Friday, August 21, 2009

Dragon's Breath

Late each summer, I make several batches of my Dragon's Breath. It's a tonic vinegar and a cold remedy all in one bottle. Many herbalists make some version of this tasty treat. This morning I started the first batch for this year. I start with locally grown organic vegetables and herbs. Here's a photo of most of what went into the jar. What a lovely arrangement! Looks delicious!

So I chopped lots of onions, garlic, jalepeno, cayenne and banana peppers, a couple of chunks of fresh ginger root, a dozen shitake mushrooms & put it all in this large 1-1/2 gallon jar. I added a cup of freshly ground horseradish root which I got at the farmer's market right across the cobblestones from my shop. Several tablespoons of turmeric root powder goes in the jar & finally, I filled it with raw apple cider vinegar & put the lid on. This photo is about an hour later. You can see that the horseradish and turmeric are settling to the bottom. I'll gently shake the jar every day for the next 6 or 8 weeks & then strain the liquid out & bottle it.

Once I've bottled this golden liquid, it can be used all year as a daily tonic vinegar, or in your salad dressings. It makes a wonderful cold remedy, which is how I tend to use it. I put a couple of teaspoons of the vinegar in a mug with a little bit of honey & fill with hot water. This magical concoction will fight off colds & open your sinuses if you do have one. I think it's a perfect thing to drink before bed if you're feeling stuffy. It opens up your breathing passages, making it much easier to sleep.

By the way, I love the horseradish stand - Mr Long turns a small oscillating fan on while he grinds the root, so that the odor wafts around the market!

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