cube and mash with salt, pepper, and cat butter. Serve this with a cranberry garnish. I’ll admit I use the canned stuff, but let’s just keep this a secret between you, me, and our Dark Lord.
Faux-Fowl of the Left Hand Path
“But what about the turkey,” you’re asking, “–won’t everyone expect me to sacrifice a turkey?” You still can, but just because you make a sacrifice, doesn’t mean all your guests have to eat a sacrifice. After its soul is offered to the Nether Realm, the only guests who will care what’s done with the bird are the ones who don’t want to eat it, so, for them, mix up a bowl of my own turkey-like protein matrix to serve in its place. In making this dish, you’ll first need ash of wormwood. You probably have a jar of it somewhere in your cupboard already, hiding behind the good goblets. Pour the ashes into a large mixing bowl as a base. Next you’ll need flavoring. I use a blend of rosemary, garlic and peat moss. Make sure not to skimp on the moss: this will be the “meat” of your dish. After that? It’s as easy as mash to a paste and enjoy.
It’s going to be a hard to get people to come to your ritual without a goat on the spit, but stir-fried tofu seasoned with pepper and mint serves as a delicious substitute for the no-meat contingent. I’m going to be honest, I mash this one too. If some of your more orthodox guests turn up their noses at the sacrilege of those who do not partake of the Goat , simply remind them of what this holiday is really about: taking time to enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones and to bring this world into the Age of Shadows once more.
I hope these ideas will enhance your Solstice dining. To all a good ritual and an unholy night!
Hudson Hongo has written for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Morning News and The Bygone Bureau. He can be found online at hudsonhongo.com.