User Posts: Amber Pixie

Thanksgiving is synonymous with turkey and mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and (shudder) green bean casserole, but in my household, it always means the annual ...

You can make a traditional Hot Toddy with only a few ingredients: whiskey, honey, water, and lemon. It is simple, but it's good to have a simple recipe that ...

I'm finally heading west to play with the fae folk and plant people! It is official - I'm teaching a few classes at the 10th anniversary of theΒ Good ...

This morning I woke up and stared at the ceiling in the glow of the dawning light, feeling a peace settling into the jangly spaces in my brain. I write this ...

Between the book-writing and the baby, I feel blessed with abundance but that is concurrent with a lack of sleep and time in which to appreciate the blessings ...

This artisan spotlight focuses on N'Delamiko Bey, the creatrix behind Keffigal Waistbeads (as well as a few other ventures, this lady is busy!). When we ...

The summer solstice brought many things alive in the garden, plants I'd been waiting to see bloom to know that summer was truly upon us in these sweet old ...

It happened, y'all! We did it! The wee pixie has been born, she is wonderful, awake and alert, and growing stronger day by day! Alia Mielle emerged on June ...

Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living is offering a free class that is starting soon - An Intentional Summer. This 8-week e-course is designed to offer ...

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is on the loose! This late spring and early summertime plant is easy to pull out by the roots, and you should make an ...

It is easy to get upset when something is wrong with our most tender, personal bits. Imagine the panic when you wake up and discover that something is awry ...

I promise that I have some of my useful recipes, foraging, and other sorts of regular Pixie's Pocket posts ready to roll, but life has been full of personal ...

In early March, we got a great start with digging in some bare root trees and berry bushes. They're showing life, and we couldn't be more thrilled since this ...

The Herbal Academy is about to launch a new program - the Basic Botany and Wildcrafting Course. This online class will explore plants and the ecosystem, ...

March is really and truly here, and it announced itself in full gusts back on the first of the month. It's been banging against my house and crinkling the ...

Last night, Eric called me to rise from the couch and heating pad where I had nested to come outside. It was hard, but I went forth and out to the back porch, ...

User Deals: Amber Pixie
Soapwort Seeds
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Soapwort Seeds

50 soapwort seeds (saponaria officinalis)

no comments 5 months ago

$2.00

Beaded Beeswax Fertility Goddess Candle
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Beaded Beeswax Fertility Goddess Candle

This is a beeswax candle in the shape of the Venus of Willendorf, and she is lovingly embedded with raw gemstone chips from the streambeds of ...

no comments 9 months ago

$250.00

Celtic Cross Tarot Reading
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Celtic Cross Tarot Reading

This is a standard and popular reading for deep insight.Β  Do you have a complicated situation with a lot of external influences that needs some deep ...

no comments 11 months ago

$35.00

Gentle Nourishing Tea Blend (Pregnancy-Safe)
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Gentle Nourishing Tea Blend (Pregnancy-Safe)

Each tin or bag of tea contains about 10-20 servings. Contains: Alfalfa, Oatstraw, Lemon Balm, Chamomile This is intended to be safe for ...

no comments 1 year ago
Banjo Players Bumper Sticker
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Banjo Players Bumper Sticker

My husband was ...

no comments 1 year ago

$4.00

Pixie’s Pocket Logo Bumper Sticker
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Pixie’s Pocket Logo Bumper Sticker

This is my original design for the Pixie's Pocket logo, printed neatly on a bumper sticker by my friends over at Zazzle.

no comments 1 year ago

$4.00

Ogun Collage – Framed Poster
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Ogun Collage – Framed Poster

Ogun is the metal-worker, the forest dweller, a hunter who clears the path through the forest. Think of him when you hear a heartbeat, or the ...

no comments 1 year ago

$33.50$79.50

Oshun Collage – Framed Poster
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Oshun Collage – Framed Poster

Oshun - sweet, little sister Orisha, she of honey and rivers, flowing waters and blessings, decadence and desire. Love, butterflies, gold, pumpkins, ...

no comments 1 year ago

$33.50$78.50

Oya Collage – Framed Poster
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Oya Collage – Framed Poster

Oya/Iansa - she tends the graveyards, she is a warrior. She rides the winds into battle with lightning as her weapon. Tornados dance at her feet, and ...

no comments 1 year ago

$33.50$78.50

Yemaya Collage – Framed Poster
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Yemaya Collage – Framed Poster

Yemaya is the mother, the ocean, the depths that birth life. She is loving and nurturing, but also fierce and demands respect that is due her. (Learn ...

no comments 1 year ago

$33.50$78.50

Elegua Collage – Framed Poster
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Elegua Collage – Framed Poster

This is a collage dedicated to and inspired by the Orisha Elegua. He is the keeper of the Crossroads and the opener of the ways, a trickster, a ...

no comments 1 year ago

$33.50$78.50

Beaded Beeswax Goddess Candle
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Beaded Beeswax Goddess Candle

This goddess is beeswax candle and embedded with seed beads and metal beads. Do you see yourself in her? Herself in you? She's wonderful, but ...

no comments 1 year ago

$250.00

Horehound – 1/2 oz.
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Horehound – 1/2 oz.

1/2 oz bag of dried and cut, organic Horehound

no comments 1 year ago

$2.50

Yarrow Sticks
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Yarrow Sticks

2 oz of "Sweet Girl" perfume/room spray. This was made as a very small batch, and this is the only bottle of this available for sale. "Sweet Girl" ...

1 year ago

$13.00

“Sweet Girl” Perfume Spray
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“Sweet Girl” Perfume Spray

2 oz of "Sweet Girl" perfume/room spray. This was made as a very small batch, and this is the only bottle of this available for sale. "Sweet Girl" ...

no comments 1 year ago

$13.00

Garlic Mullein Ear Oil
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Garlic Mullein Ear Oil

4 drams (1/2 oz) of Olive Oil infused with fresh Garlic and Mullein Flowers. This is a traditional helper for ear infections. Do not use if the ...

1 year ago

$5.00

Browsing All Comments By: Amber Pixie
  1. For sure, Kathy. That’s why I had to speak up and clarify, since the confusion over the picture was sending all those weight loss questions my way. I unfortunately HAVE seen diet pill overuse damage the livers of people I know…not to mention their moods, hormones, and attitudes!! Hopefully this well help some of those people seeking a “magic bullet” answer to weight loss.

  2. A testimonial that I received through email by JH: “Thank you so much for your reading! It was very insightful and very accurate. Funny how in so many ways you know in your gut what is happening but you need someone else to confirm what you’re feeling…and you did this precisely!”

  3. Fresh would work, I’d do a whole fat slice of an orange though, since the aromatic oils are more concentrate in the dried version. I bet it will be delicious! <3 Cheers!

  4. Sorry for the difficulty with the commenting!

    If I were doing a five gallon batch, yes, you can just multiply the ingredients up. Instead of 3 pounds of honey, it would be 15 for a 5 gallon batch.

    I hope that helps, Michelle! Enjoy making a big batch of deliciousness! πŸ˜€

  5. Apologies, Diane! I just noticed your message! Once strained, you can pour your vinegar into sanitized bottles and store them away! Don’t use a metal top, as the vinegar will cause it to corrode. I hope that helps, Diane. This vinegar is best after a year or so in storage.

  6. I’m so sorry for the delay in response, Brian! I’ve been underwater trying to finish up my first book and I missed your comment entirely!

    I don’t use potassium sorbate or metabisulfate, as I prefer to avoid preservatives. I’m sensitive to sulfate/sulfites and so I just let the fermentation finish completely on its own. If you’re worried about “bottle bombs” then you can bottle it dry and sweeten a bottle after you open it to enjoy!

    I hope that helps, and Cheers!!

  7. I apologize that I missed this comment until now! I do not use Campden tablets, myself. I’ve even made meads with wild yeasts on purpose, and to good results most of the time. If you are concerned about wild yeasts, feel free to use Campden tablets. In this blackberry mead, the yeast that I added to the bucket quickly took charge and no mold or sour flavors resulted. I hope that helps!

  8. Hi Laurie! I’m relatively new to cider brewing, but I have noticed that the Red Star Blanc leaves very dry, fizzy brews, even with meads or wines! I enjoy using Ale yeast (lower alcohol content, more residual sugars!) or Lalvin 71-b for ciders as they leave a good apple flavor and a bit of sweetness, in my experience. πŸ™‚ The ciders might mellow over time…how long has it been fermenting before you taste it?

    I think I just used bread yeast for the cherry wine, which works in a pinch but can also leave you with very dry brew. Lalvin D-47 is becoming my go-to for meads and wines. I hope that helps! Cheers!

  9. Hmm, I don’t see why not? I have made vinegar infusions and boozy infusions, but never tried both at the same time! It would definitely have that sour vinegar flavor in the final product.

  10. Thanks for the tip, Ted! I know many brewers who use those with great results, but I have a sulfite sensitivity and prefer to brew without using campden tablets.

  11. Thank you, Leslie! <3 πŸ™‚

  12. Delicious! I enjoy the darker sugars, myself. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Thank you for your kind words, and sorry for my delay in responding, Carol! To make this into a mead, use 4 cups (3 lbs) of honey instead of the sugar. That should do the trick! <3 Cheers, and enjoy!

  14. Oh, that sounds LOVELY! I’ve never heard of strawberry mint before! πŸ™‚

  15. Thanks for commenting, Kate! Dandelions are so much fun to play with! πŸ™‚

  16. Hi Liz! I tend to wait until I can stick a finger in the water without burning myself – think of it like bread or baking yeast, where you use warm water to hydrate it for the recipe. Let it get until body temperature and you should be fine! I’ll add that info to the post, thanks for asking questions!

    AND GOOD LUCK on trial #2!

  17. FREE HONEY. What a lovely thing! πŸ™‚

  18. Oh, yay! What a lovely discovery to make! Enjoy dancing with such a fun plant. πŸ™‚

  19. They are a super yummy and useful ally to have around. I keep wishing my little patch to grow grow grow! πŸ˜€

  20. That’s ok! It could be a difference in the tannins in your ginger’s skin versus mine, or the amount of time steeped. How does it taste? πŸ™‚

  21. Thanks for checking in! It is not a typo – the ice cubes I use are narrow and easy to snap in half, and chickweed saponins can give you the runs if you consume too much of them! I hope that helps clarify, sorry for the confusion. πŸ™‚

  22. Cheers, or shall I say SkΓ₯l! I hope you all enjoy the process, and the results, especially! πŸ™‚

  23. That is really impressive, Nina! I knew that the external application of fresh nettles (and the sting!) helped, but have no experience with using an herbal infusion in that way. Thank you for sharing, and I’m glad you have relief! πŸ™‚

  24. I’ll bet you can, and I hope mine gets big enough for me to try that this year! πŸ™‚ I bet an apple mint would be nice, too. Cheers!

