March came in and went out fairly mild in my neck of the woods but others haven't quite been so lucky. I wish them,and all of us Better Days ahead.
Gardens are cleaned; some starting, some ending. Here it is spring and is the time to prepare the path of new beginnings. To fertilize them with our hopes, dreams and intentions. A time to give flight to spirits, hearts and minds.
For others, it is a time to hold close the comforts of home , family and friends . To fortify thier lives with with love and promise of the lights return. To fill thier hearts with what they reap and to hope and dream of they might sow in the new season of growth to come.
But for all, it is a time to make new friends
and to greet and embrace old ones
to let our hearts bloom with love and light
to determine, prepare and take the steps to achieving our goals
to reach out to the light and to each other
to sprout forth on our plotted courses
To be light hearted and gay
Placed on Front door.
Placed on back door .April 1st. ( aka.. April Fool's Day ) Not original maybe, but it got us and others a few laughs which was the whole point right?
to ponder and reflect in order to find the path most direct
to that which makes us happy
and to be filled by that which nourishes us and makes us whole.
So no mater the direction the wheel of your year is turning, may you find in its coming months all that you need, sprinkled with a bit o' what you may want.
Blessings of the light and fertility of life be upon you ! Ma Fey
Post Update: me thinks Domestic Witch may possibly reached her goal of 200 random acts She is at least quite close if you take out the postings of participation notifications.... have you done your random act today????? ( she has a total of 203 comment made to her post at the time of this update.)
as you know I have been participating in
so these are my final random acts that I will post about. I have done many things this month which I choose not to post about for a number of reasons. As I said in a comment to some one early on in this month , I found it a bit uncomfortable to post about my "good deeds" but that it has also helped me to embrace a part of who I am that I normally take for granted. That statement has proven to be truer than I could have imagined. I was raised with the belief that we receive what we put out there and that one should never expect anything in return for doing something nice for some one. I do things randomly as I can because it fills my heart with joy to know I put a smile on some ones face. I expect nothing in return because that joy is the blessing I get back. That joy fills my heart with compassion, love, happiness and most of all HOPE. Hope that my good dead will be passed on to someone else . Hope that it helps some on reach out who normally may not think to do so . Hope that a little kindness may can help ease some of the anger and frustrations we feel in our daily lives for any number of reasons. Hope that some ones needs are met, food and shelter and the necessities of life might some how be provided for all and that some how the greater good is served in a positive way through my love and actions . I wish I could put into words all that is in my heart, but I don't seam to be able to .
So here are the last few I will post about for this campaign/giveaway .
took herbal tea, horehound candy and orange spiced sugar to a friend who has a bad cold
redesigned my friend Mom-J's garden for better productivity and organic/companion planting
Sent some bean soup with my Damn-Dande-Dumplin's to a friend and her husband.. she later called and asked for the recipe..
Sent Candy onion plant to My sister in law in Ohio as a surprise ( my husband was going there on business so he was the perfect carrier)
and this morning I was presented with a my last random act...
My neighbor's cat was stuck in our tree soo , i reached up and coaxed her down to where i could reach her and she jumped to me as you can see she is unharmed and happy to be loved on..
though the unharmed part doesn't so much apply to me
Kitty accidentally caught me pretty good with her nail in my neck/collarbone area. Hopefully a peroxide wash and some honey (to kill bacteria) will keep me from getting an infection, she was pretty scared.. I am not sure how long she had been up there but she was sure happy to have her feet back on the ground again!
Well, May you find with in your abilities and time the chance to be kind to some one today! Blessing to all !! Ma Fey
Congratulations! Your the lucky winner of the 9 pieces of amethyst and a sweet grass braid !!!
I have sent you and e-mailed , so as soon as I get your snail mail info I will get this out to you Dear!
If you have never been to Erin's blog, I heart New England , you really should visit/follow. She always has wonderful and beautiful things she chats about and shares! There just isn't enough words to express how lovely her blog is!
Please stop over and give her a heart felt congratulations on her win..
And be on the look out for my next giveaway... i think I smell home made soaps and candles in the air ! could those be included in the next giveaway?? only time will tell !
Brightest and warmest of blessings every one ! Ma Fey
A wise one once said, " You have to know and understand what kills if you are to know and understand what heals." These are some of the truest words that I as an herbalist have learned.
I am not going to tell you every thing about Blood root in this article. I just want to peek your curiosity.
