Cook­ing un­der the stars

w&h’s astrologer Penny Thorn­ton re­veals how your star sign can af­fect what you eat, how you cook – and even your tem­per­a­ment in the kitchen…

Woman & Home - - Editor's Letter -

How your star sign can af­fect what you eat

PEnny Thorn­Ton learned how to cook at around the same time she was tak­ing astrol­ogy classes. Back in the late 1970s, her then-hus­band was a sous-chef at Lon­don’s Dorch­ester Ho­tel. Then in the mid-90s, Penny, who was liv­ing in the US, had a ten-minute daily slot on the Food Net­work, com­bin­ing astrol­ogy and food.

As Penny ex­plains, “The re­la­tion­ship be­tween astrol­ogy and food is based on the an­cient belief that all things in the uni­verse are con­nected. An­i­mals, birds, fish and plants were all ‘ruled’ by a planet or sign.”

Penny’s new book, The Zo­diac Cooks, em­braces her two pas­sions. It’s an amus­ing and in­for­ma­tive gas­tro­nomic romp through the zo­diac along­side de­li­cious recipes. So read on to find out whether you re­ally are suited to spelt…

ArieS A

21 2 March–20 april a fear­less, com­pet­i­tive and pi­o­neer­ing sign that dis­plays courage, con­fi­dence and a de­gree of naivety in the kitchen, aries has scant re­gard for rules, prefers to go it alone and takes ad­vice from no one. ✢ Ce­LeS­tiaL Su­per-fOOdS Spiky, spicy, hot and gen­er­ally fierce. Meats in­clude lamb and veni­son, ar­ti­chokes and rocket are right up Aries’ street, as are oats and red lentils. ✢ What tO dO in the arieS kitChen Open a bot­tle and stand well clear of the stove and the chop­ping board. Any­thing could hap­pen!


21 2 April–21 May Earthy Earth Tau­ri­ans crave sta­bil­ity and con­sis­tency – while si­mul­ta­ne­ously be­ing prone to he­do­nism (in­clud­ing in­dulging in any­thing sweet).

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods All dairy, sweet and juicy fruits such as peaches, plums and figs, and lots of beans.

As for meats, aim for rab­bit, veal, beef; and for fish, in­clude sal­mon, lob­ster and sar­dines.

What to do in the Taurus kitchen For­get your Spanx and your calo­rie counter.

G Gem­ini22 2 May–22 June Gemini is the m multi-per­son­al­ity of the zo­diac. They are com­pli­cated peo­ple with a suit­ably com­pli­cated palate and a del­i­cate con­sti­tu­tion. They also need to be in­formed and like to ed­u­cate.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods The fruits and nuts of this sign are few and far be­tween, but in­clude mul­berry, hazel­nut and wal­nut. For veg and herbs, think fen­nel, turnip and pars­ley. And sword­fish goes down well.

What to do in Gemini’s kitchen Share a new app you have, as well as any juicy gos­sip, but un­der no cir­cum­stances should you in­vade your host’s per­sonal space.


23 2 June–23 July Cance­ri­ans are the th ar­che­typal home cooks – think nos­tal­gia and food as a means of nur­ture and emo­tional sus­te­nance.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods Foods high in cal­cium flu­o­ride: egg yolk, whole­grain rye, yo­gurt, beet­root, fish and oys­ters.

What to do in the Cance­rian kitchen Talk about your woes, praise the authen­tic­ity of ev­ery­thing – and re­quest a recipe, hand-writ­ten, of course.


24 2 July–23 Au­gust By and large, large L Leos are sunny crea­tures but they have a dark un­der­belly. Ex­treme mea­sures are doomed to fail­ure, and

Leo is the poster child for yo-yo di­et­ing.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods All things yel­low, orange and gold: car­rots, man­goes, corn, or­anges, le­mons, ba­nanas, turmeric. By and large, Leos are not fish lovers.

What to do in the Leo kitchen Ar­rive with a great gift and re­mem­ber to leave be­fore you’re asked.


24 2 Au­gust–22 Septem­ber Vir­gos Virgo are the fusspots of the zo­diac – but within ev­ery du­ti­ful, re­spon­si­ble and re­strained Virgo is a sybarite try­ing to get out.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods Nat­u­ral, un­re­fined foods, whole­grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. In par­tic­u­lar fen­nel, sweet­corn, leafy greens, cel­ery, beans and berries. But al­though they may wax lyri­cal about the virtues of spelt, they

LibrA L

23 2 Septem­ber–23 Oc­to­ber With Li­brans, L the ap­pear­ance of things, whether on a plate or in life, has to be ap­peal­ing be­cause of their in­nate sense of har­mony.

