Serendipity January Azure Announcement!

Happy Almost New Year!!!
By the time I see everyone next, we WILL BE in the New Year, 2014!!! I hope it is a blessed one for all!
Our Azure order cut-off is this coming Friday, December 3rd at 4 PM with delivery on the following Wednesday, December 8thPickup is from 2-6 PM.
Serendipity Plant Lore’s Workshops and Apprenticeship Listing! If you feel moved to, please share with friends and family…word of mouth IS my main way of getting these offerings to the outer community as I spend my time either out in the field, garden, or working with people. That is ALWAYS where my heart may be found.Thank you for looking!
We have lovely herbs and spices and other herbal things from our member Pat Wilson of Koya Designs. We also have knitted and crocheted items and fun bits that Koya Designs has packaged for Christine of Christine’s Creations. I love these little blessings that are hand made with much love and care.
~MONTHLY (often weekly) SHARE SHELTER DONATION currently in progress! Donate here on Azure Day or on the doorstep, and I will collect and bring to the Share Orchards Shelter! Or donate to SHARE directly yourself! This month, Erin H. had a marvelous idea to share. She suggested that we each order an extra, quality whole foods item from Azure for the donation pile!!! This is great from another perspective…many of the food items donated to SHARE are often low quality processed foods. This is a way to share healthy abundance! 🙂 So let’s make our own Azure Challenge! To participate, add an extra item on your Azure order for SHARE donation!!!
Serendipity Plant Lore’s December Tea Listing! 
These teas and herbs are highly medicinal, and are extras from my own organic garden and wild forages. All ethically harvested, the exceptions to the herbs that I’ve grown or foraged myself are those like Cinnamon, All Spice, and Red, Black and Green, and Olive Tea Leaves. These are ethically obtained from other Herbalists who have the same great care and ethic. These Tea Herb extras help to support the consultation work for those those in need of receiving free services. I thank you for your support, and hope, in return, you are tantalized with amazing Earth Medicine for your own health care and lovely, compost-able gifts! Some NEW offerings too! Limited Quantities. 🙂
Serendipity Plant Lore has beautiful hand grown, hand sourced, sustainable and ethically wild-crafted herbal teas for $7 a box/sack. Each of the tea offerings has been used by this herbalist for many decades to aid health, enjoyment and vitality, recovery from many health problems. They have “lived” with me for so long, they have become part of me, and I am excited to have these offerings which truly support our family and the work as I continue my ongoing education and offering sliding scale consultations for those in need.Choose from:
~Lovin’ Liver Tea (your liver will be happy!)
~Summer Time Afternoon Tea (relaxing and sweet)
~Great Grandmother Gertrude’s Memory Lovin’ Tea (brain cell oxygenating crew!)
~Green Tonic Tune (tuning cells and soul together!)
~Vanilla Coffee Substitute (nourishing and coffee like)
~Cinnamon Coffee Substitute (nourishing and coffee like)
~Great Gert’s Cold Hand and Foot Tea (circulatory warming tea for the cold)
~Galloping Gertrude’s Tea (relaxing and locally nutritious)
~Flu Flummox Tea (just befuddle your flu bugs in style!)
~Arabian Summer Tea (a tea to remind you of the smells of an Arabian Love Garden, with plants that touch our center, build up the immune system, and sweep away what needs to be swept away.)
~Shepherd’s Tea! When you want to corral those irksome viral beings and nondescript inflammatory triggers, what you need is a Shepherd to round ‘em up and over the bluff!
~Olive Leaf Tea, an anti-viral, anti-oxidant tea to ward off the minions of Mordor!
~Delicious Radheish Chai!
~Spicy Radheish Chai (inspired by my great friend, Radhe G.)
~Comfrey Leaf
~Elder Flowers
~Pineapple Sage
~Garden Sage
~Rue (only to practitioners)
~Shitake Mushrooms
~Chanterelle Mushrooms
~More offerings, please inquire and I will check the Apothecary.
(c) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH
Much love and Gulyas Blessings to ALL!!!! May the light grow upon us now!
Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH

A Patent on Fennel, You’ve Got To Be Joking!!!

