Having grown up in a culturally diverse area of the country, I was incredibly lucky to be exposed to many different beliefs, forms of art, and my favorite cultural expression—food! I spent many of my formative years with friends whose family origins spanned the globe. One of my closest friends during these years was Middle Eastern, and having spent so much time and so many meals with his family, I developed a real taste for their cuisine. Lucky for me, they enjoyed my help preparing meals and even made me an honorary Armenian for my ability to roll “choreg” with the best of them. I learned many of the traditional spice blends that were used, but when I was first introduced to za’atar, I immediately fell in love, and it remains my favorite seasonings to this day.Read More
At the outset of a new year, many of us contemplate how to incorporate new healthy habits into our lives. For some of us, that means hitting our yoga mats more often for strength, stretching, and de-stressing. Finding more time for yoga is one of my personal goals, and to help inspire myself to embrace my mat, I decided to tinker with some new mat cleansing spray formulas to freshen up my routine.Read More
Lip balm is about as much of a staple in my life as water. While some might say that I’m addicted to it, I like to think I’m a connoisseur. Whatever you want to call my love for happy, hydrated lips, I simply cannot go without my beloved stick of soft, smooth goodness. And with a habit like mine, it’s far more cost effective and fun to make my own lip balm than to stock up at the store. Tinkering with different recipes is one of my favorite pastimes; after all, a person can never have too many flavors of lip lusciousness!
I recently attended the New England Women’s Herbal Conference and was struck by the sense of welcome and togetherness that was present throughout the entire event. There was much focus on inclusion and creating space for one another, and I felt compelled to share that spirit beyond the bounds of the conference. I was inspired to help bring more awareness to the strength of the herbal community and how people can be more involved in putting it to good use. Herbalists come in all genders, shapes, sizes, ethnicities, education levels, and from all geographic locations and backgrounds, and we all have something to share with each other.Read More
When I moved from my home state of New Jersey to beautiful Oregon, I was exposed to so many new things. Among my favorite discoveries were the abundant, handwritten road signs that advertised fresh local produce, eggs, and honey. Intrigued and excited by these signs, I stopped in to meet my local neighborhood beekeeper, who was thrilled that I knocked on his door to say hello. He brought me over to his hives and taught me a lot about what it means to care for bees. I wanted to support my farm neighbor, so I bought a gallon of honey. What I was going to do with that much honey, I had yet to figure out.Read More
Preserving food is so much more than extending the year’s harvest. It’s a way to connect with the practices of our ancestors. No matter what part(s) of the world your cultural lineage descends from, your relatives preserved food in one way or another. As we begin to transition into the colder months, I channel that knowledge and dream of how my pantry will evolve throughout the harvest. As the cabbages in my humble garden begin to peak, I get excited thinking of all of the different flavors of sauerkraut I can create.Read More