✢ Ce­LeS­tiaL Su­per-fOOdS Dairy, juicy fruits and foods with aphro­disi­a­cal prop­er­ties, such as as­para­gus and oys­ters, toma­toes, parsnips, oregano and pars­ley. Li­brans also love all things sweet. ✢ What tO dO in the Li­bran kitChen De­spite be­ing so­cia­ble peo­ple, Li­brans are hard to please. So come laden with flow­ers or choco­lates, prefer­ably in a heart shape. will go weak-kneed at the sight of sticky tof­fee pud­ding.

What to do in the Virgo kitchen Bring some nat­u­ral lo­tions and po­tions as a gift, and look pre­sentable but not over­done – for a Virgo, less is more. saGiTTarius

23 2 Novem­ber–22 De­cem­ber Sagit­tar­i­ans Sagitt have a taste for the ex­pen­sive and the ex­otic, and de­light in foods from dif­fer­ent parts of the world.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods It’s all about taste. Es­pe­cially pop­u­lar is pheas­ant, lamb, tur­bot, tuna and all fruits and seeds, par­tic­u­larly se­same seeds and al­monds.

What to do in the Sagittarius kitchen You’ll have a good time with Sagit­tar­i­ans, the fun bun­nies of the zo­diac. So bring some bub­bles and laugh, no mat­ter how many times you’ve heard the same story… CapriCorn

23 2 De­cem­ber–19 Jan­uary Capri­corns C i are re­li­able, practical and ex­act­ing. They are the ob­servers in a room. And this un­der­stated, me­thod­i­cal ap­proach is re­flected in their cook­ing.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods Pro­duce that flour­ishes in north­ern coun­tries: pota­toes, root veg­eta­bles – par­tic­u­larly parsnips – lentils, black­ber­ries, mus­sels and cray­fish, for in­stance, as well as blue cheese and game.

What to do in the Capricorn kitchen Fol­low any in­struc­tions and ask whether your host has any tips on sav­ing money or con­serv­ing en­ergy. SCorPio S 24 2 Oc­to­ber–22 novem­ber

their pas­sion and re­source­ful­ness is leg­endary, and if you want a snap­shot of Scorpio in the kitchen, think Gor­don ram­say! they can take or leave al­co­hol but for the pur­poses of sen­sory ex­plo­ration, they usu­ally take it.

✢ Ce­LeS­tiaL Su­per-fOOdS This sign rules or­chards, vine­yards and any­thing caught deep in the ocean, as well as things grown in dark, damp places, such as mush­rooms, truf­fles and root veg­eta­bles. They tend to pre­fer fish to meat.

✢ What tO dO in the SCOrpiO kitChen For a Scorpio get-to­gether to pass with­out in­ci­dent, keep a low pro­file, and in­sist on do­ing the wash­ing-up. a aquarius

20 2 Jan­uary–19 Fe­bru­ary Talk about b com­plex. Aquar­i­ans come in two sizes – the tra­di­tion­al­ist and the rule­breaker – some­times the two ex­ist in one per­son. Meat and two veg one day, an Earl Grey souf­flé with cho­co­late sauce the next.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods Foods that are light: souf­flés, syl­labubs, mousses and meringues; also, air-dried meats, salt cod, root veg­eta­bles, sage, gar­lic and capers.

What to do in the Aquarius kitchen En­quire where your chef first tasted the dish they’re mak­ing – Aquar­i­ans love sto­ry­telling – but never as­sert your su­pe­ri­or­ity. p pisCes

20 2 Fe­bru­ary–20 March Pis­ceans i have a feel for food and an in­stinc­tive sense of what makes a great dish. They can be dili­gent for­agers and are bril­liant with left­overs.

Ce­les­tial su­per-foods All seafood. Lean­ing to­ward a veg­e­tar­ian or ve­gan diet, you can in­clude most fruits and veg­eta­bles, but es­pe­cially bil­ber­ries, as­para­gus, en­dive and leek.

What to do in the Pisces kitchen

Say that you don’t mind when – and what – you eat. Just don’t open the wine too soon or din­ner may never hap­pen…

Perfect for Pisces: The tra­di­tional French stew of bouil­l­abaisse with a hot paste of rouille served on slices of crusty baguette. Find th­ese recipes and oth­ers from Penny’s book at wom­anand­

A dream dish for Vir­gos: Make the most of early au­tumn fruits with a black­berry and plum pavlova Serve this for Scor­pios: beet­root and vod­kacured sal­mon with a zesty cit­rus salad

The Zo­diac Cooks by Penny Thorn­ton (GBPub­lish­, £29.99) is out now w&h

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