  25. Sorry for my delay in response, Linseed Fae! While I’ve used CBD tinctures, I’ve not made my own, nor sweetened them. But I can’t see why it would be a bad idea to try, both for watering down that booze and for making the whole thing easier to take. I hope it works out well for you! πŸ™‚

  26. Hello Andrew! I have not found it necessary to stir or aerate the mead once fermentation begins – in fact, doing so tends to introduce more cultures that can be harmful! Once there are bubbles and strong fermentation, I just let it sit and do its thing until the bubbles stop! Cheers, and happy brewing!

  27. That sounds delicious! I hope it all went wonderfully!!

  28. Molasses is one of those ingredients to use VERY sparingly! I use just a dribble of it, barely even a teaspoon for a whole gallon. It adds color, but too much molasses makes a bitter, metallic flavor in my experience! You could compromise by using brown sugar instead of white sugar to brew it, if you want a more molasses rich flavor!

    Cheers, Peggy! I hope you enjoy – I’ve never made with WITH grapes. πŸ˜€

  29. Hey, sounds tasty, whatever it can be classifed as! πŸ˜€ Cheers!!

  30. It should do reasonably ok without the lemon juice or yeast nutrients…what is the temperature where you have the jug sitting? Somewhere warm but not hot is best, around 60 or so degrees is nice. Otherwise, I’d just let it be! The video of the fermenting brew is of beer, which is much more active than mead!

  31. Also, what do you mean by degas? Are you using an airlock on your jug? If you are just using a solid closure, you might well have an explosion while that brew ferments!

  32. If you blended the honey well, you shouldn’t HAVE to aerate it…is the fermentation active? πŸ™‚ Cheers, I hope you enjoy!

  33. Oh, no. After a week we transferred the brew from the bucket to a capped carboy so that it could continue to ferment. I’ll clarify that in my recipe notes! It lived in the jug for a month or two until the bubbles stopped and the lees settled to the bottom. If we’d have bottled after a week, we’d have had exploding bottles! πŸ™‚

  34. We love you, too! Nesting like CRAZY, Connie, it’s so funny! I was on my knees scrubbing the floor last weekend.

    I haven’t tried Challah, but I adore it. That’s so sweet of you to make that for him, and must have been torture to smell and not taste!!

  35. Thanks for the tips, Elena! I only rack off of the lees to help clear because I have had exploding bottles when I left them in. But yes, I prefer very simple methods as well! Cheers!

  36. Great, Torben! I hope that you both enjoy it very much! πŸ˜€

  37. Yikes, Dharma! I missed your comment until just now, I’m so sorry!

    I let the meads and wines just do their own thing…once they have calmed down from bubbling, a lot of the flowers and such will settle. If not, just carefully rack it over from the middle of the jug, trying not to suck in the lees or the flowers if possible. Sometimes some of the lighter petals will continue to float, like it or not!

    I hope that helps, and feel free to ask more questions. I’ll try to answer faster next time!

  38. I don’t have much in the way of piercings myself, but I recall there being plastic or other inserts that some pierced folks I know used when they had to “hide” or “remove” their piercings for playing sports? Maybe something natural like wood or bone? Sorry, not my area of expertise! πŸ™‚

  39. Cheers, Blackstrap! πŸ™‚

  40. Oh, thank you for saying that, Della! I do hope you enjoy the hobby…it’s a rewarding way to enjoy a harvest! πŸ™‚ Cheers!

  41. I have only ever harvested the ones I mentioned in the post – little wild dog roses and a few regular large roses whose names/cultivars I don’t know! I like them all but I suppose it depends if you want to make fresh foods from them (juicy big hips would do best) or dry them for tea and medicine (the little ones work best for this for me!)

    I hope that helps!

  42. That sounds lovely! I bet it smells so nice in the house and tastes good. πŸ™‚

  43. I did use sweet cherries, but if you used tart, you could add more sugar as you layer them or wait until you strain it and add sugar syrup to adjust the flavor at that time! Tart cherries would definitely add a different bite to the flavor, I bet it’d be nice.

  44. I’ll bet that is lovely; however, poke is strong medicine and shouldn’t be consumed often! The seeds within the berries can be very toxic to humans.

  45. Thanks for your kind words, Kim! I have not combined the two, myself, but I don’t see why not. Cranberry is really good for urinary tract health, and elderberry is more for lungs and colds, but I bet they’d taste good together. πŸ™‚

    I hope your immune system keeps up with your winter, and take care! <3 πŸ™‚

  46. What a lovely gift you gave yourself – if I could forget about my mead I’d have a better idea of what it tastes like well-aged, but I tend to drink it up too quickly. πŸ˜‰

    I do hope you enjoy making more meads and such – I’m a huge whisky fan, too. I have plans of getting a whisky barrel in which to store and age mead. *daydreams*

    Cheers, Paul!

  47. I have not been able to find any yeast packets smaller than the 5 gallon. For those, I use about a third of the packet, and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge until I make another batch! I hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  48. For this one, I used regular yeast as you would use in bread. It can give uncertain results, so many people prefer to go to a brewing store and buy specific kinds of brewing yeast to have more consistent brews. It’s up to you! I like using “wild” yeast or whatever is available in a pinch. πŸ™‚

  49. How interesting, Cindy! Thanks for sharing. I’m not familiar with a grass like that at all, it sounds like it really put on a show!

  50. Yum! Thanks for chatting, Karl. I hope you enjoy it, it’s a hobby that is hard to put down. And you just can’t beat local honey. πŸ™‚ Cheers!

  51. Yeaaaah, might not be on site for this one! A bit of a commute to my birthing center of choice…I already told the crew though. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Shawman! πŸ˜€

  52. Good tip! I haven’t used lactose myself yet, except in a simple porter kit, I believe. I also like the richness it gives to the body of the drink. I’ll have to pick some up and try that.

  53. Those will definitely give a flavor that’s just like it smells. Not bad, but potent!

  54. I bet that would be delicious! You make it how you like it, that’s the basic rule! I haven’t done many ground herbs in my meads, so I’m not sure how much dried ginger to substitute for the fresh. I often just make up the recipes from what I have on hand. Have fun with it! Cheers!

  55. Aw, thanks, Laura! That shrub sounds delicious and warming! You are too kind. Thank you so much for sharing your creations, and for reading and commenting, too. πŸ˜€

  56. I understand, Sara! But the metal can conduct heat so effectively, you could burn or blister yourself and that would NOT feel very good! πŸ™

    I have an update to add to this post, where you can make an herbal tea and use a clean cloth as an external compress, just lay back with a warm herb-soaked cloth over your womb/yoni and focus on yourself that way! πŸ™‚ I hope that helps!

  57. Good question! I would assume that some of the caffeine would transfer. I bet decaf tea would work just fine! It should mess with the flavor at all. The tannins in the tea are still present in the decaf, tannins and the flavor are the main part we want!

    Cheers!

  58. Thank you for checking in! I need to get better about putting references and bibliographies at the end of my posts.

    The calming response is one that I have noticed myself, in application. The bright, yellow flowers are cheering when consumed as an infusion with honey, especially!
    Some other sources where I learned it to be a gentle nervine:

    http://www.theforagerspath.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Goldenrod-Research.pdf
    https://sweetgumapoth.com/2016/08/08/goldenrod-a-plant-that-makes-us-whole/

    I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  59. In my experience, they work well, but not AS well as distilled white vinegar. Not sure why, though!

    I don’t can with it, because I don’t know how to measure the acidity.

  60. Sure! I don’t know how it would equate…maybe just a little pinch? Or skip it and use other spices! πŸ™‚ It’s easy to substitue in these recipes. I hope that helps!

  61. SlΓ‘inte maith Julia! I have enjoyed Moroccan mint tea, but yes, it’s rather sharp like spearmint. I bet it’ll make a lovely wine. I hope you enjoy it, it’s a very unique flavor!

  62. Hi, Morgan! πŸ™‚ I have honestly never given much thought, nor have I ever had a mead or wine blow up like beers can. I tend to fill the jug until the liquid reaches the neck. Using the bungs and airlocks has been sufficient for my process so far. The gas is released and all is well, even with very active fermentations.

    However, I have not used yeast nutrient other than what occurs naturally on the fruits/skins/honey etc…it might be that a mead with nutrient might be more active than I realize.

    I have heard that you get a lot more fruit flavor when you use a method like you are describing. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list! My meads have been made with the fruit in it from the start.

    Cheers, Morgan! I bet it’ll all be fine. Enjoy the process and don’t forget to take notes!

  63. Hey there, sorry for my delay in response! I use a regular, wire kitchen strainer and a large brewing funnel that fits in the carboy – this keeps out the skins and seeds, which can cause a little bit of bitterness if they sit in there too long. I hope that answers your question!

    Don’t stress out too much…brewing is pretty easy, and if you mess up, it means you’ll learn more! πŸ˜‰

  64. Oh, awesome! You can post the links here, too! I’m happy to share recipes written by others. πŸ˜€

  65. Thanks, Emma! I have never tried using grape concentrate in wines, myself. I want to try that, as I love sweet grape wine! Do you have a recipe or guide for that technique?

  66. I have read about and tasted meads that have been stopped as you describe, but I haven’t used that method myself. I have a sulfite sensitivity that can trigger migraines, so I avoid those. Do you know of a fermentation stopper that isn’t a sulfite? I’d be willing to try!

  67. Yikes, Kiannaa! That’s really expensive for cherries!

    We all make mistakes, and if sharing my messes can help someone else to avoid it, it’s worth the telling! πŸ™‚ We all start somewhere. Thank you for your comment, and for reading! <3

  68. <3 Thank you for your comment, Emma. I'm so pleased that you enjoy the tale and history of Tailtiu as best as I could find it - I'm still on the hunt for more parts that I want to understand. Thank you also for wanting to share her story - I do my best to ensure she's not forgotten! Cheers, and happiness to you and yours!

  69. Thank you for saying that, Leatrice! πŸ™‚ I hope you do make some, it’s totally worth the work! Now, these cherries aren’t organic, but I’m in the North Carolina mountains. I’m not sure wherefrom these cherries traveled! I got a tip from a Facebook reader that there’s cherries in my area right now for $1.99/lb and so I’m going to go find those!!

  70. Oh my gosh, yes, still having things in boxes must be keeping you from feeling truly there! That would drive me bonkers. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you are getting in and changing things up, those little changes help bit by bit. Enjoy it!

    Oh, and I enjoy your blog, Emma! πŸ˜€

  71. Thanks for your question, Lindsay! In my experience, raisins or a splash of lemon juice have little to no flavor impact, especially if you just do a small handful, around 10 raisins. Be careful with the coconut chips, as the oils can make things odd and impact fermentation. Also, a lot of those have added preservatives that can interfere with fermentation, too.

    Oooh, I bet that Costa Rica honey is goooood! Such a verdant place for bees to forage! Cheers!

  72. I bet your mead will be just fine! πŸ™‚ I’ve done many without adding nutrients, but the handful of raisins and bit of lemon juice can’t hurt.

    Let me know how it worked! Enjoy your brewing, Troy, Cheers!

