Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sarah's Spectacular Gluten-free Granola

I'm making a batch of granola this morning and am reminded that I have been meaning to post the recipe here on my blog.  Well, it more guidelines than an actual recipe, since each batch is different depending on the ingredients I have on hand.  Sometimes I like guidelines better than recipes anyway - more room for creativity....

I start with gluten-free oats.  Bob's Red Mill sells some nice ones.  Then I add nuts and seeds, some spices, something sweet and coconut oil.  All of that goes into the oven until the nuts are roasted.  When it comes out of the oven, I add the dried fruit, and voila! Granola!

So, here's the version I am making today:

2 pounds gluten-free oats (about 8 cups)
2 pounds raw almonds, chopped in the food processor
1/2 pound pumpkin seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1 Cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Stir thoroughly, so that sugar, salt and spices are evenly distributed.  Then, in a small saucepan melt:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Drizzle over oat & nut mixture & stir to coat evenly.  Spread mixture in a large roasting pan, & put it into the oven at 300 degrees F.  Stir about every 20 minutes until the nuts are slightly crunchy, about an hour and a half.

Remove from the oven and immediately add:

2 cups golden raisins
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

Stir to blend thoroughly again.  Cool, and store in a large glass jar.  Savor.  Mmmmm.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Psyche's Journey: Ritual Priestessing Skills Workshop

With Sylvan Redbird (and guest facilitators TBA)

Sunday, Jan. 22 and Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012
12:00-4:30pm at Radiance 

9 W Grant St., Lancaster PA  

We will be exploring the myth of Psyche, focusing on the challenges of her initiatory journey, developing trance techniques and diverse ritual structures to experience this story as we reclaim our own divine selves. 
This workshop is an opportunity to build on the trance and story techniques taught in a Reclaiming Rites of Passage class, but this is not a prerequisite for participation.  Participants should have taken an Elements of Magic or have equivalent experience with basic pagan circle casting/elements understanding.  If you are unsure about your experience, call Sarah at Radiance.

Cost is on a sliding scale: $95 to $75

Call Radiance, 717-290-1517, or stop in to register for this workshop.

Please review the myth of Psyche and Cupid (Hamilton’s Mythology or similar collection is fine), as we will not be working with the entire arch of the story.  Please attend both sessions, and there will be some personal work between dates.  

With his heart and his hands, eyes illuminating with light yet accustomed to the darkness, Sylvan weaves his art-filled life like a Faerie Spider.  In the center of his web, a healing spell of Love; his body a bridge between the Human and the Spirit World (especially the Fey and the Ancestors).  Sylvan, anchored by his daily recovery practices, now drinks deeply of ecstatic worship and quiet solitude, balancing the mundane and Mystery, embracing embodiment.  Originally of the Welsh Tradition, he is a teacher of the Reclaiming Tradition and a Feri initiate.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rose Body Glitter!

So, there I was, working away in my secret laboratory, making Rose Body Glitter, my slightly seductive shimmery powder.  It's perfect for dusting on your skin for a special date, or a holiday party.  Or attending a fairy festival...

Anyway, there I was, carefully measuring the ingredients into the mortar.  Then I reached in with the pestle to mix the powders and a cloud of shimmering light rose up and enveloped me!  Shimmering light settled all over my hair, clothes and skin.  A fairy kiss...

You can have some of this magical dust, too.  It on my web site.  Rose Body Glitter...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elderberry Syrup Simmering Today!

About every two weeks, maybe more often in winter, I make a batch of Elderberry syrup.  As the brew begins to simmer, the deep, rich aroma fills the air.  In addition to Elderberries, I include Astragulus root, Ginger root and Cinnamon chips.  Everyone who comes into the shop wants to know what's cooking in the back room...

Elderberry makes such delicious herbal medicine, even small children like the taste.  And yet, it's truly an amazing remedy.

Elderberries have anti-viral properties, so they help us to fight colds and other viruses.  They seem to have the ability to prevent viruses from adhering to us - so that the viruses are unable to take up residence in our respiratory and digestive tracts, and are just carried out of our bodies in the waste stream.

Because Elder helps to strengthen our immune systems, I often add a teaspoon or two of Elderberry syrup to my morning smoothie.  It's a good precautionary measure, because as an herbalist, I come into contact with lots of people who have colds and flu.  I always take some when I travel, too, no matter what time of year it is. 

Elderberry syrup can help to alleviate congestion, too.  It gently opens stuffy air passages, dries up runny noses and makes it easier to breathe.  Elderberry is good for reducing fevers, because it is a diaphoretic, and encourages our bodies to sweat.

Do you have some Elderberry syrup on hand?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Infusing Oil for Boo Boo Balm

This morning I started infusing the oil for making a new batch of Boo Boo Balm.  I'm struck with the beauty of the herbs suspended in the olive oil...

Most herbalists make some sort of basic first aid salve, and this is mine.  I include Comfrey root, which you'll find in most salves for cuts and scrapes, and Lavender flowers to soothe the skin, but I include a number of lesser-known herbs, too.

I add Yarrow to stop bleeding rapidly and heal deep cuts - when I studied with Matt Wood he taught us that Yarrow can heal "cuts to the bone".  Years ago, I got a call from a panic-stricken neighbor who had just sliced the tip of her finger so badly that she was afraid would lose it.  She did get a couple of stitches, but the doctor didn't hold out much hope.  He told her she might still lose the tip of her finger, and that she would certainly never have any feeling in it again. Yipes!  Anyway, when she called me, I ran down the street with a jar of Boo Boo Balm.  She started applying it right away & continued to use it for a few weeks.  Her fingertip completely healed, she has normal feeling in it, and almost no scar!

Another herb I use in this formula is Balm of Gilead - a type of poplar bud.  Sticky with resin, and used in healing ointments for 3000 years, it helps to prevent infection and aids in healing superficial wounds and skin irritations.

And Usnea, one of my plant allies, which is actually a lichen.  Usnea is traditionally thought of as "the lungs of the planet" and grows on trees in the forest.  I gather Usnea on my visits to the Pacific northwest - actually, sometimes I sit on the ground under the trees and it falls into my lap.  Usnea has anti-viral, anti-septic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.