Echinacea is a beautiful flower in the herb or perennial garden. We are lucky enough to have the purple cone flowers dotting several of our beds. Not only is it a lovely friend to enjoy in the garden, when dried, the flowers and roots have healing and immune boosting properties.
The girls and I dig Echinacea root with our friends every fall so both families have a winter’s supply of dried flowers and roots for tea and tincture.
If you don’t have Echinacea in your garden, no worries, it’s easily found in natural food stores. When anyone feels the first sign of a cold coming on, this is the first things that goes on the stove.
2 quarts water
2/3 cup lemon juice from organic lemons; about 3 lemons
9 slices ginger root, 1/8-inch thick
2/3 cup local honey
5 or 6 pieces dried Echinacea root and flowers (use several drops of tincture per mug as a substitute)
Bring the water, ginger root, and Echinacea root to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. If you are using Echinacea tincture reserve this until you pour your steaming mug of tea. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and honey. Sip all day long as desired, heating up each time. Strain any tea you don’t drink over the day into a glass jar and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Makes 2 quarts
A pot of chicken stock simmering on the stove. The windows edged with moisture. The wind howling outside while inside, all is well, warm, and welcoming. That’s what this soup is about.
Today I’m feeling especially grateful for the people who grow our food and the animals that become our meals. That our food is well-tended before it reaches our plates is a gift. I appreciate what nourishes my body and the bodies of those I love. Abundance comes to us in so many ways and I feel rich and full and blessed.
Ginger, Sesame Chicken Soup with Cilantro Sesame Pesto
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions; about 1 large onion
2 cups diced carrots; about 2 carrots
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and julienned (cut into match-stick sized pieces)
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 cups cooked chicken meat
Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onions and carrots and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the ginger and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil to heat through. Serve with a dollop of Cilantro Sesame Pesto.
Serves 4 to 6
Cilantro Sesame Pesto
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
1/4 cup scallions, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 small garlic clove, smashed
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine everything in the food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined.
Makes about 1/2 cup
Enjoy this light, after-the-holidays meal!
Ginger Ice Cream
This recipe is in honor of a deck hand that was with us for several years. He turned me on to ginger beer, although the one he likes will blow the back of your head off. The crystallized ginger at the end isn’t a necessity, just depends on how much you love ginger. Fresh apricots or strawberries on top would work nicely as well.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coarsely grated peeled ginger root
2 tablespoons water
2 cups half and half
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
In a medium saucepan, simmer the sugar, ginger root, and water over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and gradually add the half and half mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170 degrees (do not let boil). Pour the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
Cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap and chill until cold. Follow the instructions for your electric or hand-cranked ice cream maker. Add the finely chopped crystallized ginger 3/4 of the way through the process.
Makes 1 quart
Lickin’ the dasher!
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This recipe is one that never fails to satisfy. It’s a good one for a crowd, but I often make it just for the family too. I love that it goes into a bundt pan and comes out looking all pretty.
Apricot-Ginger Pound Cake with Rum Glaze
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
3 cups sugar
7 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325°. Butter and flour a bundt pan. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream them together at medium speed, then add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Gently fold in the ginger and apricots. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, approximately 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool the cake upright on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Tap the sides and invert the cake onto the cooling rack. In a small bowl, blend together the rum, orange juice and sugar. Use a pastry brush to brush the surface of the warm cake with the glaze.
Allow the glazed cake to cool completely before serving (approximately 1 to 2 hours).
Makes 12 large or 16 smaller servings.
Baking with a gas stove instead of a wood stove
© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing