The kitchen smells wonderful as the bread is baking!

Creating bread is an ancient activity. The following article reports the finding of 14,000 year old bread remains!

14,000-Year-Old Piece Of Bread Rewrites The History Of Baking And Farming
July 24, 2018  by Lina Zeldovich

If early man could make bread we should be able to do it easily with all the equipment and facilities we have at our disposal.

An early memory to making and cooking bread was at summer at camp. We took a pre-made biscuit mix. Added water and stirred together. Molded the mixture around a green stick. Cooked it over an open fire until done. Once it was off the stick, we put jam in the hole. Pretty basic and possibly messy.

I grew up in the era of Wonder Bread Builds Bodies 12 Ways. A sandwich created during breakfast with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato was pretty soggy by lunch time.

We had homemade bread once in a while. The kitchen took on a special character when the aroma rose from the oven. It was traditional to cut off an end as soon as the bread came out of the oven and slather it with butter as a special treat.

Years past... After I was married I started to bake bread, experimenting with different ingredient. My go to book was and is A World of Bread by Dolores Casella, published in 1966. As you can see, it has been well used, this page has been edited several times! I just looked it up online. Amazon has a paperback copy of the 1977 version for $987.25! There are other sites that carry used books to search for the book, if you are interested in adding it to your collection.

Now back to how easy it really is to create your own bread. You may have received a recipe form a friend or relative that says a pinch of this, a dash of that. Well this recipe goes even further down the road of estimating the measurements.

Cornmeal and Molasses Bread

  • Add 2 T regular granulated yeast to a large bowl.
  • Add 5 C room temperature water
  • Pour in some Black Strap molasses
  • Add the corn meal
  • Add a few cups of sized all purpose white flour
  • Mix together
  • Let stand until the mixture as risen a bit
  • Add more flour until the mixture is sift enough to knead without sticking to the fingers
  • Knead until the dough feels smooth
  • Let rise until double in size
  • Kneed adding more flour if required to be able to work the dough
  • Preheat oven to 325 - 350 degrees
  • Grease four bread pans with butter
  • Divide dough and put into pans
  • Let rise until double in size
  • Bake 20 - 25 minutes
  • You know when it is close to being done by the aroma emanating from the oven
  • To test for doneness, remove one loaf from a pan
  • Tap the bottom
  • When done it should sound hollow
  • Let cool on a baking rack
  • Store in ziplock bags
  • Freezes well

Now if that sounds to loosey-goosey for you there are lots of recipes online and in traditional cookbooks to try. Do not be held back by the lack of a particular ingredient. If you do not have yeast, try making a starter! Leave out the cornmeal. Use sugar instead of molasses. Create your own recipe!

Baking your own bread and sharing it with family and friends is a simple and rewarding pleasure. It can brighten any day.


When can you create an Echinacea Tincture?


The answer - Summer, fall and spring! 

It is October and Fall is here. The Echinacea is nearly dormant.

This morning I had an out of state request for Echinacea Tincture. Not wishing to be unlawful and ship alcohol over state lines, I dug the roots, picked seed heads and a few leaves that were still filled with the plant's energy.

The roots were cleaned and spread out to dry. The seeds pulled out of the seed heads using needle-nosed pliers. The leaves were checked for dirt. Once the roots are dry the package will be put in the mail with the following instructions on making a tincture.

Chop the roots and the leaves into small pieces and place in a jar that has a tightly fitting top, for example, a preserving jar. Add the seeds. Pour 100 proof vodka (50% alcohol) to cover plus an additional two inches above the plant material. Label the jar with a list of the contents and the date. Put an end date as well. Place on the counter where you will see it daily. Give the jar a good shake every day for four to six weeks. When the time is up strain the liquid into a glass jar - dark blue or brown are best. Store in a dark, cool place.

For the rest of the year...
Early in the Spring, before the plants start growing you could harvest roots. Chop the roots into small pieces and place in a jar that has a tightly fitting top, for example, a preserving jar. Pour 100 proof vodka (50% alcohol) to cover plus an additional two inches above the plant material. Label the jar with a list of the contents and the date. Once the plants are growing collect leaves and buds and add to your jar, adjusting the level of the vodka and the date. In the Summer add blossoms and leaves repeat the same process. Place on the counter where you will see it daily. Give the jar a good shake every day for four to six weeks. When the time is up strain the liquid into a glass jar - dark blue or brown are best. Store in a dark, cool place.

