Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Top Ten

It's fun to look back over the course of the year to see what folks enjoyed reading most.  Here's a list of the top ten posts from The Woodwife's Journal.
Click on the links below to check them out.


Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
with
Much herbal love,
   

New Year's Resolutions...again.

Does anyone ever really accomplish their New Year's goals or resolutions?  Most that I read are more like life goals than something that can be "finished" in a set time frame.
I'm not looking back over the past year with a lot of regret even though my list of resolutions could be the same for 2012  I did some of the things on my list but as I've mentioned elsewhere, it seems that the more planning I do, the more diversions I face.  And I know that's life, right?  But, I wouldn't trade most of them for anything on my New Year's list!
Here's some of the things that interrupt my plans or resolutions...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cheesemaking Kit Winner!

Congratulations and a Merry Christmas to Sadie, the winner of the New England Cheesemaking Company's 30 minute Mozzarella Kit! 
Please email me your address so I can forward it to the company!  Thanks so much for entering! 
Much herbal love,
 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Woodwife Family!

Wishing You and Yours a Very Blessed Christmas!
A vintage sled to welcome visitors.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels


These delicious cookies are as sweet to look at as they are to eat.



Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
Print here

Start with a batch of sugar cookies.
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 TBSP milk
powdered sugar for rolling out dough

You'll also need:
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies

Split the sugar cookie dough in half.
Add chocolate and vanilla to one half
Add egg yolk, peppermint extract, and crushed candy to the other half.

Cover and chill for 5-10 minutes.
Roll out separately to about 1/4 inch thick.
Place peppermint dough on top of the chocolate and press together.
Roll into a log. (using wax paper makes this easier)
Wrap in wax paper and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°
Unwrap cookie log and slice into 1/2 inch slices.
Place cookies 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper.
Bake 12-13 minutes rotating the pan half way through.
Remove from oven, let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes.
Move to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!


Much herbal love,
 

Today I'm sharing this recipe with Brenda and friends through

@ Meal Planning Magic

Try Your Hand at Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

The gift that keeps on giving!  Win this 30 minute Mozzarella Kit.  Consider it a Christmas present to yourself!  We had a great time making this together.  And we have supplies to do it 29 more times!  Of course the "taffy stretching" hands-on part was a favorite...but I'm getting ahead of myself!  
I've recently had an opportunity to try out the 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.
The kit includes everything you need to make a 1# batch of mozzarella cheese ~ 30 times!  That's right, 30# of cheese with one kit!  All you add is the milk.  We had a great time and it was really easy to do.

We used raw milk from a local farm.  First, we heated the milk to 145°F for 30 minutes.  Then we cooled the milk quickly by placing the kettle in a sink of ice water.
We added the citric acid which was dissolved in water. It's important to be sure the water doesn't contain chlorine.
Then we heated the milk again to 90°F stirring constantly.
At this point, we removed the kettle from the stove and slowly stirred in the rennet solution we'd made earlier.  The pot was covered and allowed to rest for 5+ minutes.
Now we could see the separation begin to happen.  But the curds weren't quite set enough so we gave it a few more minutes.
Using a knife that would reach the bottom of the pot, we cut the curd into cubes and made diagonal slices as shown in the directions.  Now we could see the whey begin to separate more.

  We put the pot back on the stove and heated the curds to 110°F while slowly moving the curds around in the pot to help separate the solids.  Then we took it off the heat and continued stirring gently for 2-5 more minutes.

The whey was poured off into a pitcher and the solids remained in the colander.
We heated a pot of water to 185°F.  Then we dipped the colander with the curds into the water several times to rinse the whey off and heat the cheese again.  After folding the curds over to drain the whey, they began to get stretchy and elastic.

Here's the fun part!  You pull the cheese like taffy to lengthen the proteins.

You can add some cheese salt (included in the kit) while you stretch the cheese until it's shiny and smooth.  Once you reach this stage, you can form a braid, a log or a ball with your cheese.
If you want to make string cheese, simply stretch the cheese into long pieces and cut.  Drop them into cold water for 5 minutes to set the cheese.  Then let set in ice water for another 15 minutes.  This is important to keep the cheese from becoming grainy and protects it's silky texture.
Voila!  30 minute mozzarella right in your own kitchen!  This is a great project to do with kids!

