The Seminoles, Eli Lilly, and the Ancient Saw Palmetto of Florida

Florida’s vegetation reminds me of a willful, obstinate child. You know, the one who seems to be everywhere all at once and defies  all the rules, crossing the line on limits, chocolate smeared across her face, filched from a secret and forbidden stash. Wild and ungovernable, in other words. And saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is one of the wildest…

Seeking Honey, in the Bee-Loud Glade

The journey begins, with a glimpse, through the kitchen window, of golden dust shimmering in sunlight, a phantom shadow darting through the air. Hive-bound, the soaring bee dips and kisses the blue-hued flowers once more.  Life blossoms with the promise of fruits and grains to come. Auriferous, gilt-laden with pollen. Honey. Nectar. Food for the…

Seduced by Spaghetti

Continued from Still Mi Amore — Wild Abandonment Among the Tomatoes and Zucchini: Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? ~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~ Only when I studied the culinary heritage of Catholicism did I pay deeper attention to Italian food. The saints’ days…

Rose Petal Honeys

Rose Petal Honey, the last stop on the honey journey, for the moment. Available widely on the Internet, Rose Petal Honey — like rosewater — dates back several centuries. These recipes come from old texts gathered by Jean Gordon in Rose Recipes (1958) and Eleanour Sinclair Rohde in Rose Recipes from Olden Times (1939). I…