Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31-2008~

Will never pass this way again.

When we awake tomorrow it will be 2009 and our lives will have changed forever in the blinking of one second. Such a powerful movement and so taken for granted.

Pay close attention to self when you awake tomorrow.
Ask a profound question of the face looking back at you from the bathroom mirror.
Wait for the answer-then make that a working part of your New Year.

We are never more honest with our self or more in tune with the real me than when we first awake.

My wish for us all this coming new year is the awareness that we are one and a powerful one.

Blessings for 2009~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Real Twelve Days of Christmas

We've allowed and adjusted to the retail markets setting the date for the beginning of Christmas in the time of now.

Sometime in November the stores are all decorated and the streets are lit-up and the TV is constantly telling us that "The Season" has begun and we must hurry hurry to get it all done before the...25th?

The real Christian celebration of Christmas is exactly the opposite. The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and for nearly a month Christians await the coming of Christ in a spirit of expectation, singing hymns of longing. Then, on December 25, Christmas Day itself ushers in twelve days of celebration, ending only on January 6 with the feast of the Epiphany.

The "real" twelve days of Christmas are important not just as a way of refusing to accept the secular ideas of the "Christmas season." They are important because they give us a way of reflecting on what the Incarnation means in our lives. Christmas commemorates the most momentous event in human history—the entry of God into the world He made, in the form of a baby. One of the prayers for Christmas Day in the Catholic liturgy encapsulates what Christmas means for all believers: "O God, who marvelously created and yet more marvelously restored the dignity of human nature, grant that we may share the divinity of Him who humbled himself to share our humanity." In Christ, our human nature was united to God, and when Christ enters our hearts, he brings us into that union.

I wish you joy and blessings ~

Bea Kunz

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Herbs Of The Bible~day 24

Rose (Rosa spp.) The name for a rose is almost the same in every European language. Dried roses have been found in Egyptian tombs.

(Isaiah 35:1) The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the rose.
The rose garden at Sage Hill Farms has 10 different varieties.

But a rose is a rose is a rose.
One is always as beautiful as the next,

Rose essential oil is delicious in culinary fare.
And Rose-Hip tea is smashing~

Hope your Christmas day was as beautiful as a rose !

Bea kunz

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Herbs Of The Bible~day 23

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a symbol of fidelity and remembrance once used in the holiest of Christian ceremonies, the wedding and the funeral. For centuries people thought that the rosemary plant would never grow higher than 6 feet in 33 years so as not to stand taller than Christ. Another story tells that the flowers were originally white, but changed to blue when the Virgin Mary hung her cloak on the bush while fleeing from Herod’s soldiers with the Christ child.

Rosemary is a staple in my kitchen.

There are so many ways to use this herb, from making delicious sauces to grilling on an open pit, it works magic on vegetables, meats, breads and even in drinks and desserts.

Makes a tea that will keep your system flushed and regular.

And, if you just want to enjoy the aroma, cut a few sprigs and either place in a vase of water or simply lay on the counter.
Each time you touch it the aroma will be fresh and heady.

I enjoy it in the kitchen especially during the holidays.

Tie a pretty red ribbon on a bunch and use it like cedar.

Merry Christmas~

Bea Kunz

Monday, December 22, 2008

Herbs Of The Bible~day 22

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Dill (Anethum graveolens) were carried to prayer meetings in Colonial times in small pouches. The seeds were used to curb the appetite. They were called "meeting seeds."

Fennel has an anise flavor and is good in oily fish dishes.Adds a good garnish to soups. The best being carrot, squash and potato.

I like it on baked Sweet potatos.

Fennel is a diuretic, reducing fluid retention.
It increases breast milk in nursing mothers and can ease colic in babies.

A strong infusion of the seed is a good antiseptic gargle for sore throats.

The tallest plant in the right hand corner above is fennel.

Butterflies love it!

