Good morning, Friday lovers.
We are not going camping this weekend, as the forecast is for rain. My hope is for us to still get out to the location, and an even greater hope that I will forage something I have been coveting. In the meantime, I wanted to share our most recent delight and inspiration.
A Kid’s Herb Book by Leslie Tierra is perhaps the most magical and holistic book on herbalism I have ever come across. Meant to be used by children and adults together, it is a combination of fact, fable, whimsy, spirituality and lessons for deepening into life on earth. It combines intuitive wisdom with medicinal reference, gracefully. I have a pretty sensitive bullshit detector, and it remained silent as I gleefully flipped through the pages, reading meditations on “Becoming a Plant” and recipes for homemade marshmallows. If you want a resource for teaching your kids herbalism, I can’t recommend this book enough.
One of the first recipes to help kids make the connection between herbs and their uses, past and present, is for home-made rootbeer. There is no fermentation involved, and is something that can be made for an afternoon snack. I *so* don’t have permission to post this recipe, but I’m going to anyway, and we can just pretend that you came over to my house and wrote it down, ok?
Natural Root Beer (from A Kid’s Herb Book by Lesley Tierra)
You will need:
1 TB Sarsaparilla
2 tsp Anise seeds
1/4 tsp Cinnamon bark
sweetener (it’s optional, but I used maple syrup)
Simmer the sarsaparilla (it smells amazing! the quintessential root beer smell!) in 1 1/2 cups of water, covered, for 15 minutes. Keep the heat on low so it doesn’t boil over. Turn off the heat.
Add the anise seeds (I used anise stars) and the cinnamon (I used 1/4 of a stick) and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain (add the sweetner if you are using it) and let cool.
Add 1/4 cup cold carbonated water. Enjoy! Add ice cream if you dare.
This morning, as Fern had rootbeer for breakfast, I took my cup of coffee and schlepped out to the car to move it for street cleaning. I found a decent parking spot by our little park, and just sat for a few minutes after I turned the engine off. The local radio station was playing the new Cold Play song. I sat sipping my brew, looking at a sky preparing to be stormy. People were walking to work, and I remarked to myself, definitely not for the first time in the 14 years that I’ve lived here, that San Francisco’s beautiful people are a breed unto themselves. I could see the Zen Center down the street, and two monks slowly strolling up the hill. I exited the car, the song still humming around my head, and walked back towards the house. I waved to my neighbors across the street, our acquaintance cemented by the acknowledgement that I have earned my place in this hood from sheer time spent. The finch people were singing in the tree out front, hiding in the newly leafed out branches, our home also hidden in the green. The air was still and balmy, the garden blooming and I was met at the door by my exuberant daughter.
I can get pretty disgruntled with our city life. But there’s also a reason I’ve stayed so long. This morning was a nice reminder of why.
Have a beautiful weekend folks.