Now, here's the exciting part!  The folks at New England Cheesemaking Company have offered to sponsor a giveaway for one 30 Minute Mozzarella Kit to a lucky person somewhere in Canada or the US!
You have 5 chances to enter!

1) Follow The Woodwife's Journal and leave a comment below telling me that you're following,
2) Blog about my giveaway and leave a comment below with the link to your post.
3) Tweet about my giveaway and leave a comment below.
4) Visit New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and leave a comment below telling me what product interests you the most.
5) Follow New England Cheesemaking Supply Company on Facebook and leave a comment below.

At 6PM on Christmas Eve 2011, I'll draw a random number from the comments section to choose the winner!

I'm sharing this with the folks @ Homestead Barn Hop, Simple Lives Thursday and Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.
Click on their buttons to see what's happening there.
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Jenny Matlock


Much herbal love,
 

Cheddar Cheese Cookies

Here is a quick little cheesy treat that looks as nice as your favorite Christmas cookie but offers a slightly bitey, light, crumbly alternative to traditional sugary cookies. 

Blend 1/2 # butter
1/2 # shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. red pepper
Roll into balls.
Top with a pecan half.
Bake @ 425°  for 10 minutes.

These are also very tasty with a little chopped fresh rosemary added!  Yum!

Sharing this post with Simple Lives Thursday!


Much herbal love,
 

Monday, December 19, 2011

A quick kitchen remedy for cold and flu season

Baking soda...I truly believe it's one of the wonders of the world!
Used for all kinds of household cleaning from laundry to scouring, digestive upset and much more, this kitchen staple is also a valuable remedy to knock out a cold or flu.

The reason this works is because baking soda neutralizes acid.  Pathogens thrive in an acid environment.  So lowering the pH of the body at the onset of a cold or flu makes the terrain unfriendly to the survival of unwanted cold and flu bugs.

A note of caution though.. use baking soda that doesn't contain aluminum.
Also, if you suffer from high blood pressure or fluid retention, be aware that ea. 1/2 tsp of baking soda contains 616mg. of sodium.
Baking soda can deplete essential, vitamins and minerals (especially B vitamins and Chromium) so don't exceed the maximum dose or use for more than 2 weeks.

Day 1
Dissolve 1/2 tsp. of baking soda in a glass of cold water.
Drink.
Repeat every two hours up to 6 times.

Day 2
Do the same up to 4 times.

Day 3
Drink once in the morning and once in the evening.

Day 4+
Drink once in the morning until cured.


Much herbal love,
 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wanna Try a Little Herbal Alchemy in Your Own Kitchen?

LearningHerbs.com offers the perfect starting point for your herbal learning experience.  It's like taking 8 herbal classes in a box with all the supplies you'll need for this hands-on course. A great way to introduce herbal remedies to your family.
Click on the photo to the left to purchase.

Then, follow up with an herbal course through LearningHerbs.com/Herbmentor.com or Vintage Remedies School of Natural Health.



Much herbal love,
 

Mountain Rose Herbs and Herbal Rootszine Giveaway and Sale

One of my favorite places to buy herbal products, tea, bulk herbs, tea supplies and lots of other herbal things is Mountain Rose Herbs.


Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin


They offer lots of tutorials and YouTube Channel videos created by John Gallagher or Rosalee de la Foret of LearningHerbs.com.

Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Hop over to Herbal Rootszine to enter a Mountain Rose Herbs giveaway.  But hurry because the contest ends on Friday!  While you're there, check out their beautiful herbal calendars that are 20% off for a limited time!

Much herbal love,
 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ Christmas Craft edition

Hello, again!  Can you believe it's December already!?  With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we'd focus this week's gathering of wildcrafting ideas on projects for Christmas gift giving!  Do you have an herbal/natural craft or gift idea you'd like to share with us and all our readers?