  73. I haven’t been so brave! I’d be afraid of the milk curdling in the alcohol, honestly. But perhaps the next time I try to make the chai wine, I’ll use Lactose Milk Sugar to try to make it creamier. Not a bad idea, Kieran, thanks for the inspiration! πŸ™‚ https://www.brewersfriend.com/fermentables/lactose-milk-sugar/

  74. That’s great advice, Rosina! Thank you for contributing. I adore using a candle snuffer because it feels fancy. πŸ™‚

  75. Aww! Well, I admit that queen anne’s lace and other hedgerow flowers are definitely havens for native insect life. I’ve seen spiders, tiny beetles, ants, and other bugs I can’t identify, but I’ve not been bitten by chiggers. Now, that’s only my experience, others’ mileage may vary. πŸ™‚ From what I understand, if you scrub your hands/arms after picking the flowers, you should be safe from chiggers.

    Even though chiggers can be unpleasant, it isn’t much worse than flea or mosquito bites. The soaking of the flower heads makes sure there’s no buggies in the jelly. I hope you do give it a try! πŸ˜€

  76. I’m sorry you ran into that problem! When I’ve had stuck-on foam, I’ve used products like Oxy-Clean in the jugs. The bubbles have taken care of most of it, and what doesn’t come off on its own comes off on the brush! I hope that helps. I would hate to have to throw away a big jug like that, too.

  77. Squee! I <3 Bubbies pickles!

    I'm not sure about the ABV, I'd guess around 13%. It was definitely a strong wine! If it is done as a mead, it tends to be even headier. I hope that helps, and enjoy brewing!!

  78. Sure! I switch between sugar and honey in many of my recipes. My basic measurements for a gallon are 2-3 pounds of honey for mead, or 3-4 cups of sugar for wine.

    Wow, so much honey! πŸ˜€ That sounds great!!

  79. Oh, yay! That sounds good! I’ve used generally whatever it is I have on hand, veggie wise. πŸ™‚

  80. Oh, thanks for the tip! I’ll keep that in mind the next time I try!

  81. <3 I'm sorry the fog has been thick, honey! I know that I appreciate you for understanding these things when I'm in the fog...sanctuary folks are lights in the dark for each other even when we don't feel so bright. <3 If you need a party to join in Habitica, hit me up and I'll add you to the one I'm in! Holler if you need to, ok? <3

  82. Thanks for your message! For the one gallon recipes, I tend to use a pinch or two of dry yeast. If you are using a packet of yeast from a brew shop, I use about 1/3 to 1/2 of it at a time. Too much yeast won’t hurt the brew, really. Enjoy! I hope it all works out for a lovely drink in time for a celebration!

  83. Tea or tincture are the most common ways with which I am familiar. I hadn’t considered moxa, but I bet that might be quite lovely and effective! I also have infused her in honey for a sweet healing experience. <3

  84. I used dried ones, their oils tend to be more concentrated and strong when they are dry. If you use fresh ones, you have to double the quantity!

  85. Oh, yay, Christelle! Here’s another suggestion for you – make your favorite plain mead, and then rack it onto fruit to absorb the fresh flavor for a few days before bottling! Cheers, and I hope you love this mead as much as I do!

  86. I tend just to scrub with soap and a scrub brush to get wax and such off of fruit. I’ve never sanitized any of the fruit I’ve added in my brews, but I also welcome wild yeasts and not everyone does. πŸ™‚

    Don’t worry about the dried foam in the neck of the fermenter unless it starts getting fuzzy (never seen that happen, myself!) – if that happens, just rack it all over to a new jug with a siphon tube.

    I hope that helps! Cheers! Enjoy the process!

  87. Oh, lavender sounds like it could be a nice touch, although it is a thing I prefer to smell than to taste, myself! Yay, I’m glad it worked out for you, Glenn! Cheers! πŸ˜€

  88. Wonkey Wines sound like a ton of fun! Thanks for your kind words, and for finding me on Instagram, too. πŸ™‚ Cheers, Michelle!!

  89. Sorry for my delay in response, but I’ve been unplugged and out of town! πŸ™‚

    My rule of thumb is that once it is done bubbling and I can read a newspaper through the carboy, it is ready to bottle! Did you taste it when you racked it over to the new carboy? Check out the section on racking and back sweetening if you want some more of my methods: https://www.pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

    I hope you enjoy it! πŸ˜€

  90. Sure, Margarethe! Wine is made with sugar, and mead is made with honey. You can make most of my recipes either way – just depends on which sweetener you use.

    Thanks for your kind words, and I hope it all works out fine! I’m sure it will, don’t be too nervous! You’ll get the hang of it the more you try. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  91. Wow, your allergy is WAY more intense than my own! Mine is about the same as it was when I first wrote this some years ago, but I also don’t test it out too often. Be safe with those raspberries, Shellie!

  92. Wellllll…it isn’t the best idea, but it won’t ruin it completely. Here’s some things to consider – if you siphon some off to drink, it will be very young. Mead is better with aging, it mellow and gets richer flavor. Also, if you siphon some off, you’ll have more airspace in the jug. Oxygen can cause off flavors in cases like that.

    So if you reeeeallly want to, go for it, and make very sure to sanitize everything when you rack it off, but you might affect the overall batch. πŸ™‚

  93. Standard brew shop yeast packets are about 0.48 ounces. Here’s a link to an example on Amazon, if that helps!
    http://amzn.to/2qWY8tV

    For one gallon batches, I only use half a packet at a time.

    I bet Moroccan mint would make a delicious wine! I cultivated some of that once, but it was too damp and chill here to keep it happy.

  94. Thanks for the tip! I’ve considered using xylitol, but I can’t stand the taste of stevia…mostly, I do end up with sparkling batches but I’ve yet to have a bottle bomb after all these years! I do open my grolsch bottles outdoors, though, just in case there’s a foamy blast. πŸ™‚

  95. Ginger and raisins act as nutrients in the brew. They are not always necessary, but can definitely help extend the life and vitality of the yeast as they consume the sugar. It can also add more body to the final product. Sometimes I add black tea bags (one or two) to a brew to give it some tannins. Have fun with it!

  96. That’s true, and a good tip. That’s why I let the water boil and then set it aside until it is warm, not hot. πŸ™‚ I bet your recipe will turn out just fine! Keep me posted!

  97. Thanks for writing, Hamish! I always taste some right when I’m bottling, but the longer you age it the smoother it becomes. This one matured well and was quite drinkable after a week or two in the bottles! For more in depth brewing guides, check out this page –
    https://www.pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

  98. Dandelion wine is definitely better with some age, in my experience. If it was overly sweet but also fizzy, I would agree that it could have used more time in the jug. You’re lucky you didn’t get “bottle bombs” from it! πŸ™‚

    I have not yet perfected how to get fizzy brews when I want them…sometimes they are still active when I open them (once had a purple-stained ceiling from some very excited blackberry wine) and other times they are more wine-like and flat. It has to do with the amount of sugar and yeast left in the wine when bottled.

    With beer, you add a bit of corn sugar to the batch just before bottling to make the carbonation. While I haven’t tried it, perhaps that would work? I haven’t tried it because I didn’t want to explode any bottles or pop any corks!

    I also use gingerale sometimes to smooth out some rough or sour brews.

  99. I am so sorry for my delay in responding – I didn’t get notification of your comment for some reason!

    As far as smaller batches, I mostly just experiment. I sometimes use wide mouth canning jars with an airlock lid to make small wine batches. I use about a cup of sugar for really sweet stuff, sometimes less based on the herb or fruit I’m using.

    Most of the other sized recipes you’ll see out there are for 5 gallon batches, which is why I started this collection of small one gallon batch recipes. If you use less honey, you’ll end up with less alcohol, and so yes, less fermentation time but also less booze! πŸ™‚

  100. No worries! Many of my brews were first done without adding yeast nutrient. You’ll still get a tasty beverage, although adding yeast nutrient can make for a stronger and more robust final product. πŸ™‚

    As far as the airlock goes, once the bubbling is less active, take a moment to replace it with a clean one, or cover the jug while you clean and resanitize the one you’ve been using. I’ve had mold grow in the airlock before when it got some brew mixed in there!

    I think you’ll be fine, and enjoy your brews! Cheers! πŸ˜€

  101. I don’t think I could root out all the honeysuckle on my property, but I do try to use as much as I can and trim it back every year. πŸ™‚

  102. Hey dear. We weren’t talking specifically about the herb you are discussing, but herbs in general. While I am quite a fan of CBD and its healing properties, I’m not in a state that allows its legal use. I do host local herb swaps, but we stick to legal plants. I don’t have any seedlings/strains you are looking for, sorry!

  103. Yay! I am eyeballing my new mint patch at the house, hoping it will grow enough for me to really make a big batch this fall! πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoy it, Kathy!

  104. Your version of soup sounds tasty! I hope that it did you some good as you heal. πŸ™‚

    I’ve had miso last a good long time, over a year once opened and refrigerated, but I haven’t had any last much longer beyond that, as we use it up!

    I hope you feel better! My household is back on their feet. <3 Have a lovely day, Sheri!

  105. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laura! Every day is a new day, and you are not alone. Love to you, too! I hope you enjoy the Habitica app! It is my source of sanity these days. πŸ™‚

  106. You will hear many chirps of thanks!

  107. Once it’s aged a bit, if it isn’t what you like it when you crack one open, you can always add a bit of honey syrup to the glass! If it isn’t very sweet, odds are you have some strong mead. And honestly, “I guess I messed it up but it worked out anyway” should be the name of the book describing my brewing experience overall. πŸ™‚

  108. Sounds delicious! And quite active! Sometimes on the first night of a brew, I’ll put the jugs in the bathtub or sinks just in case of an overflow. You’ve got the right idea…just tidy it up, and yes, removing and cleaning and resanitizing the airlocks are a good idea. The sugary sticky leftovers can become a breeding ground for the wrong microorganisms. Well done, and cheers!

  109. Thanks, Mumsy! <3 It's a hot crucible that makes powerful medicine sometimes. <3 We've got this! Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  110. Thanks, Aimee. I’ve been a fan of your blog and writing for years, and hope and love is all we have in the face of oppression. That, and pitchforks and torches, judiciously applied. πŸ˜‰ Feed the world!

  111. Lazy method for the win! πŸ™‚

  112. Hey there! I strained the berries for two reasons, one: yes, the bitterness from the seeds/skins, and also the pectin from the fruit can cause cloudiness. Secondly, I’m ultimately lazy and the thought of clearing out chunks of berries from the neck of the jug after bottling was too much to bear! πŸ™‚

    I tend to allow wild yeasts on purpose, only supplementing with storebought if the wild doesn’t take. I’ve only had one go too sour to enjoy so far (a pumpkin brew), and even then, it made a nice vinegar. πŸ˜‰ The aeration from straining helps kick things into high gear when I pour from the bucket to the jug.

    I hope that answers your questions! Your brews sound tasty…SlΓ‘inte!

  113. Not sure what that might be called, but I’d do it if I didn’t have enough of either to make a brew! πŸ™‚ The sweet stuff is what the yeast need most, but raw honey is still my favorite to use.

