View Full Version : Week ONE ~ Assignments

February 15th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Week One Assignments

Gather Your Tools

1) Go through your kitchen/home and check off the items on the supplies list that you have. Now look at the items you do not have and decide what you think you can substitute or do without and what you may have to buy or borrow. Once you have what you need, it may be a good idea to give everything a quick wash and put it all away in an organized manner.
2) Once you have your wooden spoon you may want to start preparing it to be made into a ritual kitchen tool. Make sure to wash and thoroughly dry it once you bring it home or dig it out of the kitchen drawer. You may want to find a special place to store it, or find a piece of fabric or a towel to keep it wrapped up in. You can start planning how you want to personalize it while still making sure it is a useable and washable working tool.
3) Once you have a plan for how you want to make your new spoon special, go for it! Take pictures and post them in the thread for that purpose.
4) You may bless, dedicate, or do anything you feel the need to do to help make your spoon special to you. Feel free to share in the discussion thread if you wish.

Ready Your Recipe Book

1) Find a book for your recipes and notes. Make it yours by beatifying it as you please. Do keep in mind that any book in the kitchen needs to be practical first and cool looking second! Once you are happy with it, take a picture (if you can) and post it in the thread dedicated to that purpose.
2) You may bless, dedicate, or do anything you feel the need to do to help make your Hearthcraft book special to you. Feel free to share in the discussion thread if you wish.

Creating a Kitchen Safety List

1) Make some time to sit down and think about what kind of kitchen safety procedures are necessary for your home. Do you have kids, pets, roommates, perhaps elderly family members in the home you have to think of? Do you have young people in the home that may be learning how to cook? Are you on your own?
2) Printout or write up a kitchen safety list that is right for your household, post it up in the kitchen or place it in your Hearthcraft book.
3) Fire safety: Make sure you add baking soda and such things to your shopping list if you do not have them.
4) Print out, or write up, a list of tips on how to deal with a kitchen fire and find a place to post it in your kitchen or in your hearth craft book.
5) Food safety is also very important. It can be easy to improperly store foods and make yourself sick. The stereotypical bachelor with the expired milk in the fridge is a good example. Here is a short quiz from the FDA called “Can Your Kitchen Pass the Food Safety Test?” Take the test and post your results in the discussion thread: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/895_kitchen.html
6) Will you make any changes to how you operate in the kitchen now? Why?

Week One Special Assignment; Inviting the Hearth Flame into your home:

1) Once you have your tools gathered, your book and spoon ready, plan to have a little time in the kitchen to yourself. This may be after everyone has gone to bed or while they are at work etc. Try to get an hour of privacy in the kitchen if you can.
2) This is best done after dark, but can be done at anytime of day. If you are doing this during the day, you may want to draw the curtains before you begin. You will also want to turn off as many lights in the house as possible, except the kitchen one, before you begin.
3) Clean off the stovetop and place on it a candle in holder along with a smudgestick or incense and holder. You may also want to place your book and spoon and any items you wish to make into ritual kitchen tools. Make sure the candle is centered on the stovetop. Place a kitchen chair before the stove, far back enough you can see the candle clearly, but as close to the stove as possible.
4) Light the incense or smudgestick and get it burning nicely. You may want to take a moment to smudge yourself and to ground and center as well.
5) Now light the candle, saying “I invite the Flame of the Sacred Hearth into my home” as you do so.
6) Now turn off all the lights, so the only light is the candle flame.
7) Sit in the chair before the stove and just watch the flame and smoke for a few minutes, letting your body and mind relax and slow down.
8) Watch the smoke and flame play against the stove and on the walls of the kitchen. Think of how long before the modern oven, a home almost always was filled with flickering firelight and smoke from the hearth.
8a) Picture in your mind a mud and straw hut with a fire pit in the center, a family sitting around it, clapping and singing. Hold the image in your mind for a while.
8b) Then change the image to a great wooden hall, long tables surround a great hearth to one side of the hall where a pig rotates on a spit and a large blond woman, probably named Helga, serves mead warmed by the hearth fire to the many families within the hall. Listen to the hubbub of many people eating, laughing and talking together, see one man, then another, stand up at his table and raise a drinking horn to Helga by the fire, who merely smiles and nods.
8c) Now picture a small stone house with a thatched roof, a large fireplace the main feature in the largest room in the house. A hound lies to one side of the hearth with a young boy beside him, keeping warm and watching the fire. A young woman sits on a chair near the hearth kitting socks for her family and quietly humming to herself, she looks out the window to see her father outside chopping firewood. A competent looking middle-aged woman bustles over to the hearth, removing one cauldron threatening to boil over from the flame and replacing it with a new one. She stirs up the coals and carefully checks the contents of the hot cauldron with a wooden spoon. Can you hear her tell her son to call his Da in for supper?
9) Return your thoughts to the flicker flame before you say the words: “Sacred flame of the ancient hearth, you brought warmth, comfort, food and light to my ancestors and their ancestors. For this, I thank you. I invite you to come into my home to bring such warmth, light, and comfort into this modern home as you did those who came before me.”
10) Spend some time thinking about any fond memories you may have centered on the kitchen. Perhaps a family holiday waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven, or making cookies with your grandchild, a quite Sunday afternoon sipping tea at the breakfast table, and so on. Think about memories you would like to make, cooking an entire turkey dinner plus trimmings by yourself, baking cookies to give as an offering to your patron god, replacing the old refrigerator with a newer model, perhaps making a healing herbal tea for a spouse with the flu and actually getting them to drink it, etc.
11) Once you are ready, stand before the stove and holding your hands on either side of the candle say: “Hearth fire, though you may be put out, you will always be a part of my home, a flame present in the heart of house, home and family” With respect, put out the candle. Turn on the lights and put out the incense.
12) Once done, please write a journal, however brief, on your experience with welcoming the hearth flame into your home.

