Don’t Frack Our Future-Doreen’s Story

Our friend, Dermot M O’Connor, just put out an anti-fracking campaign video he was commissioned to create. Amazing, please watch and share around!

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

What a Load Of Crocks at Neighbor’s Market!

What a load of crocks! For local folks searching for American Made Crocks for ferments of all shapes and sizes, look no further than Neighbor’s Market, 1707 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660.

I’m makin’ a Mid-Summer night kraut, with tons of love, with Storytree Farm cabbage, Purple Rain carrots, and my wild foraged Juniper Berries from a Central Oregon hike.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a cute thumbs up from my son Ben, sitting outside of Neighbor’s Market. Ben is a mutt. His Dad is German, I’m Hungarian, and we’re happy to be making kraut in Vancouver town, and happy to find fermenting crocks on Main Street Vancouver!!! 🙂

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikash!

This is a sublime recipe. Tasty, filling, amazing and delicious. This recipe starts with a few essential ingredients. You must have a grass-fed cow, so you can have the nutrient rich butter and culturing your own sour cream. No cow? No problem! Go find a farmer or a neighbor with a grass-fed cow!

Next, you’ll need a whole chicken. A real one, a free range one. One that poked around and didn’t just eat stale grain mixes, but garden leavings, kitchen scraps, and scratching’s. If all you can do is a store-bought chicken, it will still be delicious,  but nothin’s the same as a chicken that is pastured raised.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis recipe calls for a whole chicken cut up. Do not buy a cut-up chicken, you’ll pay just as much or more for it, and not have the beautiful back to make stock out of.  Cutting a whole chicken for frying takes a bit of practice, but not much. When you pull the skin back on the chicken, you’ll see a map on it of fat lines. In the above photo, my thumb is pointing to a fat line, I’ll cut there. Preheat a large cast iron skillet with a cup of fat (butter or oil of your choice works). Cut up your chicken.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASave the chicken back, skin and scraps for making a future broth (I just bagged them up and put them in the freezer) or to prepare fresh broth ahead of time for this recipe. To make a simple broth, place the back, skin and extra bone pieces into a soup pan with onions, onion skins, carrots, parsley, etc. and gently simmer for 2 hours. This is why cut-up store-bought chicken is such a waste, you miss essential food ingredients the less whole your food!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATake your cut-up chicken pieces and salt and pepper then. Dredge them through flour, we prefer oat flour for this. Place in the pan and fry until the outsides are golden brown, about 6-7 minutes on each side. Remove when they are browned, and place on a warming stone while you move on to the veggies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI chopped up a couple onions, a couple of peppers, and added about 8 small, ripe tomatoes. I’ll place this all in the skillet I just removed the cooked chicken from.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaprika time! I add *about* 2 tablespoons of Paprika to the vegetables cooking in fat. Mix well, and cook until onions are translucent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeanwhile….somewhere between the chicken frying process and adding the vegetables to the skillet, we need to get our dumplings made!



All great Hungarian Dumplings start with fresh, pastured raised eggs. These are our beautiful girls, Lunar Eclipse, Flower and Camilla that gift us with amazing eggs!

Start a pan of salted water, bring to a boil.

In a bowl, mix together 4 cups oat flour, 2 eggs, 1 cup of water, a pinch of salt and pepper, dried parsley crumbles and a pinch of parika. Mix together. Drop in little balls into boiling water. They will cook for about 8 minutes.

Remove them from boiling water with a slotted spoon into a colander, rinse with cold water, then place them carefully in a bowl. At this point, I will brush them with a light coating of butter, and place garden parsley and sage leaves around them, in preparation of their final step. Then, place a towel over the bowl so the dumplings have their rest!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeanwhile, back to the veggies. Heat up a dutch oven (I had to juggle skillets to make everything fit, but a super large dutch oven from the get-go works, or one of the outdoor versions, like our Lodge 14). Transfer all the veggies, oil into the dutch oven. Place your fried chicken pieces in there, on TOP of the veg.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd a quart of home-made chicken broth or bone broth, or fresh broth if you made it earlier in the day.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, to allow flavors to infuse into the meat and to finish the meat cooking.


