A Divine Harvest

What to make?
Happy Harvesting!

There was a phrased coined in the early 20th century - 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' this rang through my head earlier this week when after praying for fruitfulnesses and abundance in daily devotions to Ker, I was rewarded with a surprise surplus of ......marrows! Not quite what I was expecting and not what anyone in the house eats - apart from me, and that was a large mound of marrows - but ever the optimist, I  racked my brains and recipe books until I found a recipe for Marrow and Ginger wine - now that does sound like a plan! Just a few extra ingredients later, we were ready to go, I found a recipe
Additional Ingredients
that is simple and uses almost all natural ingredients only using shop bought brewing yeast and using oranges and lemons instead of bought citric acid. Lemonade for grown ups! 

Lots of chopping and zesting and grating later, we ended up with a bucket full of this... not very appetising looking now I grant you, but it smelt enticingly of citrus and once the yeast
Hmmm...appetising!
and the sugar have worked their alchemy, I'm sure I can change your minds! Whilst I was in wine making mode I bottled up some rather strong apple wine that has been maturing for at least a year, Mark was my official tester last night and ended up with rosy cheeks, deciding that it tasted like a cross between Scrumpy and a liqueur!  A spot of research suggests that wine was first made up to 8500* years ago and one of the earliest Goddesses of Wine* was Gestin a Sumerian Mother Goddess of the Grapevine, as well as Ninkasi - a later Sumerian Goddess of brewing and beer, Mbaba Mwana Waresi a Zulu Goddess who brought fertility and beer to South Africa and Rangutiene - a Baltic Goddess of beer. Whilst researching this, I've also literally just found several recipes for corn, barley and grain wines - which as you can 
Apple Wine - Bottled
and Dangerous
imagine grabbed my attention, I may have to explore that further... 

It's been suggested* that wine was 'discovered' by forgotten fruits fermenting in an urn or by stone age people noticing the effecting of rotting or fermenting fruit had on animals and birds. 
Either way - good call! 

Throughout the week I have been following via Facebook my friend and circle sister Naomi's tour of Scotland and pilgrimage to all things Cailleach (Crone/Old woman/Hag)* and the many sites where folklore and myth say that She is reputed to have lived or made. I have watched with a mixture of awe, amazement and if I'm honest a touch of envy! Inspired, I decided to look at place names and for clues for anything that could be connected with Ker or indeed other Corn/Grain Goddesses preferably locally but anywhere in Britain. I opened my atlas and to my delight I found a place in Devon called Kerswell, hurrah! Closer inspection found not even the tiniest hint of anything Goddess related so far, Abbots, Kings and Priors so there's a start maybe? Often Churches /Monasteries etc are built on pre christian sites. What I did discover however, via Ancestry is that the surname Kerswell originally in Old English meant someone who lived by or near
Loose Stream
a spring or stream ie a well where there was craese  ie water cress. Aha, cue firing synapses, very near to us is the village of Loose, where there is a beautiful stream that pops up and just above it a body of water known locally as the watercress beds. I haven't been there since I was a child so it was with a little trepidation that I set off to find it, would it still be there and as I remembered? There was a tunnel the water flowed through which you could walk up if you were wearing wellies and the 'waterfall' wasn't flowing too much,
The Fairy Tunnel
we called it the fairy tunnel. I think I actually squealed with delight when I found it, just up the road from the stream, not as big as I remembered it and not so much cress in the water cress beds as there used to be, but it was there! Exploration was slightly limited due to my lack of forward planning ie my wearing of jewelled strappy sandals, but I found houses with names like Spring Bank and Spring View with mini waterfalls and trickles of water running through their very green and lush gardens,which inspired me and my sandalled feet to walk a little further up the road to try and ascertain where the water was coming from at which point it disappeared into the ground. Back by the watercress beds there was information display that showed that the brook or stream ran towards the river Medway in town (Maidstone) via Tovil
The Watercress Bed Today
which had once been famous for it's mills, latterly for paper, but yep, you guessed it - some had originally been for grinding corn and parts of which are supposedly still standing albeit in ruins, even including a very helpful map from there to the river, listing mills and ponds along the way. Hugging this information to myself with glee and practically skipping back down the road as fast as my sandals would let me, it occurred to me that it was either the spring there or it had to rise somewhere locally. On the way home I dropped into to see my lovely Mum and Dad and told them about my morning's mission and the questions it posed
Lavender by the
Stream
. "Langley" said my Dad whilst throwing a ball up the garden for the dog and without a nano second of hesitation, "it rises behind the church there, flows through Boughton Quarries and so on."
I really think we should rename him Google, love him! So now I have a plan to walk the length of the stream to the source where it rises, which you can do apparently and to see what remains of the mills, it's about 5 miles long. Dad even said he'll come with me, just not yesterday as it was about 27 degrees and of course there were my sandals to consider.... Talk about Divine Inspiration - which leads me to one more question to muse over - how come as an adjective Divine is pertaining to a Goddess, God, a heavenly or celestial object but the verb is connected to prophesy, intuition, insight or discovery of water or metal? Suggests to me that we have a little bit of The Divine in all of us...

Have a Divine and Fruitful Week x x 


References:
* http://winetravelstories.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/wine-goddesses-around-world.html
* http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0721_040721_ancientwine.html
http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/crones.html

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