GROUP ARTICLE For close to 10 years we regularly posed questions to our Essential Herbal Yahoo! group and combined the answers into some truly spectacular articles. Yahoo! discontinued groups, and we haven't really found anything that comes close to the camaraderie that happened there. Occasionally we still try. This was one of those attempts, and it was pretty good!
Holiday crafting from the Nov/Dec '20 issue.
We asked, "Do you have a fun herbal gift idea that can be described/explained in a paragraph or two?"
The Essential Herbal Magazine - I'll start
This year, I'm thinking about making up a simple recipe book for the kids, but instead of food recipes, it would be herbal preparations for home remedies. It doesn't have to be big or fancy. Less than 50 pages, I'm sure. Cold/flu, Sore Throat, Splinters, Sprains, Cuts, Bites, Cramps, Sleeplessness, Melancholy, Stuff like that...
Even though I've written several books, I think about how many times we hear, "I wish I'd written down what my grandparents said." We would love to get our hands on a book from relatives on one side of the family, but that's not going to happen. We'll just have to start our own!
I make up simmering potpourri on the fly, when I happen to be doing something like peeling an orange, or baking with cacao nibs and spices.
No measuring necessary, and you can use dried materials in place of fresh, and package in a cello bag with a pretty ribbon for gift giving. One of my favorites around the hoidays is to throw together a small handful of whole cloves, cinnamon chips (or a couple of cinnamon sticks), orange peel from the orange I just ate, a couple of sprigs from the spruce trees in my yard, and maybe a few cranberries if I have them.
Another is cacao nibs, cinnamon, a piece of spent vanilla bean, and a few cardamom pods.
Place a small handful of potpourri mix in a pan of water, and simmer on low for a little while.
I give herbal soap, herbal tea blends I made, lotion bars, pain salve, candied pecans or almonds, herbal syrups, dried elderberry w/ spices and recipe for syrup, EHM booklets, sachets or coasters with spices or herbs, waxed cinnamon (cassia eo) pine cone fire starters, fire cider, pomanders, bee’s wax tree ornaments.
I've made Italian salt, violet sugar, lilac sugar, catnip logs for cats, and lavender sachets (and anything else I can use lavender for!).
I also think the small book for kids is a wonderful idea. I told my 10 yr old niece I had a journal that I kept my notes, recipes, growing tips and dried sprigs of herbs in. So that meant she and her cousin would have to argue over who got it when I died. She just shrugged and said, It's OK Aunt Marlene, we will just make copies for everyone who wants one. She is a sweet one.
Lava bracelets that have been soaked in a special blend of lavender, frankincense and patchouli.
Candy Cane Bath Salts
Essential Oil (optional)
In a glass Mason jar, layer Epsom salt and Himalayan salt, alternating as you
fill the glass jar. You can add a few drops of essential oil. Peppermint may be too
strong for some, so lavender, or rose would make a nice option. Add a burlap cover
and pretty ribbon on the top.
Phoenix Fermin @ Phoenix’s Apothecary
Sweetened Citrus Peel
Cut the rind of one orange and one lemon into matchsticks without too much of the pith. In a medium-sized pot, bring water to a boil. Add the orange and lemon peel and cook for 15-30 seconds. Drain through a sieve. Return the matchsticks to the pot and add 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 5 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the liquid is syrupy. Remove the peel from the pot and place on a wire rack to cool. (Inspired by “The Big Book of Amazing Cakes” from “The Great British Baking Show”)
Best with: orange sorbet, ginger, chocolate nd vanilla ice cream drizzled with Grand Marnier.
We love this on a salad of sliced orange rounds on top of a bed of mixed greens in the middle of winter.
While still warm curl. - Lancaster News 7/16/2020