  114. Sometimes it takes a while for the mead to clear. You can just wait it out – it will eventually settle, or you can rack it over to a new, clean carboy to get it off of the yeast lees. That can speed up clearing! Cold temperatures can make the mead take a little longer to ferment, too.

    My first ever mead was still rather opaque when I first bottled it – it wasn’t BAD but it would have been better if I had waited for it to clear. Some of the bottles ended up popping corks because the yeast was still alive, apparently! Whichever technique you prefer, waiting or racking, I would definitely ensure it’s a little more clear before you bottle.

    A quick test I use is to stick something behind the mead jug, and if I can read the writing on it through the jug, we can bottle. πŸ™‚

    Cheers, good luck!

  115. Hey there! Did you use the whole Wyest pack for a one gallon batch?

    So long as you are bubbling, there’s good stuff happening! In my experience, meads and wines are NOWHERE near as foamy as beer, nor as quick to bubble. I wouldn’t be too concerned!

    I hope it all works out! Worst case scenario, you end up with delicious sparkling honey brew. πŸ˜‰

  116. It might well have…how sweet it is when you taste it? The more sweet, the less alcohol. πŸ™‚

  117. Hi, Elani.

    From what I have seen on doing a few searches is that while he might sometimes be hard to get a hold of, he does deliver a good product. I linked to him after researching people’s experiences.

    I have no issues personally with using hard wood steam stools. If they were soft wood, they’d have sap, tend to swell with the humid heat, and not be near as strong. If you are uncomfortable with unintentional phallic references, perhaps you wouldn’t want to buy from this particular artisan. I have no such issues, myself. My male partner helped me to design my own stool, did most of the work to modify the chair, and considered it an honor and veneration to contribute to my path of healing. I would assume the same from an artisan, phallus-wielding or not. There are many options out there. Good luck finding the one that you enjoy and that makes you feel comfortable, that’s the most important part!

  118. <3 It is always hard to put myself out there in a very personal way, and I'm always so honored by th responses of people who understand! <3 Thank you! Best wishes to you, too! Time to go organize some seeds for spring planting!

  119. I am not certain, Michelle! I’ve never used that type of yeast nutrient – but from a quick reaad here it looks like it should be fine: https://www.northernbrewer.com/connect/2011/09/nutrients-and-mead/

  120. OH NO! *laughs* I’m so sorry to hear that! Lesson learned, eh? Thanks for the giggle and I do hope you try again! I had to paint over a purple spot on my ceiling before I moved out – had a bottle of blackberry that wasn’t quite ready to be opened…and it’s quite a sinus rinse to the unobservant bottle-opener, too. πŸ˜€ Cheers!

  121. Hello Jerome! Is the mead just a plain one? If so, maybe a normal cup of chai (without milk of course) would be just about right. It’s also a good time to re-sweeten if you wish, if you do that when you rack it over. I hope that helps!

  122. That sauce sounds delicious! Now, you could add vinegar and that would be one thing, but fermentation is different. If you wanted to ferment that recipe, you could either make your garlic puree (without the oil) and add salt and let it sit and bubble (harder to judge when ready) OR you could make fermented garlic like in this recipe and then use those cloves for your current recipe. πŸ™‚ I don’t think the lime juice would kill anything. I’ve fermented with lemons before, and they bubble away happily!

    Sorry for my delay in response, since I just updated my site, I stopped getting notifications of comments. Whoops!

  123. SKAL! Yay! I’m glad you are brewing. I hope it all works out wonderfully! πŸ™‚ Sorry for my delay in response, since I just updated my site, I stopped getting notifications of comments. Whoops!

  124. Ah, non-alcoholic cordials can be made by a few different methods. You can make a glycerite or make cordials with just water, lemon, and berries like this lovely recipe!

    You can also infuse herbs in vinegar instead of alcohol. πŸ™‚ I hope that helps!

  125. Nice, Matt! I haven’t used milk sugars in my wines, only in certain porters. That sounds delicious! Let me know how it turns out!

  126. Thank you for the kind review, Lisa Marie! <3

  127. You can! But dried leaves are stronger than the fresh, so use 2 cups, or 3 if you really want a minty tingle! πŸ™‚

  128. Did you take hydrometer readings to tell the alcohol content? (I often do not, just curious.) Did it bubble and ferment strongly at first and then stop? You might want to move it to a slightly warmer area and add a touch more yeast to it if you think fermentation stalled. I hope that helps!

  129. I have not, as they are not native to where I am and have not had an abundance to work with…but here’s a few I found elsewhere:

    https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/prickly-pear-zmaz76soztak
    http://honest-food.net/2015/09/21/how-to-make-prickly-pear-syrup/

    Let me know how it turns out! πŸ™‚

  130. And cheers, I hope it ages well! πŸ˜€

  131. The bitterness just might go away, you’d be surprised! How long was it in the jug before it stopped bubbling, and what did the hydrometer say?

    Sometimes, time and a bit of sweetness helps quite a lot. πŸ™‚ Honey syrup, or sugar syrup, saves a lot of dry brews for me, since I’m pretty hands-off on my brews.

  132. Molasses will be a good addition, I think. Enjoy!! πŸ˜€

  133. I accept with tears of gratitude! <3 Thank you!

  134. That’s interesting, Andrea! Now, you aren’t using the hibiscus honey to replace other sweet treats, just adding the honey into your diet? No physical activity change, or anything else that could account for the weight loss?

    Not trying to dispute your claim, but just have no experience with hibiscus and or honey being a primary cause for weight loss!

  135. Pear is so picky. Have you tried making the wine, and then racking the finished wine over onto some freshly chopped or grated pears to re-infuse it with fruit flavor? It’s a technique I’ve done with strawberries, and it really made the flavor come through!

    If you want a treat, use rum or brandy with apples or pears. The brown liqueurs do well with those. Have fun with it! πŸ˜€

  136. Thank you for sharing, and for your kind words, Andrea! I haven’t tried holding onto the honey soaked herbs without covering them in booze immediately, so I have no experience with how long they can be stored! You are more of an expert than I am on that matter. πŸ™‚ Dried herbs definitely last way longer than fresh, due to the water content from the fresh plant matter. <3

    Isn't it wonderful to play with sweet magic like this? πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  137. Often local shops, or Mountain Rose Herbs if I can’t find it locally! πŸ™‚

  138. This is one I’ve used that worked well: Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast – http://amzn.to/2edjAaT

    Hope that helps!

  139. I hope it works out! While I encourage brewing, don’t put all your eggs in one basket for your wedding favors! Infused honey is a crowd pleaser, too. πŸ™‚ Plus, blackberry fizz stains like you wouldn’t believe!

    Enjoy it, and congratulations! πŸ˜€

  140. Hey there! How cool is it in that dark place? You might need to put it in a slightly warmer place…around 60-70 degrees is good. If that is in the light, I put a tee-shirt on the jug or something like that to cover the bottle.

    It should be ok, but that is a lot of honey, I hope you like your mead sweet and highly alcoholic! πŸ™‚ If it still isn’t doing anything, try moving it to a warmer place and if that doesn’t work, try adding a bit more yeast. Good luck!

  141. Thank you for your comment! I think maybe this page might help: http://pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

    I let the wine ferment until there are no more bubbles. Then I taste it. If it is not sweet, add sugar syrup and do second round of fermentation (racking and backsweetening).

    Another way is to bottle it even if it tastes dry. Add syrup to the glass when you pour some to drink if you want it sweeter!

    Another way is to use special yeast made especially to make your brew sweet, like this: http://amzn.to/2e1xzD7

    I hope that helps! πŸ™‚ Good luck with your brewing!

  142. Thanks, Rhianon. I do a lot of fermenting, but the lemon cucumbers seemed a bit soft and I was concerned it wouldn’t take well to long time in the salt brine. πŸ™‚ The carrots sound lovely!

  143. <3 Thanks, Laura! :) Maybe one day!

  144. I love ginger in all forms! That sounds like an awesome method to help with the joint and muscle pain, for sure. πŸ™‚ I have considered making cordials with dried fruit but haven’t done it yet!

    I bet if you add a sugar syrup to the strained orange vodka, that it might help with blending those oils in. I’d still definitely give it a good shake before drinking!

  145. Hey Rebecca! I think the concern about IUD is that most of them have copper. The way that metal conducts heat causes concern when adding steam. Maybe you can do sitz baths instead, as a way to apply herbs and honor yourself in the way you want to! <3

  146. Gina, sure! I don’t see why not. The mint helps with the valerian flavor and the gas, but using elderberry would be good for other reasons. I can’t quite see using all three, flavor-wise. πŸ™‚

  147. Thank you, Maureen, that’s so kind of you! πŸ™‚ I hope you don’t need to use that recipe this fall.

  148. As I said in the article, I started taking this as SOON as I started feeling the symptoms. I suggest following a doctor’s instruction for a full blown infection. I’ve seen sick, delirious people w/UTI that turned into bladder infections, so please keep that in mind!

    The herbs were just about equal amounts of each. I put about a 1/2 to 1 cup of blended herbs in a quart jar and added hot water to make an infusion. The tea can be taken in cups throughout the day, until the pain is gone. Make sure this is a complementary treatment along with as much water and cranberry juice as you can stand. Avoid all caffeine and alcohol as well.

    I hope it helps. As I said, please consider it as a complementary treatment, and if things get bad, take that antibiotic! Everything in its own time, and as we have need. <3

  149. Sounds like you have a tasty start, Suzan! It sounds like a prime candidate for testing a few things. You can backsweeten the whole batch, or half of it while bottling the rest. I’ve never tried racking a mead onto dried fruit, but it is totally worth a try. I wonder if you cook up the dried cherries in a bit of water and sugar to make them softer and sweeter and then racked onto that after it cooled? I say give it a try! πŸ™‚

  150. Thank you, Deanna, that’s so kind of you to say! πŸ™‚ I’ll keep on sharing posts and such, don’t you worry!

  151. Hey Mark! Adding a whole package of yeast is no problem, it shouldn’t hurt anything, if you’d rather just not hold onto the leftover half-a-packet. I’m a scrimper and saver, myself! πŸ™‚

  152. They taste like normal cucumbers, but the rind is a bit firmer than the green ones! I think they are just called Lemon cucumbers because they are round and yellow. πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting!

  153. Thanks for the input, Janine! I have looked and EarthBox but never used them. πŸ™‚ Now you have at least ONE thing you can do with them, I hope it helps allay some of your big harvest!

  154. That’s a lovely blog you have, Emma, and your profile picture is adorable. πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting, and have a lovely weekend!

  155. I’m so sorry for my delay, Teddy, I just noticed that I missed your comment! I have literally used just a pinch or two of standard bread yeast, and that seems to do the trick! It will eat up ALL of the sugars so you might have to backsweeten it at the end of the brew, or when you open the bottles to drink. πŸ™‚ Cheers!

  156. Well, you have to get and use a hydrometer to read the alcohol content, but I don’t do that myself. Most brews tend to end up in the same range as wine, around 13% or so, in my experience. Just wait for the bubbles to stop before you bottle!

