Food really is medicine. I love this time of year because all of us gardeners and herbalists have been and still are preserving the harvest. We have been putting our garden bounty up in many ways: canning, pickling, fermenting, infusing, drying and freezing. Besides stocking our pantries and cold rooms, we are thinking of what we can create and share for holiday gifts for friends and family.
Recently, I got together with a group of like-minded women to make fire cider. This infusion will keep us and our loved ones healthy during the cold and flu season. And we had a blast herborizing together! There is nothing more satisfying then getting together with other herbies and creating healthfood foods, beverages, remedies and products for making our lives healthier.
I love my herbal communities and belong to a number of organizations and local groups. This group, the Sage Sisters, started meeting about a year ago and are working together through Rosemary Gladstar’s “Science and Art of Herbalism” course. Although, I completed my herbal apprentice with Rosemary in 2004-2005, I am delighted and inspired to attend these gatherings as it renews my brain and spirit and I get to make new herbal formulations.
We meet once a month and we all bring wonderfully tasty foods and libations for a potluck and ingredients for our projects. We had homegrown chile peppers, garlic, horseradish, turmeric root, elderberries and fresh herbs for our fire cider making. Each of us brought a quart of organic apple cider vinegar and two, empty, quart-sized mason jars with lids, our assigned ingredients, knives and cutting board. After a splendid lunch, great conversation and catching up with one another’s lives–this is truly what community gathering is all about–we got to work.
We used the new book Fire Cider! with Rosemary’s basic fire-cider recipe and one of mine: /item/130096/elderberry-and-fire-cider-elixir to create our infusions. There was much merriment in Wendy’s kitchen as we washed, peeled, chopped and minced and then began to formulate our fire ciders.
I began with the basics in both of my jars: horseradish, onions, garlic, ginger and hot peppers; and then I made them different. Although, I don’t often use turmeric in fire cider, Helen harvested and brought fresh turmeric root from the Green Farmacy Garden, so I used fresh turmeric in both of them–and we all added a few peppercorns to facilitate in the assimilation of the turmeric. One of my jars has lemon and elderberries and the other jar has orange and pomegranate seeds. Rosemary, thyme and sage are the seasonal robust herb additions. I am certain that these will be the best fire cider vinegars that I have ever created!
Tis the season to gather with your community and loved ones–get together and spend time making something together–whether it is fire cider, bath bombs, cookies, applesauce, cards or whatever. Make time to be with friends and family and celebrate this season whether it is creating, just relaxing with a libation or hot chocolate and popcorn, walking in the woods or watching Jupiter and Venus setting in the night sky. I am thankful to have these wonderful opportunites of sharing and celebrating life.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
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