Pagan Paths

Out of the deeps rises the mysterious lotus. Stop in for refreshment, heka, and reflections from the sacred waters of ancient Egypt.

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Cool in the Snow and Serve

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm reading the most delightful book, Lisa Manniche's "An Ancient Egyptian Herbal," and just have to share this ancient recipe from page 42:

b2ap3_thumbnail_food-Maler_der_Grabkammer_des_Menna_009.jpgStuffed Alexandrian Loaf

Hollow out an Alexandrian loaf and sprinkle with water mixed with vinegar. Grind in a mortar pepper, honey, mint, garlic, fresh coriander, salted cow's milk cheese, water and oil. Fill the loaf with chicken meat and goat's sweetbreads, hard cheese, pine kernels, diced cucumber and finely chopped dried onion.  Pour the dressing over.  Cool in the snow and serve.

Recently I had an almost intoxicating pizza at a local Lebanese restaurant. The fresh-baked dough was only dressed with olive oil, goat cheese and mint.  Wow! What an unexpected and delicious combination. Then I find this recipe records bread, goat's cheese and mint from ancient times. 

Another recipe on the same page is a sauce for grilled fish which includes, damson plums, pepper, coriander, onion, and oil and vinegar.  Damsons were an occasional treat when I was a child, making the richest cobbler, the tartest preserves.  Both recipes were recorded in a 4th or 5th century Roman cookbook called Apicius. 

But the gardens section is the part I love best.  Manniche has collected drawings of a number of tomb and temple paintings that both illustrate and describe in accompanying text the extensive gardens found on some estates and in temple complexes.  I am fascinated when I look up some of the trees which are apparently indigenous to the area, see current photographs, and realize that the funky little drawings of ancient times actually capture the look of a tree quite accurately.  Those paintings have become a veritable encyclopedia for researchers to reconstruct and enhance what we know about the daily lives of ancient Egyptians who served the same gods as I.




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Holli Emore is Executive Director of Cherry Hill Seminary, the premiere educational resource for Pagan and other nature-based religions (, founder of Osireion (, editor/writer for Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape at, and serves on the board of directors for Interfaith Partners of S.C. (  She is co-founder of the original Pagan Round Table,, and author of "Pool of Lotus," available in print, or for Kindle or Nook, at


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