Echoes of the Garden

Wes Thu Hál

While we’re still getting snow, it’s melting soon after it falls. The woodcock appeared a couple of days ago and we have some crocus around the house. We’re still waiting to hear the peepers but they should wake soon. The willows in the fields are a lovely golden yellow which means that they should be leafing out soon. The Curly Willow cuttings that I started […]

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Tools, Techniques and Processes: What’s It About

Welcome to the new Friday topic! I have wanted to be able share some of the pre-Industrial technologies and traditional practices that people relied on to make their survival possible and their lives perhaps a bit more comfortable. These are the things that people did in order to make use of the bounty that the earth gave them and the ways they employed to make […]

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Onions All Over

As ubiquitous as onions are in the kitchen, there seem to be few tales of it around the fire. The simple fact that it is so common has made it humble. A far cry from ancient Egyptian days when it was revered as a worthy offering to the gods.  Although this story points out that it may actually be that the humble onion is not […]

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Tears of Relief

Alexis Soyer, in his Pantropheon, states: Whoever wishes to preserve his health must eat every morning, before breakfast. young onions, with honey.1″ Such a treat is assuredly not very tempting : besides, this rather strong vegetable leaves after it a most unpleasant perfume, which long reminds us of its presence ; wherefore this recipe has not met with favour, and, indeed, it is much to be doubted whether it will […]

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A Feast To Cry For

Onion recipes abound. They are used in every type of recipe imaginable and in combination with every foodstuff imaginable. From Apicius: FRIED [1] PUMPKIN, SEASONED WITH PEPPER, LOVAGE, CUMIN, ORIGANY, ONION, WINE BROTH AND OIL: STEW THE PUMPKIN [in this] IN A BAKING DISH, TIE THE LIQUID WITH ROUX [mash] AND SERVE IN THE DISH. COOK THE LETTUCE LEAVES WITH ONION IN SODA WATER, SQUEEZE [the […]

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A Pungent Crop

The culinary onion – Allium cepa – has been in cultivation for at least 7000 years. We have no record of what its wild form was like. There are a few closely related onion species found in the wild today but they are not the onion we find either in the grocery store or the history books. It was a staple crop in every culture. […]

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The Onion

The Onion

I love onions. The more, the tastier, in my opinion. Cooked pretty much any way imaginable and in sweet jams, as well. I keep threatening to make candied onions. One of these days I will. They’re easy to grow and very pretty. There’s very little waste as all of the plant is edible but for the roots. The little wild onions that grow in my […]

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Wes Thu Hál!

I’m afraid that Spring does seem a bit hesitant to show her face this year. We still have about a foot of snow on the ground and the temperatures are only just starting to rise above freezing. Not to worry! The sun is warm and direct (when we get to see it) and the goldfinches are starting to arrive at the feeder. They’re even showing […]

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Tales of a Worldly Willow

The Greek myth of Niobe and her pride is possibly one of the best known tales of our Noble Interest. It’s also one of the saddest. My first encounter with Greek mythology came through a book called D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths when I was about six. I loved that book then and I still love it now. The lessons that were taught in stories […]

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Willows in the World

In his book, TREES:A WOODLAND NOTEBOOK, the Right Honorable Sir Herbert Maxwell says: The name “willow” speaks to us of a time when our Anglo-Saxon forbears dwelt in wattled houses. They spoke of the tree aswelig and also as widig (whence our “withy”), the root-meaning being pliancy. Another old English name for the tree was “sallow,” which in the north has been shortened into “saugh,” a […]

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