Blood Root Sanguinaria canadensis family: Papaveraceae Folk/Geographic names: King root, Indian paint, red puccoon, tetterwort, and red root among others.
I was out in the yard and found my Blood root in bloom! It's one of my favorite woodland spring flowers and medicinal herbs.
Before it completely enchants you though , you should know there are some dangers lurking in all that beauty and healing uses......
Blood Root has no Culinary properties and should not be used in foods!
In the wrong hands and in the wrong dose , it will kill some one! One of Blood Roots properties is that it is an emetic, in other words it induces nausea and vomiting. It is cathartic which meansit can and will cause horrific diarrheawhich can end in the deadly outcome of rapid dehydration. It has stimulant effects on both the circulatory system as well as the Uterine system, which is why it should NEVER be handled by Pregnant woman , OR LACTATING/ NURSING Mothers for that matter as it can pass through the milk to the baby and have horrifically tragic results....yes the baby could die! It will also cause nose bleeds when working with the dry powder. It is a highly toxic herb which should only be used by a well trained practitioner.
If I have scared you , I am not sorry.
Because for all it's beauty and very helpful healing properties, it is like any medication and nothing to take chances with.
Example: It was used pharmaceutically to produce Viadent oral health care products produced by Colgate-Palmolive ( If you have ever used Viadent products or are planning to , I recommend reading this articlefirst : http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/badininsomor.html . It was a well known ethnobotanist with the U.S Department of Agriculture , Dr. James Duke, who's research was vital to the use of Blood Root in the production of these Viadent products. He may have understood the risks ... but seriously underestimated them. As the article I have link to above also states, it was found that the products containing blood root caused a higher rate of oral premalignant cancerous lesions.... aka Leukoplakia.
Even if you are going to grow and work with it for non-medicinal uses you should know and abide by it's dangers.
Blood Root has been reported to be prescribed for warts, polyps of the nasal cavity, topically for skin infections and inflammations, rheumatism, arthritis , gout inflammations , sever stomach and digestive track infections,fevers, as well as (and still is by some homeopathic practitioners) used when a strong expectorant action was needed in respiratory infections.
Among it's other uses you will find : historically used as Native American body paint mosquito repellent Love drawing spells and enchantments For Protection magick In cleanings and purifications and more
I love how sweet it looks with the leaves still folded about it's tiny flower stem as though protecting it from the elements. Those leaves will eventually reach up to about 8 inches across when the flower fades, and sure a beautiful contrast to the full leaves of wild ginger and large heart shaped leaves of blue violets in the summer garden bed border. Just growing it in the medicinal garden bed will cause no harm.. but you need to be careful if you plan to dig it up and move it about . Handel it with gloves , preferably no porous ones, to help protect your self form any volatile reaction you may have from the juices of the roots and to protect it from bacteria on your hands.
Well now. There is so much more out there to learn about Blood root. I hope your curiosity is peeked even though this may seam a bit of a negative review for the plant. I truly do love my Blood root Plants and I respect it for all it's uses.
Blissful and Safe Blessings Ma Fey
If you so choose to try blood root for any of the suggested uses, know you do so at your own risk. You and only you are responsible for your actions and for the results of your actions! Not I nor any one associated with this blog.
Or as Sean Connery said in the movie The Untouchables, " So Endeth the Lesson".
YYEEEESSS!!! there are PHOTOS for this post now .. Thank you to the Blogger team for fixing the problem so quickly!!!!!!
and the links still work..
If I have missed someone:
First I sincerely apologize for my over sight. and second Please leave a comment about your giveaway on this post!
Sorry I didn't do one of these last week. Monday was the surgery day and I seamed out of it for most of the week . They found some black spots on my stomach tissue so ... again with the waiting ... 2 weeks from now can't come soon enough!
But on to bigger and WAY better News that we can have fun with Now!
If you haven't checked out these blogs your really should!!! They are alll wonderful blogs and authors with so many talents and wonders they share ! These are all fabulously remarkable places ( as are all the blogs I love to follow) !
March 2010 is Random Acts of Kindness Month at the Domestic Witch's place and for all your good deeds there is a giveaway . She is hoping to reach a goal of 200 random acts buy Wednesday so hope on over and enter your random acts now! ( I just checked and there are 174 post at the time I am writing this.. she's almost here WOOWHOO! I hope you can help!)
