Tuesday, August 03, 2010

What an herbalist does on vacation...

I've decided that after a really frustrating week spending too much time on the computer, I had to spend some time on vacation. Yah.
So what did I do with my stay at home vacation day #1.

Yummy breakfast- scrambled eggs w/ CSA peppers, squash, onions, garlic and italian sausages.
A nice long walk outside. Seems like these days I don't get enough time outside to collect, forage and Identify new plants. So made a point of going out for a little foraging mission and relaxed walk. The air was cool, sun behind the clouds, and sweet breeze kept the mosquitos at bay (for a while anyway). I found a beloved friend whom I've never met in person, Lobelia Inflata. Of course I forgot to bring my field guide along, but I knelt down after she caught my eye, and mysteriously knew who she was. Who said plants don't talk! Maybe it was the little balloon-like seed pods, or the blue flowers, but I instinctively knew it was lobelia, and took a tiny taste of the leaf. Sure enough acrid and biting as hell...tastes like my good friend lobelia. (Later I positively ID'd a specimen I brought home with Newcomb's Wildflower Guide).

Then further up the trail I found the place where the sun breaks through the trees and the goldenrod is blooming a golden song all about the meadow, and set to picking some of the sweet scenting flowering fronds for tincture and oil. As she led me on, she took me to where the St John's Wort patch I've been waiting on all summer is FINALLY in full bloom. I spent a good while picking St John's Wort tops as well before heading home. Nothing like sweet golden plant friends to cheer a weary and gloomy herbalists heart.

Back at home, a quick lunch of cold chicken and cucumbers, smothered in homemade mayonnaise, and I went to town tincturing up my harvest.

Then, as I've signed up for the Preserving the Bounty Challenge from Nourished Kitchen, I set to work on making a batch of Apple Beet Relish! YUM!

It's so beautiful ruby colored sweetness...spiced with ginger, cinnamon stick, clove and cardamom...I Can't wait to try it! Plus its much fun to squish grated beets and apples and salt together into a pink luscious juicy mess!

I guess that might sound like a lot of work, but its a purely relaxing day for me. Now for a supper of baked stuffed zuchinni and homemade marinara!

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~