Scintillating

“Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle, and in the garden we are never far away from death, the fertilizing, good, creative death.” ~May Sarton

Gourmet Herbed Salts

Salt. It has been around for a long, long time, with evidence of its use dating back as far as 6500 B.C. The British evaporated salt by boiling seawater from salt spri­ngs in small clay pots over open fires during the Iron Age. Salt was used as money by the many ancient cultures, including the... Continue Reading →

Summer Peach Preserves

“Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall, if I can’t have the girl I love I won’t have none at all . . . ” Anyone else love Shadygrove? It’s certainly summer here in these shady groves of the Blue Ridges, and the scent of fresh, ripe peaches wafts through our kitchen, mingling with... Continue Reading →

Cilantro: Coriander by Another Name

Cilantro is in full bloom, a dazzling sight artfully arranged by hundreds of miniscule flowers dancing together.   It’s creating fruits now, which are known as coriander seed and used in almost all the sub-continental  dishes I grew up eating:  daal, curries, biryani, fish, kababs, none of them are without either powdered coriander seeds, crushed coriander... Continue Reading →

Chamomile

I start chamomile from seed, Matricaria Chamomilla or German Chamomile, and then divide the sets that come up, as the seeds are miniscule and next to impossible to plant spaced apart.  I sprinkle them on the soil as I would salt or pepper, then lightly cover them.  They germinate quickly and thickly, after which they... Continue Reading →

Skullcap

I have Skullcap growing that I started from seed indoors under lights, then moved to a place in our garden near echinacea and lovage which provide a semi-shady micro-climate from their tall stalks in summer and also keep the ground cool and moist.  The Skullcap plants have been spreading from their initial spot by way... Continue Reading →

Bare Necessities: Tincturing

It's the heat of what's been a scorching day, the kind where one steps outside and within a few steps sweat begins to bead up around the hairline and next thing you know it's in your eyebrows, and you're glad to be wearing a skirt to wipe your face with. I'm headed to a slope... Continue Reading →

Roots Reishi & Rose Syrup

Reishi has been dancing up and down the Eastern Hemlocks, adorning their bark, in these sylvan woods all spring right into summer. A dryad called me out one day, she knew they'd matured, and led me through the wilds. A triad of trees here with nymphs hiding in the trunk, a mossy bridge over bubbling... Continue Reading →

Shrub

Peaches are coming in, juicy and scrumptious, so I make shrub with the skins and scraps and even some pieces plus herbs. What is a 'shrub' you ask?  A vinegar sipping beverage with fruits, sweetener, and herbs/spices dating back to the Babylonians, who mixed date vinegar with their water to make it safe to drink.... Continue Reading →

Plantain

Plantain is a most noble plant to be sure.  The first time we came to our abode when it was for sale twelve years ago, our son Ahmad, four at the time, was stung by a yellow jacket on the palm of his hand.  He was running and leaping on all fours and put his... Continue Reading →

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