Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, […]

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Citrusy Spruce Glazed Shortbread: Flavour Of The Forest

This recipe was inspired by an incredibly lovely and vigourous Sitka Spruce tree that lives in a woodland area near my neighborhood. Standing out amongst the other conifers, her bluish-white branches positively sparkle on dreary rainy days. At first I was sure she was a Blue or White Spruce, but on closer look, I now […]

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Aromatic & Spicy Juniper Berry Sugar Stars

Juniper Berry is simply divine. Aromatic and perfumey, it is just the perfect spice for a buttery cookie. Growing on Vancouver Island, and all over the world, common junipers gorgeous blue-black berries (actually tiny cones) are best known as the taste ingredient of gin. For those who have never encountered the juniper berry, imagine the […]

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The Magical Herstory of Food

“When we learned to cook is when we became truly human, but we’ve lost touch with how that food got to our plates.” Michael Pollan in Cooked. As is so often the case with history, the “herstory” tends to get left out – and food is no exception. While there are as many books on food […]

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Grand Fir Dark Nougat: Winter Solstice Sweets

I found the recipe for this “extraordinary and irresistible traditional Christmas candy” in a treasured old cookbook “The Auberge of The Flowering Hearth”. Created with only three ingredients, pine honey, toasted almonds and a pinch of thyme, it was caramelized down into a dark, delectable, chewy brittle known as Black Nougat. Well, I was enchanted. Not […]

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Winter Woodland Medicine: Delicious & Warming Tonic Syrups

When dark, winter days challenge our bodies as well as our spirits, nothing makes a better remedy than old-fashioned tonic syrups. Time-tested & true, these potent preventatives and remedial healers call on the nourishing, medicinal powers of conifers, wild berries, tonic plants and adaptogenic herbs, honey and warming spices. And not only will they help […]

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Cranberry & Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

It’s no secret that baking confections, cookies and fruit cakes have long been part of feminine customs surrounding the winter holidays. But one beautiful baking tradition is now almost entirely forgotten, and it served as the inspiration for this fruity, dense Mother’s Night Honey Cake. And while it may be a bit rustic, I tried to […]

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The Perfect Yuletide Tipple: Emily Han’s Douglas-fir Liqueur

Here at Gather we adore Emily Han! Equally at home in hiking boots as she is in the kitchen, her work has inspired us for years. One of the first to transform wild edibles from survival food into good cuisine, her recipes make wild foods accessible, simple to prepare—and most of all, delicious. You can imagine how thrilled […]

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When days darken, cold winds blow, and the damp settles into our lungs and bones, we can turn to our ancient plant allies, the evergreen and ever vital, conifers. Towering over the forest canopy, their top branches are always nourished by the sun but their roots extend deeply into the earth. And when winter makes […]

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Recipe: Mason Jar Grand Fir Pots de Creme

Grand fir (Abies grandis) is a conifer that has more Vitamin C (among other things) than you can shake a stick at AND it smells like oranges and Christmas. Combine that with farm fresh eggs, heavy cream and sugar and you have yourself heaven by the spoonful. We experimented with this recipe at our first Urban Wild […]

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Dark Chocolate Cheesecake: An Offering For Hecate’s Night

“O night, faithful friend of mysteries; and you, golden stars and moon, who follow the fiery star of day; and you, Hecate, goddess with threefold head, you know my designs and come to strengthen my spells and magic arts; and you, earth, who offer your potent herbs to magic; and airs, winds, mountains, streams, and […]

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Sticky Toffee Acorn Bundt Cake: A Prize Winning Recipe!

This moist, dense and gooey Sticky Toffee Acorn Cake was made from acorns harvested from my neighbourhood. And despite the nearly full day it took to create (from harvesting, shelling, leaching, roasting and grinding – to the actual baking) it was well worth the effort! It took first prize in a most wonderful old-fashioned community harvest […]

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Crabapple & Rosemary Hand Pies: Ancestral Offerings

A couple of years ago, completely hidden in dark thicket of trees, I discovered a beautiful gnarled Crabapple – gleaming with clusters of hundreds & hundreds of rosy, autumn fruits. I was thrilled! I love crisp truly tart apples (which are getting harder to find) so the Crabapple fits the bill perfectly. Crabapples are the […]

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Dandelion Blossom Gnocchi: Golden Dumplings in Garlic Cream Sauce

With the summer heat receding, I’m so happy the sunny bright heads of dandelion flowers are on their way back! This means I’ll be making more Dandelion Gnocchi, a delightful dinner for the coming cooker evenings. Filled with golden blossoms, slathered in a garlic cream sauce, fluffy, puffy and satiating, Dandelion Blossom Gnocchi is one […]

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Diana’s Apple Pear Cake w/Queen Anne Lace: Fit for a Goddess!