Now it’s time to wake up the dumplings! Take some beautiful grass-fed butter (here displayed as our food of honor), and add it to a hot iron skillet. If you haven’t picked your garden sage from the garden yet, do it now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlace your dumplings, parsley and sage into the pan and fry for 2 -3 minutes, or until dumplings are slightly browned.

We’re almost done! One last step!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATake a cup and a half of sauce from the dutch oven, and combine with a half cup of sour cream, and a half cup of oat flour. Whisk thoroughly and add back into the dutch oven.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAmazing food that satisfies everyone and always brings me back to my own childhood! Gulyas Blessings!

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH



Transylvanian Chard Chowder!

It’s mid-summer, and the chard is rolling in from the farms and the backyard. I have this wonderful chard stacking up from my favorite local farm, Storytree Farm. Here is a very traditional Transylvanian creamed chowder, that I adore!

Transylvanian Chard Chowder:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStart with a bunch (somewhere around a lb, me no measure) of garden chard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis step can be done one of two ways. If you want your chowder to be white with little crunchy bits, neatly slice the ribs into small pieces. I creamed mine instead, so I just loosely chopped up the above bunch of chard, added it to a pan, filled it with water and a dash of salt. I covered it, and brought to a boil, then down to a simmer to cook. Meanwhile….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI took a small hunk of bacon slab (maybe just an inch in thickness), and sliced it then cross-sliced it until I had bacon ribbons. You could use sausage instead of bacon, or a combination of both. Not much meat is required with this dish (unless you desire it), but the flavor goes miles with just a little bit!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s the size of the bacon cooking in an iron pan. When the bacon is cooked 2/3rds of the way through, I will add a sweet Walla Walla onion sliced in thin strands to match the bacon bits. I was going to post that picture too, but alas, that picture did not turn out! Keep cookin’ until the bacon is cooked and the onions are carmelized. The bacon and the onion will add much sweetness to our soup.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile the bacon and onion slices are cooking, get a garlic roux going. Take 5 tablespoons of raw, grassfed butter, and heat in a pot on the stove. Add to the butter a minimum of 6 fat cloves of CRUSHED, spicy garlic; stir constantly for 2 minutes. Next, add in 3/4 cup of flour, we use whole oat flour for our cooking.  Whisk this until there are no lumps (other than tiny garlic pieces). To this, add 3 cups of raw milk. Stir constantly until well combined, on very low heat.

Remove your chard pieces from stovetop and drain the water off well. If you sliced thin ribbons, add diretly to your soup. For a creamed version, run through a food mill or a blender until pulverized, and add to the soup. Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Mix in bacon ribbons, carmelized onions, and sausages. Make sure chowder is fully heated before serving.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATasty Transylvanian garden food, best served with a very crusty sourdough, preferably, home cultured!

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Hungarian Fish Soup!

Thanks to a Hungarian blogger named Kat who is sharing recipes, I came across this amazingly simple and absolutely fantastic recipe! To read the recipe, and the blog, go to The Polar Zone!

Here is my experience in making this very good recipe. Just cooking it reminded me of smells from my Grandmother’s kitchen! The simplicity of this dish betrays the depth of character it has.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemoving heads, fins and tail, slicing off center meat, then using a pinching motion with my fingers, I remove as much white meat as possible.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASetting the eating meat aside in a bowl and salting it. Will keep this set aside until ready for our last soup step.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdding fish skeleton and carcass to a soup pot. Added a tiny bit of fat to the pan to stir-fry the chopped onions and fish parts. After a quick browning, added water to the pot and simmered for 45 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATime to add the Paprika!!! This soup calls for, minimum, 1 ounce dry powdered weight! Adding in other chopped peppers, along with some fresh chopped tomatoes and some chopped marinated tomatoes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANeed Csipetke for this dish (our family preference)! This starts with two, organic pastured eggs from our own hens! I’ll mix in some salt, milk, oat flour and water to get the right consistency.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis makes GREAT Csipetke!!! These home-made dumplings taste better than store bought any day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a simple picture of a fabulous peasant stew. Doesn’t seem to be much to it but a completely delicious and hearty experience!

