A spring cold tonic: my favorite!

5 cups filtered water
2 cinnamon sticks (3” break in half)
2 whole cloves

Bring to boil. Turn off heat. Add ¼ cup grated ginger, cover, steep for five minutes or longer. The longer you steep the stronger it gets. Be careful.

My great Aunt Zelda’s favorite spring tonic 

1 Tablespoon sorrel
1 Tablespoon nettle
1 Tablespoon dandelion, (tops)
2 teaspoons ginger, fresh is best. Use to taste but remember ginger gets everything moving. It is the finest herb of transportation.

Combine herbs, pour boiled water over mixture, steep. The longer = the stronger. Two to three cups daily would make you a wild woman just like great aunt Zelda. She lived to be 106 years young. Smoked Birch Bark cigarettes and drank Nettle Beer.

Nettle Beer (makes three gallons)

100 nettle tops about 2 inches long (use gloves to handle)
3 gallons water
6 cups dehydrated cane juice crystals or 4 cups raw honey
½ cup cream of tartar
1Tablespoon yeast.

Boil nettles in water for 15 minutes. Strain out liquid add sugar and cream of Tartar to liquid. Heat and stir until dissolved. Cool too tepid (106 degree) then add yeast and stir well. Transfer to crock or clean plastic or glass container. Cover with muslin and leave for four days. Remove the scum and decant slowly without disturbing the sediment. Bottle, cork and tie down or cap. I have learned that if you leave mixture in bucket for four days then the beer doesn’t have extra fizz, POP!  Serve with sprig of mint and an ice cube. It is well worth the effort. Bottling supplies are available off the web.

Dandelion Greens

Pick greens BEFORE flowering, smaller the better, large greens are VERY bitter. Steam the greens or in frying pan sauté onions until tender in 100% extra virgin olive oil.

Add a little honey to caramelize onions. Add greens to pan and cook until greens are tender. Add more olive oil if necessary. I also add some pine nuts just before plating. Tasty. The yellow flowers can be dipped in Tempura Batter and fried or make wine.

The above recipes will chase away all those Spring FEVERS.