Remembering The Deer Mother Of Winter Solstice

It’s the season when we tell children the tales of Santa and his flying reindeer. But this year why not tell the story of the sacred “Deer Mother” of old? Taking flight from the darkest, longest night of the year, it was she who brought the life-giving light of the sun back to the land, […]

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Deeply Nourishing Seasonal Medicine: Delectable Dandelion Root Treats!

Tis the season for harvesting that super nutritious and medicinal powerhouse—dandelion root! According to herbalist Susun Weed, dandelion roots are best harvested in late fall when they are sweetest and highest in medicinal potency. And while they’re mostly used in tinctures and teas for their many amazing health benefits, my favourite seasonal way to enjoy […]

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The Healing Power & Culinary Magic of Conifers: A Video

As cold and flu season begins to loom, it’s time to call on the protective and healing powers of 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 demands on our reserves of energy, endurance and warmth, […]

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Remembering The Priestesses Of The Dead: A Halloween Vigil

Halloween takes its roots in ancient festivals and feasts honouring the dead. Which makes it a perfect time to remember the Haliorunna, the oracular priestesses of the “underworld mysteries” whose rites of divination and ancestor veneration were demonized and extinguished by the Church. It was Max Dashu’s wonderful book Witches and Pagans Women in European […]

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Foraging & Cooking with Coastal Mugwort: A Salt, A Honey & Vinegar

Every year I fall for a particular plant and start to use it in practically everything. This year I’ve been bewitched by the deep smoky, earthy and sagey flavour of Suksdorf sagewort or coastal mugwort. Of all the mugworts I know, our native suksdorf sagewort has to be one of the most deliciously aromatic -and […]

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Rowan Berry Kitchen Witchery: Two Recipes

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been experimenting with some kitchen witch cuisine for our upcoming Hallowe’en Night of Herbal Magick with herbalist Betty Norton. We’re going to be concocting some magical cookery with the sacred plants and herbs of Samhain, but most especially the scarlet bright berries of Rowan or Mountain Ash – long […]

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Double Chocolate Curly Dock Seed Cake: A Healthy, Decadent Delight!

I adore chocolate cake and spend a great deal of time drooling over Pinterest recipes. But lately, a lot of moody luscious cakes made with “healthy” buckwheat have been especially catching my eye.  And because those tall reddish-brown spires of curly dock seeds growing in fields, yards and lanes are from the buckwheat family – I put two […]

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Wildcrafted “Boursin”: A Tangy, Garlicky, Yogurt Cheese

I just love this cheese! Brimming with vitalizing nutrients and gut healthy probiotics, this beautiful “Boursin” yogurt cheese is not only a show stopper at parties, it’s absolutely delicious, easy to make, inexpensive, and really, really good for you. You can make creamy spreadable version (like cream cheese) which is what I’ve pictured here or […]

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Spicy & Sweet Hawthorn Ketchup: Reviving a Traditional Recipe

Originally posted on gather:
Thick and robustly tangy, my all-time favorite condiment is good old fashioned “Haws Ketchup”. Made from the bright crimson berries of the Hawthorn tree (which you can find a stone’s throw away from where ever you stand in Victoria) it compliments roasted meats, scrambled eggs and a big basket of steaming…

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Wild Soda for the Autumn Equinox

The leaves are falling and the last of the summer fruits are hanging heavy. The autumn equinox is fast approaching. This is my favourite time of year. More than spring, this is when I feel energized. This turning inward time lifts my spirits and my thoughts grow clearer.

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The Magical Herstory of Food: Gone Missing

“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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Fudgey Burdock & Rose Brownie Cake

Last spring, I tested out a batch of Burdock & Rose Brownies at Gather’s “Botanical Sweet Treat” bar. And they were the first to go. Their dark fudgey icing drew peoples eyes like a magnet – and no one cared a whit about warnings that these brownies were a little more “earthy” in flavour than […]

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Beautiful Venus Vinegar: Autumn Medicine & Magic

Behold the first fruit of my autumn equinox basket! A magical Venus Vinegar composed of the most vitalizing wild foods, herbs and medicines offered by mother nature this season. And it is no ordinary herbal vinegar, but a nutrient-rich, beautifying, fortifying tonic that is fruity, tangy, spicy and earthy all in one.  And a splash […]

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Eating Wild: The Missing Link to Optimum Health

I love that wild foods are the most nutritious, natural and sustainable of all foods – which is why they are a daily part of my diet. But because I still have to pay for the bulk of my sustenance, I’m ever so grateful to food journalist Jo Robinson and her wonderful book “Eating on the […]

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Recipes for Comfort & Joy: The Healing Powers of Conifers

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 demands […]

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White Clover Pudding: A Recipe for Comfort & Healing

Little did I know when I first came across an old pioneer recipe for “White Clover Snow” that it would be my solace during dark and hungry times. But after a recent dental pummeling that left me aching and unable to chew, it was this sweet unassuming little ‘pudding’ that rode to my rescue. Spooning its […]

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Sweet & Savoury Dandelion Rosemary Shortbread

Growing up with Scottish grandparents, shortbread featured heavily in our family celebrations—Christmas, mainly. Each aunt made a version of my grandmother’s standard recipe, while my mother (a defiant non-Celt) makes a light whipped cookie with neon green and red cherry centres. I like my shortbread dense, crazy buttery and undecorated. Not quite like my grandmother’s, […]

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Wild Bewitching Pesto: Conjuring Culinary Magic

Fresh, vibrant, tangy, zesty, spicy and garlicky are only some of the adjectives used to describe wildcrafted pesto. But how about spell-binding? From dandelion, garlic mustard, sorrel, and lemon balm, these “weeds” and herbs not only have a long magical history, they can be transformed into tasty and nutritious sauces, dips and condiments—and served with […]

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Going Wild With Kimchi!

“A bomb of flavour. Pungent, piquant and powerful all at once.” – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook We’ve been eating kimchi (fermented vegetables) in our family forever. Derived from the Korean word “shimchae” which means “salting of vegetables “ it most commonly features napa cabbage, radish, scallion (or cucumber) garlic, ginger and fiery red-hot pepper as starring […]

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Wild Green Greek Pies: Oh So Savoury!

Picture a patch of grass three feet by three feet beneath you. Then imagine you are a Greek Granny with basket in hand, who is foraging for the over eighty kinds of wild greens that appear in the hillsides and fields each spring. You fill your basket with the young leaves of dandelions, dock, mallow, […]

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Stewards or Profiteers: Selling The Wild

I’ve been foraging for about a decade now, but lately, I’ve noticed a growing number of newly enthused “wildcrafting” entrepreneurs (with considerably less experience) selling their wares. So imagine my surprise when a local wildcrafter recently insinuated I had succumbed to forager’s greed because I had picked a pound of salal berries (I wanted to […]

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“Soul Cakes” for an Old-Fashioned All Hallows Eve

Originally posted on gather:
“A soule cake, a soule cake, Have mercy on all Christen soules for a soule-cake.”  John Aubrey, 17th century I’ve been researching old world recipes in search of Halloween food inspiration, and these sweet little barmbrack “soul cakes”  are the result. And while we may think of all things pumpkin when…

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