Savory, also called “Bean Herb”

I love to eat plain ole’ rice and beans! I never make them the same way twice. And I used to feel a secret twinge of shame that I used canned beans(!). I’ve gotten over that now.

But I haven’t gotten over my love of winter savory!! A gentle looking herb that’s a perennial (coming back every year), savory goes with beans… Like beans go with rice!

Savory is in the family of culinary herbs like rosemary, oregano, and thyme — peppery and strong.

Today’s bean recipe includes red and yellow onions, an orange bell pepper, one jalapeño, 4 cloves of garlic, several sprigs of savory, sauteed in olive oil. Added some grinds of salt and dashes of Cholula hot sauce. Served over brown rice (I make a big batch of rice every week).

Homey and yummy.

By the way, savory is a digestive aid (reduces flatulence caused by beans!), and supports the respiratory system. Savory has loads of vitamins and minerals too. Savory is a bee and pollinator favorite, and fresh savory leaves can relieve the sting of a bee or wasp.

“Marked safe from Corona Beer”

Have you seen these social media posts? I have. And, while I’m in no way ready to self-isolate for months with my stockpile of paper goods and burlap bags of split peas (oh my word!), I do think we can all take some moderate precautions. As an herbalist, my contribution to the commentary is a DIY hand sanitizer, since many stores are running empty.

Here we go:
▪ 2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
▪ 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
▪ 8 to 10 drops of the following essential oils: thyme, cinnamon LEAF, lavender, or tea tree (more is not better, more may be liver compromising)

A friend was talking about using Tito’s vodka! Whatever you have handy is fine, just make sure that the final result has at least 60% alcohol in order to be an effective disinfectant. Isopropyl alcohol (99%) works best because you’ll have a good ratio of aloe vera gel to soothe your skin. Easy directions: mix all ingredients together, place in a bottle, tuck into a bag or backpack, and use before eating and after social gatherings.

Be kind. Find ways to be generous. Community immunity is the way we all stay happy and healthy.

Song to a Green Ally

I breathe the air, I swim the sea

I love the sky, my Father

I love the Earth, sweet Gaia

The fire within, the sun and moon.

Hello, my Dear, I am still here

I see your way as Elder

I know you now in name alone

Your true nature, you may reveal.

Oh, still and still, I calm my heart.

A loving way I cultivate

I breathe you out, I breathe you in

My breath, my song, my gift today

With gratitude, I honor you

How may I help you grow this day?

And how might you support me too?

Reweaving now the Web of Life

O waly, waly, up the bank

And waly, waly, doon the brae

And waly, waly, yon burnside

I send Earth prayers both far and wide

“Waly,” expression of grief or sorry
“doon the brae,” down the hillside
“yon burn side,” the riverside

Planting and Harvesting

I planted some lettuce, radishes, and scallions and I harvested parsley and red pepper. I was going to pull up the dill which has gone to seed, but spotted some lovely little butterfly caterpillars on there. So that will wait. I chopped up the comfrey and I think next year I will have the world’s best compost! (There’s some deer scat in there, too.) Just as I was heading in, my garter snake friend slithered by. At oneness today.

Fab Smoothie mistake

I meant to make a peach basil smoothie, but I harvested too much basil. So, I made vegan pesto with nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds. I’ll use that in a pasta salad for the day. (The peaches need one more day to ripen in their brown bag.)

This smoothie is banana, blueberry, spinach, with almond butter, pomegranate juice, oat milk, and a shake of cinnamon. Oh wow!!

Gifts from the Garden

The strawberries, eaten while I greeted the day, and the sungold tomatoes are so juicy after last night’s rain.

Basil and strawberries in my smoothie. Chard for dinner — I want to try a new recipe. Tomatoes as a gift for my parents who I’ll see later today.

Actually it’s all a gift from the earth, sun, rain, and air. (Plus, microbes and fungi, but that’s a different post…) Enjoy your gifts today.