Category Archives: Recipes

Insane in the Membrane

By | Flying Ointments, Folk Medicine, Herbalism, Recipes | 37 Comments

It has been over a year since I wrote a blog post and I only wrote three blog posts total last year. It’s pretty unprecedented for me! I have been blogging for 15 years and never have I written so little. Granted I did write a few posts for my wilderness education website and I have been working on my book, but it’s still very little writing for this writer! I have never been the apologetic blogger, my policy has always been to write when I can and not worry about it when I can’t, but it’s gotten to the point people are emailing me to ask if I’m okay! What happened? Go read The Dark Year for perspective (in 2016 I was very ill and lost three people very dear to me all in a row). In the past four years I had two children, my little boys who are now ages one and four. My heart bursts with love for them and little ones are so freaking cute, but man does having children turn your life upside down! It is hard to run a business, write, and travel to teach when you have babies. You are a caregiver…

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Forest Chai

By | Bioregional Herbalism, Cooking, Recipes | 5 Comments

Chai tea is a delicious way to start working with local plants. Tailor your own chai recipe with aromatic herbs native to the forests of your region and then learn how to identify, seek out, and properly harvest the botanicals needed for the recipe. The process will lead to you becoming comfortable with identifying, harvesting, and preparing a good handful of edible plants which grow all around you. Then maybe out of curiosity you’ll research the medicinal properties of each botanical, then maybe other edible uses, and then maybe you’ll stumble onto some traditional indigenous uses for folk magic and ceremony… Then you will have more plant knowledge than you can shake a stick at (ok, at least much more than you started with). The result won’t be a true chai, but it will be your chai and will become your tasty gateway drug to the wonderful world of bioregional herbalism. Boreal Forest Chai 2 tsps Fresh or Dried Chaga Mushroom, ground 1-2 tsps Dried Large-Leaved Avens root, roasted and ground 1 tsp Dried Balsam Fir Needles 2 tsp Cinnamon Bark, crushed Non-native suggestion: The avens root and the chaga are chocolatey, but raw, freshly ground cacao nibs push this…

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Guide to Pacific Northwest Incense

By | Bioregional Herbalism, Ethnobotany, Folk Magic, Herbalism, Recipes, Wildcrafting | 19 Comments

Burning botanicals for pleasure, ceremony, and medicine is something we humans have performed for millennia. We just really like to light things on fire and the act never fails to bring us a child-like awe and some kind of primal pleasure. Imagine our pyromaniac ancestor’s excited delight in discovering that certain plants smell amazing when lit on fire and the smoke inhaled.  I burn incense on an almost daily basis. I started blending my own loose incenses and making my own smudge wands eight years ago and my passion for knowledge on native plants quickly drove me to research which aromatic botanicals from the Pacific Northwest would be best for incense and smudge. This guide is the result of almost a decade worth of research and hands-on experience. This short guide is designed for use by those with some wild harvesting knowledge and experience. Please practice ethical harvesting of any of the botanicals mentioned only taking 10% of a plant or colony of plants and 20% of the aerial parts of a plant (leaves, flowers, seeds). Special care should be taken not to harm trees when harvesting resin which should not be confused with tree sap. Resin flows from wounds and is needed…

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Wild Violets Taste Like Spring

By | Cooking, Folk Magic, Herbalism, Recipes, Wildcrafting | 4 Comments

Wild violets taste like green and purple; clean and fresh, they are like clover, budding leaves, and sunlight. The sun came out for a brief, warm flash and brought spring with it, suddenly, everything blooming like an unexpected orgasm. I found an expansive patch of viola adunca a short walk from my home and buried my face in the sweet purple fragrance. I picked every flower I could reach finding bright red lady bugs hugging the leaves and watching honey bees make love to pollen-covered stamens. “All flowers growing in untrodden dells and shady nooks, uncontaminated by the tread of man, more especially belonged” to Venus and Diana. — Thiselton-Dyer It is no surprise that violets belong to Venus and the water element. They are so sweet and delicately feminine, their shy purple heads hiding in shady, moist places under trees and near water.  Peaceful, healing, and soothing, when carried or eaten violets will protect from wicked spirits and help to heal wounds physical or spiritual. Mixed with lavender they create a powerful potion of love and lust. Make a wish on the first violet you see and it will be granted. Eat violets to change your luck for the better….

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Whiskey for An Cailleach

By | Folk Magic, Folk Medicine, Herbalism, Recipes | 14 Comments

I woke up early this morning and the Poisoner had made me tea. “Don’t look outside,” he said. So of course I did. The first snow of the season in this old town. Thick, heavy, fluffy snow, driven hard by a fierce wind, falls from the sky; contrasted against the ancient holly tree bearing its bloody fruits. The Cailleach has arrived, shaking her apron. Groggy with sleep, my first instinct was to light the candle in the kitchen window and pour her a glass a whiskey. “For the blue hag,” I said, and pointed at the Cailleach mask hanging on my wall. It’s always better to welcome and appease the fierce Old Woman. A Scot and a witch too, the Poisoner didn’t blink at my simple rite. There is fresh ginger root and lemons and cinnamon sticks and honey in my kitchen. Time for another Scots tradition since we’re both sick with a nasty cold: a hot toddy. 1 oz whiskey or rum 1-2 cups hot water 1-2 lemon wedges 1 cinnamon stick Soothes a sore throat, but only have 1-2 a day during your cold and drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic tea to keep yourself hydrated. I feel a very strong…

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