Join Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul , Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading and me, The Woodwife, as we host the Christmas gift edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday!
While traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, this is a Blog Hop for gathering your favorite old time, traditional herbal posts, home remedies and crafting ideas. It’s a place to gather information on ways to incorporate herbs and old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life. It is anything and everything herbal – from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking – it's remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients – it's self-sufficient living and back-to-basics tips to make and preserve food, save money and resources – if it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking, home healing or other traditional skills then we want to read about it!
You see, it's kinda like stepping out into the "wilds" of cyberspace to gather ideas that make our homemaking skills or "craft" more healthy, more resourceful...more sustainable. Wildcraft!

Please join us today as we gather ideas for crafting homemade gifts just in time for Christmas!

Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your crafting blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a gift giving recipe, only real food ingredients are permitted. This means no processed or prepackaged foods!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this week's link-up to go directly to the post they want to read.

3. Please place a link back to this post. That way your readers can benefit from all the other crafty ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you’re new to blogging here’s what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, “This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal” at the end of your post. Then highlight “Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal”, click the “link” button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That’s it!

4. Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. (Remember we're focusing on ideas for Christmas gift giving this week.)  Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don’t link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn’t going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Please leave a comment.  When you link up, I don't get a notification so to help me out by leaving a comment below so I don't miss your post. Thank you!

6. Don’t have a blog? We still want to hear from you! Please leave your herbal tip, recipe, home remedy or craft idea in the comments.

7. And bloggers, please check out the other posts and leave a comment for them too. I know that we would all love to hear from each other.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Much herbal love,
 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wildcraft Sale for the Herbal "Kids" on your Christmas List


LearningHerbs.com is offering a HUGE sale on Wildcraft ~ An Herbal Adventure Game plus lots of bonuses including the new "Herbs for Children During Cold and Flu Season" video course and so much more!

We have enjoyed playing Wildcraft as well as the colorful artwork, herbal identification cards and remedy information that everyone who enjoys the outdoors should know. 
Teach your family about herbal remedies while reinforcing this knowledge with pictures, stories, interaction and the best teacher of all...FUN!

Wildcraft Board Game

  Click on the banner above to see what this game is all about and take advantage of these wonderful resources at a great price.

But don't wait too long because the sale ends @ midnight on Friday!


Much herbal love,
 

Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ 18th edition

We're well into the Christmas season and it's nice to be able to connect with like minded folks for ideas and recipes that we can use to make our lives healthier and more sustainable.  As always, I love reading what's going on in your herbal kitchen and homestead whether that's in the country or on the window sill of your apartment. It's that time again!  Please join us!

Together with
Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul and
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
we're hosting the 18th edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ while traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, this is a Blog Hop for gathering your favorite old time, traditional herbal posts and home remedies. It’s a place to gather information on ways to incorporate herbs and old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life. It is anything and everything herbal – from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking – it is remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients – it is self-sufficient living and back-to-basics tips to save food, money, and resources – if it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking and home healing then we want to read about it!

In other words, this is a “one stop shop” for the past weeks best tips on how to use herbs and simple steps you can take at home to be more healthy and become more self-reliant!
Please join us!

Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a recipe, only real food recipes are permitted please. This means no processed food ingredients!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this week's link-up to go directly to the post they want to read.

3. Please place a link back to this post. That way your readers can benefit from all the other ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you’re new to blogging here’s what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, “This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal” at the end of your post. Then highlight “Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal”, click the “link” button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That’s it!

4. Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don’t link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn’t going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Please leave a comment.  When you link up, I don't get a notification so to help me out by leaving a comment below so I don't miss your post. Thank you!

6. Don’t have a blog? We still want to hear from you! Please leave your herbal tip, recipe, or home remedy in the comments.

7. And bloggers, please check out the other posts and leave a comment for them too. I know that we would all love to hear from each other.


Much herbal love,
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ 17th edition

Together with
Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul and
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
we're hosting the 17th edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ while traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, this is a Blog Hop for gathering your favorite old time, traditional herbal posts and home remedies. It’s a place to gather information on ways to incorporate herbs and old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life. It is anything and everything herbal – from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking – it is remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients – it is self-sufficient living and back-to-basics tips to save food, money, and resources – if it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking and home healing then we want to read about it!

