Monday, November 17, 2014

17th Century Sweet Potato Pie

~1hr, serves 6-8 (it tastes so good that you may not want to share it with this many people though!)

This is a really wonderful pie recipe that would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table. The dessert is not overly sweet, but the inclusion of bone marrow and butter make it wonderfully filling, moist, and very delicious. I was surprised at the simplicity and spectacular taste of this historic recipe. The pie is adapted from John Gerard's "The Herbal" located at the Plimoth Plantation website.

John Gerard

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • dates
  • 4 lbs beef bones for marrow (you can find these at a local butcher or purchase from Earthfare)
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey
  • half an organic orange (you will need to include the peel)
  • homemade pie crust from here

  • one egg yolk
  •  1-2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon whiskey
  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar

-Preheat oven to 450 and heat a pot of water for boiling for the potatoes.

-Put some butter on the bones and cook them until marrow is soft ~15-20 min in a deep dish pan. A lot of fat will melt into the pan and they will start to smell really good when finished.

-Chop the sweet potatoes (without peeling) into thirds and boil until soft but not mushy.

-While waiting on the potatoes and bones to cook, make the pie crust. Make sure to grease the pie pan.

-When the bones are done cooking, lower the oven temp to 400 to cook the crust.  Keep in mind it won't really brown much. Poke it with a fork to check for done-ness.

-Peel and chop sweet potatoes into the desired size, I used ~1 inch chunks.

-Chop dates into small pieces.

-Remove marrow from bones. Chopsticks work well. Save all the grease from the marrow pan.

-Chop marrow into small pieces. I ended up just tearing it apart with my fingers. It was odd to try to cut with a knife.

-When the crust is done pack into it starting from the bottom: a thin layer of dates, all of the potatoes coated in marrow grease, some pumpkin pie spice, the rest of the marrow and grease mixture, and a topping of more dates.

-Sprinkle generously with ~1-2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice and evenly coat pie with ~2-3 Tbsp honey.

-Grate orange peel onto the top of the dessert. Then squeeze the orange over it to add fresh juice.

-Cover with foil and cook for ~10-15 min to let the flavors infuse.

-While pie is cooking make the sauce. Barely melt butter in microwave and combine well with the other ingredients. Make sure to not cook the egg upon incorporation.

-When the pie is removed from the oven, place on a cooling rack for ~10-15 minutes. Just long enough so that it won't bake the egg yolk when added.

-Evenly coat pie in sauce and serve immediately.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Case study #1

I will probably start posting case studies of herbal treatments as I gain permission. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Case study #1
Age: 26
Sex: F

Symptoms: intense hormonal acne, irritability, painful heavy menses (however regular cycle), Slight constipation, mild unwarranted depression, currently recovering from plantar faciitis/tendonitis, chronic dry mouth

Basal body temperature ~97.7 (before ovulation)-98.1 (after). Night sweats/heat, cold extremities in the daytime. 
Tongue: hot, liver/heart/lung imbalance, complications in lower burner, lymph weakness (slightly enlarge papillae), slightly dry

Pulse: Deep. Normal beat/strength. No pulse upon light pressure.
Skin: pale, face slightly flushed. Dry. Tans easily.
Sleep: no troubles.
Diet: no dairy as it aggravates acne. Low in grain and sugar.

Medications: history of frequent antibiotic use and mefenamic acid to relieve menses pains.

What emotions do you have most frequently? Rank most frequent as 1 and least frequent as 6
Joy/Overexcitement (heart)
Anger (liver -> stomach and spleen)
Fear/sudden fright (kidneys)
Anxiety/worry (lungs ->L. Intestine)
Pensiveness/intense mental concentration (spleen)
Grief (lungs)

Personality: high energy levels so uses very intense exercise to relieve stress and jitters. Regulating blood sugar helped with jitteriness a bit. Makes lots of plans/motivated/not very empathetic. Forgetful.

Contrained (headache inducing) herbs: licorice, poke berry
Sleep induced very fast by: plantain tea, lavender tea, violet tea
Compatible herbs: red clover (acne clearing), yellow dock leaves (acne clearing), chickweed (acne clearing), flax tea resolves dryness, plantain tincture (2 spoonfuls after meals) fixed issues with menses but did not change tongue.
No or minimal results from: goldenrod, dandelion root and leaf, kudzu leaf, albizia julibrissin leaf.

Acne receded with frequent daily ingestion of beans to remove toxins from bile.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Breakfast Fruit Compote

~ 5min
Serves 1

I don't know what it is about uncooked breakfasts, but I really dislike them. Eating raw fruit, vegetables, or nuts just doesn't seem to cut it in the morning. Not to mention since my foot problems occurred, I've had to cut down on the carbs to maintain my weight since I can't exercise much.

This compote is a good way to eat a warm satisfying breakfast with lots of good fats and low carbohydrates.

  • 1/2 large apple
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp shredded dehydrated unsweetened coconut

First melt the oil in a small pot over medium heat.
Cut apple and banana into small chunks and add to the preheated oil. I usually add the apple first and cook it a bit before adding the banana since it cooks faster.

 Stir fry until the apples are mostly cooked.
Add dried coconut.

 Mix and stir fry until the coconut browns. It can burn easily so be careful.
Serve with all of the oil poured on top.