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Archive for September, 2016

With the herbs nearly all harvested now, its time to make sure the winter medicine cabinet has all it needs. Elderberry syrup and Thyme honey are two of the important parts of my medicine cabinet.. mainly used for colds, influenza and sore throats.

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Thyme is a powerful antiseptic and it’s loaded with antioxidants. It works hard to:

  • ward off colds.
  • relieves a sore throat & inflamed tonsils
  • provides relief from hay fever
  • helps improve digestion

It’s strong antiseptic properties including activity against viruses, insects, bacteria and fungus, is just another reason to always have some on hand.  Traditionally, thyme was used to treat bronchitis but I find it to be useful in my house for treating winter illnesses such as colds like the one I am fighting now. 😦

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One nice way to use thyme is as honey… and its very easy to make. You can still pick thyme now, it should withstand a mild frost just fine. Cut stems short and put them in a glass mason jar. Cover the thyme with wildflower honey. Put the jar in a pan of water to slightly heat the honey while pushing the thyme down and adding more thyme. Once the honey is fluid, put the lid on the jar and store the honey with the thyme still in it, until needed. You can use this honey to add to tea or use it straight for a sore throat… and I just love it drizzled over my fresh yogurt too! Be well!

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My name is J… and I am a recipe addict! Or I should say.. was.

A few months ago, after a recent move I made the decision that it was time to sell a rather large cookbook collection I’ve had for over 25 years. Why was I saving recipes from twenty five years ago? Cooking styles have surely changed over these years that more than half of the bookmarked recipes were for things I would never make any more. I was thrilled to find a wonderful cookbook dealer who assured me, my library of 900 treasured books would all go to good homes.. Of course before I made my decision I had to go through them all one more time because there was one favorite recipe that I couldn’t be without. Enough already! Admittedly, this is how a recipe addict thinks, but in addition to my favorite recipes.. I got into the habit years ago, of sticking family recipes into my books as well, along with family pictures that were very special to me. They just brought an instant smile or warm remembrance of a special event or special person, that called for a certain recipe, whenever I reached for my books.

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My daughter came to visit in the midst of all this madness and suggested that I put my favorite recipes on to the computer, but I couldn’t even begin to fathom the length of time that would take, and what if I forgot to do backups? Well it ended up taking me 3 weeks to go through each & every book, sort the keepers and separate the ones I would part with.

Yes, I still have a very nice collection, but now actually manageable, and space in my new kitchen. I’ve been slowly putting some of them into computer files.. but it’s just not the same for me. I actually prefer having a book with my hand scribbled marginal notes from years ago in it.. There definitely are memories connected with them and as I gazed at my faded writing and that smudge of cinnamon and butter encrusted on the pages, I’m transported back to that time years ago when I baked my first apple pie for my own daughters during the holidays. And yes, what about all those hand written recipe cards with recipes from my mom’s collection, my Nonna’s recipes brought from Naples? My sister’s famous Leg of Lamb, Uncle Pete’s famous lobster pie recipe? Auntie Ella’s arancine or baccala salad, Jimbo’s fabulous Prime Rib.. or his famous Guiness Beer Brats.  I’ll always hang on to those. Whenever I make Ma’s delicious apple pie I get out that recipe card, even though I know it like the back of my hand… and many of my favorites are up on my cooking blog or in my journal for safe keeping. 🙂

My newest cookbook, a birthday gift from my daughter, Top Chef-The Cookbook, with an inscription.. ‘this will just be a start to your new collection of cookbooks 🙂 Bon Appetit’. So whether old or new, collecting cookbooks and recipes .. like dear old friends, will always remain in this addicts life!

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Ssshhh — listen a moment. The quiet is deafening! Summer’s End. The tourist season has finally ended. Back to solitary days, no traffic jams and best of all, I have the beach pretty much to myself again! Hooray 🙂

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