Sign in to Learning Herbs (https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/strep-throat-remedy/) for how to use your tincture plus lots more free information for the whole family.

Rosemary Gladstar has posted a video on making your own tincture. It is a great way to start your herbal journey.


Don't sew? Need a Face Mask? Try this!

1. Select an old, soft, cotton tee shirt.
2. This tee is 46" around and works well with a head that is 20" in circumference. Fold just below where the sleeves are attached.
3. Cut along the fold.
4. Discard sleeve section

5. Scrunch fabric together

6. Slip shirt over the head.

7. Wrap around the neck twice. Leave it around your neck when you do not need it.

8. Pull up both layers over your nose. Tighten by pulling in the back until comfortable.

9. Or wear on your head. I use it as a headcover in the garden.


My new favorite cookbook!

As the time to harvest fruits and vegetables approaches, I find that this book, Foolproof Preserving by America's Test Kitchen, has become my go-to source of recipes.

The Raspberry Preserve is wonderful - beautiful color and bright flavor. Now I have moved on to Dilly Beans as the green bean crop flourishes. Next, it will be tomatoes!

It is available on Amazon!

It is available on Amazon!


Getting creative!

With Spring on its way... it is time to get creative before the gardens beckon.

I have been looking at doing more sketching with pencil and pen and ink, working with watercolors, doing acrylic pourings, working with photographs as well as developing new projects for the non-profit I am a part of. But first... I must organize the accumilated piles of papers that have gathered on the desk (and on the floor near by!).

Tips for dealing with the accumulated detritus:
  • Put all of the piles of papers, magazines, etc. on a larger surface.
  • Sort into piles and into the wastebasket when required.
  • Next take each pile and sort through again.
  • File the important things.
  • Try to complete the must-do pile immediately, ie: income tax related bookkeeping, order supplies.
  • Go through the magazines, newsletters, etc. keep what you must and give the rest away or recycle.
  • Have a place for each area of interest, ie: genealogy, specific projects,  must-do. Add more book shelves and file cabinets when you must.
  • In the future - when the mail arrives stand over the wastebasket and throw away everything you do not need immediately.


Eucalpytus Breathe-Easier Salve

Eucalyptus Breathe-Easier Salve

  • Apply a small amount on the bottom of both feet at bedtime or as needed

  • Ingredients: Natural oils & butters, eucalyptus essential oil 

Eucalyptus: What are the health benefits?

Chinese, Indian Ayurvedic, Greek, and European medicine have used eucalyptus for thousands of years. Eucalyptus is a fast-growing evergreen tree native to Australia. 

Eucalyptus essential oil is effective for treating respiratory problems including cold, cough, running nose, sore throat, asthma, nasal congestion, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Eucalyptus oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and decongestant in nature. A study published in 2004 shows its usefulness in treating nonbacterial sinusitis. Eucalyptus oil may have antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract, including Haemophilus influenzae and some strains of streptococcus.

Annisquam Herb Farm


Gift Box of All Natural Salves

Gift Box

All natural ingredients
  • Lavender Soothing Salve
  • Sunscreen approx. SPF 30
  • Magnesium Salts Lotion

Magnesium Oil

Magnesium Oil

Spray a small amount to the bottom of each foot at bedtime daily.
  • All natural ingredients: Magnesium flakes & distiller water
  • In a Gift Box

Benefits of Transdermal Magnesium
Transdermal magnesium is a powerful tool in the battle against magnesium deficiency.
Benefits reported by those who use transdermal applications of magnesium relate specifically to its therapeutic application on the skin and its direct absorption into the cells:
  • Increased sleep
  • Reduced muscle aches, pains, cramping, restless leg syndrome and spasms
  • Healthy skin and reduced outbreaks of eczema and psoriasis
  • Better relaxation and stress management
  • Increased energy levels and improved moods
  • Increased athletic performance

Talc-less Powder & Healing Salve #1

Talc-less Powder & Healing Salve #1

  • All natural ingredients
  • Reusable shaker and powder refill
  • Healing Salve for insect bites, itchy or dry skin
  • In a gift box