Thursday, August 25, 2022

Excerpt from "Gaga for Galettes" (Sept/Oct 22)

 We very rarely put up anything from current issues, but this one is just too good to keep to ourselves. 
Alicia Allen was running a little behind (she is one busy lady!) and needed a little help testing the recipes for her article.  We got to choose from this Apple Gruyere, a Potato, Rosemary and Bacon Galette,  Zucchini Crostata, Peaches and Cream Basil Galette, Chicken Pot Pie Galette, and Sweet Potatoes and Beets Galette.  NOT an easy decision!  We chose the Apple and the Potato, and proceeded to serve them at a small luncheon with our favorite little girl and her mom and infant sister.  She brought a fluffernutter sandwich along because she's a little picky. Maryanne was the chef.

Young Skylar tried both of them and ate all that was on her plate, eating the sandwich afterwards.  We were genuinely shocked.  The rest of us scarfed up the remainder of the galettes ( having already made sure Maryanne's hubby had plenty).

I'm really curious about the zucchini crostata and the chicken pot pie.  They will have their day!


Apple galette before we demolished it.

 Apple Gruyere Galette

1 sweet pie crust    

Basic Crust Recipe for Galette
1-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 t salt
1/4 C ice cold water

     Mix salt to flour.  Mix thoroughly.  Cut cold butter into small pieces.  Add small pieces to flour.  Cut      in with a fork or a pastry cutter until the mixture is small flakes.  Add water, 1 T at a time until mixture comes together as a ball.  Place ball on floured surface and roll into a 12-inch circle, approximately 1/8 inch thick.  Place pie crust on parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Place in refrigerator for at least 30 min. 

4 medium apples
¾ C  gruyere cheese, shredded
1 T flour
2 T basil, chopped
1 T chives, chopped
2 T butter, melted
2 T maple syrup
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 t sugar

Knead basil into pie crust.  Return to refrigerator.  Peel apples.  Slice apples thinly to make about 3 cups.  Mix melted butter and maple syrup.  Toss with apples and chives.  Spread flour on bottom of crust, leaving 1-1/2” edges.  Place apple mixture on top of flour.  Top with the shredded gruyere.  Fold edges of crust over mixture.  Brush with egg yolk on folded edges. Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until apples are soft and crust is brown.

(2 T of sugar may be added to crust.  If using prepared refrigerated crust, sprinkle with sugar and in this case basil,  prior to filling.)


The potato, rosemary, bacon galette - I liked this as well if not better than the apple.  Both delicious!

If you want the rest of the recipes, grab a copy of the magazine!

Saturday, August 20, 2022

September/October 2022 Essential Herbal

 New issue just went out this morning!
I hated having to give up the print magazine more than you can imagine.  Since then, we've found that we can put out even better publications, but it's been tough to get the same kick I used to get from getting another issue into the mail.  It's been a process.  The last couple magazines have lit the spark for me again.

Just look at this one!  We are genuinely in love with this cover.  

Subscribe of get a Single Issue


Cover, Linda Saboe
We were stunned by this beauty.

Crossword Puzzle
All the marvelous things we can make with herbs!  For the last year or two, our crossword puzzles are interactive, so you can do them on your phone, tablet, or laptop.  Or print it out and work it.

Field Notes from the Editor, Tina Sams
After the first conference in a year...

Comparison of Three Free Plant ID Apps,  Molly Sams
Take a little spin on these apps without having to download or install first.

 Go Gaga for Galettes, Alicia Allen
Delicious and different, these will please even the picky eater in your family.

Forgotten Skills - Just in Case, Jackie Johnson, ND
When the power goes out, you’ll be glad to have taken some of these actions.

Herbs for Skincare, Heidi Shayla
Do nice things for your skin as the seasons change.

 Citrus Flavored Herbs, Kathy Musser
So many different ways to introduce citrus scents and flavors into cooking and crafting.

 Harvest Those Herbal Vinegars, Susanna Reppert Brill
Vinegars are a great way to preserve herbs and use them up!

The Perks of Passionflower, Kristine Brown RH (AHG)
The lovely and strange (looking) passionflower has many benefits to share with us.

Herbal Castile Soap, Marci Tsohonis
This soothing and gentle soap is one of the most cherished in the world.

Native American Herbs and Their Uses, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh
Learning the plants that are native to the US and have been used by indigenous peoples.

 Meet Our Contributors
Our wonderful, generous writers.

