Ah, blogging. It's been a while – how have I missed thee? Just give me a moment to brush the inch or so of dust from my barely used writing table...there, that's better. Now, what's the best way to ease myself back into the habit, I wonder?
How about a new regular feature, the Wonderful Weekend Recipe? You can call it WWR for short if you like. It won't mind. Since the title is fairly self-explanatory, let's just dive right on into the first-ever WWR without further ado.
The Wild Rose Electuary for soothing sore throats
'Electuary' must be one of my favourite words in the English language. For some reason, it evokes for me an image of peaceful cloisters in late spring, with golden beams of sunlight regularly picking out the figures of monks talking quietly below. In reality, however, an electuary is a sweet herbal preparation, usually based on honey. And probably used by monks throughout the ages.
Because of honey's nourishing, building and warming qualities, electuaries are ideally suited to tonic formulations, such as the Longevity Electuary I'll introduce you to next week. Since honey is also very sticky and soothing, it's also an excellent base for herbal mixtures intended to soothe the throat – which is where the Wild Rose Electuary comes in.
The recipe couldn't be simpler:
2 parts marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) root powder
1 part sage (Salvia officinalis) aerial parts powder
½ part rose (Rosa damascena) petals, as close to powder as you can get
Get yourself some locally grown honey so that you're supporting your friendly neighbourhood beekeepers. Gently heat it until it turns molten, add your herbs and stir everything in until it's all mixed together nicely. How much honey you use will determine the eventual consistency of your electuary: more honey equals runnier electuary, less honey means a stiffer end product. You'll need to have an empty glass jar handy to pour the molten mixture into.
And that's it! This stuff is so tasty that you can eat it straight from the spoon, but it can also be made into a drink by melting in warm water. The Wild Rose Electuary is a wonderful throat soother, thanks to the combination of mucilagenous (gelatinous, soothing) marshmallow, antimicrobial sage and cooling rose. Why not make some up for the next time someone in your household comes down with a cold? Kids will, of course, love it for its sweetness. Just don't leave them alone with an open jar and a spoon...
Instant genius kit
A little anecdote to round things off. At my wedding a few years ago, one of the guests came down with a sore throat and was not happy. For some reason – either my wife or I must have had a cold recently, I guess – we had a jar of this electuary with us, and we gave him a spoonful or two. Within ten minutes, he was feeling so much better that he called me "an actual genius".
So there you have it: become an instant genius with the Wild Rose Electuary!
An irregular blog
I'm Adam Smith, a Herbalist and Naturopath practising in the Surrey/West Sussex/Kent border area. Although I hope it will change, I don't currently post here regularly.