Fire Cider, and other stories.

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The other morning I wandered out onto the stoop and the entire city was enshrouded in a blanket of fog. I ran inside to grab the essentials: slippers, hat, coffee and blanket, and then I sat on the edge of my stoop, on the edge of the world, watching the mysterious shapes appear and re-appear, [...]

Prickly Pear Margarita

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(a guest post for the Wild Things Roundup) Greetings, readers! Today we have a guest post, from the lovely Katelyn Bradwell in Dallas, Texas. We were chatting on Facebook and she mentioned that she was sipping a prickly pear margarita. Of course I was so excited that I demanded she write a guest post on [...]

Spiced Hawthorn-rose syrup

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Two wonderful things happened in the last month, and they both occurred over the same weekend. The first was the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. I’m sure if you’re up to date with my ramblings on Facebook you got sick of reading about it. A 3-day weekend gathering of Herbalists from all over the country [...]

Things to do with baby black walnuts

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I have a thing. A colour thing. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before. It’s a visceral reaction to all things pigmented. Much like when around someone you love you want to shower them with hugs and pet their hair (if I’ve ever petted your hair absent-mindedly now you know why), with colours I want to [...]

Elderflower cordial

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(dancing on the edges of things) I remember the day I first fell in love with the elderflower: it was a hot Glaswegian summer day. I was sitting on my favourite grassy knoll, in the shade of a big craggy old hawthorn bush, with a bounty. All of my adventures involved a bounty of some [...]

Crying over smoked milk

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This post is being submitted to the Wild Things roundup over at Hunger and Thirst. If you [still] haven’t checked it out, please do! Few things are as evocative as smoke. It’s primal. We humans have been using smoke since we started using fire. Which, if you think about it, was a long long time [...]

Intention

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[conifer sirup for expectorance and yum] Last week Los Angeles was blessed with the presence of the herbalist Matthew Wood. Surprisingly humble for someone who’s spent longer than I’ve been alive dedicated to the study of herbal medicine, being around him is always fun. At one point, we were sitting in my mum’s kitchen while [...]

Eggnog. In a mug.

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(on the warming magic & merits of cinnamon) For a week we experimented with keeping the heating on all the time. It was nearing 40 degrees in Los Angeles and living in Southern California for any length of time does something to your temperature tolerance. That is, it destroys it. But having the heating on [...]

Rose passion tea

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I was at the farmers market when I saw a man who I recognised. But I couldn’t place his face. I followed him around a few stalls, stopping to ask the chicken lady if he was famous. He wasn’t famous. But I couldn’t remember. So I let it go and forgot about it. A few [...]

Yucca syrup

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I was out wandering in the hills at sunset the other night. The clouds were rolling in from the Pacific below me, blotting out most of the signs of civilisation. And I climbed- up to the area that I call the dragon’s back, though it has another name that is much more boring. I much [...]