I had to make a few modifications from the original recipe, as I eat what I can harvest from the garden or get in my farm box. I substituted yellow Hungarian peppers for the green pepper and jalopeno peppers for the hot cherry pepper, I would have preferred the hot cherry pepper, but 3 fat jalopeno peppers did the trick. I served this with csipetke, which is a Hungarian pinched dough. I recommend making this with a fish you caught yourself, but if not, please buy one with the heads still on! For the tomatoes, you can substitute fresh tomatoes with marinated tomatoes, or combine a bit of each (which is what I did). Yum!

Serve with Dill and Sour Cream if you’d like! This is an extremely health promoting dish, and while simple, VERY satisfying and fills the kitchen with delightful fragrance.

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

This Pacific Northwest Herbstead!

This is our Life, our Herbstead. Serendipity Plant Lore is our name for our way of life, our teaching, our consultation and healing work, our business, our personal life, and our love. We are of the land, sprouting, growing, speaking. Here are some pictures of our life, on our Herbstead!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADairy kefir makin’ it’s cheese from raw goat milk!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThumb’s up at Neighbor’s Market!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPickin’ Organic Blueberries at the goat farm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASalvia elegans, Pineapple Sage, a dream to smell!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Perfect Purple Thistle (Cirsium vulgare). What a Bees LOVE!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATaking a break from picking Hood Strawberries!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) of gigantic proportions! This Mullein is larger than when I shared HER before…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHand grown, hand harvested herbs from my garden and a close friend’s garden, ready for bio-regional medicines and nutritious teas!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomatoes from summer before last still pickling in an olde fashioned crock, dare I gasp, before the advent of modern, denatured food processing. This is the way of food preparation that has kept my family alive for generations. The average lifespan of my family is 80-100 + years, on ones feet too! 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASmall flowers, so easily overlooked, yet so wonderful! Here is a Nepeta cataria (Catnip). Important to bees and breaking hot fevers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA beautiful birdcage planted with succulents from our AMAZING, local, Hungarian Florist Zsuzsana D. of ZuDun’s Event Flowers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlpine sempervirens from an AMAZING gardening friend!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAForest Blessings! Little Forest Blessings are important and soul nourishing! Here we have Oxalis oregana, Redwood Sorrel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHungarian Red LOVE, Pelargonium x hortorum.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIndian Cress (Tropaeolum). As usual, reflecting gorgeous light!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFuchsia sp. lifting up her skirts like a lady.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkullcap Kisses! (Scutellaria suffrutescens)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeautiful Butterfly Bush Being, Home of Bees that Bumble and Bees that Hum. (Buddleja davidii)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, what heart you have Borage! WITH Borago officinalis!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFeverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) growing like there is no tomorrow. You apocalyptic Being of abundance!!! heehee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMedicine worth her weight in gold, worth more than any weight in gold. Those gold traders on Wall Street are pretty funny with their inedible hordes. Blessings come in innumerable forms. She is an Elder in our community, Sambucus nigra LOVE! Those who attend some of my classes, know my funny saying about HER. 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA teensy flower of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis). So teensy, and so important! So unassuming, yet fabulously beautiful to one who takes the time to get to know her!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello Lucifer! (Crocosmia aurea)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Legend of the Tree Dwellers. These are the people, they live in the trees, if you please!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Yin and the Yang. The Forest is of the Light and the Dark, together, combined, in beauty.

BEAUTIFUL BLESSINGS! Growing love, it’s all about growing stuff. Nourishing living beings, beautiful community. Communities take all sizes, shape and forms, and many exist together, side by side…even invisibly! Until we meet and greet, that is!!!!

Making love the weeds, the flowers, and all. May we all be thankful for this beauty we are given, may we all be able to touch and see this delight, this healing, this food, our HOME. Thanks for walking with me through a part of my Herbstead. The Michaelson Herbstead. 🙂

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Workshop Announcement! Hungarian Plant Teachings of Love!

Workshop Announcement! This Friday, July 26th, 2 PM, Hungarian Plant Teachings of Love…Szerelem, Szerelem!

In this class, we will learn some very olde ways of working with the Geraniaceae Family. This is a “Living Heritage” workshop. Deadline for registration is Thursday, July 25th.




