Thursday, October 21, 2021

What's in the Nov/Dec '21 issue of The Essential Herbal? And a taste!

 Our latest issue went out to subscribers yesterday.  It's a beauty, but of course we think that every time we send one out.  I dare say we're right every time, too!
We made up a special little shareable sampler that you can click on at the bottom of this page.  It's just a tiny taste :-)
In the meantime, this is the cover and table of contents for the magazine!

Cover, Gail Faith Edwards, We love to see apothecaries, don’t you?

Field Notes from the Editor, Tina Sams
What we’ve been up to around here.  Getting used to being busy again.

Ashwagandha, Kristine Brown RH (AHG)
Learn more about this gentle, restorative adaptogen.

Herbs for Your Cat, Julie-Anne Thorne
How to help your cat choose her own medicine in the herb garden.

New Guy on the Block, Jackie Johnson, ND
Chaga –what is it, how to prepare it, and will we overharvest it?

New Thoughts on Elderberry, Tina Sams
Do you know how it works?  All the latest information on this gem.

Homemade Fire Starters with Herbs, Jessicka Nebesni
Useful, fragrant, delightful, and you can make them.

DIY Gifts, group article
We asked our facebook group for ideas.  You’ll love it!

Thyme for Family Traditions, Alicia Allen
Tempting dishes for breakfast (and beyond) to enhance the occasion.

New Deadlines for Contributors
We’re going back to our old deadlines, when the printer and the mailman didn’t need a month and a half.

Which is It? Horticultural Terms, Kathy Musser
Some easy to mix up terms, clarified.

Ginger Root & Carrot Soap, with Lemongrass, Marci Tsohonis
Scrumptious soap recipe, great for winter skin.

Straw Bale Gardening, Dennis Mawhinney
Get bales now to be ready for spring!



Saturday, October 02, 2021

Winter Teas and Cake

I presented a talk at the PA Tea Festival last week about Teas for Winter Wellness.  It put me in the mood to gather a few blends to share.  While I was at it, a bit of cake seemed reasonable too!
If you get the "Just the Essentials" newsletter, they were in the last one.  If you don't get it, go to our website, and sign up for the free email that we send out one or two times a month!

Sage and Ginger Tea
This tea is terrific for clogged sinuses, or post nasal drip that leads to nausea and a sore throat.
5 or 6 nice sage leaves
1 sprig of thyme
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1” of ginger, very thinly sliced.
1 T honey
1 pint of hot water

Steep together for at least 10 minutes. I don't remove the herbs, but use a licorice root stick to push them out of the way.  This is really a delicious tea. 

Note:  Licorice root immediately soothes inflamed mucous membranes.

Flu Fighter
Lots of anti-viral activity here:
3 t Holy Basil
2 t Elderberry
2 t Elderflower
2 t Peppermint
1 t Ginger c/s (not powder)
Use 1 heaping t per cup of tea.  Steep for 5 to 10 minutes

The Big E’s
2 parts Echinacea (root, leave, and flower)
2 parts Elderberry
1 part Yarrow
1 part Peppermint
¼ part Eucalyptus
Depending on how much of this you’d like to make, you can use teaspoons for parts, or tablespoons (or more!) 
It’s a good blend to support your body in cold and flu season. 

Banana Apple Bread with Persimmon and Walnuts
A delicious spicy fall bread that's more like cake, this goes great with a cup of tea, served warm or cool.

2 lg. ripe bananas
1 c persimmon pulp
1 c. sugar
1 egg
4 T butter, softened
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 t each, salt and baking soda
1 apple diced small
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a bowl mash bananas and persimmon together.  Beat in sugar, then egg and butter. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda; add to banana mixture and stir just until all flour is moistened. Add apples and nuts; stir just until well mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 60 minutes. Center will be very moist.  This is why persimmon breads are often called "pudding" but it is perfectly delicious.

If you don't have persimmon, you can just add another banana or some applesauce to make up the difference.

We're looking forward to long sleeves and warm socks, hot drinks, and lots of soups and stews.  Every season has something delightful, and after this past summer, I think almost everyone is happy to turn that page.