Marchpane Cookies for the Rose Queens

Marchpane was one of the most popular Tudor confections  – at least for those who could afford it.  Created from costly ground almonds, sugar and rosewater, moulded into shapes and baked, decorated with coloured glazes, gilded fruit and “comfits”,  then assembled into elaborate centrepieces, it was found only on the most aristocratic and royal tables.  […]

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The Flavours of Viriditas: My 30-Day Diary of Glorious Wild Greens

O most honored Greening Force, You who roots in the Sun; You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel that earthly excellence fails to comprehend. You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries. You redden like the dawn and you burn: flame of the Sun. –  Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae […]

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To Long Life & Good Health: A Toast to Anna Perenna & The Coming of Spring

Happy Belated Spring Equinox! In this tardy post, we’re going to infuse healing herbs into honeyed wine, and offer a toast to Anna Perenna the Roman Goddess of long life and good health. Her festival and feast were held when her powers were most manifest – at the return of spring. And according to the […]

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Wild Spring Greens: A Superfood Recipe Round-up!

Today there is a huge demand for antiviral and immune-supportive herbs amid growing concern over COVID-19. Many are sold right out as herbalists scramble to get packages out. But don’t worry – I’ve got good news – the wild spring greens are here! Jam-packed with “nutraceuticals” known to have antiviral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, immune supportive and […]

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Chunky Rose Petal Pesto: Summer Savour

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” Maud Hart Lovelace It’s been a whole year since I first started working on the “Gather Cookbook” for Gather Patrons. And since I’m going to be adding some new summer solstice recipes to the cookbook this […]

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Rhubarb-Rose Pannacotta Squares: Keto Darlings!

T’is the glorious season of rhubarb and roses, one of my most beloved flavour combinations. And since practically everyone I know is eating keto, I was inspired to create these Keto Rhubarb-Rose Squares. With a buttery ground almond base and a creamy pannacotta style filling, these rosy tart  “no bake” darlings are sooo simple to […]

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The Goddess Feasts: The Magic of Gratitude, Pleasure and Plenty

This April I’m celebrating Goddess Cuisine. I made a Floralia Cake for the Goddess of Flowers, Violet Cream Cupcakes for Venus, honeyed libations for the Goddess Bona Dea and a savoury fresh white cheese made with plenty of “herbs and blossoms born of the earth’s free will” for the Great Mother, Cybele. And more! This […]

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Drinking in Joy: Red Flowering Currant Elixir

Right now in my back garden, a Red Flowering Currant Bush (Ribes sanguineum) is in full radiant bloom. Her drooping clusters of “soul-piercing pink flowers” are sending out an entrancing floral, fruity and spicy perfume. Which is probably one reason ethnobotanist and author Abe Lloyd describes the blossoms as “capable of transforming winter sodden pessimists […]

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Foraging & Cooking with Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections!

For me, the heady sweet almond-like fragrance of 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 flavour which infuses beautifully in cream, syrups and processes into a […]

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Imbolc Lavender & Rosemary Seed Cake

There is nothing like cake to celebrate a special occasion and Imbolc (on February 1st) 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 […]

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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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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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Celebrate Spring! The Ancient Magical Language of Eggs

Coloured with magical dyes and painted with magical symbols, eggs have played a central role in spring rites and feasts for thousands of years. From Egypt, Persia, Russia to Europe eggs were sacred objects embodying the essence of life. For northern European peoples eggs embodied the fertilizing power of the spring sun because it was […]

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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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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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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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Pour some sugar on me: A candied flower tutorial

I’m racking my brain, but I actually cannot think of any confection more fanciful than candied flowers. Blossoms covered in sparkly sugar make everything better. For example: Place an expertly frosted cake on the table and you’ll hear, “What a perfectly lovely cake”.  Sprinkle a few candied violets on top and you’ll get, “This cake is so […]

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On the Good Chip Urtica Dioica: A Nettle Crisp Recipe

Yup, just like the title says. Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), the darling of wild spring greens, make really great, really healthy and really free (minus labour. yours, lots of it) crisp/chips! The nettles came early to Vancouver Island this year, and we’ve been enjoying the bounty and spring sting that comes with it. A stimulated circulation is […]

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Plum Blossom Chocolate Truffles: A Taste of Heaven

What combines the delicate, yet heady scent of the first spring blossoms with creamy, rich chocolate? Why Plum Blossom Truffles of course! And they are so super easy to make, you won’t regret gifting your palate with this floral-infused chocolate sensation for one instant, I promise! One of Victoria’s most beloved harbingers of spring, the […]

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Wild Violet Ardor: Whipped Honey Butter

“Don’t let love interfere with your appetite. It never does with mine.” Anthony Trollope For those in the mood for amour, there is a lovely little woodland aphrodisiac blooming right now – the violet. Today we associate this demure little beauty with primness and old lady perfumes – but it has not always been so. In […]

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Queen of The May: Enchanting Hawthorn Blossom Cordial

“May, queen of blossoms, and fulfilling flowers,  what pretty music Shall we charm the hours? Wilt thou have pipe and reed, Blown in the open mead? Or to the lute give heed, in the green bowers.”— Lord Edward Thurlow Sacred to fairies, witches, and the goddesses of old, no tree is more central to “Going a […]

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