Woodland Shortbread: Two Recipes for Foraged Fir Biscuits

“For the first time since he had entered Narnia he saw the dark green of a fir tree.” Since childhood, I’ve had a powerful affection for conifers. Growing up in Saskatchewan, these motherly trees provided deep dark refuge from the summer heat. We would travel five hours to spend two weeks among the Jack Pine,…

Grand Fir Dark Nougat: A Touch of Solstice Magic

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 is caramelized down into a dark, delectable, chewy brittle known as Black Nougat. Well, I was enchanted. Not…

Winter 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 tonic plants and adaptogenic herbs, berries, honey and warming spices. And not only will they help fortify…

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

“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 it comes to Halloween,…

Chestnuts, Neruda & A Recipe For Crème de Marrons

I adore chestnut season. And by season, I mean post-windstorm sometime in mid-October. There’s just something so cheering and magical about fallen chestnuts. I know of only a few trees here in the city—tall, stately ones lining a couple of boulevards in older neighbourhoods. Ode to a Chestnut on the Ground ~ Pablo Neruda From bristly foliage you…

Reclaiming The Radical Legacy of The Witch

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about witches. Not just because top ten lists of hot tv witches and sexy Halloween selfies currently swamp my social media feeds, but because my tables and shelves are currently so laden with herbs, plants, berries, phials and bottles that if an inquisitor of old were to enter,…

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…

Beautiful Venus Vinegar: Autumn Medicine & Magic

Behold the fruit of my autumn equinox harvest! 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…

Harvest Magic: Invoking The Horn of Plenty

This season of harvest, take a page from your ancestors and craft a little old-fashioned cornucopia magic. Because if “gratitude attitude” is the key to prosperity nothing says it better than the ole’ horn of plenty.  Spilling with fruits, grains, gourds and flowers, this beloved emblem of earthly abundance, pleasure, healing and good fortune has been presiding…

Boozy Preserves: Wildcrafted Berry Compote

Yes, the cold snowy nights of winter may seem a long way off, but you can be sure, they’re coming.  But if you get picking now – I guarantee this boozy, dark, thick wild berry compote will bring the heady luscious flavours of high summer back to your winter table. Using alcohol and sugar to…

Summer Heat: Nasturtium & Sumac Hot Sauce

Every summer I fall in love with the flavour, aroma and healing properties of a particular plant. Last year I swooned for the anise scented lacy blossoms of wild fennel and put them in everything from crackers, cookies and cakes, infused honey, ice-cream and vodka. But this year I’ve fallen hard for the spirited peppery bite of…

Sweet Magic: Summer Solstice Honey Cookies

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer… Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if newly created in all the freshness of childhood. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Looking for a festive way to celebrate the upcoming summer solstice? Well, these aromatic sunny cookies may be just the ticket.  Made with…