I have a bit of an obsession with salt. I went through a phase tasting every kind of salt I could find, and I still get excited when I come across new types in specialty food stores. Last summer we happened upon a store called The Meadow in New York’s West Village that carries over 100 types of salt and I know this sounds a bit twee and hyperbolic, but I was pretty overtaken by the thrill of a wall of exotic salt from all over the world.
Oh, how I love my alembic copper still! I’ve been having such a great time experimenting with it over these past few weeks. The process of distilling plant matter in water to make hydrosol is creative and right brained, but it also engages my left brain in just the right way. It feels like alchemy, cooking, science, and sculpture rolled into one.
I’ve been saving this prompt idea for a time when we could all use something a bit silly and dumb and with this hot muggy weather and the early July holidays behind us, I think the time is now.
This idea came to me when my dog Molly was outside chasing the squirrels that invade my garden daily. I was reminded of a Weird Al song that I used to hear on the Dr. Demento show as a kid called “Squirrels” that was a parody of the Beastie Boys “Girls.” [Oddly enough I can't find any reference to it online.]
They were so much more than I imagined they would be. Bigger. More imposing. Majestic. Awesome.
I live smack dab inside an urban forest of linden aka lime (Tilia) and at no time is that more obvious than mid-June-July when the trees are dripping with blooms. Their sticky sweet, floral scent is so strong, my bet is that even if you have never noticed the trees, chances are good that you are familiar with their smell.
Did you know that linden flowers make a sweet and delicious honey-like herbal tisane? The tea, made from dried flowers is popular in Europe, but virtually unheard of here in North America. It has soporific properties, meaning that it makes you sleepy, and is often used as a nighttime drink to calm and relax after a busy day.