Saturday, October 22, 2022

Essential Herbal - November December 2022

This issue came together out of moonbeams, spider webs, magic, and the scents of wood smoke and apple cider.  In other words, we're not quite sure how it happened. 
Since we (sadly) gave up print, we've cut our deadlines paper-thin, and added the Extra! for the in-between months, so that every month we have a deadline with just 20 days to put it together.  For this one, that included a week-long vacation across the country and a little elective medicine.  It was so tight that we finished up after supper on the last day!  In 22 years, we've never been that close to the edge, and if you've been around through the years, you know we worked through some pretty crazy stuff.  But we did it, thanks to our wonderful contributors and Maryanne's skills. 
Look at this cover!  The artist has created this delightful herbalist to whom we all relate, and shown her throughout the seasons.  This cover is her 6th, so "Willow" has now shown up in every season.  We'll have to come up with some way to lure her back for subsequent issues.
The contents are listed below...

Cover, Debra Sturdevant
Beautiful painting evokes the kitchen we all dream of on some level.

Excerpt from “Herbalism,” Adrian White
I always love reading how others were drawn into herbs and develop their viewpoints and favorite herbs.

Field Notes from the Editor, Tina Sams
So many plants, people and things!

Side Dishes with Fall Flavor, Alicia Allen 
Delicious offerings for the upcoming holidays!  Several serve well as main dishes, too.

Astragalus Chia, Mountain Rose Herbs
Classic herbs and spices with added adaptogenic properties!

An Herbal Gift Basket, Debra Sturdevant 
Wonderful ideas including several tea blends, tub teas, and how-tos for herbed vinegars and honeys.  Oh – and cookies!

How to Make Items on the Cover, Tina Sams 
Debra covered the vinegar, but I give instructions and recipes for all the other gifties strewn across the cover.

Christmas Gift Ideas,
Jackie Johnson
Unique, thoughtful, and inexpensive gifts from the heart.  The Memory Jar struck a chord with us!

Seeds or Plants? Kathy Musser 
Are you a seed person or a plant person?  Sometimes it depends on the plant.  Kathy helps you decide.

Winter Warming Appetizers, Marcy Lautanen Raleigh
Cocktail parties, get-togethers and family gatherings are all opportunities to share delicious treats from the kitchen. Dips, puffs, cheese straws and pretzels are some of these tasty bites.

Herbal Holiday Gathering Recipes,
Marci Tsohonis 
Eggnog, spicy cider, herby stuffed mushrooms, finger sandwiches, dips – and just in case they spend the night, a delightful recipe for fresh ginger muffins!

Figs! Susanna Reppert Brill 
More and more people are growing figs.  If you aren’t, you might want to think about it!

Meet Our Contributors....
A little about the people you’ll find in the pages of this issue.

Get your own copy or Subscribe!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Wild Foods Pot Luck (recipes)

 If you don't get our free "Just the Essentials" newsletter, you didn't see these recipes yet.  You can sign up on our website and get any news, specials, or information first!

Over the past weekend, the class we’ve been taking since January at The Rosemary House finished up, and one of the highlights was the wild plant pot luck lunch.  Since wild plant foods are near the top of the list of my interests, I was thrilled.  My focus is to normalize incorporating wild plants.  Dishes don’t need to be completely made from weeds, but they can add flavor and nutrition.

We only have the recipes for the 4 offerings we shared.  There were teas, breads, jellies, dips, salads, soups, dressing, and desserts!  It was a FEAST!

Besides this table, there was a dessert table, a table full of crockpots, and a table with beverages!
Maryanne made the following two recipes:

Kousa Dogwood Pudding Cake

A delicious dessert made from kousa dogwood fruit with a texture like
a cross between pie and cake.



1 C organic whole wheat pastry flour *

1/2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1/2 t ground cinnamon

pinch pink Himalayan sea salt

1/4 t cream of tartar

2 chicken eggs, separated into whites and yolks

2 T butter room temp 

1 C honey

1 C kousa dogwood fruit pulp

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 1/4 C whole milk (preferably organic grass-fed)



Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter a 10” long x 7.5” wide x 2” deep baking dish. 

Stir the following dry ingredients together in bowl with a spoon: flour,
baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Set aside.

Separate egg whites from egg yellows. 

Put egg whites + cream of tartar into mixing bowl under electric mixer.
Mix for 1 minute on medium speed until cream of tartar fully
incorporated and the mixture has a frothy appearance. Then turn
speed up to high and whip until smooth, creamy, and peaks form
when you pull the beaters back, about 2-3 minutes.

Using spatula, remove whipped egg whites to separate bowl or large
measuring glass. (Don’t worry about scraping the mixer completely
clean since you’ll be adding other ingredients to mixer next.)

Add honey and room temperature butter to mixer, and mix on medium
until butter fully incorporated into honey, about 1 minute.

Add kousa pulp, egg yellows, and vanilla, and mix on medium for 1 minute.
Add milk, mix on medium for one minute.

Slowly add dry ingredients to mixer, about 1/4 cup at a time, while mixer
on medium speed and continue mixing until fully incorporated.

Pour your whipped egg white mix into the kousa-flour mix, then mix in
with a spatula (not with mixer). This is to help the final pudding be
lighter and fluffier.   

Pour ingredients into buttered baking dish. Bake on 325°F (163°C) for 60
minutes or until center of pudding cake is risen and barely jiggles when
lightly shaken. Let cool to room temp (or lightly warm) before serving.
Even better refrigerated and served the next day!

*  I used regular all purpose flour

Wood Sorrel and Sweet Onion Tart   1-9” pie



1 prebaked tart shell or you could substitute pie crust

2 T butter

3 C Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 1 medium onion), thinly sliced

1/4 t salt

splash of dry white wine

1 T flour

5 oz sorrel leaves (if using wood sorrel include flowers and pods - avoid
tough stems)

2 eggs

1 C heavy cream

freshly ground black pepper

few scrapings of nutmeg or a pinch of ground spicebush berry

5 oz Gruyere cheese, grated



In a heavy bottom pan, cook onion, salt and butter slowly on medium-low
heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft.

Raise heat to medium, add wine and let it cook off for a minute or so.

Add flour and stir to evenly distribute and cook for 2 minutes.

Add sorrel, stir, cover and cook 1 minute to wilt.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, nutmeg and pepper.

Combine sorrel mixture, egg mixture and half of the Gruyere cheese.

Sprinkle the other half of the Gruyere cheese in the bottom of the tart shell.

Fill tart shell with mixture and bake at 375ºF for 30 - 40 minutes until it’s set
and lightly browned.


My notes:   I used Swiss Cheese because I could not easily find Gruyere.

                     No idea if I used enough Wood Sorrel - Wasn’t sure if the 5 oz.
was by weight or volume, so I just gathered a bunch and cleaned it. It
wound up about 1/4 C.

My contributions were:

Seed Crackers
° for 12 to 15 minutes

3 C flour
1 ½ C shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
1 C water
¼ C olive oil
2 t salt
2 t sugar
2 T dried mushroom powder (instructions below)
2 T nettles seed
2 T lambsquarters seed
2 T sesame seed
1 t nigella seed
1 t amaranth seed

1. Mix cheese, flour, salt, sugar, and about 1/3 of the seeds (all kinds) into a food processor.  Pulse until the cheese is well incorporated.
2. Dump into large bowl and add water and oil.
3. Mix very well, eventually using your hands to get everything into a nice firm dough.
4. Cover baking sheet with parchment.
5. I used my pasta roller to roll the dough out to about 1/8”.
If using a rolling pin, you could roll it out right on the parchment to make it easy to transfer to the cookie sheet.
6.  Wet your hands, shake off extra water, and then wet the surface of the rolled out cracker dough.
7.  Spread 1/3 of the seeds on the top of the dough. 
8. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough to the size cracker you want.
9.  Use a fork to pierce all of the crackers so they don’t get puffy.
10. Carefully lift the parchment and place it into the cookie sheet.  It helps to have a helper.
11.  Bake!
12. Store in an airtight container and eat within a week.

Mushroom Powder
Buy dried mushrooms.  Put them in a Ninja or Bullet, and powder.  Use anywhere you’d like to add a little umami.  A little goes a long way.
Note:  I made them early and froze them, so I crisped them up by putting them back in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes.

Dessert table

 Green Pasta
1 1/3 C flour
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 – 2 T water
1 T olive oil
1 ½  t salt
1 t pepper
Greens – nettle, dandelion, violet, chickweed, and Echinacea leaves.
                Add 1 C (packed) mixed greens, whole egg, 1 T water, and olive oil to Ninja/Bullet and
                blend until it is liquefied. 
A blender will work too – but there will be lots of green dots and the pasta will be paler green.  It’s mostly aesthetics.
Make a nest with the flour.  Put the two egg yolks in the hole in the middle, and then add the green juice.  Mix together until the dough is less sticky and holds together.  Depending on the moisture in the greens, you may need a little more water (go in teaspoons at a time) or flour (tablespoon at a time).
Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for an hour.
Here’s where it’s nice to have a pasta machine and pasta dryer – but I didn’t always have them. 

Maryanne's Onion and Wood Sorrel tart next to the dressed pasta. 

Divide the dough into 4 or 5 sections, working with one hunk at a time.
Try to roll it into a rectangle or square (easier said than done), and cut into whatever size noodles you want.
Hang them on clean clothes hangers, hooked to cabinet knobs.

I freeze whatever I’m not having for the upcoming meal.   Having read a lot of varying information about how long dried homemade pasta stays good, I just let it dry for a couple hours and throw it in the freezer. Labeled, of course.

“Sauce” here is butter and Parmesan.

Our classes have been hosted next door at Sweet Remembrances Tea Room, and Nancy Reppert took our rag-tag conglomeration of containers, and created a beautiful spread.

If you're looking for a good in-person class and you're close to Mechanicsburg (Harrisburg) PA, give Susanna a call at The Rosemary House for info!  She teaches Rosemary Gladstar's course along with her own - it's pretty wonderful!