You know you want to get your own, right?  6 issues a year PLUS 6 smaller Extra!s so that you get something every month. 
Check it out by clicking here.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

'22 Black Walnut Botanical Conference

I must first mention my regret for not taking any pictures.  It's a beautiful campground that was alive with beautiful herbie people this weekend.  Last year was wonderful, but Maryanne and I spoke repeatedly during the only day we were there, so we didn't get to appreciate the best part of it!

Several years ago Molly and I traveled a day's drive away to attend a conference.  There, all of the teachers were pretty segregated/protected from the herbies, and even had a private dining room.  It bothered me that the recent development of "Star" herbalists had gone that far, and that egos were so over-blown.  Mostly because of that, herb gatherings had lost their appeal for me.

Enter the Black Walnut Botanical Conference.  We missed the first one, unfortunately.  It was scaled back due to COVID, and we were staying to ourselves at the time.  Last year we immediately felt welcomed by everyone there.  It was very hot, but good cheer remained.

This year I was on the other side of the microphone, and loved every minute.  I arrived early on Friday to set up our sales table while my sister Maryanne stayed back to get some wholesale soap orders out the door.  The vending area was in a great location, as all of the tables circled around the (I think it was called) lodge that is connected to the dining room.  This large room also had a big oval conference table in the center where attendees felt welcome to sit and talk, along with an area with sofas and chairs around a fireplace, that also welcomed anyone to relax.

Susanna Reppert Brill had snagged a table before heading out to teach a workshop, and the rest were open, so I took the table next to her.  Eventually, brothers Obiora and Irucka Embry, who teach (and live) about biodiversity and agriculture pulled up on the other side of me.  Gradually, the tables were filled with beautiful creations, medicines, herbal treats, and books.  Teachers Robin Rose Bennett, Matthew Wood, Linda Shanahan, Erica Jo, and Briel Beaty (Driscoll) set up and filled the tables.

That afternoon before dinner, attendees were arriving and shopping!  I was swamped (happily) and glad that Maryanne would be joining us the next day.  At dinner, everyone just joined a table.  It didn't look like anyone felt out of place or excluded.  In that and the following 3 meals, I sat with different people each time, and felt completely welcomed and included at each table.  In fact, I don't think there was anyone there with whom I didn't share at least a brief conversation!  

Keynote was delivered by Robin Rose Bennett, who led us to be ourselves.  It was a lovely invitation to fully embrace the earth and ourselves with our feet firmly on the ground and our spirits soaring.  The tent backed against a good number of the Tree of Heaven that is so attractive to the spotted lantern flies, and they became part of the conversation of life and death.  Little did they know they would become such a clear and simple demonstration.  We sang and heard poetry, and I walked away feeling uplifted.

There were a lot of highlights, and I was very glad to have been able to sneak out and take in some of the talks.  Susanna presented an absolutely delightful and fact filled history of herbalism and medicine in the western world from 1799 to 1999.  It was a lot of fascinating information that I was unfamiliar with - for instance how George Washington died, to begin with!  We take Susanna for granted because she's local, but she is such an awesome speaker and we remember that every time we see her speak at a gathering like this.

I heard and enjoyed parts of Matthew's and Briel's talks, and loved talking to everyone in the vending area throughout the day on Saturday.  I regretted not taking in Linda's talk on death and dying on Friday.  There were glowing reports passed around about all the talks, as well as the fire led by Erica Jo on Friday night.  Several attendees went out on French Creek in kayaks Saturday morning and arrived back in camp refreshed.  It was a pretty magical weekend.  

One negative that was completely beyond the control of Organizer Extraordinaire, Amy Henderson, was a lack of hot water in the shower room that management was unable to fix - BUT they provided other options on site for showering with hot water.  As an old ren faire person, I'm just thrilled there are flush toilets and running water, but didn't sleep there.  Also, I just have to mention Amy's husband Chris, who was in constant motion, making sure everything went smoothly, and the helpers who made registration a breeze.

We saw old friends and made many new friends.  I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, August 04, 2022

August Back Issue (digital) Sale! 40% off!

This is from our most recent (free) newsletter that you can sign up for on our website.  At one time, we had 2 or 3 options for posting information and/or special savings.  Now, there are so many places that sometimes I forget some of them.  We always remember to shout out on the newsletter.

Here is news about our back issue sale! 



We haven't done this for at least 4 years, but now our print issues are pretty much sold out, and we're putting the digital copies up for the month of August only at 40% off.  No code is needed.
The first 10 years of the magazine were compiled into the books, but the rest are all available on the website.

August reading during the dog days. Read up on all kinds of projects for harvesting, good eats, preserving, medicine, and herbal crafts. We cover everything under the sun - and you can get it for 40% off right now.  Choose from 75 different issues!