  157. Thanks for the comment, Hilda! I enjoy your blog. πŸ™‚

    I also dry goldenrod, it’s pretty nice to add into teas, but it seems to often lose it’s citrus-like flavor after a few months. I hope you enjoy the wine recipe!

  158. Thank you, Michelle! I appreciate your comment and sharing as well….we’ll just have to suffice by clinking virtual glasses from afar! <3 Cheers!

  159. Shelly, you sure can use wild yeasts to ferment! I do so in the Dandelion and Ginger Mead – I’ve tried to make others work, but ended up adding yeast if they didn’t start bubbling within a few days. There’s a very active facebook group that’s a great resource for wild fermentation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WlidFermentation/

    I appreciate your feedback, I was intimidated to start brewing for years and so making it seem easy to do and accessible to beginners is a big part of my goal! Thanks, Shelly!

  160. That sounds really delicious! I love the combo of ginger and chicken broth in soups like Tom Ka and such, the coconut in that recipe adds a nice soothing creaminess for the tummy. πŸ™‚ While I knew about the benefits of broth for joint and such, I didn’t consider the pain relieving qualities of ginger in that combination. Thanks for the tips, Angie! And yes, I really love the burn, too. I haven’t had anything that was “too much” ginger yet!

  161. Hello! I apologize for my delay in responding. πŸ™‚ After I rack mead, I watch it for a bit to ensure that fermentation is done before I bottle it. One of the perks of bottling is aging – I just enjoyed a wine from 2014 last night! I store my bottles in a dark, cool place – under a cabinet, or in a wine cellar if you are lucky enough to have one!

    If you’d rather not bottle and age your mead, you can store that gallon jug in the fridge with a cap and just drink it “new” without aging it! Refrigeration slows fermentation, so an airlock won’t be necessary on the jug. Enjoy!

  162. Hello Nate! Many people use Camden tablets, but I tend not to. I don’t mind wild yeasts, and do a few wild fermented brews like Dandelion Ginger and also Blackberry Mead. I think that’s up to your personal preference on how much you want to control the brew.

    As far as racking goes, I take each bottle on a case by case basis. Some brews are super active and leave a ton of sediment or have a hard time clearing, and I’ll rack those over and let them rest before bottling. Other times, I’ll backsweeten as I rack the mead over, if I think it needs more sweet. This mint brew in particular wasn’t too bad, and so I just bottled straight from the jug! πŸ™‚

  163. We can hardly grok it either. πŸ˜‰ I love you, thank you!

  164. For sure, Amanda! The dried leaves of peppermint are even stronger than fresh leaves, as the oils condense as the leaves dry. You might want to use less dried mint than fresh…maybe half the amount to start! Cheers!

  165. Hello Bevan! To be honest, I haven’t tried using the cold water method myself, but I have read about others who have done it with good results! I think the main thing is to ensure you mix it and shake it up REALLY well when you add the honey. “Make Mead Like a Viking” by Jereme Zimmerman is a good resource for very simple meads done with old techniques, and if I hadn’t lent my copy to a friend, I’d offer you advice from his book! πŸ™‚

  166. Thank you, Emily! πŸ™‚ We’re so excited to have a place to invest in, put our roots down, and flourish!

  167. Hey Don! I tend to pick the white ones mostly, but there’s a few yellow ones thrown in, too. Just avoid actively wilted ones that are going brown, that wilted flavor translates into the brew!

  168. Oh, a mystery! I wonder if she was doing wild yeasts or if she kept a culture going? Do you remember what sort of bottle she used? Did they have a lid on them, or cloth?

    With what I’ve learned of brewing, you’re supposed to keep the fermenting bottles out of the sunlight, but perhaps that was an easy way to keep the brew warm enough to ferment! Let me see what else I can find out! πŸ˜€

  169. Oh, boy! πŸ˜€ YAY! Welcome to the world of brewing – your kitchen counters will never be the same! πŸ™‚ Feel free to share pictures and such over at https://www.facebook.com/PixiesPocketHoney/ if you do the facebook thing!

  170. Sure! You can post a picture here, or on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pixiespockethoney and I’ll see what I can tell you! πŸ™‚

  171. Sure! I’ve never done plum wine or mead before, so you’ll have to let me know how it goes! πŸ™‚ Here’s a recipe I found online for a gallon batch, but they use way more additives than I do. Enjoy your brewing! https://www.jaysbrewing.com/2012/06/28/sweet-plum-melomel/

  172. 6B is the zone here in Asheville, NC. I don’t know much about IL, but found this link that might help? http://web.extension.illinois.edu/askextension/thisQuestion.cfm?ThreadID=10446&catID=34&AskSiteID=34

  173. Oooh, good to know! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  174. Oooh, what a lovely place. I’ve a friend who’s building a lavender farm now…she should be open for business next year! I’ll get starts from her, because I haven’t been able to grow it from seed either! πŸ™‚

  175. That’s a good question, Tet! I don’t use those myself, so haven’t tested it out. In this recipe, the vodka *should* be sufficient enough to keep it all from going bad, but I don’t know for sure. I’d also keep in mind that you might not want to do equal parts, since xylitol is a little sweeter than sugar, isn’t it?

    Sounds like a good excuse for an experiment!

  176. Shelly – you can totally just leave it in the jugs and cap it and use it like that; however, as you get closer to the bottom of the jug, it’ll be flatter and flatter, and will taste more and more like the yeast trub on the bottom of the jug. If you plan to drink it quickly, like at one big event, probably won’t matter at all if you bottle it or not! πŸ™‚ I bottle my brews so I can taste how they change and age over time, and it isn’t the tastiest idea to let it age on the dead yeast trub. I hope that helps!

  177. Oh, yay! I’m glad I could back up your instinct! πŸ˜€ I hope the strawberries help your daughter! It also might help if you throw a few violet leaves in there – they are high in salicylic acid, the same thing in a lot of over the counter acne meds.

  178. I could have, but that wasn’t enough strawberries to make a gallon. Plus, mead doesn’t spread so well on hot english muffins. *grin*

  179. Right back at you, you wonderful woman! <3

  180. Aww, thanks Chris! Y’all’s nasturtiums are the first I’ve ever tasted. Peppery doesn’t even begin to describe it, it was exhilarating! πŸ™‚ One day I’ll try to stop in during business hours. Thanks for the comment!

  181. Yay, thanks for your comment and your brewing enthusiasm! I’ve used Wyest or other brands’ “Sweet Mead Yeast” to get a nice, sugary result. There’s also techniques you can use that I’m not proficient with, like killing the yeast to stop fermentation when the flavor is where you like it. πŸ™‚ http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/ is another good resource that you might enjoy! He’s an expert on wines, and uses those methods. Have fun brewing!

  182. Yay, I hope you do try and enjoy the recipe, Jen! Step 4 includes the straining part: “Once the pot is cool enough to handle and the liquid safe to pour, strain the mint tea into the carboy and top it off with the rest of the filtered water to the neck. Add the bung and airlock to the jug. Toss the leaves in your compost bin.”

    I hope that helps!

  183. Oh, YAY! πŸ™‚ Enjoy it, it’s sooooo good. I need to make some more myself. πŸ˜€

  184. Don’t worry, I’ve brewed many times without the raisins and it’ll work just fine. THey just help add some body and nutrition for the yeast. πŸ™‚

  185. Oh, and by the way, your leatherwork is BEAUTIFUL! πŸ™‚ I’m a Rennie and Faerie festival attendee/volunteer/vendor myself, partly because of artisans like yourself.

  186. Yipes! Good catch! πŸ™‚ The raisins go in with the flowers, just as you pour the hot syrup water over them. Thanks for that, I’ll update the post to include that detail!

  187. Ha, that’s one way to recoup a loss through foam! I’ve had a fizzy sinus flush or two, myself.

  188. Cheat away! You won’t count it against yourself when you are sipping delicious yard-booze! πŸ˜€

  189. Hello Claudia! In this instance, I used a “sweet mead yeast”. To find yeast, you can visit a local brew shop if you have one, or buy online (here’s a good one I’ve used!) or in a pinch, use normal bread or baking yeast!

    For the gallon batch, you don’t have to use the whole big yeast packet. I use half, or a third, of what’s in the packet. I’ll try sometimes to do a few one gallon batches at a time and use the yeast on all of them because it sometimes can go stale in storage. πŸ™‚ I hope that helps!

  190. Hmm…it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of fermentation action going on. You might want to get a bit of yeast (baking yeast will work!) and put a bit in a cup with warm water and a bit of molasses to make a yeast starter. Then, pour that starter in your carboy…happy fermentation is pretty easy to detect! There’s lots of little bubbles…here’s a youtube video with a good example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL8E_aDnYj0)

    Wild yeast is always a gamble. If it’s been a few days and I don’t have very active fermentation, I’ll cheat and add a yeast starter like I described above. I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  191. Hey there! Thanks for asking me, Lee Ann. I’ve had some cordials and tinctures that are years old. The booze does a good job of long term preservation, but there’s always a danger of fermentation or mold when there’s water and sugar added. If you open a jar and it smells like cheap wine or if it is fuzzy, don’t drink it!

  192. Yay! Brewing! πŸ˜€ As far as the blackberry wine goes, it might well stay pretty thick and opaque. If it has stopped bubbling, try using a sanitized straw to take a little sample (don’t backwash!) and see how it is. If you want, you can rack it to another jug just to see if it’ll clear a bit more, but no whoop. You can add some sugar or honey syrup to sweeten it at that point, if you want. Otherwise, just bottle it up if it is done bubbling!

    If you have room in your fridge, you can stick the wine jug in there before you bottle. It’s called “cold crashing” and it’ll help slow the yeasts and bring the solid bits down to the bottom of the jug.

    One note about blackberry wine…when you want to open your first bottle, slowly do so outdoors, and after you’ve chilled the bottle in the fridge. Just to see. I have experienced a fount of blackberry foam directly into my face! It isn’t the pleasant nasal flush you might expect. *giggle* I still have purple spots on my kitchen ceiling. That one wasn’t done fermenting. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for asking your questions, I’ll amend my page to cover things like that. πŸ˜€ Cheers, y’all! πŸ™‚

  193. You’re pretty awesome yourself, April! I like your site! I have such sensitive skin, and really appreciate clean products. πŸ™‚ Have fun brewing!

  194. I don’t see why not! The chamomile definitely contributes to the bitter…the vanilla pods add their own tannin qualities, though! πŸ™‚ I bet it’ll be delicious, Ron.

  195. I’ll usually strain out the chunks when I rack it over to aid in the clearing process, but I have left it in before a time or two. It makes for a bit more of a bitter brew to leave in these particular herbs!

  196. I toss them all in the same pot, about the same time I throw in the ginger and sugar. Enjoy! I bet you have yellow fingers! πŸ˜‰

  197. Oh, I use all sorts of yeasts! Champagne yeast makes the mead too dry for my tastes, too. Both Wyest and WhiteLabs put out tubes of “sweet mead yeast” that is excellent, but they’re sized for 5 gallon batches. I use a third of the tube in a one gallon batch, and will try to make three different brews at once to use up the whole tube! Bread yeast tends to be very active and makes dry meads, too. Wild yeast is a gamble, unless you work with a specific strain that you’ve isolated.

