Week 1. National Waffle Week (10 healthy recipes)
September 7 Labor Day
September 6 On this day in 1900: the Galveston Hurricane became the U.S. greatest national disaster.
September 9 California was admitted to the Union on this day in 1850. The state flower: the California poppy.
Week 2. National Arts in Education Week
September 14 In England, the traditional time for the hops harvest.
September 16 National Guacamole Day. Perfectly delicious.
Week 3. Constitution Week More important than ever this year
September 20 National Punch Day (No, not that kind. Be gentle.)
September 22 The Fall Equinox and the first day of autumn.
September 26 Johnny Appleseed’s birthday
Week 4. National Banned Books Week, recognizing our freedom to choose the books we read
September 28. St. Michaelmas Eve. Traditional: blackberry pie and roast ‘stubble-goose.’
September 29 is International Coffee Day. Be your own barista.
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” ―
Pooh is right. There is that moment before Eating Honey–especially flavored honey–when the scent of it is so intoxicating that you’d almost rather smell it than eat it. But of course you’ll eat it. You know you will.
Luckily, flavored honeys are among the easiest of delicious herbal treats—and they make wonderful gifts, too. You can use lots of different herbs and spices, alone or in combination, but do make sure that none of itl has been sprayed with something noxious.
Here are some ideas to play with. To each cup of pasteurized honey (light or dark–your choice), use one of the following herbs, in the approximate amounts suggested. You can combine herbs, of course. If you do, reduce the amounts proportionally (for example, 2 cinnamon basil leaves and 2 cinnamon sticks). Rinse and dry the plant material.
To a cup of honey, add:
- 1/2 cup fragrant rose petals
- 4 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers
- 3-4 lemon or rose geranium leaves
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 4 cinnamon basil leaves
- 4-5 cinnamon sticks
- 3 teaspoons orange zest or lemon zest
In a non-reactive saucepan, heat the honey gently. Put the herbs in a clean jar and pour the honey over them. Cap tightly and let sit for a few days before using. Wonderful on waffles, pancakes, toast, ice cream, and fruit.Also, it’s never a good idea to give honey to an infant.
Want to try a honey of a main dish? These chicken wings are just what you’re looking for!
Honey-Garlic Chicken Wings
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon minced candied ginger (optional)
Combine ingredients in sauce pan. Heat to boiling and simmer for 5 minutes. Separate 2 pounds chicken wings and place in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour sauce over wings and marinate for 2 hours. Bake at 400°F for 1 hour, turning once. Serves 4.
- Read about the Galveston Hurricane in Susan’s novel, Widow’s Tears.
- Discover southernwood, an artemisia, the herb traditionally associated with St. Ninian. In Scotland, this plant is known as “apple-ringie.” Also known as Lad’s love, boys presented it to girls they wanted to court. It was also used as an astringent antiseptic treatment for teen-age acne, which may be the real reason for the name Lad’s love. “Boiled with barley meal and laid unto them, southernwood takes away pimples.” —Nicholas Culpeper, Herbal, 1653. An aromatic plant for your herb garden.
- Bake this simple and wholesome apple cake in honor of Johnny Appleseed, then take the kids outdoors and plant an apple tree in your backyard.
- Plant a hops vine. If you’re looking for a vigorous, reach-for-the-sky herbal vine for your garden, consider hops. Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, the fruit has been used in salves and wound compresses. Hops have a mild sedative action and have been used in teas, as well as sleep pillows. Here’s an informative history of this fascinating plant.
- Celebrate Punch Day. The word “punch” derives from the Hindustani word “panch,” or five. No, Punch Day is not an excuse to drink five glasses of punch–or go next door and land one on a neighbor. It celebrates the traditional punch recipe of five ingredients: alcohol, lemon (or other fruits), sugar, water, and spiced tea (or tea plus other spices). For a galaxy of stellar party punches, check out this collection of 17 drinkable recipes.
- Learn why blackberries were the center of the traditional Michaelmas celebration and what the devil had to do with it.
- Find out what’s going on at MeadowKnoll by visiting Susan’s blog, Lifescapes. On BookScapes, she posts reviews of books she has read and notes on writing/publishing. If you’re not on her blog mailing list, add your name and she’ll send you a contest reminder. (Look just below for the form to sign up for the blogs.)