for nearly six hundred years, the plague devastated europe. the deadliest outbreak of the plague was known as the black death, and one third of the population lost their lives as europe descended into chaos and terror. it is in france though, in the city of Marseilles during one of the late outbreaks of the plague where the legend of the four thieves begins... the plague swept through the city of Marseilles with a terrible fury; mass graves were dug at first, but soon thousands of corpses littered the city. amidst this horror, four brothers started robbing the dead. with other pressing matters to attend to, at first the city did not try to stop these grave robbers. by looting the bodies, the thieves were sure to contract the plague themselves and die. but the thieves did not die. as months passed into a year and the thieves continued unabated, their legend grew. what magic or secret did they possess that kept them safe from the plague? finally they were caught, and in exchange for leniency, they yielded the secret of their immunity. they would prepare an infusion of herbs in vinegar, including rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, and cloves. then they would douse themselves and cover their mouths with a rag soaked in the herbal vinegar before going out. through the healing, antiseptic, and antimicrobial actions of this herbal vinegar, they were able to avoid certain death.
although I can't promise you this recipe I made for fermented beets + carrots will help you avoid certain death, these fermented herbs & veggies are supremely nourishing, and they will heal and strengthen your immune, digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems!
brine: 2 tablespoons celtic grey sea salt (or other unrefined sea salt) 4 cups spring or filtered water Combine
dry spices, mix well and add to the bottom of a clean glass jar.
Julienne beets and carrots, and pack them into the glass jar on top of the spices.
In a separate container, mix the brine according to the ratio given above. Stir until dissolved. Pour the brine into the glass jar so that it completely covers the ingredients and is about an inch beneath the jar lid. At all times during the fermentation process, your veggies must stay covered by the brine! Tightly cover your jar with a lid or an airlock. (I use this airlock) Put the jar somewhere at room temperature, away from warm appliances or direct sunlight.
Ferment until sour enough for your tastes (try checking after one week to start with if you aren't sure) and then transfer to cold storage.
spring is almost here, and I already miss winter (my favorite season).
when I think of winter, I think of short bright clear snow days in utah, long dark nights in provo canyon, and the intoxicating smell of burning cloves.
so I created this cookie recipe to remind me of what I love about winter- although I think they would be lovely any time of year. and since they are raw and whole food based with no added sweeteners, they are packed with vitamins, enzymes, & antioxidants (and much healthier choice than a djarum black or a typical cookie!). 'djarum' raw pecan + clove spice cookies
2 cups raw pecans 2 cups medjool dates, pitted 1 cup coconut flakes, dried and unsweetened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Combine dry spices, mix well and set aside. Add coconut to food processor and pulse until shredded. Add dry spices, vanilla extract, and dates and mix. Lastly, add the pecans and pulse until pecans are finely chopped and mixture is uniform. Form mixture into a ball and set inside fridge. After one hour, take it out, roll it flat, and cut it into desired shapes. For a firmer cookie, serve after placing cookies in freezer or in dehydrator on low setting until desired firmness is reached.
one of my husband's classmates from mycology last semester threw a beatles costume party last night. so we dressed up as george harrison + pattie boyd. the patches on my jeans are from a child's blue corduroy dress I found in a thrift store. I cut the pockets from the dress and sewed them on by hand with neon yellow hemp twine. i think my husband got it right. unfortunately, the final effect for my costume was more 'blonde cher' than pattie boyd (as my friend meg noted).