Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Herbal Waters at Home

Taking a page out of The Herbal Kitchen, a book by Kami McBride with a forward by Rosemary Gladstar, I created a wonderful herbal water today. This book was given to me by a dear friend and is just what the doctor ordered. Lemon and orange slices, paired with peppermint leaves from my garden and accented with cinnamon sticks was today's best thirst quencher!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cooking with Rosemary

Rosemary Gladstar

image courtesy Sage Mountain

On Saturday I was introduced to some of Rosemary's closest friends by the amazing woman herself; nettle, poppy, and lemon balm to name a few, and learned aAdd Imagemongst other things, how to differentiate wild raspberry plants from wild blackberry plants.

We learned the gifts of many plants in the pouring rain on an unseasonably cold afternoon. The only way I can explain how I was not as cold as I should have been is that I was filled with passion for what I was hearing. Moreover, Ms. Gladstar spoke in such a way as to deeply resonate with how I relate to the world and it's natural gifts.

And then....we cooked with Rosemary! This was truly a treat for me. I helped make nori rolls filled with dandelions that had been marinated in an italian seasoning and sauteed in olive oil, garlic and onion. The nettle soup and nettle pesto were my favorites!

She took a minute at the end of our meal to answer my question about helping my son with seasonal allergies, and in her gentle manner gave me guidance with preparing a nettle tea, as well as resources for introducing healing herbs to my children. After the session, I felt elated and stepped lighter as I walked down the driveway of Sage Mountain. "I am on the right path" is what kept popping in my head.

Sheer delight washed over me while taking a turn through the wild areas of my property with my best friend and a glass of wine the next evening after my daughter's birthday party and discovering wild raspberry plants popping up all over the place! "I have something! I have something!" I blurted out in giddy excitement. Huge undisturbed dandelion leaves for salads and wine, violets, elderberry, and possibly even Juneberry live amongst other undiscovered edible and medicinal plants in my back yard. Treasure! When we first moved to this little house, I immediately felt the magic of the garden and lanscape. I felt the urge to learn about the cultivated herbs that were there already; sage, echinacea, oregano, chive...and my curiosity led me to Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health book..... and one year later I have cooked with the spirited and sparkling lady.

Little did I know that the child who loved to stare at the huge tree growing in the middle of a junkyard behind her South Bronx apartment building, longing to be nestled in it's branches, surrounded by a canopy of green, would as an adult find a home whose greatest gift would be the splendor of it's greens. Tame as well as wild laid out before me I have found a green path to take me to the heights of important knowledge to pass down to my children.

I can see the ingredients are here for a lifetime of beautiful nourishment of all kinds.