Merry Christmas~

Bea Kunz

Herbs Of The Bible~day 21

Costmary (Chrysanthemem balsamita) is also known as Bible leaf because in Colonial times a leaf served as a bookmark in Bibles and prayer books. When drowsiness set in, the sleeper treated himself to the minty leaf to stay awake~
The word "cost" derives from costum, the Latin for a spicy oriental herb, so alecost means a spicy herb for ale, and costmary is Mary's ( or women's) spicy herb, as it was used to ease childbirth.

Finely chopped leaves is delicious in carrot soup, salads. game meat, poultry stuffing and fruit cakes.

Try it with melted butter on sweet green peas or new potatoes.

Medicinal: If you lay a leaf on a bee sting it will instantly stop hurting.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Herbs Of The Bible~day 20

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is frequently mentioned in Scripture, always for its bitterness. According to legend, wormwood grew up in the trail left by the serpent’s tail as it slithered out of the Garden of Eden.

(Jeremiah 23:15) Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: "Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone forth into all the land."
This herb I can get excited about, simply for the history.

It's from the Aster family...grows all over the world, from the United States to Siberia. It flowers from June to September. It has a strong aromatic odor and is bitter to the taste.

Alcohol or water takes up its active principles.
This yields what is known to druggist as "Absinthine"

It is anthelmintic, tonic, and narcotic.

While it can be and is used medicinally it will irritate the stomach and dangerously increase the action of the heart and arteries. For this reason it should be diluted; 1 teaspoon to a pint of water.

Now...the real interesting part of its history that I am familiar with.

I know and love the city of New Orleans.

There is a very old house there called The Absinth House. Dates back to the early days of the settling of the French Quarter...1500/1600 hundreds.
This was a place that served only shots of Absinth. ( today it is a restaurant, and a very good one.)

Lots of history about people during that era having visions, and being in out of their mind.

Later as civilized thinking became the standard, the drink was outlawed and is against the law to possess it today....

We've come a long way my friends...I think~

Bea Kunz

Herbs Of The Bible~day 19

Rue (Ruta graveolens) has long been the symbol of sorrow and repentance, and may have been nicknamed the "herb of grace" in Christian times for the grace given by God following repentance for one’s sins. Brushes made from rue were once used to sprinkle holy water at the ceremony preceding High Mass.

(Luke 11:42) "But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."
According the 1918 "The Herbalist" Rue is a bitter aromatic stimulant.
Good for gas pains and colic.

I don't grow rue because it is very irritating to the skin and has no culinary value at all.

I have read two different opinions about yes it is...and no it isn't poisonous to ingest.

I don't advise trying it.

Bea Kunz

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Herbs Of The Bible~day 18

Mustard (Brassica nigra) is described in Matthew 13:31 as "the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."

Mustard is a bit confusing to some.
When we spread mustard on a sandwich we seldom stop to think of it as being a garden green that can be cooked like turnip greens or used as salad greens.

The entire plant is useful...the flowers and leaves for cooking and for salads. The seeds for sauces and spreads.

Mustard greens have a peppery flavor and add spice to salads that tend to be bland.

Medicinally it is used for many being inflammation and pain.

Happy Holiday~

Bea Kunz

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Herbs Of The Bible~day 17

Hyssop (Sorghum vulgare) is known as the holy herb. Hyssop was used to cleanse the temples and other sacred places of the Egyptians. David mentions hyssop in Psalms 51:7. Hyssop as we know it may or may not be the hyssop mentioned by David. There is some debate since the derivation of the name hyssop is in the Greek word hussopos and the Hebrew esob, meaning simply, "holy herb."

(Psalms 51:7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Hyssop is not a culinary herb at all.

It grows to 3 feet high and looks much like a lavender plant.

It has many medicinal uses, both old and modern updates.

Some of well known uses are for colds, coughs, and chest infections.

The flowers in your bath water is aromatic and eases the pain of rheumatism.

Hyssop is not recommended for those with epileptic issues or for pregnant women. recipe~

Happy Holidays~

Bea Kunz

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Herbs From The Bible~day 15

Garlic (Allium sativum) is mentioned only once in the Bible. It was held in great esteem by the ancient Egyptians.
(Numbers 11:5) "We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic."