February 15th, 2008, 11:08 PM
Please feel free to post finished assignments here :) and talk about them in the discussion thread.

February 18th, 2008, 01:16 AM
My Spoon -- I think one of the reasons that I scored low on the "Just for fun" quiz was that I constantly answerd "no" for any of the questions about ritual tools, altar, etc. However, imagine my surprise when I walked into my kitchen to choose one of my many wooden spoons for this part of the assignment and I realized I already had one! I noticed my BFS (big f***ing spoon) hanging on the wall. This is an 18" long standard shaped wooden spoon with a 1/2" diameter handle... it's heavy duty... and it's also the spoon that I use whenever I'm making something that I am nervous about or really want to turn out well or that I'm making for somebody special or for whatever reason, I am putting alot of energy into that meal. So, that's the one that I consecrated according to the directions in the Lesson. Oh yeah, and ever since moving in, my BFS lives on the wall above my stove! I will however decline to take pictures because 1) I'm not that technologically advanced lol and 2) it's just a plain looking wooden spoon, however large.

Ready Your Recipe Book--done! I received a gorgeous blank book from a friend for christmas and have been waiting for the appropriate use for it!

Inviting the Hearth Flame into your home-- When I wanted to do this, my kitchen was dirty... so I did dishes and cleaned up first. I felt very peaceful remembering and imagining... the Kitchen has always been a place of comfort... it was where you brought company when I was growing up. It was nice to reconnect to those memories during this assignment.

February 19th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Alrighty folks, we are half way through the first week, how are we doing?

February 21st, 2008, 02:19 AM
I've just completed assignment one. It went pretty well I think. My spoon is, at the moment unadorned. It's just a regular wooden spoon but it's my favorite. So of course that's the one I chose to work with. My book is a three ringed binder only because money is pretty tight at the moment and we cant really afford to go out and buy something when this might work just as well. If I feel later on that I need to change it I will.
The reason I chose to do my assignment tonight was only because that's when I finished cleaning the kitchen in prep for this course. Tonight also happened to be the full moon (which I forgot about) as well as the lunar eclipse. So I thought that was pretty cool!

February 21st, 2008, 02:57 AM
Is it all right to keep our recipes on a computer for the time being?

February 21st, 2008, 03:57 AM
Is it all right to keep our recipes on a computer for the time being?

Certainly :)

Brigid Rowan
February 23rd, 2008, 07:55 PM
Ive choosen my spoon, and its in my kitchen...its a wooden sppon, very long (12 in) handle with a pretty wide spoon-bowl. It "fits" me very well, it just feels right to me. I really have thought some about personalizing it, but, weirdly enough, nothing feels right..Ive considered paint, wood burning, runes..and so far, they all feel wrong or off..Im not sure why.

As for my recipe book, I have a dedicated BoS recipe program on my PC, which is what I use....do you mind if I continue to use that?