(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Saving THE Earth Isn’t Quite Helpful…

The climate is changing (definitely, everyone who grows anything can tap into that seeing). The air is murkier and growing more toxic. The soil more stripped down. The water, polluted. Radiation at unprecedented levels from man-made ideas. Less and less wild plants, wild forests and wild animals.

There seems to be, amongst many of the general populace, a Great Forgetting. What is forgotten is LIFE. The life of all, just completely forgotten. In a drive for progress and growing economies based on anti-life principles, we’re endangering our whole human community, and many other close communities.

I wonder, who doesn’t feel the devastation of multitudes of beings in a ruined old-growth forest, in which we have so little of anymore? Who doesn’t feel for all the animals, or the future generations of beings, great and small? Is there a way to “save” the environment? “Save” the earth?

I do NOT believe so! We will not “save” *THE* for anything, whether it be *the* environment or what we name Earth. As long as we think we’re “saving” something, we betray ourselves, we betray our home. For, if it is a “The”, than it isn’t ALIVE with SOUL. To know where we come from, where we are, lungs that actually do need fresh air, local food to eat, living around and living in and on HER, where did the “Saving The” come from? How about a “thank you” instead? A declaration and behavior of respect?

A description of a mentality, from far, far away. The sort of mentality that designs experiments moving DNA around in lifeforms like they are beings made of cardboard, with no regard to the unique nature of each Being. Experiments, culture removal, humans and other beings put in petri dishes. After a certain amount of manipulation, it seems the Humans themselves have forgotten where they originate from, where they live every moment of the day! They left off the brotherhood and sisterhood of other Beings, and viewed the world from a far away from life angle lens. “Saving THE” or “Saving Ourselves and Fellow Beings”. “Manipulation Of” or “Reciprocity” with our environment. Believe me, she is part of us, no matter what we trick ourselves into thinking! We are all certainly a part of the land and reflect that in our relationship with one another.

Herbalism is an ancient path of 40,000 years and counting! For everything, there is something, and for every beautiful experience, there is even deeper beauty. This is the essence of communion, bio-regionalism, of the Life of Herbs. The life of Herbs as Beings. Our bodies as Beings. Love being the stamp of the Creator. Love and Life.

Next time you’re thinking about what you can do to “save” the environment, go contemplate in your backyard/balcony/window sill/community garden, and while you tend, love what you grow. That Spirit of Abundance will carry the human race further, and be beneficial for the non-human communities. That simple state will bring a reduction of fossil fuel/foreign energy needs, and will produce sustenance, both of the Spiritual and Material kinds!!! Health is reciprocal!!!

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Beautiful Workshops Filled With Beautiful Students!

Here’s a snapshot of preparations before the “Arts of Poulticing Class” today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat made this day particularly fascinating and pleasurable were the STUDENTS! The sunshine, fresh air and plants wove together a beautiful tapestry of love and learning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA snapshot of some of our especial favorites, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica x). A person may be surprised just how many healing ways there are! What a magnificent life we have, that we are able to be and heal in so many ways with the help of the garden and the forests, the field and the river. Gulyas Blessings to all tonight!

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

The Arts of Poulticing Class this Friday, July 19th!!!

Friday, July 19th, 2 PM is theArts of Poulticing Class! Here is a description of the class, and it is a GREAT class to attend, as it is in depth and congruent with the basic Herbs workshop, Tonic workshops and our new series of Women’s Health workshops that have been in the works for a year now! Remember, our shindigs are potluck, as brain cells work best with good company and good food, and heck, most people wouldn’t have it any other way! Cost of class is $35, details sent upon registration.

>>>>>> What is poulticing? Through a variety of techniques, one can heal burns, reduce abscesses, move the lymph system, kill infections, raise or lower fevers, and nurse sore organs and muscles, to name a few. These are old-fashioned techniques for at home self care that can be used on a day to day basis, in emergencies, simple sickness, at home or hospital births, or as companions to other forms of medicine. I had my son Ben in a hospital, and with the help of my Husband, used poultices to prevent complications in a complicated pregnancy. There are many types of poulticing and many ways to apply them, and they are an invaluable aid as well as a lost art that is being revived. ~Summer Michaelson<<<

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH


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