Garlic is one of the best preventive options we have at our disposal to build a strong immune system.

Include garlic in all your meals and know that you are doing something wonderful for yours and your family's health.

1 to 5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped thyme
sprinkling of pink or kosher salt
sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper
sprinkling of cayenne (optional)

Toss a desired amount into any dish from scrambled eggs to your dinner dish of stews, soups, and casseroles.

This blend is delicious mixed with a small amount of mustard,( or mayo) spread on a french roll and layered with ham or pastrami, wrapped with baking foil and steamed until hot.

Serve with hot unpasteurized Apple've just had a heaping dose of immune building goodies for the day.

PS: to eliminate the odor of garlic just swish with water and baking soda...or chew a few sprigs of oregano.

Have a Joy filled holiday season~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Herbs From The Bible....

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is an herb native to the upper areas of the Nile, mentioned in the Bible, along with Mint (Mentha sp.), when Jesus reproved the scribes.

(Matthew 23:23) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."~
Cumin is a spice well loved in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.
Lamb, curries and yogurt are among the most popular foods that call for Cumin.

It's also used to flavor liqueurs and for pickling.

The seed is used in perfumery and veterinary medicine.

It's medicinal uses are for flatulence, colic, indigestion and diarrhea.

This is my favorite blend for Indian food or any food that I want to impart a good bite.

Equal amounts of; cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Just blend well and store in an airtight jar...I make small batches as needed for a few weeks use.

Does wonders for a basic Chili recipe.

And it spices up a cup of plain tea or hot chocolate cup.


Happy Holidays~

Bea Kunz

Friday, December 12, 2008

Coriander-A Bible Herb~

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is referenced several times in the Old Testament.

(Exodus 16:31) Now the house of Israel called its name manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
Coriander/Cilantro is fast becoming one of the most popular fresh herbs in the U.S. The foliage is called Cilantro, while the edible seed is Coriander.
( the plant looks very much like the Italian parsley plant.)But...can easily be identified by the aroma. Very pungent.

Coriander seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, dating back to around 1300 BC.

The plant was brought to Britain by the Romans; in the first century AD.

The Coriander seeds are delicious in soups and breads and is a main ingredient in a good "curry powder."

Mix together:

1oz dried ginger
1oz coriander seed
1oz cardamon seed
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1oz turmeric powder

grind to a fine blend with pestle and mortar/store in an air tight glass jar.

( this blend is wonderful added to sour cream for a spicy dipping bowl.)

Medicinal use:

The seeds are most potent for calming indigestion and helps digest fatty foods.

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy massage for muscular aches and stress related indigestion.

We usually have at least one Mexican meal during the holidays and this blend is a staple.


Bea Kunz

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Herbs of The Bible

There are at least twelve herbs that are mentioned in the Bible.

I think the Christmas Season is a perfect time to ponder these.

Aloe (Aquilari agalloche) is believed to be the only tree descended to man from the Garden of Eden.

(Numbers 24:6) Like valleys that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters.
Aloe today is a major herb in the field of Natural health and medicine.

The most well know uses are the benefits in treating burns, from small mishaps to badly burned cases, sunburn, eczema, psoriasis, and any other skin inflammation.

Mixed with cucumber juice it can be used to help immune function, digestive function and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and Crohn's disease.

Keeping an Aloe Vera plant in your garden or a small pot in the kitchen can be a fast and helpful remedy for small bites and scrapes from everyday activities, especially if you have small children.

It's also great for a soft and healthy complexion.

The leaves can be broken and the gel applied directly to the skin.

Have a safe and happy December~

Bea Kunz

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Some Christmas History~

The middle of winter has always been a time of celebrations.

Even Pagan celebrations were a ritual born of beliefs that followed the only spiritual guideline available.

Long before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter.

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, (the winter solstice,) through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, large logs were set on fire and people would feast until they burned out-sometimes lasting 12 days.

In the early days of Christianity-Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced.

By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion.

In the early 17Th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.