As for dedicating the hearth/kitchen, I work with Ceres, and so I did this with her. I used 4 candles, 3 white and one a rose pink (White: protection, peace, spirituality, truth, goodness, wholeness, guidance, guardians & spirit guides....Pink: love, spiritual awakening, togetherness..from bewitchingways.com color correspondances) in 5 point star glass candle holders. I have an alter set up in the kitchen, and used that space for the mail dedication ceremony area.

February 23rd, 2008, 09:49 PM
The spoon: I am between jobs right now and I'm living off barely anything. That being said, I haven't been able to get a wooden spoon of my own yet, but I will be temporarily using the one we already have. Its not as special, but it will work for now. I can't really think of how I could personalize my own simply because I like the look of a plain wooden spoon.

The Recipe Book: I have taken an old binder and decorated the front with images of herbs from the herb gardens I've grown in the past two years. Its versatile and durable, and I like the simplicity of it.

I have also made my kitchen safety list..something I needed since I'm not too great in the kitchen at all.

Inviting the hearth into your home: : I have yet to do this, but will update as soon as I do.

Great lesson, I really enjoyed it. :)

fire child
February 24th, 2008, 03:23 AM
I got a plain wooden spoon from the local store cause i found that i didn't have one yet.:smileroll but i have a small piece of silk cloth that i had no use for until now. so its wrapped up in the cloth in my drawer. I also have a blank book that i haven't had a use for until now, its brown and about the size of a paperback book with a small clasp on it, seems to fit the purpose. I haven't gotten to do the Inviting the Hearth Flame yet but i am planning to do it this sunday. ^^

Crystal Raven
February 24th, 2008, 03:12 PM
My Spoon
I too had a wooden spoon that I often use, so this is the one I chose. For some reason I hate this spoon going through the dishwasher with everything else, so this assignment gave me a non-dishwasher-friendly idea...I took some black silk ribbon and wrapped it around the handle and left a bit hanging freely, not so far down that it can't be useful though, but its enough it has to be hand washed. I also screwed an eye hook into the top so it can be hung up.

Recipe Book
I bought a black binder and a buch of scrapbook stickers and letters and decorated the binder with them.

Kitchen Safety List
Did this too

Inviting the Hearth
I haven't done this as yet, as I am just starting to delve into the pantheon of my ancestors and am not sure as to whom to invite, could you tell me which Scottish Goddess(es) deal with the hearth? I was thinking Cerridwen, but want to be sure first.

February 28th, 2008, 08:49 PM
Great guys.:smile:

Its neat how everyone just happened to have a book or spoon laying around that had some meaning and needed a job.

Using a computer is perfectly acceptable, I tend to use my PC and then print out stuff I need later.

I am really enjoying reading how people are adapting the assignments.

For the first week, you can just stick to inviting the Hearth Flame, you don't have to do that until the second week.

For a Scottish hearth deity you could go with Brigid, as she was also honored in Scotland (with a slightly different spelling to her name)

Cerridwen is found in both Welsh and Scottish mythology. She is a Moon goddess, a grain goddess, and a goddess of the land. She is the keeper of the cauldron of the underworld, in which inspiration and divine knowledge are brewed.

February 29th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I didn't realize Cerridwen could be used as a hearth diety because she wasn't mentioned in the dieties thread. Thats really interesting to me because I have felt drawn to her before. :)

February 29th, 2008, 01:56 PM
We use an Olive wood spoon that we bought and consecrated about two years ago for the kitchen. It is not decorated because I love the color of the wood itself. We chose Olive because it is a protection wood. I use it for when I make coven meals or baked goods for our coven. I have never cared for plastic spoons though I own one. I have about four wooden spoons, but the Olive is my ritual spoon.

I have had my own recipe book since I was ten, it started as a recipe box, and now resides in two 3 " binders. :) I also have a seperate book for incense recipes I come up with.

I scored a 22 out of 24 on the FDA test, I would have done perfect, but I had started leaving food out to cool. Someone who was in the health profession had told me too. Iwill cease that now. I have a medicine cabinet (stocked with both herbal and regular meds along with bandaids) in my kitchen. I've had a sefety list up for quite some time, mainly because it just made sense. :)

I have a Chinese dragon that lives in my oven. She came in about two years ago when we dedicated it to Godde. I can still do your hearth ritual if you want me too, but I have already got a rather big flame in it already ;)


February 29th, 2008, 03:31 PM
I didn't realize Cerridwen could be used as a hearth diety because she wasn't mentioned in the dieties thread. Thats really interesting to me because I have felt drawn to her before. :)

I wouldn't "use" her as a hearth deity, but I think she could be invited in your kitchen and honored there as well. Where better to honor the goddess who stirs the cauldron of wisdom that while standing over your stove, stirring a pot of stew?