Teddy at Octoberfarm has such great taste ! Pop on over to Octoberfarm to enter Jaz and Teddy's newest giveaway!!! Oh and you have GOT to check out the tomato pasta dish she has in this post! My tummy grumbles with hunger every time I look at it! ( I have the ingredients on my list alread for my next market stop!)
And there is still a little time left to enter these wonderful giveaways with up coming ending dates!
So I am to show you the 10th photo in my 1st album in my collection of pictures.
sooooo... I went to my 1st photo album in my folder harked All Hallows Even ( was a bit apprehensive about which would be the 10th on in But here it is...
It's our 2004 all hallows eve wish pumpkin . we do one every year. Our guest write thier wish on a bay leaf an put it into the pumpkin. at exactly Midnight we put in the red wax heart, herbs and seed, and then seal it shut with red wax. This is then taken out back to the area of the yard now affectionately called "the pumpkin grave yard" and buried. The kids have so much fun and it is such a bubbly feeling when they come the next yer and tell you which of last years wishes came true..LOL .
well , I have showen' you mine ,
so to these 5 followers who I chose by closing my eyes and rolling the mouse and click..)
Yup! This is another photo heavy post! Please be patient while it loads and I Thank you for stopping by today ;) . ( There is dairy but no eggs in these noodles)
I am so sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday. Time just simply got away from me.
To me and excluding the baked fruit dumpling ,
a "Dumpling" is something made with a store bought baking mix and dropped into liquid to be "steamed" on top by way of putting a lid on it. ~ and ~
a "Dumplin' " is something mixed from scratch as "by hand as possible" and hand rolled with wood infused and infusing them with love and nurturing , folded in friendship and all the good spice of life all divided into a multitude of blessings.
Yes, that sounds like I prefer one over the other, and I confess that to some extent I do. But, the Dumpling is also a well loved family comfort food and I am not bashing it at all!
These dumplin's are Great! In a good pot of ham and bean soup, in a good, hearty, vegetable soup, and yes, in traditional chicken and dumplin's. This recipe is an adaptation of My Grandma Clara's hand rolled dumpling recipe. As a child I was always intrigued by the things she would do to make such wonderful foods! I was always asking her for recipes and techniques. She really was a magickal cook! I remember her making noodles and watching her strategically tie string to points on the upper doors of her Hooser Kitchen, that had been chosen long ago. I can close my eyes and still see her in her apron, hanging the noodles on the strings and the sun light dancing on her and them from the winda there to her left.
I hope you try them and enjoy them . And you can leave out the dandelion greens and thyme if you choose. They are just as awesome.
I use heavy cream and lemon juice in place of buttermilk. The buttermilk currently sold in the market just doesn't do any thing for the flavor or texture of these dumplins. Short of getting my hands on true buttermilk , this is the closest i have ever gotten to the way these noodles where meant to taste.
You will need:
optionals: 1 heaping cup firmly but not tightly packed spring dandelion greens. 3 to 5 stems of fresh English (common) garden thyme Konriko's brand Creole Seasoning ( or your favorite brand)
Must haves: 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ( or standered table salt) 3 tablespoons frozen butter ( or lard or vegetable shortening) 1 and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice Heavy cream , enough to make 3/4 of a cup including the lemon juice. ( milk is fine too)
Dumplings arn't just about flavor, they are about texture. Don't over work the dough or you will have a tough, flat dumplin!
Blanch the dandelions by putting them in boiling water for 10 second then plunging them into a bowl of ice cold water for 15 seconds . ( Like you would for fresh spinach )
Remove them from the water and place on a clean white towel .
Strip the leaves from the thyme and place on top of the blanched dandelion greens.
Then roll them up in the cloth together and give 'em a good twist( and maybe a gentle squeeze) in that cloth to remove excess moisture.
open the towel and with a spoon scoop them together and roll them up ( click on the photo for a better view)
Chop the whopschnoddle out of 'em!
Or you can pulse a time or 2 in a food grinder/processor , but I find that it makes them a bit to mushy/liquidy for my tastes.
Let them sit, uncovered, while you prepare the rest of the recipe, so that they dry out just a bit more. ( no one like a slimy dumpling)
Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda with a fork or whisk.
Your butter is best worked with when it has been placed in the freezer about 3 hours. You don't want to handle it to much. Also, it helps to flour your knife between chops to help keep it from sticking to the blade.
Chop the butter to help incorporate it better.
Using a pastry cutter, or 2 butter knives, or even a few pulses in the food processor if you choose..
