Roots, Fruits & Warming Spices
Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday. I love the traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy, stuffing, green vegetables, and cranberry sauce. I love a day devoted to preparing good food, eating, drinking, and giving thanks.
While preparing the cranberry sauce yesterday, I was inspired to also prepare an herbal tea with a combination of berries, and clear out some old herbs from my shelves. (Some
of these jars were a little dusty!) Part of my gratitude is for the abundance of herbal medicine; using up what I have; not wasting, and not consuming more than I need.
I put the tea on to simmer, while I chopped cranberries and grated orange peel. This blend is intended to support the digestive functions of the Spleen & Stomach, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory.
(Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Bensky, Clavey & Stoger)
As I was preparing the cranberry to chill and set, I also set aside some of the herbal tea to make an herb jello. I have been curious to experiment with herb jellos, and this was a good opportunity! But first, the tea:
It was delicious! Warm, sweet, spicy, and soothing to a full stomach.
I didn't precisely measure the ingredients, I just eye-balled it.
It probably came out to about:
1/4 C. each: Hawthorn berries, Dogwood berries, Jujube dates
1/8 C. each: Cinnamon twigs, Licorice root, Astragalus root
(I added the Astragalus after I took the picture of the dry herbs.)
1 Qt. water
Next, I set aside a cup of tea, added a packet of gelatin, and set it in the fridge to chill. After a few hours, I had a pan of gelled tea. Some of the herb matter had settled to the bottom of the pan, so there was a layer of darker sediment. That also is edible and tasty. That's the really potent part! Don't let it go to waste.
My herbal jello experiment was a success!
I'm excited to try more herbal tea recipes this way, especially looking at recipes that utilize the specific properties of gelatin. It's good for the tendons & ligaments, and would pair well with herbs that strengthen connective tissue.
Speaking of strengthening connective tissue: this is a good metaphor for nurturing our relationships. Sitting down to share a meal together is a time-honored method. A simple cup of tea can warm the Heart, literally & metaphorically.
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal, followed by some herbal digestive dessert.
We enjoyed a quiet day on Friday, observing International Buy Nothing Day.
We look forward to a winter season of warmth and health,
and wish the same for you & yours.
~In Gratitude ~
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