Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3 and the Excitement Continues!

Welcome back my Darlins. We hope you are enjoying this as much as we have enjoyed bringing all these delightful goodies to you. Today's post is another fun filled exciting happening. So grab a cuppa your favorite morning brew and dig in.

Today we are reading about Haunting Herbals from Jen at
 Rue & Hyssop


Haunting Herbals

Herbs invoke a myriad of images, from a delicious plot of culinary delights to the perfect medicine to calm an upset tummy.  These lovely green allies are just as happy to perch at the edge of your plate as a garnish as they are being tossed in a charm bag to bring you luck.  Today, we turn to herbs for all manner of reasons, but not so long ago the lore surrounding these natural helpers was anything but innocuous.  Let’s take a look at the more mysterious side of our herbal friends.

First we consider basil.  Commonly believed to invoke venomous beasts, basil was quite the fearful herb once upon a time.  A favorite herb of witches, basil was used in flying ointments which were then rubbed on the witch and their preferred mode of transportation.

“A mystical Herb employed by Witches.  I dare write no more of it!” ~ Nicholas Culpeper

In keeping with the forbidden nature of the herb, basil was also employed as an aphrodisiac. “Even old men felt its charm.” ~ Ovid.

And speaking of dark desires, our friendly neighbourhood mint has a naughty side too.  Culpeper says it is an herb of Venus and “…it is an incentive to venery and bodily lust.”  Legend has it that Minthe was a nymph that Hades had taken a liking to, and when his wife Persephone found the two entwined, she turned the nymph into a herb, that would forever be constantly creeping along the ground searching for her underworld lover.  Hades, in his favor of her, made her wonderfully scented and gave her aphrodisiacal qualities so that she would be desired evermore.

Mints are also apparently helpful against the biting of serpents and mad dogs.  I’m not sure how mint would stand up to a zombie bite though - so take no chances! 

One herb that may keep zombies (and everyone else) away is garlic.  Garlic is more famously known for its vampire deterrent qualities, but was also used in old Europe as a charm against the evil eye of enemies.  A dear friend of mine swears by putting a fresh head of garlic on the inside of her windows each new moon for protection.

And garlic doesn’t seem to mind a bit of abuse.  An old wives tale says that crushing or bruising a garlic clove before planting will improve the flavor of the growing plant.

One herb that was not thought beneficial to be gifted or moved about the garden is parsley.  “Transplant parsley, transplant sorrow,” so the saying goes.  And if you dared transplant it?  Southern folklore says you’d have bad luck until either you or the parsley died.

Parsley takes a significant amount of time to germinate (2-4 weeks.)  An old folk tale explains this length of time by saying that parsley must travel to Hades and back 9 times before it will begin to grow.

Parsley was believed to be a foreteller of death and was also carved on tombstones to please Persephone, with whom it was associated.

Most importantly, parsley is a member of the Umbelliferae family.  These plants are distinguished by their umbrell-shaped blooms and hollow stems.  Family members of parsley include the aromatics dill, fennel and cilantro and also the incredibly deadly hemlocks (not the tree) which, if ingested, can cause respiratory paralysis and death.

Lastly, let’s talk about nightshades.  The nightshades we know and love would be our tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, but the family Solanaceae also includes mandrake, henbane, bittersweet and deadly nightshade (belladonna,) all of which are poisonous in different doses.  Even a safe-bet like potatoes can leave us with an upset stomach, and worse if we eat the green parts of the plant. 

Belladonna is perhaps the most recognized of the baneful nightshades and folklore has it that it is a plant tended by the Devil, who can only be distracted from its care on May Eve or Walpurgis night.

This Halloween, whether you are leaving parsley out to please Persephone as she heads home to her husband in the Underworld, or wearing garlic to protect you from those that bite, remember that our herbal helpers were as feared in days of old as they are valued today.  Be thankful that those who have gone before have done the hard work (and the deadly work) of identifying and recording the merits and evils of these intriguing plants.

Jen is also including one of her Herbal Home Cleansing sets from her Etsy shop Three Cats and A Broom for our Give Away today.

The set includes:
~ 1 package of my Smudge Mix
~ 1 bottle of my "Florida Water"
~ 1 Sweetgrass braid
~ 1 bottle of my "Prosperity" spray created with hand-picked herbs and resins that are associated with prosperity, luck and money.

                    
              

This set is meant to assist in cleansing and clearing your home and welcoming in beneficial energies.


Remember:

Your first entry is to follow us here. (make sure you comment and tell us that you're following!)

Bonus entries:

Go to Three Cats and A Broom  and peruse her wares. Come back and tell us what you like best there.

Make her page a favorite on Etsy. Come back and comment separately that you did it.