Cut the butter into the flour,salt,baking soda mixture.
the size and amount of lil' bit's of butter and flour are what give your dumplin's thier texture. The more uniform the bits - about the diameter of a dried lentil- the lighter and flakyer the dumplin. Larger bits will help you achieve a denser dumplin. A smaller diameter will give you some doughyness to the texture.
Add the dandelion greens-n-thyme to the flour and with a fork, mix them together well, breaking up the bits-o-greens as much as possible with the fork.
Let this rest in the refrigerator about 5 min. in the mean time mix the the cream and lemon juice together and let sit on the counter to sour.
After about 5 minutes use the fork to mix the cream mixture to the flour-greens mixture.
Mix Just until they come together and are sticky.
Flour your well washed hands and form this into a smooth ball
Dump the ball from the bowel onto a well floured, non porous surface.
Roll the dough some place between a hefty 1/8 inch thick and a scat 1/4 inch thick. ( we prefer the scant 1/8th inch thickness). The use of a long, heavy rolling pin will help achieve the desired thickness in fewer passes. Don't flip the dough. Instead, run a long flat knife, like a large cake frosting knife, under the dough. Then slightly lift to toss a little flour under it if it starts to stick.
Sprinkle the Creole Seasoning on the dough ( I go light but , you can always add more that photoed here.)
fold 1/3 of the doughs length over on it's self
then fold the opposite 1/3 over on top of that to form a rectangular shape.
sprinkle the top with a bit more of the Creole Seasoning on top of the last fold over
then roll the dough into a log from bottom up. And give it a gentle firming press.
let the dough rest, seam side down, a minute or 3 to let the Creole Seasoning and dough "come together."
Normally I would say to use string or thread to cut this rolled dough, but this time I am going to suggest that you use a sharp knife. The pressure of the slicing will help the dough and the Creole Seasoning make enough contact that they stick to each other.
you can either unroll the noodles and leave them long or slice them in to uniform length pieces.
~ Or ~
Slice each noodle roll into 3 equal portions, which will give a variety of bite sized pieces. Regardless of which way you choose, separate the dumplin' noodles before adding to the pot and dust the noodles lightly with flour to keep them from sticking together.
Now that is the perfect dumplin' thickness (before cooked obviously).
Bring the soup/broth to a rolling boil and drop the noodles in a few at a time, but quickly, stirring in between additions if needed to get them fully into the liquid.
When they are all in reduce the heat to medium- low . Don't cover the pot.
Like I said to night we had them in a vegetable-n-navy bean soup. Just make your best pot of navy beans with some carrots, celery, potatoes, green beans, corn, winter squash, okra, zucchini or any combination of vegetables you have on hand or prefer( mine also has ham in it ). You may want it a bit brothier than you usualy like it as the noodles will absorb moister. This is also an excelent way to thicken up a soup that is a bit to brothy for your current desire.
They usually only take about 8 to 10 minuets.. some times depending on weather and humidity, or weather or not they where prepared a head and dried or frozen for later use, they can take up to about 12 to 15 minutes. At the 8 minute mark , check you noodles for doneness. ( Some times it may take oh, 2 or 3 to be sure ;P )
and check freequently at this point so you don't over cook them
A hearty dumplin' soup needs a hearty bowl.
I topped ours with a bit more of the Creole Seasoning.
SO, how was it???
Like I said, I hope you will try these Damn-Dande-Dumplin's in something. And maybe, if you have time, you will come back and tell me what you had them in and how they were.
Warm spring memories and blessing every one ! Ma Fey
I am Mother,Grandmother, Wife, Daughter,Sister,Aunt, Friend.
I am constant and ever changing.
I love and am loved.
I am ME! for what ever and whom ever that is..
I am discovering and rediscovering myself and life .( I am a bad speller and I stink at grammar. Shame on me at my age I know , but I am working on it.) My Family was as diverse in it's traditions as it was in its heritage.My Mother, Dutch-Italian-Irish from the north , My Father, Southern-Scotch -Irish-English. My sister and I were adopted so into that mix you add, Irish - Native American and some German and ... Wham! you have a traditional version of the American melting pot filled with a variety of ingredients, which all blended together to teach us to honor the uniqueness in the ones we love and the strangers who are friends we simply haven't met yet. Welcome new friends. If you leave a comment and i don't respond, it's not that i am rude. I am a bit shy, or i may not know what to say, and sometime a bit bubble headed. But I read them all and love to hear from you All.