by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Lavender Tea

Teas made with fresh herbs and spices often tend to come out a little weak. Once dried however, these ingredients are much more prone to releasing their flavors and properties when emulsified in liquid. The trick to rendering the flavors out of fresh herbs is to first agitate them before infusing. In some cases, grinding or a pestle and mortar can work but for this tea all that’s needed is to simply chop up the blossoms a little. Read more…

Compost Coleslaw

Rescuing a few throw away vegetable parts in this way makes something out of nothing and although I do not have a lot of ways to do that, here is one really good way. Actually going into the compost pile or bin to retrieve scraps is not the idea here but I would not shame anyone who does that. The first time I put this together I was not expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised, this coleslaw preparation is really good. Read more…

Greens n’ Beans

Lettuce greens, spinach, and kale planted as starts in the spring will be ready really quick and are likely the first vegetable available in the early spring garden. They are versatile and can be combined with dried grains and legumes in a number of ways. Indicated by the lack of beans in grocery stores lately, I am going to conclude some of ya’ll have ’em and assume that a recipe using beans might be useful because ya can’t have too many bean recipes. Read more…

Hey, let’s go grow an apocalypse garden

At the beginning of each month I clear the family dry-erase calendar and write in the next month’s dates, and then fill in the important activities. For the first time ever I awoke to the surreal realization that there was not a single activity on our calendar. I mean, I knew there was nothing going on but the visual for some reason brought it all home. Read more…

Magical Sage Throat Healing Potion

There are a number of teas that sooth the throat but none more available as a home remedy than Sage! It grows everywhere and as a woody herb, usually remains vibrant in the garden year round. Sage works so well it’s really pretty incredible. I will typically make this as a tea and drink it straight, however those who tend to complain about a scratchy throat in this house (the smaller people) are more likely to accept this with a drop of honey. It can also just be used as a gargle for a sore throat. Sage has numerous properties that are known to fight infections of the throat. Read more…

Rustic Cran-Pear & Acorn Muffins

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Fall and holiday flavors may just be the most distinctive and cherished of all the seasons. Here, some of the usual holiday ingredients combined with one you probably have not used before, the earthy acorn flour, which grounds these lively flavors and ties them together for something old world unique. Read more…

Pumpkin Puree

Making your own pumpkin puree is really pretty easy and totally worthwhile. It can be used to make pumpkin pies, pastries, as well as smoothies and even chili. For this recipe it’s best to use medium sized “baking” pumpkins rather than Halloween “carving pumpkins” as they have a little more sweetness. However regular pumpkins work too if you have some on hand that need to be used for something other than just becoming a jack-O-lantern. Read more…

Ugly Apple Sauce

Making apple sauce is a great idea especially if you have an old apple tree in your yard and have more apples than you can eat. These trees are often heirloom varieties and may not look perfect but are a perfect for preserving apples. Read more…

Oregon Grape Jelly

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Oregon Grape may just be the most underused yet widely available foraging opportunity out there. Oregon Grape grows all over the northwest and beyond, it’s also an especially popular landscaping plant. Read more…

Deconstructed Spring Vegetable & Fish Soup

If you did your garden up just right you might have all the vegetables you need as this is a fairly common group of late spring/early summer garden offerings.  Of course they will all be easy to find at farmer’s markets as well. If you have never tried plucking pea leaves off and cooking with them, this is a good chance to give it a try. Baby spinach is a good substitute if you don’t have peas actively growing in the garden. Read more…

A Better Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stocks frequently come out dull and flavorless. This recipe attempts to remedy some of the missteps that prevent these veggies from reaching their full potential. Unlike a meat based stock that would be covered and cooked for hours, this recipe is cooked much quicker as the volume of liquid reduces to concentrate the flavor. The most important ingredient in a vegetable stock is anything from the onion (allium) family as this is where much of the flavor will come from. Read more…

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