In other words, this is a “one stop shop” for the past weeks best tips on how to use herbs and simple steps you can take at home to be more healthy and become more self-reliant!
Please join us!

Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a recipe, only real food recipes are permitted please. This means no processed food ingredients!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this week's link-up to go directly to the post they want to read.

3. Please place a link back to this post. That way your readers can benefit from all the ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you’re new to blogging here’s what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, “This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal” at the end of your post. Then highlight “Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal”, click the “link” button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That’s it!

4. Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don’t link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn’t going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Please leave a comment.  When you link up, I don't get a notification so to help me out so I don't miss your post, leave a comment below.

6. Don’t have a blog? We still want to hear from you! Please leave your herbal tip, recipe, or home remedy in the comments.

7. And bloggers, please check out the other posts and leave a comment for them too. I know that we would all love to hear from each other.

Much herbal love,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wildcrafting Wednesday

Together with
Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul and
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
we're hosting the 16th edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ while traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, this is a Blog Hop for gathering your favorite old time, traditional herbal posts and home remedies. It’s a place to gather information on ways to incorporate herbs and old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life. It is anything and everything herbal – from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking – it is remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients – it is self-sufficient living and back-to-basics tips to save food, money, and resources – if it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking and home healing then we want to read about it!

In other words, this is a “one stop shop” for the past weeks best tips on how to use herbs and simple steps you can take at home to be more healthy and become more self-reliant!
Please join us!

Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a recipe, only real food recipes are permitted please. This means no processed food ingredients!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this week's link-up to go directly to the post they want to read.

3. Please place a link back to this post. That way your readers can benefit from all the ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you’re new to blogging here’s what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, “This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal” at the end of your post. Then highlight “Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal”, click the “link” button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That’s it!

4. Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don’t link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn’t going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Please leave a comment.  When you link up, I don't get a notification so to help me out so I don't miss your post, leave a comment below.

6. Don’t have a blog? We still want to hear from you! Please leave your herbal tip, recipe, or home remedy in the comments.

7. And bloggers, please check out the other posts and leave a comment for them too. I know that we would all love to hear from each other.

Much herbal love,
 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Herbal Medicine Chest ~ Herbal Cough Syrup

We've had a few hard frosts here but my horehound is still beautiful!  In prep for winter colds, I've made a cough syrup with horehound, sage and a bit of mint.

1 oz. fresh horehound
1/2 oz. dried sage  (use 1 oz if fresh)
1/2 oz. fresh mint
add 4 cups water and simmer gently until reduced by half.

Strain and cool a bit. 
Next add equal parts raw local honey to each part of warm infusion.  You can reduce the amount of honey if you feel it is too sweet.  The thicker syrup also adds more soothing and coating benefits.  Can be added to tea if you prefer

If you'd like to flavor the syrup you can add a bit of fruit concentrate, or brandy to help preserve it.
Bottle and store in a cool dark place.

Adult dosage:  1/2 tsp every two hours as needed.
Children: Based on body weight, use half adult dose for older children and 1/4 adult dose for small children.
              ** Remember that this syrup contains raw honey and should NOT be given to infants!

Learn more about :
Herbal Syrups, Honeys, Vinegars and Wines
         
Herbal Teas, Infusions and Decoctions

Sharing this post with
Homestead Revival Barn Hop
Monday Mania Blog Carnival
Wildcrafting Wednesday #59

Much herbal love,
 

Wildcrafting Wednesday...on Friday.

My youngest daughter will be spending the next week with a wonderful family on their farm.  She'll be helping and learning about all kinds of things as she blends with the hosts and the long term interns already on site.  With all the prep for her trip, I didn't get a chance to post on Wednesday so here I am, a little late, with Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Together with
Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul and
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
we're hosting the 15th edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ while traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, this is a Blog Hop for gathering your favorite old time, traditional herbal posts and home remedies. It’s a place to gather information on ways to incorporate herbs and old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life. It is anything and everything herbal – from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking – it is remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients – it is self-sufficient living and back-to-basics tips to save food, money, and resources – if it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking and home healing then we want to read about it!