Today, I’ve received an alert about Nestle trying to submit a patent on an herb. My official response as a Traditional Herbalist is there is no such thing as patenting an herb. As much as we must do to try to stop Nestle, we’ll be stopping them even more so by putting our energies back into our own environment, and our spirits back into the land, growing our own foods and medicines and communities. As long as corporations are doing all this “for us”, we’ve handed them our power. No such thing as a patent on a plant herb, even if it is submitted on pieces of thin sliced tree to be reviewed in a room hewn by tree spirits. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you want to help the “poor”, then focus ones energies on giving people with no access to land to harvest and grow foods the very access and safety they need. Instead of throwing charity at people, give something people can actually build a life on. Instead of trying to own all the worlds resources under the guise of “philanthropy”, so as to have a good excuse to corner a market and make mega bucks under the guise of charity, give people access to those same resources.

There is no earthbound nor heavenly court of law that would ever consider a patent of an herb by Nestle as honorable or with any merit. We forget who the world belongs to. We forget that the love around all of us is a beautiful gift, not to be cornered in world markets.

My response is ridiculousness. Nestle. Ridiculous. They sell toxic products produced by slave trade, robbing communities of their water sources, leaving a trail of pollution miles and miles long, the infant formulas they produce are so very toxic and allergenic, including ingredients like corn maltodextrin and soy bean oil (a very inflammatory and immune sensitizing agent that can cause allergies in infants and start a deleterious immune cascade of events), cheap sources of inorganic mineral nutrients. I can see why Nestle is intent to corner the market on an herb that can help with immune allergies. Cause ’em and cure ’em in one wipe. Oh brother!

We live in a world where our political structures reward the greedy corporate children. May the Greater Spirit of the Land wash away those who wish, in pompousness, to own everything.

While we should notice and take action, putting energy into the real life giving lifestyle, grow your own food and support local growers, will be the most efficient. Save your own seed. Mothers, breast feed, if you have a health or milk problem find help and ask for help from other Mothers. Mothers can share milk for those who do not have enough flow. Practice a healthy lifestyle to prevent illness. When illness happens, starts with the lesser means first in correction and work up from there. There is no such thing as “the poor” anyway. We are all people, some with better access to life supporting foods and medicines, than others.

Let charity come from hearts that rise as individuals, some of the greatest tragedies of the world keep happening because we believe someone else can be charitable “for us”. We give something away that is precious that is used in any old fashion or means.

Nestle is not about anything charitable in the world. Nestle has been a significant force for robbing communities of water, causing contamination, and making infants start their lives as allergy prone sick little things. THEN we wonder why the developed worlds children are so sick, and dare to confuse the third world as worse off. Humanity has the same problems everywhere, just the forms they take are different,  a little more comfort here, a little less comfort there, but same essential problems.

Wherever you are in the world, take every scrap of your power back, and watch as less profits for greedy politicians and corporations become less prominent in our social spheres. Patenting life? Professional speaking, FIDDLESTICKS!!!

Now let’s dance together!

(c) 2013-2014, Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH

Taltos, A Large Healing Tradition with Many Branches in the Tree of Life

There are many Traditions of Healing in Hungary and the Greater Carpathian Basin. Most of them, throughout the ages, have only been taught in one way. Apprenticeship, transmittal to the next generation. Families were and are STILL dedicated to this tradition.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Most of us have marks. The possibility of the soul speaking before birth is forgotten by modern society. It is an uncomfortable truth to realize people may have had the ability to birth a baby without a book, or heal a sickness, or nourish a death.

Furthermore, many practitioners have had to keep quiet, as cultures moved too far from its connection to life, for their own protection. The misunderstanding and misappropriation of healing techniques, without a clear path of ethics is, undeniably, harmful and scary. Without the appropriate initiations, the deeper work is hollow as words on a page.