Like us on Facebook- come back and tell us (separate entry)

Follow us on Twitter (come and tell us!- separate entry)

Blog about this giveaway (comment separately and send us a link to your blog post)

Tweet about this giveaway (comment separately and send us a link to your blog post)

Today's Recipe

And from the recipe file, today we have


Edible Teacup Cookies

From She Knows

"Remember that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where  he drinks the tea and then eats the cup? Well, here's a step-by-step  guide to making your own deliciously edible cup-and-saucers."

Ingredients

* Vanilla sandwich cookie wafers
*Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
 *Ice cream sugar cones (top 1-1/2 inch)
 *Circle pretzels (found in Chex Mix Sweet 'n Salty Honey Nut mix)
 *Chocolate frosting (chocolate pudding, chocolate ganache, etc.)
 *Chocolate or vanilla candy melts

Method

1. Cut the sugar cones to 1-1/2  inches. To avoid breaking them, dip the bottoms in warm water for 20  seconds. Using a serrated knife, trim off where the wet area meets the  dry. Allow these to dry completely before assembling.

2. Separate the cookie wafers and clean off filling. Trim off one small piece of the circle pretzels to create two handle points.

3. Melt two ounces of chocolate or  vanilla candy melts in a zip-top bag in the microwave (twice for 30  seconds usually does the trick).

4. Snip off the corner of the zip-top bag and dab a little candy melt in the center of the cookie wafers.

5. Place unwrapped Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups on top of the candy melt on the cookie wafers.

6. Place the cut ice cream cones on top of the Reese's cups. Pipe more of the candy melt inside the ice cream cones, where the edge meets the Reese's cup.

7. Pipe frosting, pudding or ganache inside the ice cream cones.

8. Add a dab of candy melt to the cut  off edges of the circle pretzels and attach them to the sides of the  ice cream cones. You may need to hold them in place for a few seconds  until the candy melt holds firmly and stays in place.

Helpful hints: Have everything unwrapped, cut, trimmed and ready to assemble. If your  candy melt starts to harden, just microwave the zip-top bag for 20 to 30  seconds to soften.

Note: These are best served on the same day  as preparation. The frosting, pudding or ganache filling tends to  soften the sugar cone the longer it sits.

Today's Craft

How to make a Paper Mache` Jack O'Lantern Pinata

Picture courtesy of Enhanced learning Skills 4 Kids

Jack O'Lantern Piñata

1 balloon

1 newspaper cut into strips

Paper Mache Paste

1 roll of orange crepe paper

2 sheets of black construction paper

Optional: either green crepe paper or green construction paper to make a “stem” for the top of the pumpkin.

String to hang the piñata.

Cover a balloon with strips of newspaper that have been dipped in the paper mache paste mixture. Cover this with orange crepe paper. Once this has dried,  cut out eyes/nose/mouth from the black construction paper and glue to round ball.  Cut a small opening  in the side of the piñata ( make sure you don’t cut it all the way open so you can shut it back up again. Fill it with some candy and make sure to thoroughly tape it shut.  Cut or punch a small hole in the top to hold the string. Pull string through the hole; tie up the piñata around a tree branch (if using outdoors) or a sturdy ceiling fan or hook.  Your piñata is now ready to be destroyed

Paper Mache Paste Recipe

To make this paper mache paste, simply mix together 1 part flour to 2 parts water. You will want it to be the consistency of thick glue, but you also want it to be runny and not thick like paste. Add more water or flour as necessary. Mix well to remove any lumps.

A few helpful tips in regards to using this paste are:

If you live in an area with high humidity, add a few tablespoons of salt to help prevent mold.

If you don't like the smell of the glue mixture you can add a few sprinkles of cinnamon or cinnamon to sweeten it up!

You should be able to store this glue in a covered bowl or jar, in the refrigerator, for a few days.


And the winner is....
The Winner of the Sosanna's Closet Goddess Giveaway from October 1 is Kathleen Creager! Congratulations Kathleen! Be sure to email us your shipping information so Sosanna can get it to you quickly!

For the October 2 giveaway from East Coast Craft & Curio, you have until 8pm EDT tonight to participate!


Song of the Day


From Kestril Trueseeker

Today’s song has rockabilly flair. It’s one of two songs from the fun Halloween Hootenanny CD on this play list. I dare you not to dance.


92 comments:

  1. Great blog! I'm following here, on FB, and on Twitter. <3

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  2. Okay, I favorited Three Cats & a Broom on Etsy. I love the prosperity spray, or the 3 sage smudge mixture. One can never have too much sage! I also follow you on FB and here on the blog. I hope its okay that I put this all in one comment! :)

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  3. Have I mentioned that I've always felt the utmost good old envy for Jen's garden? And reading her words about herbs makes me want to... eat something naughty. Like mint ;-)

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  4. My favorite of her items is the Sweet Sleep Bath Tea.