    Have fun, y’all!

  198. Oooh, enjoy your ale! That sounds nice. I hope all goes well with the Chamomile Mead! What lucky friends you have. πŸ™‚ Following you on twitter now!

  199. Catherine, thanks for your question! Fermentation time varies depending on the temperature, the kind of yeast, the amount of sugar and such. Just keep an eyes on it, and watch the bubbles in the airlock blurping away. When they stop bubbling, consider bottling your mead, or if you are afraid that it isn’t done, you can “rack” it into a new jug to get it off of the old yeasts and see if it is still going.

    All that being said, for one gallon batches it can take anywhere from a month to three months, although I’ve been lazy and let some sit for even longer.
    If you want, you can visit my one gallon mead and wine page for more details and a few videos! http://pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

    Enjoy brewing! Holler if you have any more questions and I’ll do my best to help!

  200. Great question! I do split my vanilla beans before adding them in when I brew. I’ll update the post to include that detail. Thank you, L! πŸ™‚

  201. Peace to you too, Dave! *hugs* <3

  202. *GROUP HUG!* You and your Kimfluence is part of my inspiration in speaking about such things. You and Amanda Palmer. πŸ˜€ Thank you!!

  203. Great tip! I added it to this page with a link to your blog. πŸ™‚

  204. Hey there, Ned! Thanks for commenting!

    I have used bread yeast, sometimes I use wild yeast, and other times I’ll spring for the fancy stuff when I can. πŸ™‚ I have made muscadine wine with Welch’s frozen grape juice concentrate, but the sweetness got all eaten up by the yeast. I added sugar syrup to every bottle I opened before drinking!

    Sometimes I use the open bucket method like you describe, too…but only when I’m wild-fermenting or using fresh fruit or big chunks of stuff that I plan to strain out before it goes in the carboy.

    I haven’t yet started raising bees, but I’m excited to! I’ve taken a lot of courses with the local beekeepers association.

    I hope you do try this mead and it works out for you! Let me know how it goes! πŸ˜€

  205. Thanks for commenting, Marc & Mindy! I’m pleased to meet you – I like your blog and will try to get a chance to listen to the podcast later. πŸ™‚

  206. We have a friend with a big space where events are hosted, so we are lucking out with that. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty excited…thanks for commenting, Nicole!

  207. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones, Jeanie! πŸ˜€

  208. Jeanie! You just made me cry. πŸ™‚

    I’m sorry about your father and the difficulty around his health declining. I don’t refuse all western medicine techniques, but I do wish that the majority of western medicine practitioners would loosen up a bit and consider more nutrition and herbal assistance as forms of healing, or at the very least, support of the techniques that they use!

    I’m glad that my kitchen putterings and blog mutterings are keeping you brewing tasty goodness and tending bees! Thank you for your kind words, and I hope that you have a truly happy midwinter and Happy Hollydaze!

  209. Ha, I thought the same thing! I also like the very simple buckets of greenery and lights. It’s funny, we ran out of lights for the tree, and I asked my love if we should get some more. He looked around the house and started giggling. I have Christmas lights up all year round indoors as my regular lighting…*laughs*

  210. That sounds delicious, Meg! πŸ˜€

  211. Hello Charlotte! I am lucky enough to have Goldenrod all over my yard, roadsides, and meadows from late July to early October! If there isn’t a place in your area that has goldenrod, you might try Richter’s Herbs or a plant/seed swap site like Earthineer!

    I hope that helps!

  212. Whisker down phase! I love that. <3 I heart you, too! πŸ˜€

  213. Thanks for your patience in waiting for a response, Viviane! As far as time goes, I like to give the honey a week or two to meld, but to be honest, I’ve used it right away to good effect. The longer you have it, the stronger it gets.

    Enjoy the lemon honey! I just did a small jar of lemon and limes…so good! πŸ™‚

  214. Even Pixies don’t sparkle 24/7, that’s for sure! πŸ˜‰ Blessings right back at you, Lisa. Thank you!

  215. Hello Viviane! Here’s my post on making electuaries/herbed honey: http://pixiespocket.com/2012/01/lets-talk-about-what-is-an-electuary.html

    I’m so bad at measurements…but for 4 cups of honey, I’d do one heaping handful of red raspberry leaf, a teaspoon or so of ground vitex berries, and a small handful of chamomile, half a handful of motherwort and nettles. Does that make sense? Do it however you think will work best for you! πŸ˜€

    I do hope it helps you! Enjoy making and using the honey, I know I do. πŸ™‚

  216. Half-dead is about the only way I can keep basil, too. πŸ™‚

  217. Exactly, Susan! Wild fermentation is allowing the yeasts in the environment to do their magic. There are natural yeasts everywhere, and the fermentation should start on its own. If it doesn’t, I suggest adding yeast so that you don’t just end up with unfermented, rotting flower water. πŸ™‚ This book by Sandor Katz is a great resource to learn more about wild brewing (http://amzn.to/1MV3WHs) and so is this one by Jereme Zimmerman (http://amzn.to/1MV47SR).

  218. Thanks, Chris! Buhner’s book opened my eyes, too…or at least let me know that some of my wacky ideas weren’t so very wacky. At least wacky with historical reference. πŸ™‚

    The kinds of cordials and vinegar-based drinks that Emily writes about is already making an impact on my kitchen brewing. My citrus syrup/squash that I made following her method tastes brighter and better than my own past attempts. πŸ™‚

  219. Oooh, never tried that one. That sounds lovely! πŸ˜€

  220. Thanks for your comment, Julie! Emily’s really done a good job with this book – you don’t have to be a hardcore herbalist to make these awesome drinks. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  221. I don’t think you’d have to change the sugar content, honestly…the sugar or honey measures that I put in recipes are the standard measures that I use for everything I brew, and it has worked for me!

    One thing to consider about peaches…you know how they can have some bitterness to them, or strong sour flavor? I’ve had peach wine that tasted really skunky because of that. For a more “peachy” flavor, make a plain mead and when it is ready to bottle, rack it over onto a brewing bucket full of peaches and let that work for a few days before you bottle it. πŸ™‚

  222. Thanks, Debbie! What gets me though, is that no other fruit does that to me…just raspberries! *shrugs* Oh, mysteries of life…

  223. Thanks, Justin! I know, right? While I prefer honey to maple as a general sweetener, I have to admit that this book made me look at maple in a new light. Now to try a maple mead…hmm…

  224. Thank you, Lisa! πŸ™‚ I’ve added the badge to the Ginger Citrus Syrup post. Thanks for choosing Pixie’s Pocket as a featured blog. Enjoy playing with ginger, I know I do!

  225. It might help ease your symptoms, especially if you pair it with dried (or fresh) nettles in the tea! I hope you feel better, I know a lot of ragweed allergy sufferers are unhappy right now. <3

  226. Gosh, I don’t honestly know, Debbie! If I were you, I’d go to a nutritionist or allergy specialist – that sounds like a way more severe allergic reaction than I have! πŸ™ It’s a generally good idea to keep a notebook or something to write down your food experiences into to help trace patterns or similar sensitivities.

  227. Oh! You are so sweet, you brought tears to my eyes. Making people unafraid to pursue brewing is definitely a goal of mine. πŸ˜€ The thing about the water is this: most tap water is chlorinated, which can kill the beneficial yeast, and fluoridated, which can sometimes cause off flavors. I use either bottled water, or distilled, or at the minimum, tap water that has been allowed to sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate. It isn’t perfect, but it works!

    One of my goals is to have a property with a spring so that I can use the water from my home to brew my beverages! πŸ™‚

    Brewing isn’t as hard as it seems, but the only way to get better is to do it and keep at it! Enjoy!!!

  228. You might need to switch out the dried mint for fresh mint to really get the strong flavor you are looking for, but yes! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe, and I hope your husband does, too. πŸ™‚

  229. Thank you for your comments, that’s so sweet!

    I do not have dye recipes; however, I have asked my blogging friends and I have a few resources for you to explore:
    http://timbercreekfarmer.com/dyeing-wool-with-natural-plant-dyes/
    https://www.facebook.com/AGardentoDyeFor?hc_location=ufi
    http://www.wearingwoad.com/

    Enjoy!

  230. Thanks for commenting, Heather! Have a lovely day!

  231. Cindy – It’ll be a few months before I can share the recipe – I have to make it, try it, and know that it is any good first! πŸ™‚ I’ve done similar herb wines though, maybe some of the recipes or techniques on my one gallon mead and wine page might help? http://pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

    If you get to trying it before I do, you let me know how it works, deal? πŸ™‚

  232. Hello there! I also have a free guide to making wine/mead in one gallon batches here: http://pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

    I haven’t made a wine with only Queen Anne’s Lace, but I’ve included about 5-10 flower heads in a one gallon hedgerow wine (that appears in Ashley English’s book “Quench“)…

    I would suggest at the minimum, four cups of flower heads. I hope that helps!

  233. Oooh, no, I have not. I haven’t had the chance to play with fresh St. John’s Wort, but I hope to! πŸ™‚ I’ve never tried it dried in honey, either. Let me know how it turns out! I wonder if it will go red like the oil does.

  234. Thanks Joy! I enjoy your blog, too! πŸ™‚

  235. Thank you, Angi! And bless your husband for doing that job – it is a difficult one, for sure. I used to be numb and depressed as a teenager, and I made it through and reveled in the emotions once they returned. Nowadays, when the downtime hits, I surf the feelings and use them to provide inspiration to create, and other times as inspiration to plop on the bed and watch movies on my laptop. πŸ˜‰

  236. You can, but in different proportions! One of my favorite herbalists, Kiva Rose, suggests the following: “Fresh elderberries (dried can be used as well, simply use about a third of the amount, or about 2.5 oz to follow the 1:5 proportion method for dried plants).” http://bearmedicineherbals.com/another-gratuitous-elderberry-post.html

  237. That varies for me between wines/batches…for this one, the batch was started in January 20, 2014, bottled on April 20, 2014, and the first bottle opened on August 9, 2014! I have one bottle left…

  238. I tend to use a combination of grolsch bottles and beer bottles. With the one gallon batches, I end up with a six pack of beer bottles and a few various sized fliptop bottles. πŸ™‚ My basic technique for all brew is on this page: http://pixiespocket.com/one-gallon-mead-recipes

  239. Heh…hydrometer skills are not my forte! I would put this between 6-8 percent, but since I bottle them in beer bottles, it isn’t so intimidating to crack open a bottle to enjoy a glass or two without feeling obliged to finish it all. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!!

  240. I haven’t made it again…yet! I plan to start it in July so that it will be ready by fall. I have only one beer bottle of elderberry mead left, and it honestly is aging so well that I might make a bigger batch so that it will last longer! The age mellowed out the berry flavor and blended it with the bit of sweet honey flavor. I do find myself adding a bit of sugar or honey syrup to this, but a few of my friends prefer the dry version. πŸ™‚

    Next time, I’m going to let it ferment longer in the jug so it isn’t fizzy in the bottles, that’s for sure!