In other words, this is a “one stop shop” for the past weeks best tips on how to use herbs and simple steps you can take at home to be more healthy and become more self-reliant!
Please join us!

Today I'm linking up to the Herbal Cough Syrup I made yesterday.

Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a recipe, only real food recipes are permitted please. This means no processed food ingredients!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this post and go to your link to be able to find what they’re looking for.

3. Please place a link back to this post. That way your readers can benefit from all the ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you’re new to blogging here’s what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, “This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal” at the end of your post. Then highlight “Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal”, click the “link” button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That’s it!

4. Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don’t link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn’t going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Please leave a comment.  When you link up, I don't get a notification so to help me out so I don't miss your post, comment below.

6. Don’t have a blog? We still want to hear from you! Please leave your herbal tip, recipe, or home remedy in the comments.

7. And bloggers, please check out the other posts and leave a comment for them too. I know that we would all love to hear from each other.

Much herbal love,
 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gingerbread Tour 2011

If you'll be in our neck of the woods this weekend, don't miss the annual Gingerbread Tour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The route runs from Brookville to Cooksburg featuring over a dozen shops.  Visit local artisans, antiques shops and craftsmen as they showcase their wares on this tour through the Magic Forest!  Kick off your holiday shopping in style this weekend.  Visit one or visit them all!  But don't miss my favorite stop @ Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living for herb plants, teas, soaps, oils, salves, class opportunities and more!  Serving a healthy luncheon this Saturday.

Much herbal love,
 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween can be a scary time for your immune system

With Halloween just around the corner and many parties going on this week, it's important to know that viruses and bacteria lurking all around us are ready to jump out and scare you into an illness...metaphorically speaking, of course.  But Halloween can be a scary time for your immune system when you consider that sugar and carbohydrate consumption (large quantites of which are consumed at parties and in Halloween treats) can significantly lower your immune system for 4-5 hours after they are eaten.  Significantly meaning 50 - 90 % depending on the amount!  That is scary. 
I was going to write a bit more about this when I discovered an excellent article here.  Read it and enjoy!  Then take whatever measures you need to to limit weakening your immune system defenses.


Much herbal love,

Herbal Medicine Chest Page Update!

Thanks to a very helpful young man, I've learned some really useful, time saving ways to improve what goes on here at The Woodwife's Journal.  As a result, I've updated the links on the Herbal Medicine Chest Page.  Check it out!

Much herbal love,
 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What a lovely surprise!

I'm feeling so blessed today because I just discovered that I've been featured as the Website of the Week in the CHEM (Central Homeschool Family Ministries from Wichita. KS) newsletter!  Many thanks to everyone there for the shout out!  Please check out their newletter for lots of ideas and see what activities are going on in their homeschool community! 
Be sure to check out the Pumpkin Whip recipe!
http://chfmnews.org/newsletters/Newsletter%202011-10-26.html
God bless and
much herbal love
from the Woodwife's Journal,
 

Herbal Medicine Chest ~ Clear Head Vapor Ointment #2

It's nice to know that when I'm in a crunch at night, in need of an herbal remedy only to discover that I don't have the one I need on hand, I can whip up an effective treatment in a short amount of time right here in the Woodwife's kitchen.  One of our favorite herbal remedies is Clear Head Vapor Ointment for night time relief of congestion and soothing sore throats.  This works well with Clear Head Vapor Salts for day or night time use.

I needed a batch in a hurry last night so I went to the supply cabinet to gather my herbal ingredients only to remember that I was out of un-petroleum jelly.  But I did have a tub of olive butter so I grabbed that instead.
You could also make this using a basic salve/ointment recipe of olive oil and beeswax.  You can see mine here.