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  5. Her shop has been in my favorites for a gazillion of years. Because she rocks!

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  6. I would follow you to the moon, and on Twitter ;-)

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  7. sweetgrass braid - wow, that's not a bad price at all.

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  8. Her Skin Saver Salve is my favorite item.

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  9. I follow on FB as well as Blogger.

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  10. Following. Facebook and Twitter as well! :)

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  11. Tweeted! And now a favorite on Etsy! BTW my favorite item is the Peace & Unity Herbal Mist.

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  12. I tweeted about today's post @TheWitchWriter

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  13. I favored Jen on Etsy (Bellafoxglove1)

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  14. The three sage smudge mix is my favorite item of Jen's

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  15. I like us on FB and I follow us on Twitter

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  16. and Jen's shop is already on my favs on Etsy!

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  17. the herbal all purpose cleaner is the item i most covet at jen's shop!

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  18. I blogged about it :)

    http://bellafoxglove.blogspot.com/2012/10/day-3-post-and-giveaway-is-up-at.html

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  19. I think I would be needing to get some of Jen's skin savet salve!

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  20. I'm a dedicated follower on facebook as well as a "member" of this site via google. Great project you have going on here!

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  21. omg http://www.etsy.com/listing/102612665/love-the-girls-breast-massage-oil Love the girls breast massage oil? LOVE IT! and red clover is so good for your other girlie bits, too!

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  22. oops, separate entry for facebook follow, gotcha! (also, your captcha are incredibly hard for the dyslexic witches here!)

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  23. also following on twitter as https://twitter.com/WordMorris

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  24. twitter! https://twitter.com/WordMorris/status/253511380387368962

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  25. http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWyrdMorrish?ref=seller_info my etsy account is following her etsy account!

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  26. I'm just loving this blog! I'm definitely a follower here.

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  27. My fave. item at her shop is the all purpose cleaner which I could really use.

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  28. I've favorited her shop on Etsy.

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  29. I've liked this blog on FB
    Thanks for all these great giveways

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  30. I liked Three Cats and a Broom on facebook

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  31. I "liked" on Facebook :D XXX

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  32. I visited store...could use some of that Peace and Unity spray :D XXX

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  33. I Faved on Etsy :D XXX
    Didn't get chance to blog for yesterdays give away, but am of to blog now for today :D XXX

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  34. I blogged! http://daydreambeliever-gina.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/hands-for-halloween.html :D XXX

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  35. I like the skin saver salve at Three Cats and a Broom.

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  36. I have favourited Three Cats and a Broom on Etsy.

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  37. I like Samhain's Siren's on Facebook.

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  38. First entry! I'm a GFC follower!


    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

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  39. I like Samhain's Sirens on Facebook!

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

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  40. I'm following Samhain's Sirens on Twitter! (@MissMaryApple)

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

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  41. I went to Three Cats and a Broom's Etsy page and I really love her three-sage smudge!

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

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  42. I blogged about the giveaway! You can see it here: http://sweetmaplelife.blogspot.ca/2012/10/i-love-october.html

    silverhealer21 at msn dot com

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  43. I honestly didn't know a lot of that herbal lore, thanks for enlightening me Jen! I knew about the greens of tomatoes being toxic, but never knew those veggies were in the nightshade family.

    P.S. I'm a follower

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  44. Love the skin saver salve and the name 'love the girls' made me giggle. ;-)

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  45. Three Cats and A Broom is a favorite of mine on Etsy.

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  46. I love her bath salts, they look sooooo appealing! Glad i found yor blog!

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  47. Let see...I like us on facebook....I posted about the give away....”I would be interested in healing salve'...I also favorite on Etsy “Three Cats and a Broom”
    Don't forget about the debates tonight...Coffee is on.
    http://peppylady.blogspot.com/2012/10/mouth-scrubbing.html

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  48. Favorited on Etsy...... Loved the 3 sage smudge..... and the strewing herbs!!!!!

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  49. I'm following the Samhain's Sirens blog :)

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  50. Licked..er...liked the Facebook page and was one of the folks waiting in antici...pation for the launch hehe

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  51. Added Jen's shop to my faves on Etsy (I'm KnitChaos over there).

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  52. Jen's Lime Daiquiri Herbal Mist just conjures up so many tasty images, it has to be my favorite thing in the shop. I'm going to have to pick some of that up soon!

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  53. I love the Skin Saver Salve from Three Cats and a Broom on Etsy!

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  54. Hey there I checked out East Coast Crafts & Curios, so much good stuff. I really like the sparkly earrings.

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  55. Hey I just found your site, Guess what? I luv it. Some good stories, great recipes and lots of crafts. Really cool background and great graphics.
    You just got another follower.

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