As Goddess of the Wild and Queen of the Woodlands, Diana holds a special place in my forager’s heart. And so for her birthday, I wanted to make a special cake (as per ancient tradition) to give thanks to “She Who Provides.” And I think this moist luscious cake, made from foraged apples and pears […]

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Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars: Berry Delicious!

You may not have heard of Mahonia berries but I know you’d love them – and they’re likely growing near you. Mahonia japonica and Mahonia bealei are both extremely common ornamental shrubs found in a wide variety of urban spaces – and in early July both are laden with deep blue dusky berries hanging in fat grape-like clusters. […]

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Fragrant Linden Blossom Sun Cake: A Magical Midsummer Treat

Delicately perfumed with the GORGEOUS scent of linden blossoms, this moist, crumbly cake truly is delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it – so now I have to bake a whole new one for solstice! But that’s okay, it takes no time to whip up and I’ll get to enjoy even more of it! In Latvia, […]

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Celebrate The Magic of MidSummer with Fragrant Floral Extracts

It is just before the summer solstice. All is lush and green, the air is perfumed with the blossoms of roses, lavender, linden and honeysuckle, and sunny landscapes are filled with yarrow, dandelion, red clover, and ox-eye daisy. Neighbourhood streets are lined with lacy yellow wild fennel, bright orange calendula and bluish purple blooms of […]

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Lilac Madeleine Cookies: Remembrance of Fragrances Past

These legendary sponge-cake cookies were immortalized by French writer Marcel Proust. In his book Remembrance of Things Past Proust’s narrator tastes a Madeleine dipped in tea and is immediately swept back in time to his childhood. “No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me […]

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Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Cake: Prosperity Magic

In my tiny wildish garden, nestling at the foot of a tall tree, is sweet woodruff. Her glossy leaves and small white blossoms may be hidden by a profusion of taller plants, but it is her scent that perfumes the air. Fresh, her fragrance (like rain, earth, fresh air and green grass all condensed into […]

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Lemon Balm & Juniper Berry Sugar Cookies: A Gather Diary Sneak Peek

So here is my latest Gather Diary. This sneak peek is made possible by wonderful Gather Patrons whose support gives me the extra time to keep a diary of what I’m making, baking and concocting each month! Thank-you!!! I’m a little behind, but I’m determined to get the rest of the recipes out in the […]

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The First Pizza? Great Goddess Herbed Cheese: Reviving The Spring Offering Of Moretum

This Roman springtime dish is a kind of cheesy pesto once eaten in honour of the Goddess Cybele, The Magna Mater (The Great Mother). And according to Ovid, Moretum descends from a time ancient people drank only pure milk and ate only “the herbs that the earth bore of its free will.”  And as we’ll […]

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Garlic Mustard & Olive Oil Bread Dip

Words cannot say how much I love Garlic Mustard. Not just because of its velvety emerald coloured leaves, not because it is one the most versatile nutritious greens you can possibly eat, not because it is one of oldest food plants and possibly the oldest “spice”, and not because its green garlicky aroma fills me […]

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Artemisia Moontime Elixir:  A Recipe For Dream Magic

“Has artemisia come to help us unlock the deep dreams that day to day living has swept seemingly out of reach? Has she come to guard us and protect us while we realign ourselves with the strength of feminine energy? Has she come–with her liver cleansing and digestive tonic– to help ease the pain of […]

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Pinterest: Regressive Feminist Scourge or Virtual Woman’s Temple?

(Note: I wrote this several years ago and while Instagram has now outstripped Pinterest as women’s favoured platform for sharing recipes and home decor,  I’m reposting the article because the issues it addresses are sadly far from outdated). Teeming with endless pictures of magnificent cakes, sumptuous floral bouquets and festive holiday decorations, millions of women […]

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Purple Plum Blossom & Wild Violets: White Chocolate Truffles!

As promised, for this April’s Gathering Diary Sneak Peeks I’m starting off by sharing this delectable melt in your mouth, spring blossom infused white chocolate truffle. I’ve made sinfully good Plum Blossom Dark Chocolate Truffles for several years now – but this year my sister-in-law made a batch of the chocolate, so I decided to alternately try […]

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A Bounty of Spring Recipes: A Gathering Diary Preview!

