Lunar Eclipse Winter Solstice Party

I couldn't help but have a party to celebrate the overlap of the Lunar Eclipse and the Winter Solstice. It is a once in a lifetime event after all. The last time this happened was in 1638 and NASA doesn't even know when the next time this celestial event will occur! I can always use an excuse to throw a party!
Hailey learned to make these charming snowflakes from her girlfriend. The day before the party Karlie and Hailey constructed beautiful snowflakes to decorate the house. A great craft for kids over 6. I did not have to supervise at all and they turned out wonderful. Here is a tutorial on how to make them. We lit the house with candles and christmas lights with the lights turned down to symbolize the light emerging from the longest night.
For dinner we honored the pagan traditions for the winter solstice and ate a hearty lamb stew with Guinness. It is a fabulous stew. I altered this recipe to make it a little less dense and less expensive. Six pounds of lamb would make this a serious stew for the belly and the budget. Even with my alterations, it is not a figure friendly stew. But I think it is worth it for special occasions. It is best made a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld. I served it in bread bowls.

Winter Solstice Stew

  • 1 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 pound lamb for stew cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 4 cups diced carrots
  • 2 large onions, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. Put lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly. Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat.
  3. Place meat into stock pot (leave 1/4 cup of fat in frying pan). Add the garlic and yellow onion and saute till onion begins to become golden. Deglaze frying pan with 1/2 cup beef broth and add the garlic-onion mixture to the stock pot with bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Add carrots, onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and wine to pot. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for 45 minutes until vegetables are tender.
I made a chocolate "Moon Cake" with cream cheese frosting because the stew and Guinness were not enough calories.

We invited our good friends to spend the night. The kids enjoyed hot chocolate and watching Polar Express while the adults enjoyed some drinks of their own and a chance to catch up without too many interruptions.
The girls did their nails and got dressed up for the event.
We made popcorn bird feeders to welcome the birds back after the shortest day of the year.
They made good halos.
And a crown for Caesar!
Apparently they are good boy feeders too. :)
At least one made it out for the birds.

We had a fabulous night of movies, hot tubing, star gazing, moon looking (even though the actual eclipse occurred at 1 am that morning) and enjoying the company of good friends and yummy food! Thankfully these times with family and friends are not a once in a lifetime celebration. The holidays provide many opportunities to gather and rejoice together through celestial events, the celebration of His birth, and the coming New Year. Happy Holidays!


Courtney said...

I too am looking for the birds today. Celebrating the shortest day of the year is a must!

Heather said...

LOVE the snowflakes!

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