So this year, I've only really come here to apologize for not being here, to explain not being here. This is probably because instead of writing about things, I've been DOING things. Or maybe because it takes me forever to understand and integrate experiences. For me, writing is part of that process, and this year, there has not been room for process, only motion. Endless motion.
Another reason is that the lines between my personal blog, my growing business, and my writing have blurred to a point where I'm having a really hard time coming here to just write about my little life. And yet, time and again I keep saying that that's what I really want to do. It feels a little impossible right now, between the untenable, ridiculous political situation, and trying to steer the juggernaut of my work. But here I am. Once again.
You may have heard this year that blogs are dead. That the capitalistic internet has won, and we are all now only writing on it in a professional manner, creating content, personal brands, and tiny multimedia empires. I'm sorry I haven't been here to tell you: FUCK THAT. Fuck capitalism. Fuck branding your life. Fuck sharing because you're afraid of being invisible. Fuck the utterly scifi proposition of being a human brand. Fuck tweeness. Fuck minimalist consumerism. Fuck curation. Fuck trying to appeal to the broad spectrum.
There, I said it. Do I have your attention now, or are you navigating to another page quicker than I can say the f-word?
I would love to write about Spirit Weavers. I would love to write about the ancient landscapes of my ancestors. I would love to write about this election. But right now, I'm going to go that age-old place of the ordinary magics.
Because the most important thing we can do right now is to try to take care of each other and ourselves.
I'm going to give you a recipe for a magic potion. It's one of my very favorite potions, and it's very magical. It's a miracle cure, really. You can connect to others over a pot of it. It can add medicinal value to all your meals. It can rebuild your body. It feels like a warm hug.
B O N E B R O T H by Fireweed & Nettle:
local, organic bones (chicken, deer, lamb, cow) (if you're a vegetarian skip this step and double up on the vegetables) . Don't ask me how much bones you need. Ask your local butcher. Depends on the size of your pot, your freezer,your friend group.
a big pot or, crockpot,
ANY OR ALL OF THESE (or whatever else floats your broth boat)
Veggies- organic garlic/ onions/ leeks/ celery/ turnips/ parsnips/ etc. etc.(save your veggie scraps in the freezer for this monthly broth-making, or have gal pals over for a broth/ craft party and have everyone bring a little something.)
Spices+ (medicinal magic spices, damn)- Organic Coriander/ All Spice/ Peppercorns/ Bay Leaves/ chili powder/ etc. etc. Basically any kinda spice you would put in soup.
Culinary+ Herbs (garden variety spice herbs that also have amazing medicinal properties) - parsley/ sage/ rosemary/ thyme ;)/ dill/ oregano/ etc. etc.
Medicinal conks/Lichens/ Seaweed (please know your bio-region, gather from safe, sustainable sources etc. etc. I for instance do not use Reindeer Liched from here, because it's rare and fragile in this ecosystem. Please, please be worthy of my trust, and don't let your yen for "wild crafting hipness get in the way of you being a T R U E P L A N T A L L Y.) - Chaga/ Turkey tails/ Oregon Reishi/ Other Genodermas/ Iridea/ Kelp/ Reindeer Lichen/ Usnea/ etc. etc.
Medicinal Herbs - Fir tips/ Rosehips/ Hawthorn/ Angelica/ Calendula/ Nettles/ wild greens of all stripes
Roots - Ginger/ Turmeric/ Dandelion/ Burdock/ Astragalus/ Oregon Grape/ etc. etc.
Apple cider vinegar (infused or otherwise) + brewer's yeast + good salt
WHAT YOU'LL DO:
Put in bones and cover with water. Add your veggies. Add your roots and conks and other long- cooking material. (Make sure you know what they taste like. I add crappy tasting stuff like Usnea and oregon grape root because I know I can mask it). Add your spices. Cook for about 6 hours. Add your culinary herbs. Cook for another few hours (min 6 or more anywhere between 6-20 is my way), keep adding water. And stirring. Add the ACV. When you're ready to take off the heat, strain, add your medicinal herbs and more ACV. This is a step to take in the end so that you don't end up cooking the nutrients right out of the broth. Consider it like an herbal infusion.
Cool, let sit for about 6-12 hours to infuse them. Reheat to melt the fats and put in containers (please know your basic food safety). I tend to freeze them in yogurt tubs and make huge batches. After straining, I make another batch with more of any of the stuff besides the bones. Repeat all steps. On the third cook, I make a soup. If I'm in a hurry I sometimes make it from the second batch, but you'd be surprised how far the bones will go.
NOTE: the minimum cook time i find acceptable for bones is 8 hours, you know if you're doing it with pals. I personally cook my batches around 20 hours, but I have to be able to keep adding water. If you need more specific information ,there are tons of great resources like Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. Also, please make sure you know how to cook meat stuffs like an adult. I love you, but you're an adult. Don't give yourself food poisoning, 'k?
Use some or any of these ingredients. I have simply added my own touch of medicinal conks and herbs in an infusion. I certainly don't always use all of these ingredients either. A few non-negotiables though: MAKE SURE TO USE ACV, it draws out the minerals from the bones. And if you use medicinal herbs, don't cook them to oblivion. Infusion is the best way to really pull the most magic out of them. Obviously, you should know your herbs, some benefit from cooking in different ways. If you're unsure, start small and make friends <3
I hope that in this season of darkness, external and internal, we an continue to nourish each other.
Love and broth,