I want to deeply, from the bottom of my heart, thank all of you for your continued kind messages and gestures of support. I want to especially thank Gather Patrons as your generous financial support means I’m now not only able to spend more time cooking up recipes, but that I’m nearing my goal to […]

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Hot Cross Buns: Cakes for The Moon Goddess!

Right now every bakery to big box superstore has yeasty, doughy Hot Cross Buns for sale. I think this is amazing considering their history dates back to the dawn of civilization! According to a variety of food scholars, early Goddesses such as Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, Aphrodite and Venus were all offered small round buns marked with a […]

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Primrose and Pansy Coconut-Oat Bars: Pretty & Good for You Too!

Yes it’s now officially spring – but here in Victoria the pansies and primroses have been blooming for quite a while! So of course, for the past few weeks I’ve been plotting how to best eat them. The pansies delicate sweet scent and pretty colours make them popular as candied blossoms or garnishes, but sadly their […]

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Celebrate Spring! The Ancient Magical Language of Eggs

Today decorated eggs are associated in the west with the Christian holiday of Easter. But do their magical designs and symbols date back to an ancient goddess worshipping culture thousands of years old? Does the fate of the world depend on their continued creation? Watch Gather’s latest video and find out!

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Wild Spring Green Tabouli: Super Nutritious & Super Delicious

The classic Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) Salad is made with bulgur, mint, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers and a lemony garlic dressing, but I love to spruce mine up with seasonal wild greens. For this Tabouli I added some of the earliest wild edibles sprouting up now, greens like tender miner’s lettuce, peppery bittercress, and the oniony sprigs […]

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Cookbook Preview: Plum Blossom Honey Panna Cotta, Wild Spring Dumplings & Staghorn Sumac Jellies

Before we get to what’s cooking I want to express my deepest gratitude to our Gather Patreons. Thanks to you we are nearing our funding goal of $1,000.00 and so I’ve been starting to lay the groundwork for the seasonal e-cookbooks I’ve promised y’all.  And while I’m wildly grateful and excited to be having such […]

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The Lost Superfoods of Spring: Wild Green Cuisine!

Photo by Yam Magazine: Gather’s Wild Spring Salad. Today I drove up to the University of Victoria Community Garden to check out what was growing. I’m giving a walk there in March focusing on the wild edibles of spring. And by wild I mean the weeds that grow at the fringes of the garden, between […]

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Dried Rose Extravaganza! A Gather Diary Sneak Peek

“Rose is sent to earth by the gardeners of paradise for empowering the mind, the eye and the spirit.” Rumi This is the time of the year I begin to release my stingy hold over my stores of dried roses. I know as the shimmering vibrant green of first growth spreads across the landscape – […]

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Nettle & Wild Onion Rice Balls: Savouring Spring!

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a foraging favourite, so it doesn’t need much of an introduction. I probably don’t need to tell you that it has been a beloved spring tonic since time immemorial, or that many consider it the most nutritious of all wild plants, jam packed with vitamins, minerals, even protein. But aside from […]

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Purify & Protect: Angelica, Sage, Rosemary & Bay Laurel Cordial

So I’ve concocted a magical cordial in honour of the purifying and amatory goddesses of February. Yes, a cordial is basically just a sweet syrup but this cordial is a “Februa” and as such will cleanse your energy field not to mention protect your body and spirit. What is a Februa you ask? Well let’s […]

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Dutch Puff Pancake with Lemon Curd & Primrose Cream

My favourite childhood food was (and still is) the pancake, so I’m pretty happy that from Imbolc (Feb. 1st) to Candlemas (Feb.2nd) to Shrove Tuesday (Feb 13th) – there are going to be plenty of opportunities for ceremonial indulgence!  I’ve started off celebrating the season of pancakes with this scrumptious Dutch Puff laden with Lemon […]

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Crafting “Magic-Ceutical” Syrups: A Gather Diary Sneak Peek

During January I spent a lot of time creating herbal curative syrups for friends & neighbors laid low by colds and flu. Dark, rich, fragrant, floral and berrylicious, each was brimming with herbs, blossoms and berries that help chase off nasty viruses, fight back bacteria, restore depleted energies, and positively rejuvenate our cells! I love every […]

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Introducing my GATHERING DIARY

I’m out foraging, cooking, taking pictures and eating with wild edibles nearly everyday, but there just isn’t enough time to write full recipes for everything I experiment with in the kitchen. So for the next month (or until I reach my Patreon funding goal) I’m going to be sharing free previews to my Gathering Diary (A […]

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