A post about soup and stew herbal wreaths came up in my news feed the other day. It was about a lovely day spent several years ago at the Western Reserve Herb Society by The Windesphere Witch. Here is the post http://stirringthesenses.typepad.com/the_windesphere_witch/2013/07/kitchen-apothecary-herbal-soup-wreaths.html
I began to mull, always a dangerous thing, and then in a bit of synchronicity, Lynn Gaylard, a member of the My Kitchen Wand tribe private messaged me with the same link and “Did you see this?” or words to that effect.
As many of you know, I am totally blessed with access to the bounty of “Jean’s Garden” and when inspiration arises, I am allowed to pick and snip and cut as needed. Did I mention blessed?
So today, I popped down to visit the Calendula and brought home fresh herbs for soup wreaths!
You will need:
A selection of fresh herbs
untreated thread or twine
anything else that sparks your fancy (I added lemon peel to rosemary for something Greek)
This was the selection I worked with:
Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Thyme, Chives, Tarragon.
Generally speaking you want to use herbs that have not gone to flower because the energy is more concentrated in plants not working on making flowers. That said having blooms on some of the wreaths was a nice touch.
One option is to form a circle and then tie it to hold the shape before adding additional herbs.
With the length of the chives I had, I found I could hold everything together and wrap reasonably well without always needing the thread.
My efforts improved with practice.
The wreaths got tighter and I got better at tucking the ends in.
Even so, sometimes it was just better to wrap all round with the thread and hold everything in place.
I remembered Bath Schreibman Gehring’s words in her post,”I looked around at my friends as we were quietly winding the herbs together and realized that I was taking part in a ritual that has been shared by women for centuries.” I was happily weaving by myself, knowing that there was also a plan in place to gather women and share an afternoon together making wreaths.
It will be interesting to see how these hold up once dried which I have been told will take one to two weeks.
Pop a wreath in your soup or stew and remove before serving.
Here are some things to consider when combining herbs.
Herbs like sage and rosemary need a longer time to cook and release their flavour.
Parsley and chives not so much.
If you are creating magic in the kitchen, what are you working towards achieving and what herbs best serve that purpose?
If you are supporting a health issue, what herbs best serve that purpose?
I placed my wreaths on a cooling rack over paper towel on a cookie sheet and found a warm location for them to dry.
I promise pictures in about 10 days as they dry but I wanted to share the idea before the season gets too far along because the wreaths would make a nice opportunity to craft with friends, add tasty garnishes to soup mix Yule gifts and interesting additions to a fall craft table, depending on the health regulations in your area.
Update: A picture of the wreaths 10 days later. It is good to have some bulk to the wreaths. As they dry they will become looser.
I used my wreaths through the winter months and they always brought a smile to my face as I dropped them into the pot although I will admit they looked much nicer, freshly made.
Soup and Stew Wreaths from My Kitchen Wand