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Week of November 26, 2013 - part 2 - tantalizing thyme- listen for her story

Monday, November 25, 2013 8:08 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

Weed Walk

Tantalizing Thyme
In First Nations cultures around the world, the winter months provide time for handwork – such as processing food plants, sewing and decorating clothing, mending and creating storage containers – and for storytelling. When I sit down with a basket of dried plant matter, I like to imagine someone is telling me a story as I work with it. (If you would like to do the same, it is best to turn the TV, the CD player, and the computer, too, so you can hear the voices of the Ancestors.)


Dried thyme (from the top): de-leafed stalks, leaf from 2012, new leaf, leaves and small stalks.



Listen for the story in the plant. Listen closely but broadly. Perhaps the plant you are touching will tell you a story. Perhaps an animal ally will tell you about the plant. Maybe a daydream will arise. Be sensitive to information from all directions and in all manners.

The thyme spoke to me of sunny days as I stripped the tiny leaves from her brittle, dried stalks. She shared with me a smiling, sunny, sweet-scented day decorated with fluffy white clouds and flashing flying birds. Ahhh.


Orodell the cat wants to help.



The main stalks of the thyme remain intact, but the smaller stalks break off and get in with the leaves, no matter how carefully I try to keep them separate. For culinary use, most of the stalk must be removed. A sieve with holes just the right size is helpful, as pulling the stalks out one by one with the fingers takes way too long. But note that even with that aid, there is still some stalky/leafy material left.


Ready for use . . . almost.



This stalky/leafy material has now been ground in my “coffee” mill – that I never use for coffee, it is only used to grind herbs – with a generous amount of salt. I used pink Himalayan salt in this creation. The salt acts as grit and helps grind the plant material. This is now ready to store and be used as a condiment: sprinkled on food at the table for an antioxidant boost, added to Tara cheese to make an instant heart-healthy dip, or added to an omelet.


Thyme salt



When I was done, I had three parts of the thyme, ready to use in three different ways: Stalks for tea, the nicest leaves for culinary use, and the rough stuff, ground into thyme salt.


Finished products, up close



Here is what I made (from the left): ground thyme salt, culinary thyme for soups, thyme stalk tea, to soothe upset stomachs, ease sore throats, prevent and treat colds, and bring the sun into the grey days of winter.


Finished products



~ Recipe - Mullein Chai ~

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