So here's the olive butter alternative to my original.
I filled a 2 oz. jelly jar almost to the top with the olive butter and heated it gently until most of the butter had melted.  Then I removed it from the heat and stirred until all of the butter had melted. 
I added:
5-6 menthol crystals - I should note that I added this ingredient to the original recipe.
1/8 tsp. fir needle EO
1/8 tsp. rosemary EO
1/8 tsp. peppermint EO
1/4 tsp. eucalyptus EO
I mixed it all together and cooled it quickly in a bowl of ice water, stirring until it was "buttery" again.
The aroma was so soothing that I felt relaxed just preparing it.

This remedy is part of Wildcrafting Wednesday.

I'm sharing this remedy with Jo and friends @

Much herbal love,
 

Herbal Medicine Chest ~ Wildcrafting Wednesdays

Hello!
It's been kinda crazy around here and I'm sorry that I missed last week.  But I'm back again and teaming up with
Kathy @ Mind, Body and Soul and
Laurie @ Common Sense Homesteading
to host the 14th edition of Wildcrafting Wednesday ~ while traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, this is a Blog Hop for gathering your favorite old time, traditional herbal posts and home remedies. It’s a place to gather information on ways to incorporate herbs and old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life. It is anything and everything herbal – from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking – it is remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients – it is self-sufficient living and back-to-basics tips to save food, money, and resources – if it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking and home healing then we want to read about it!

In other words, this is a “one stop shop” for the past weeks best tips on how to use herbs and simple steps you can take at home to be more healthy and become more self-reliant!

For how-to instructions, or specific articles, run your mouse over the bold words to find links about various topics discussed here.
For example, What is wildcrafting?
 
When wildcrafting, there are some important things to remember, like proper identification and if the area you're gathering from has been exposed to pesticides or herbicides. You can read my guidelines for traditional wildcrafting here.

Today, I'm sharing a bit about myself and why I do what I do with herbs.  So, what is a Woodwife?

I'm also linking up a home remedy for Clear Head Vapor Ointment I whipped up last night to help my daughter deal with congestion and a sore throat.  It's not made from wildcrafted ingredients but I think it's an herbal home remedy that everyone should have on hand for the winter cold season.

Please join us!

Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a recipe, only real food recipes are permitted please. This means no processed food ingredients!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this post and go to your link to be able to find what they’re looking for.

3. Please place a link back to this post. That way your readers can benefit from all the ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you’re new to blogging here’s what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, “This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal” at the end of your post. Then highlight “Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Woodwife's Journal”, click the “link” button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That’s it!

4. Please only link posts that fit the carnival description. Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don’t link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn’t going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Please leave a comment.

6. Don’t have a blog? We still want to hear from you! Please leave your herbal tip, recipe, or home remedy in the comments.

7. And bloggers, please check out the other posts and leave a comment for them too. I know that we would all love to hear from each other.




Much herbal love,
 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Road Trip

This past weekend, the weather was beautiful here in PA!  I traveled with some friends to the Maas family vineyards and orchards in North East, PA to pick grapes, apples, tomatoes and peppers!  It's a lovely rolling farm that ends on the shores of Lake Erie.  They grow several varieties of wine grapes but of course the largest portion of the vineyards seemed to be blue concord which they also sell to Welch's.
We got to see the harvesting in action as the huge picking machines devoured the rows of grapes leaving behind empty vines.  I had no idea how they worked and it was awesome to see.  We passed up the opportunity to ride the picker so we could start the journey home.
The fall colors are nearly at their peak here in Central PA and we enjoyed the carpets of twead covering the gentle hills we traveled through.  The sugar maples with their flaming, almost glowing, red tops are the most spectacular.  As we got closer to the Lake, the colors were less intense.  Probably due to the milder temps coming off the water. 
I think autumn is my favorite time of year.  There's just something about the crisp evenings and fruity, musky aromas that can only be made better by the smell of a wood fire.

When we got there, here's what we found...


First stop...Concord Grapes!

Here's our truckload!

We watched the harvesting machines "picking" grapes for Welch's.

How beautiful!  The vinyards seem to grow all the way to Lake Erie!

As the machine knocks the clusters from the vine, it shoots them
through a large tube into wooden boxes on a wagon in the next row.

So, now I have my work cut out for me! 

Much herbal love,
 
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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.