Monday, April 03, 2023

Just the Essentials - End of March '23


The last 6 weeks here were kind of chaotic.  Over the last decade, one by one the windows have sprung their springs, making them very difficult to open.  They got replaced, and that turned into new siding.  To prepare for this work, I moved everything away from all the windows in the house.  It’s been … different.  As I type, the spouting guys are putting the final touches on the job.  The cat has had just about enough of this rigmarole!   I don’t blame her. 

Now that things are back to normal, I can start dyeing again, planning, planting, and all the things I normally do – but couldn’t.  It’s time to start watching for the spring ephemeral flowers in the woods, and watching the jewelweed spring up everywhere.  It is really nice to have things back where they belong.  

Now that things are back to normal, I can start dyeing again, planning, planting, and all the things I normally do – but couldn’t.  It’s time to start watching for the spring ephemerals in the woods and watching the jewelweed spring up everywhere.  Soon the medicinal plants will be growing and it is really nice to have things back where they belong so that I can get to work!
What to have on hand so that you are ready:
Alcohol (vodka, grain, or your choice)
Maple syrup
Glycerin (if you want to make glycerites)

My bonus daughter Angel has a 9 month old baby right now, and brought me a bunch of glass baby food jars. These 2 or 3 ounce jars can be perfect for tincture making. We often make 8 or 16 ounces of something when an ounce or two will last more than a year.I might want a quart of holy basil or elderberry around every year, but 2 ounces of horehound or valerian is more than enough for us. Alcohol is expensive to experiment with, and who wants to pour money down the drain? A suggestion is to keep your eye out for small jars and hang on to them.They can also be purchased new from packaging suppliers.
An example of a small tincture I’ve made in the past:

From Kristine Brown RH(AHG) of
Ground Ivy Extract

This extract can be used for respiratory infections, tinnitus, and heavy metal toxicity, as well as urinary, digestive and bile issues. 

Fresh Ground Ivy
Grain alcohol
Fill your jar halfway with chopped Ground Ivy. Add grain alcohol halfway then add water to fill the jar.
Let steep for 4 weeks before using, shaking daily. You may wish to strain off the Ground Ivy at the end of the 4 week period.
Dosage for adults: 30 drops 4-5 times daily. Double for chelation
Children 2-6 - 10 drops; Children 2 - 20 drops 4-5 times daily.
learn more:

With spring greens and things like asparagus coming up, I learned a little trick for making delicious soups very easily.  In Lancaster Co., chicken corn soup is a staple, and I made it for Maryanne’s husband a couple times before I noticed he was adding canned chicken cream soup to it.  He said he wanted it to have some thickener.  A couple tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes made it perfect. 
In years past, I’ve toyed with this same idea in nettle soup.  It’s very good.  Any wild (or not so wild) greens combined with almost any broth and a touch of potato flakes, and you’ve got a hearty soup!

Nettle Corn Chowder

1 T butter
2 T minced onion
1 stalk celery chopped
1 quart fresh nettle leaves
1 small potato, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/4 C 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 C corn
2 slices bacon, cooked til crisp
1 quart chicken (or veg) broth
1/2 C instant mashed potatoes

Process the rinsed nettles with about 2 cups of the broth until you get a green slush.
Melt butter in pan.
Sweat onion and celery in the butter.
Add the processed nettle to the pan.
Add chopped egg and potato, and the rest of the broth.
Add corn and whisk in instant potatoes
Add 1/2 and 1/2 and bacon (bits)

Heat thoroughly.  Serve with crackers.  There won't be any left, but just in case, it can be refrigerated.

 Greens Soup (generic)
You can add anything you want! Most ingredients are also optional.

If you follow TEH on Facebook, you probably saw the post of the above beads made with the powders available on our website. It got more reaction than anything I've posted for years.

In the 90's, my sister and I found some exquisite porcelain jewelry from Hillside Herbs that included herbal beads in the designs. The only problem was that if they were worn in the rain, or if there was a lot of perspiration, the beads would melt!

I spent the next 10 years experimenting to find a blend that when dropped into a glass of water, would not dissolve. They need to be strong, but still permeable enough to be fragrant. No small feat! But I didn’t give up.
After 1/2 hour sitting in water, these will get a bit soft/gooey on the surface, but will dry right out. They are durable enough to be used reliably in jewelry. It took a LOT of trial and error along the way.

The recipe was not given to me. It is original. You can get the bead powders with full instructions here.

 Shop HERE
... and the latest EXTRA! went out on Monday. All about Ginger - with lots of recipes and a remedy or two! If you aren't a subscriber, you're missing out!

 Get your subscription today HERE through the 20th of April '23 and you'll get the current issue AND the Extra.  Extras are not available individually.

We DO have a e-book with the first couple of years (12) of them, though!  HERE

I hope that you're getting a chance to get a whiff of spring. Maybe getting a chance to be doing something - no matter how small - with plants, seeds, or dirt! Hang on. It's coming!

Happy Spring!

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