  241. Thanks, Harvest! I haven’t yet harvested from my own hives, so my article was more about storing smaller quantities, but I guess I should specify that! πŸ™‚ I have heard of honey fermenting and turning when there is too much moisture…wonder if you could just convert that to mead or make a mash from spoiled honey?

  242. Thank you so much for this article, Will! I had put this project on hold…time to reconsider attempting it again. πŸ™‚ SlΓ‘inte!

  243. I hope you enjoy it, it’s a surprising drink! πŸ˜€

  244. Right on, Justin! I for sure tip the cup a few too many times myself every now and again, but most of the time, I consume consciously. πŸ™‚ And hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!

  245. I never thought to use avocado in place of butter – that sounds fantastic! I’ll have to try that sometime, just for the extra delicious fattiness of it all. πŸ™‚ I’m honored that this recipe in part of your handwritten recipe book, truly. Thank YOU, Andre!

  246. Oooh, licorice is a good one to add, and definitely saw palmetto…although I cannot personally stand the taste or smell of saw palmetto, I know many who get very good benefits from it!

  247. The first one I ever had was while I was at college – had no idea what was happening. Thank goodness for on-campus nurses and cheap antibiotics…that one was BAD. Now I notice the symptoms before they get to that dire level, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting, and I love the wooden cutting board post, Ricki!

  248. And see, I’ve never really tried soda…it just seems like unaged beer or wine to me! *laughs* The early fermentation also seems to be more volatile and I’m scared of exploding bottles!

  249. Wow, that’s a GREAT idea…can’t believe I haven’t tried that before!!!

  250. Oooh, I’ll have to try playing with coconut milk to see what happens! The milk liqueur thing is odd but awesome – and takes any flavors well! Try an orange slice and vanilla bean, or berries, instead of coconut for a totally different experience!

  251. That sounds delicious! Let me know how it turns out!!

  252. It might be fine; however, I’m not sure if I would use those myself. It would all depend on the material they are made of, because even the burlap gave way! If they are the waxed paper bags, I’d not use those. I’m trying mine in large flower pots this year.

  253. Oh, yum! That sounds delicious!!

  254. Yay! I’m glad you like it – I tell you, having “fresh” strawberry iced or hot tea in the middle of winter is a big help against the doldrums. πŸ™‚

  255. Yes, indeed! I’m looking forward to trying that myself…I need more freezer space. πŸ™‚

  256. I understand! I wasn’t sure about the silicon at first, but these are surprisingly strong, and the cubes just popped right out when I pushed them…POP! πŸ™‚ Good luck, Anna!

  257. I think pesto will be my next project! πŸ™‚ Good Luck!

  258. Thanks for playing, and good luck, Tessa! πŸ™‚

  259. What a lovely idea, Nina! I bet those make a lovely bowl of punch. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  260. Yum yum yum…I adore pesto!

  261. I can’t do without them now! Easier on my tummy than solid food and quick to make. πŸ™‚ I like your broth cube idea for cooling soup, I never thought of that before! Good Luck, Nicole! (and save me some of that blueberry rum punch, I’m coming over right now!!)

  262. Oooh, that sounds amazing. Fresh OJ in winter! πŸ˜€ Good luck, Anita!

  263. It sounds about right…if you want lather, shake it up or use one of those special dispensers, but it cleans without all of the bubbles that we are used to from soaps and shampoos. It does pour and feel just like water, but after using it, my hair is squeaky clean!

  264. Good luck, Katrina! πŸ™‚ I love Berkeys!

  265. Aw, thanks, Heather! Pleased to meet you! πŸ˜€

  266. Oooh, that sounds delicious, Cindy! πŸ˜€

  267. I’m wary of essential oils as my skin is very sensitive, and so is my allergic husband’s nose! πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting and sharing, Gentle Joy!

  268. It’s an easy recipe for kids to help with, too! I hope they enjoy it! <3

  269. Thanks, Lindsay! πŸ™‚

  270. Thank you for your comment, as well as your contribution! πŸ™‚ Mmmm…pesto pizza…*happy tummy*

  271. Thanks for the comment! I love it…and I love your Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar post. I’m saving up my cores and peels in a freezer jar to make my own. πŸ˜€

  272. Thank you Arwen, may those blessings return multifold to you! πŸ™‚ Your Mooning mix sounds lovely, but I hope you don’t need it the next time around. πŸ˜‰

  273. Ooooh. YUM! Maple brown nut ale sounds delicious. I brew beer as well, just did a motherwort porter. πŸ˜€ Delicious and dark and chocolately! Cheers!!

  274. Ooh! I’ve always intended to try playing with maple syrup in brews, but never have! Please let me know how it turns out!!

  275. Hmm…I do have that recipe written up, but not polished. I best get to it! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminder, Cindy!

  276. Ha, thanks, but I can’t take that credit! I’m actually in North Carolina, in Asheville. We’re up in the mountains, so we do get colder than the coast, but I’m definitely not used to REAL cold. πŸ™‚ But I guess that we are pretty North of Texas!

  277. Oh, Alecia, I hope that helps! Add some to witch hazel and let it infuse for a week, then use that to help him with the breakouts. Those can be terrible. Plantain is a good friend for that, too! Yeah, mine’s used to me doing odd plant things to him, too. *grin*

  278. I definitely did a lot of chopping this fall after it started dying back…hopefully I’ve restrained its footprint this year! πŸ™‚

  279. Kamay – bit by bit, my body has been appreciating vinegar and sour and bitter flavors much more than it used to. My taste buds are making me make things that would have made me gag years ago. Funny how we change!

    Hopefully you can find someone around you who ferments their own sauerkraut who will let you give it a try! Or do it yourself and see what you think…cabbage isn’t very expensive! πŸ™‚ Have fun!

  280. How interesting, Greta! Other than tasting a little more delicious, what benefits have you noticed from those? Just tasting good is enough, but I’m curious! πŸ™‚

  281. Oh, thank you for sharing your positive experience, Elizabeth! I have a pinkish-bluish-purplish silk scarf from Gordian Sisters that I use on my straw sunhat, or my tophat, if I’m feeling fancy. πŸ™‚

  282. Just around a pint…you lose some vodka to the fruit, and then replace it with sugar syrup to taste, so it evens out!

  283. Thanks, Tessa! I didn’t do a full redesign, but I am always tweaking the site here and there. πŸ™‚ There is a new header, and the menu’s a bit cleaner (I hope!).

    Regarding the cordial – I don’t know how to make something that will *last* without alcohol. The steeping time is so long that maybe a mild vinegar would work, but not water or anything else that would encourage mold/mildew growth…so maybe a cranberry shrub, instead? (http://foodinjars.com/2014/12/spiced-cranberry-shrub-tangy-cranberry-applesauce/)

    Oh, I know! Maybe make a simple syrup out of cranberry juice/spices to store in the fridge to add to other beverages!

    Even if you do make it with alcohol, the sugar syrup that is added in dilutes it some, and you can always pour a bit here and there into fizzy water or soda to dilute it even further.

  284. Thanks, Amber! πŸ™‚ I love the look of herb wreaths but have never made one!

  285. Alecia, my husband (who I swear is a Legolas-type elven ranger) informs me that trees shaped that way are often found alongside trails, as years ago someone bent down and broke a young tree as a trail marker. Through all that adversity, the tree healed and grew in it’s unique shape! I love trees, and their stories. They just take a long time to listen to!

  286. Hey, Rebecca! I really do enjoy my time in Herbarium so far. It is small, since it is new, but it is growing! The forums are a great place to ask questions and share information. I really do endorse the Herbal Academy of New England – I’ve seen nothing but good from them!

    If you want a few more resources, I list a bunch of good ones here! Enjoy your herbal journey! http://pixiespocket.com/2014/03/ask-a-pixie-how-do-i-learn-about-herbs.html

  287. Once I understood how safe it was to ferment…and how easy it is to tell when something is BAD…the rest is all fun and games and delicious probiotic foods. πŸ™‚

  288. Thank you, Hanna! I definitely learned from my mistakes and think I’ll have a much higher yield next year. I’m going to try sweet potatoes, too!

  289. Amy, I’m so glad that you are pain free these days! I was lucky that my migraines did not include the nausea that so many other people report…but I sure didn’t eat much. I didn’t drink much water then, either. Those were probably both contributing factors, to be honest!

    I nearly failed a class or two that year for the first time ever…my GPA never quite recovered!

    I hope this tea helps you if you need it, but I hope that you don’t need it. πŸ™‚

  290. Thanks for your reply, Nancie! Welcome to the wide world of herbs. πŸ™‚ I sure do understand…the Excedrin with caffeine does a good job for some people, but definitely isn’t good for sleeping.

    Firstly, I want to direct you to this post, where I link to some free (and some paid) courses for learning more about how to use herbs and gain confidence in doing so! Maybe some of the basic classes might help you as you begin walking with herbs and essential oils: http://pixiespocket.com/2014/03/ask-a-pixie-how-do-i-learn-about-herbs.html

    Now, as to your specific question…I am a granny measurer (a pinch here, a scoop there), but here’s a place to start. In the recipe above, I was only making enough for one serving. I have a small teapot that makes only about a mug and a half at a time. In my rough guesses at measurements, I used about two or three dried passionflowers, a teaspoon of dried feverfew, a tablespoon of dried lemon balm, a pinch of dried, broken up rosehips, and a slice of dried orange peel.

    My favorite sweetener is honey, and just a tiny bit of it. Feverfew is a little bitter, so it might take some getting used to, but it is a potent helper for many people’s migraines!

    I encourage you to try each herb as a tea on its own if you can, and do some research into each one as you go. Experience is my favorite teacher when combined with good resources!

    I hope that helps, and best of luck to you!

  291. Thank you for your concern; however, I’ve been using mine for three years running with no mold. Perhaps due to how often I use it and add fresh garlic and onion and vinegar to it? I’ll be careful and not take it if it gets moldy.

  292. Make it, eat it, and ENJOY! Then consider all of the other things you could add to it…mwa ha ha…

  293. Hi, Christina, thanks for your question. Ooh, a double goldenrod oxymel! Sure! Have you ever combined the two before, honey and vinegar? They make a great combination, for sure. It is nearly a salad dressing on its own! I bet that ends up to be wonderful.

  294. Thanks for the reminder! I forgot to write that experiment up! (Spoiler alert: IT ROCKS!)

  295. I’m making roast taters tonight, actually! πŸ™‚ I let them “rest” a bit before using them. How did your harvest go this year?

  296. *grin* Any comparison to Sally Bowles makes me smile. Thanks, Joseph!

  297. Not that I’ve noticed! Mind you, the spiced beer gingerbread definitely had the flavor of the spices it was brewed with, but not the beer flavor. The PBR definitely left no flavor!

  298. I hope they help, Heidi! I sure do hate to take Benadryl and other sinus medicines that make my head fuzzy. Nettles and goldenrod are my favorites!