February 29th, 2008, 03:33 PM
I have a Chinese dragon that lives in my oven. She came in about two years ago when we dedicated it to Godde. I can still do your hearth ritual if you want me too, but I have already got a rather big flame in it already ;)


he he thats great! I'm curious how the dragon would react to the hearth flame ritual, otherwise you could just do what you normally do to recognize your stove dragon.

February 29th, 2008, 03:35 PM
I wouldn't "use" her as a hearth deity, but I think she could be invited in your kitchen and honored there as well. Where better to honor the goddess who stirs the cauldron of wisdom that while standing over your stove, stirring a pot of stew?

Yes, you're right. I'm sorry..I don't always word things the way I should.

February 29th, 2008, 04:31 PM
No worries. I was playing grammar police.

February 29th, 2008, 06:49 PM
My Spoon

I just used my everyday long handled wooden spoon. Unadorned, but still everyone in the house knows it's my spoon. They use the smaller wooden spoons or the plastic ones, but this one is all mine. I use it every time I cook so it has a lot of mileage on it, but I love it so. It's helped prepare a lot of meals for my loved ones, so that's all the special I need.

Recipe Book

Perhaps to make up for the "plain" spoon, my recipe book is a pretty wooden book with leather binding. It's so pretty. And it was on sale! Lol. Anyway, it still opens flat and I'm transferring some of my favorite recipes from the overflowing binder I've been using.

Food Safety

I scored 22 on the food safety test, but I also put "allow food to cool" and the anwer section said the 2 hour time limit later. Grr. I do let things cool, but not longer than 2 hours. Hmph. But it was very enlightening just the same.
I printed out the food saftey list and placed it in my recipe binder. A lot of them I already have noted after working in a coffee shop.

Inviting the Hearth Flame

This one took a while. I'm rarely alone in the house and it's open all the way from the kitchen, dining room, and living room, so getting the privacy was a wee bit tricky. Luckily it's not too long of a process! I opted not to use incense, because it sets off my asthma, and setting off the smoke alarm would end my alone time quickly! 8O After that it all went smoothly aside from the dog staring at me wondering why I'm sitting on a step stool and staring at the oven. But she stares at walls, so she's not one to talk.
Seriously, though, it was very inspiring and it was all I could do not to start baking then and there.

March 2nd, 2008, 04:00 AM
My Spoon

I've never used a wooden anything in the kitchen, lol, so I felt a little odd getting a wooden spoon. I've always felt like I can never seem to get them clean enough, so I'm going to have to scrub this spoon extra hard. No adornment for me, maybe one day when I have time to decorate, but since it's the only wooden spoon it's kind of special on it's own.

Recipe Book

I'm going to be using my computer for this. I have a bit of OCD and I'd be reprinting and rewriting pages for hours without the beauty of the backspace button. One day I'll do a nice printing into a decorated binder.

Food Safety

No kids, no pets, no problem. :hehehehe: Seriously though, other than letting my dishes stack up, my kitchen stays pretty clean.

Inviting the Hearth Flame

I haven't done this. I don't think I will. I live in an apartment...it's small, dark, horrible. My kitchen is even worse. The stove is barely connected to the wall and on a slant, there are things BEHIND it I can see but can't reach and they freak me out. How many tennants ago are those...things....from? Sick. When I open the oven door, it almost hits the cupboard across from it. I guess what I'm getting at is...I don't have it in me to do this for this kitchen. I think I'm more in this class to learn things I can apply to my future kitchens, rather than the hole I live in now.

March 2nd, 2008, 04:20 AM
I'm a big fan of vinegar and real hot water for cleaning a wooden spoon. Rub a little mineral oil on it afterwards to protect it.

March 10th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Recipe Book - I have set up a dedicated folder on the computer to handle all my recipes. These will be further subdivided into separate folders by type (joy of owning a Macintosh :) )

Wooden Spoon - I have just purchased a new wooden spoon and pyrography and am contemplating an appropriate design - feeling drawn to ivy leaves at the moment.

Kitchen Safety List - Ours is fairly simply as we have no children and no house pets. Also, I tend to be the one doing the cooking :)

Inviting the Hearth Flame - We have just finished spring cleaning the kitchen and I wanted to do that first. So far, I haven't really worked with a kitchen deity (although I have cast up appeals to Fortuna in the past)

March 11th, 2008, 12:31 AM
Good good