Witchy Alchemy Feed

Reaping the Harvest ~ Fresh Tomatoes & Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing

Sep 1, 2013


Goddess I love tomatoes! I plant way too many .. at least 5 different varieties and they all grow up into a gigantic tomato jungle! I adore the smell of the crushed fresh leaves and I don't think that anyone will disagree with me when I say that a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes , sun warmed and right off of the vine is a better meal than can be found at any fancy restaurant . I feed them, ( organic chicken manure pellets) water them , sing to them and generally forget about them until late August when I suddenly have a bumper crop and it's time to harvest!


The Witches Kitchen~ Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

The Witches Kitchen~ Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Yesterday I was out in the garden and I noticed an enormous heirloom tomato, perfectly ripened and begging for some attention. I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I picked it. Normally I'd just eat it straight off of the vine but this one was literally the size of two fists. So I picked it , brought it into the kitchen , sliced it and put it on a bed of vibrant baby kale . I was out if purple onion or there would have been some of that too!

It was luscious all by itself, but it was begging me for a light dressing. Suddenly, I was seized by the desire for some bleu cheese dressing!

Lately I've been obsessed with buttermilk as an ingredient and I just happened to have some...and I also had some exquisite Rogue Creamery Smokey Bleu cheese! From there it was easy. For one and a half cups of dressing I blended with a fork 1 cup of fresh buttermilk and a half a cup of bleu cheese . ( this would have been just as good with Roquefort !) then I added a couple of teaspoons of chopped pecans, a clove of mashed garlic, literally half a teaspoon of organic ketchup, a dash of cayenne pepper, 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and then seasoned it with salt and pepper.

The result was light, zesty, healthy ,delicious and so much better than you could ever get from a bottle! Just so you know, if you don't have access to the Smokey Bleu cheese you can use regular bleu cheese and add a couple of drops of organic liquid smoke which will provide the same flavor!


Sláinte...In honor of St. Paddy's Day here's my favorite hunting flask recipe!




Most know that when I was a wee little girl I fell madly in love with horses. This is a love affair that has trancended many men and many years...and thankfully I found the one man to marry who not only could tolerate playing second fiddle to the 4 legged men in my life but could also cherish them almost as much as I do. When my horse Shimmeree, a delightful gray arabian with a very happy nature snuggled up to him 30 plus years ago I knew that he was the one. That horse was always a fabulous judge of character. 

One of my first trainers when I was a little girl was an Irish woman name Noreen Bailey, who like most Irishmen and women that I've known had a way with horses that was absolutely magical and at times downright infuriating. I spent well over a decade with her and became known for my ability to speak with a bit of a brogue.  I loved and hated her at the same time...I'd be having an issue with one of my ponies and she'd hop on and whisper to him in a bit of gaelic and he'd be eating out of her hands..doing whatever she wanted him to do which was usually exactly what he'd refused to do for me seconds before. Mrs. Bailey taught me many things and was perhaps my first introduction  to natural horsekeeping. She made all of her own linaments and boiled down flaxseed on the stove to make a jelly that is still far superior as a gut and coat remedy to anything that you can buy. She'd toss pine boughs out into the pasture to keep down the worms and at least 3 times a week would fix a bran mash for the horses that you or I would eat happily. Lameness, diabetes, laminitis...all of these things were rare in her barns because she knew how to keep her horses in as natural a state as possible. They were outside morning ,noon and most evenings when it wasn't too buggy. They lived a life unlike most horses that you know today because for the most part they were free.

I used to love to spend the night there before a horse show...her apartments were right on top of the barns so I could fall asleep listening to snorting, snuffling and the occasional wall kick. The warm hay smell would follow me up the steps and I'd settle happily on her couch with a bowl of soup. Sadly her culinary skills did not transfer to humans but I loved her cooking just the same! However she did  make a mean hot toddy which really could cure whatever ailed you. Several times I'd have a cold the night before an important horse show and she'd mix me up this drink. It would go down the hatch easily, I'd fall asleep and in the morning I'd be ready to go! I didn't question her wisdom of giving it to an 8 year old and of course my mother never knew, but to this day I'm grateful and it's what I drink when I'm under the weather. It's also what I put into my flask when I go to hunter trials or foxhunting as it's a perfect sip for a cold fall morning when the leaves are falling, the horses are fresh and the air is sweet and brisk. It's really quite simple....Bushmills, Honey , lemon, cinnamon, butter and raisins  in whatever proportions you like! If you need a toddy, add some hot tea (she used Constant Comment ,a blend which this author still admits to enjoying!) and if you want it for your flask, put it all into a bottle and let it steep overnight , shaking the bottle every now and then. If you don't like lemon and butter you can use Baileys...It's pretty good either way!

Although she's been gone for many years now, I've never forgotten her.Although she could be quite mean, I could never have been the rider that I am today without her. She gave me my seat and she ignited a passion that's lasted a lifetime.  Here's to you Mrs. Bailey wherever you are...Happy St. Patricks Day...I'm hoping that all of your horses are fresh and your men are young and that you know just how much I loved you!



Witchy Alchemy: Old sweaters become adorable new planters!


Seriously..How cute are these?

This is a great idea brought to me this fine spring (dare I say it?) morning by one of my favorite websites Green Renaissance! I love the idea of recycling old sweaters this way. Every year I spend a fortune on planters and these are so cute! They didn't say anything about how to make them so I am going to assume by the picture that a sewing machine (or at the very least one of those handheld ones) would be useful in this process as well as strong wire for hanging.  The other thing that I am sure would be needed is wax coated thread as regular thread would wear down pretty quickly.  These are so cute and purposeful  that I don't think that it would matter to anyone if they were only useful for one season, but I am sure that if you wanted to you could line them. I'm so excited...I can't wait to fill these with my herbs so stay tuned for the results!