Food

Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake (with Rose)

Wylde and Green

This recipe is adapted from one I found in Lia Leendertz – The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide. A brilliant book for anyone interested in the seasonal tides, moons and fields.

The best thing about this cake….making it. I chose a gloomy, grey Sunday and the scent of the oranges lifted my spirits immeasurably. Blood oranges are in season from February to mid March I believe, so make this cake quick. I added rose water, because in my head this cake was so green and pink I wanted to add the delicate taste and fragrance of rose, and it really worked. This would be the perfect cake to bake for someone who needed some luck in love, or to raise the spirits after a broken heart.

img_7590Ingredients

  • 150g organic butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • Zest of 3 blood oranges and juice of 1
  • 2 tsps of rose water
  • 2 free range eggs

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Food, Herbals

Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections — Gather Victoria

For me, the heady sweet almond-like fragrance of the Ornamental Purple Plum is the very essence of spring. Standing beneath their sensual pink and rose flower-laden branches on a sun-warmed afternoon is an absolutely swoon-worthy experience. Sadly underutilized as a culinary ingredient, plum blossom has a unique scent and flavour which infuses beautifully in cream,…

via Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections — Gather Victoria

Herbals, Wild Foodism

Manzanita Tree Medicine

I love this tree. It’s an all purpose tree with beautiful wood for woodworking and fragrant in campfires and bar-b-ques.

Elder Mountain Dreaming

Arctostaphylos Manzanita is in the family of the Ericaceae. Various names are Greenleaf manzanita; Big berry plant (Navajo); Big Manzanita, Mariposa Manzanita, Whiteleaf Manzanita; Madroño Borracho, Pinguica. They grow along in California, Nevada and Oregon up to the west slopes of the Sierras into the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains. In some areas they are large trees and some are like shrubs, all have a beautiful smooth, matte-finished red bark and a light to medium sage colored evergreen leaves.

Leaves are smooth, wide, dull green and thick as leather. The flowers bloom in little nodding clusters and are pinkish and urn shaped, maturing into red, tart, mealy berries with from 4-10 seeds. It is hardy to zone 8 and has green leaves all year. Flowers from late February to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. The
plant is self-fertile.

Harvest the berries when just ripened and…

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Food, Herbals, Plants

How to select, prepare, store and preserve Sage [Infographic]

ecogreenlove

Sage is a prevalent herb used worldwide in cooking and herbal medicine. Whether you opt for the fresh or dried form, sage adds a warm, pine-like flavor with hints of rosemary and citrus to any dish.

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Food

Golden Bread Magic for The Feast of The Ovens — Gather Victoria

When the landscape outside your window resembles an arctic tundra – as mine currently does – there is nothing better to turn to than warm bread fresh out of the oven. So appropriately, this hearty and flavour-filled loaf is dedicated to the Roman Goddess of Ovens, Fornax, and her February festival of baking. It’s a…

via Golden Bread Magic for The Feast of The Ovens — Gather Victoria

Food, Health

Food as Medicine: Pear (Pyrus communis and P. pyrifolia, Rosaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The genus Pyrus consists of 30 deciduous species and is closely related to the genus Malus, which includes apples (Malus spp.). Both genera are part of the economically important Rosaceae family.1,2 Similar to apples, Pyrus fruits are classified as pomes, where the seeds are contained in a central, compartmentalized core.3 The Pyrus genus is native to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.Capable of living for more than 250 years, the pear tree is one of the longest-living fruit trees.1 Cultivated pears are derived from one or two wild pear species widely distributed in Europe and western Asia.2 Of the 5,000 varieties cultivated worldwide, the two species grown commercially are the European pear (P. communis) with its juicy, aromatic, bell-shaped fruit, and the Asian pear (P. pyrifolia) with its crisp and crunchy, apple-like shape and texture.1,2,

The…

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Health, Herbals, Plants

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Cardamom

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

f you have ever tasted Biryani (Indian flavored savory rice) or kheer (Indian rice pudding) or the famous Finnish pulla, you would probably identify the aroma of cardamom. The sweet and mystical spice was used by the Greeks and Romans in their perfumes and the ancient Egyptians as mouth fresheners. Even today, Cardamom (green) is one of the most expensive spices. It’s not just native to the South-East Asian belt, it’s increasingly used in Europe as well.

1- Cardamom, ginger, and turmeric belong to the same botanical family Zingiberaceae: cardamom is part of the Zingiberaceae family and is sold in pods, seeds, and powder form. The pods can be split open to expose the aromatic seeds. Both turmeric and ginger are roots, or rhizomes, while cardamom is the seed of the plant. It pairs very well with turmeric and ginger. Turmeric imparts a deep yellow color to curries, ginger…

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Food

Old-fashioned Graham Pop-overs

A Hundred Years Ago

I recently made a hundred-year-old recipe for Graham Pop-overs. The pop-overs did not rise as much as anticipated, but nevertheless they were a delightful bread that seemed more like a muffin than a pop-over. The Graham Pop-overs had a slightly nutty flavor, and were wonderful when served warm with butter or honey.

Graham flour is a coarsely ground whole wheat flour that contains the endosperm, the bran, and the wheat germ. Modern graham flours sometimes have most of the wheat germ removed to prolong shelf life and to help keep it from going rancid.

Year ago graham flour was considered a health food, and I regularly see recipes that call for it in hundred-year-old cookbooks.

Graham flour is named after its inventor Sylvester Graham. He began making graham flour in the 1830s, and promoted it as part of a health movement which encouraged eating vegetarian meals and unseasoned foods.

It…

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Food

Imbolc Lavender & Rosemary Seed Cake — Gather Victoria

There is nothing like cake to celebrate a special occasion and Imbolc (on February 2nd) is no exception. And I think this “naked” sponge cake would be a wonderful addition to any Imbolc Feast! It’s kept gorgeously moist with brushings of lavender and rosemary syrup (between cake layers) but the slight tang of the Mascarpone…

via Imbolc Lavender & Rosemary Seed Cake — Gather Victoria

Food, Gardens, Herbals, Plants

Already Thinking About Designing A Herb Garden?

Good Witches Homestead

There are many books written on the various types of herb gardens. Invest in at least one good book on growing herbs that includes garden tips, what herbs to use for what purpose, and harvesting guidelines. Several types of gardens with plant suggestions are outlined below. You may notice that some herbs appear in more than one garden type. This is because herbs are versatile and have many uses.

Culinary Herb Gardens

Historically, a culinary garden is planted as close to your kitchen door as possible. This allows you to step outside and harvest the particular herb you need for the dish you are preparing. If you have too much shade, or your hardscaping won’t allow you to plant right outside your door, you can add culinary herbs to the vegetable garden or plant a container garden instead. Culinary gardens are generally governed by what the planter uses the most…

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