  299. Oh, nice, Mike! I’ve never used it directly for bug repellant, although I’ve heard that the essential oil is often used in bug-away blends. πŸ™‚ I love the smell of catnip, so I’ll have to try the leaf-rubbing next time I’m being buzzed by a mosquito. IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!!! *giggle*

  300. Ha! That’s sweet. My kitty loves the freshly harvested plants! I have to give her a stem to roll around on the floor with so I can manage to process the rest of the harvest. πŸ™‚ My dog gets jealous and I have to throw her one, too…she doesn’t go crazy over it, though. I love potpourri kitty!

  301. Oh, fresh turmeric sounds nice…and I haven’t tried sweetening mine with honey. Hmm…time to play around with my recipes!

  302. Yum. I need to get some fresh horseradish to add! I love that stuff! Citrus is a good idea, too!

  303. Ha! Sorry that you had to learn that the hard way, but thank you for sharing your experience!

  304. Thanks for stopping by, Syd! Enjoy Hong Kong, it seems beautiful, looking at your blog. πŸ™‚

  305. Hi, Connie! Good questions! Because of the booze content, I’ve had cordials that I sip from every now and then that are years old and never had any problems. I don’t store those in the fridge, either.

    The Simple Syrup will last for months and months in the fridge, but I’ve never kept any longer than that – I tend to use them up! Nor have I tried to can syrup before, but I found a good post here that offers advice on how to do just that! http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/simple-syrup-video/

    Best wishes!

  306. Sorry for my delayed response – I’ve been on vacation without internet for a week. πŸ™‚

    My batch turned out yellow/brownish this year, too. I think I may have overcooked the infusion, as I added the flowers pre-boil this time (whoops) and let it sit longer than an hour. But it still has the nice light grapefruity taste and I didn’t die! πŸ™‚

    If your QAL smelled carroty and sharp, you are fine. If it smelled bad and had purple spots, don’t eat it!!

  307. A mix of dried and fresh is fine, although QAL is much better/stronger flavored when fresh. I gathered about 10-15 Queen Anne’s Lace flower heads, and those were fresh. I added dried rose petals and dried red clover (and two or three fresh clovers I found while foraging) and one small fresh yarrow head, and a tiny handful of dried elderflowers.

    If you have 10-15 Queen Anne’s Lace flowers, you have a good base to add things to. Have fun with it and make it your own! πŸ™‚

  308. Bri, I’m sorry for my delayed response – I’ve been on vacation with no internet. πŸ™‚ You can totally add something else if you prefer. I used the orange blossom water as it melded the herby and lime flavors well, and it really made the floral notes of the infusion stronger. Make it your own, add whatever you like!

  309. Hey Rachelle! Thanks for your comment. From what I’ve read and experienced, strawberry leaves are high in antioxidants as well as tannins. Being mildly astringent, it is good for treating diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. Not quite the same as raspberry leaf tea, which is one of my faves. πŸ˜‰

  310. Karen – I missed this comment until now! Thank you, and I hope you try it someday. πŸ™‚

  311. Debbie, the itchy bumps that I get aren’t the weepy sore kind of hives, but small red spots or splotches that aren’t very raised, but itch like the dickens. The tingling tongue comes first, then the tummy ache, and then the spots within an hour or so. I’ve found that black raspberries don’t bother me as much, though! Give those a try! πŸ™‚

  312. Honestly, I’ve never used gelatin in that way before! If you’ve made jellies with it, I’d assume it is fine…? Sorry I’m not more helpful here!

  313. Oh, no Courtney! My general practice is to allow the mead in the jug to stop bubbling and go completely clear, with all the yeast and trub and such at the bottom. That usually takes at least a month.

    Next, I’ll rack it over into a new sterilized jug, leaving the yeast behind. I let the mead sit in that secondary jug for as long as it takes for me to be confident that it is done bubbling (no *bloops* from the airlock, no tiny bubbles floating up to the surface, etc.). Then it is bottling time! I often bottle my gallon batches up in beer bottles. πŸ™‚

    I’ve had to help a friend clean up a whole box full of mead that popped their corks…such a sticky kitchen!

  314. Me, too, Rebecca! πŸ™‚ Try adding a drop or two of lavender essential oil to that honey for extra cleansing for oily skin, and it also is magic for healing burns!

  315. Sorry for any confusion, Gary. I’m a granny cook, I do things by splashes, bits, handfuls, and sprinkles! But specifically, I meant ONE clove. ONE allspice corn. Not teaspoons or tbsp. The lemon juice in the recipe goes on to indicate a splash of lemon juice, which if I had to guess, would be about a tablespoon.

  316. It grows just as quick as you can harvest it, too! *sigh* But I nearly use it up each year!

  317. I have a serious ginger addiction! I put it in LOTS of things. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  318. Did you try it, Karen? πŸ™‚ I hope she likes them!

  319. Ooh, good tip, Carol! I got organic soil, so hopefully my soil sack will be a safe place (plastic itself, notwithstanding)!

  320. Howdy, Mike! I had to post the Moon O’er The Mountains mug – it is my favorite piece of theirs! πŸ™‚ I dream of a cabinet full of handmade pottery…and a shelf stable enough to hold it all safely!

  321. Hi, Janet! I think it would be nice with a spicy chicken, as a marinade! The syrup is so sweet that I only use a tiny bit at a time, generally over pancakes, in cocktails, or in plain yogurt. πŸ˜€

  322. Hee hee…I remember my grandfather asking me not to blow the white dandelion seeds everywhere, but when I looked crushed, he smiled and relented. Thanks, grandad! πŸ™‚

  323. That is totally a reasonable fear, Dave! Here’s a REALLY good and clear guide on identifying true dandelion: http://stitchandboots.com/2009/05/06/dandelions-taraxacum-officinale-plant-profiles/

    If you want to send me pics by email or Facebook, I’m happy to use my experience (and books, and websites, and herby friends) to help sort out what you’ve got!

  324. It just makes NO sense to me, Rebecca! I mean – why not eat what is there instead of breaking your back trying to stop biodiversity?!

  325. Our blackberries are about the same – and I’ve never heard them called dewberries, but I like that! I pick them and make cordials, meads, and anything I can with them. πŸ™‚

    OH, I wish we had wild grapes, they are so tart and delicious! Thanks for commenting, Angi!

  326. It will come, Anna…hopefully sooner than later! And when it does I hope you eat your fill of spring greens!

  327. Tis the season, fellow Amber! πŸ˜€ I can’t get enough of the little sun discs.

  328. I love using soapwort, and I swear that I have such sensitive skin that if you look sideways at me, I go red! *grin* I know that as a card-carrying eco-hippy-freak, I’m supposed to love castille soap, but I can’t stand it. The smell, the oily feel…*shudder* Yup. I’m a wierdo. πŸ™‚

  329. Thank you, Christine! <3 πŸ™‚

  330. Hi, Theresa! I wrote up a whole post just about the cinnamon and honey thing: http://pixiespocket.com/2014/03/ask-pixie-2-lose-weight-easy-way.html

    Basically, it might be good for you, but it isn’t a magic bullet for losing weight. BUT as I do make a lot of teas and leave them overnight, I can answer your question! Just shake it up in the morning before you drink a cup of it – the honey is heavy and settles when it sits. As long as there isn’t anything growing on it, just shake it up and have some…

  331. Barbara, thanks for your question! I have a lot of resources for learning about herbs, and I put them all together in this post, just for you! http://pixiespocket.com/2014/03/ask-a-pixie-how-do-i-learn-about-herbs.html

    Holler if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help.

  332. I love the old songs! I’m working on “5’2, Eyes of Blue” and “Side by Side” right now. Does your mom still play? Thanks for sharing, Robin, and you tell her I’ll dedicate my bruised fingertips to her – I’m still just learning and growing those callouses! *wink*

  333. Oh, that sounds so lovely, Robin! I come from a musical family, too…harmonica, spoons, guitar, drums…and mostly singing! πŸ™‚ Thank YOU for sharing your memories!

  334. Ooh, five different mints! That sounds nice – I have two, a spearmint, and just plain peppermint. I love a cup of hot mint tea, it does clear the head and calm the tummy!

  335. Aw, thanks, Angela! πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

  336. Hey there, Judy – I wrote a whole post about the cinnamon and honey thing, you can find the answers there! http://pixiespocket.com/2014/03/ask-pixie-2-lose-weight-easy-way.html

  337. Shoot, Kathy…I’d drink that just for fun! *grin* I bet it made you kids sleep really well!

  338. Yummmm…that reminds me, I went all winter without making onion soup. That must be why it’s going to snow tomorrow – I’d best get to cooking! *grin* Thanks for sharing, Carol!

  339. Thanks, Hope! I know so many loved ones who struggle with weight, some from bad decisions, others who have health issues that have added to their weight – trust me, if there were a magical drink that could do it, they would have already tried it! They’ve only overcome obesity through diet changes and exercise, and the help of a herbalist or doctor to help them out. Have a great day!

  340. Holly – read the post a little closer. Cinnamon and Honey is not the miracle weight loss drink that people claim it to be. Drink a little bit each day if you want, but watch your sugar intake!

  341. “if it is to good to be true, it probably is” – So true, Teresa!

  342. That’s right, Carolina…poor, stinky ditch weeds are sometimes the most helpful and overlooked allies! <3

  343. Thanks for all of your nice comments, Paula! That sounds like a nice, simple version of the recipe I used, but not so sweet. I have to watch my sugars sometimes so that’s nice to know. Isn’t it funny how people will kill the food in their yard and then go buy expensive greens at the store? I appreciate ya, have a wonderful weekend!

  344. Christeen: While I know that ALL health, mental and physical, can be improved by a good, natural diet with low sugar and herbs to support, I am not familiar with any herbal assistance for Bipolar disorder. As much as I tend not to be fond of pharmaceuticals, I have a few good friends whose lives have been improved by them for similar issues.

    While there are a lot of website out there that claim they can answer your question, I would avoid that and recommend that you try to find a holistic doctor, a licensed herbalist, or other professional that you can work with on a regular basis to assist! Many blessings to you, and I hope you find your answers!

  345. Thanks, Maggie! I’ll try, although jellies and wine with raspberries have caused reactions as well. Raspberry leaf is fine, too! I’ll try to cook some down at some point and see what happens. πŸ™‚

  346. Thanks, Cynthia! I’ll be fine, and I’m already feeling better. Phew. I felt like Jabba the Hutt when I woke up yesterday morning…an especially grumpy Jabba, at that. πŸ™‚

  347. Thanks, Cynthia! I’m following your blog now. πŸ™‚

    I never did figure out what happened – my best guest is that I shoved that ONE LAST jar in too hard, and the pressure on the bottle made it burst? I really don’t know.

    The strawberry cordial was just strawberries soaked in vodka for a few weeks, strained, and poured over MORE strawberries for a few more weeks! Strain again, add sugar syrup or honey to taste, and boom! Delicious strawberry goodness. If you aren’t familiar with playing with cordials or tinctures, you might appreciate this article: http://pixiespocket.com/2011/10/lets-talk-about-tinctures-elixirs-and-cordials.html

    Thanks for reading, and commenting, and reaching out!

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