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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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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The 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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Pray. Offer. Feast: 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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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, […]

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

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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 your […]

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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 demands […]

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Spicy & Sweet Hawthorn Ketchup: Reviving a Traditional Recipe

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 wherever you stand in Victoria) it compliments roasted meats, scrambled eggs and a big basket of steaming homemade fries equally. A mainstay […]

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