Many scholars still do not know much, if anything AT ALL about these types of healing traditions because they are not written down, and because, as is the case with many scholars, they believe that the wheel must be reinvented with written proof in each school semester and are not at the point of life where there is the ability to actually observe people and what is going on as a practice. For many scholars, theories come and theories go, all without understanding or observing the stream of life running under them. For those, one can never offer enough proof about and for anything.

I consider myself a scholar too, walking in more than one world, and understanding the ties of both. That is where my work sets out in front of me. As, with the farseeing of the Turul, we do our work, we listen, we play by the arbitrary lines of society while swimming in the deep-set pools. Without this work, how can one sit by those whose turn is to swim in those pools? Where can the eyes be guided? Where does the light glimmer in the dark? What is a wound saying, where is its medicine to be found for the healing? We listen to the answers, to the responses. I can fully understand how frightening The Taltos Tradition may be to those who have been disconnected, through wars, heartache, grief, political structure and domination to the simplest way of being. When the world quits speaking and one is on their own, needing to buy back bits of identity and understanding from other sources continually, the idea that the world is always speaking to us can be very scary, especially if there are arbitrary consequences to it within national boundaries, political laws and etc. For some others, it is a spark of coming home, to a continuity of a living world.

Taltos is a Living Healing Tradition from the Carpathian Basin. Whenever I speak of Carpathian Basin Teachings, I am speaking of the underlying wisdom of this Tradition, and how it expresses itself in our Family with the way it was handed down, by experience, generation after generation. If it were such a simple subject that can be summed up, every college textbook would have cause to get a description of it in their religious and anthropology courses. Only, much of that has no meaning against a backdrop of unpracticed experience without a deep path of guidance, whether that guidance be internal or external.

The Carpathian Basin Teachings themselves are held in many Families, not just ours. I keep coming across scholarly websites that say this healing tradition is lost, this farming tradition is lost, etc. and then theories….and no one thinks to just go ask the peasants in the world who are STILL farming traditionally how they do it for their environment, or those who are STILL healing traditionally, how they do it and came by their information. For, as history has shown, time and again, the history of people, of arts, of crafts, of human survival, spiritual matters are never written by or for the benefit of the peasants, the masses, but for the manipulation of forming society along the points of political power. Nothing is lost in this world, remember that!

There is also no tradition of healing divorced from a path of increasing wisdom sought and lived, facts are secondary to the core process and ways. Facts are useful and important when built on a foundation that is strong and deep. Together, these provide a way for enlightening synthesis. When people ask me about the Taltos Tradition of my Family, I cannot give a quick, three point summary. There is not a description.

Or maybe there is. Know yourself. Know your environment. Know other beings (not just human). Connect with Love, and that is a good backbone to begin to understand and make a conscious choice to work on this type of path. In integrity, to learn about such a path is a lifetimes work, it is experience, it is living it. “How to” techniques cannot be sold. Ancestral Teachings aren’t something just way back, to be reconstructed. It is alive, in what one has been taught by their parents, or hasn’t been taught by their parents. What is passed down. What’s died, what hasn’t died. There is no Tradition that exists outside of the land it is formed in or the families that carry it…how could that be? Each land speaks to its peoples. The soul speaks.

Taltos is alive and well and vitally important. Teachings from the Hungarian Tree Of Life.

Continued with Part 2:

(c) 2013-2014, Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH

A Story of Szeged, Hungary and Ukraine, Strangers Uniting Over Food

Just on the heels of my precious friend (Heatherlynn Lehman) speaking about the importance of rituals to human beings, opening up the Sacred Dimension of life that we are breathing in, as well as transmittal of cultural values, came a very auspicious encounter with a new friend tonight.

Today, was a beautiful day. In addition to having a marvelous tea date with a Friend and Herbal Apprentice, I went on the journey today to visit with other precious friends, including another colleague. From there, I visited another favorite haunt, to pick up fermented sausage from Hungary.

In the midst of sharing many Merry Christmas’s, Krumpusz tidings, and birch branch bargains, I made a new friend. He sees my pure excitement and enthusiasm as I pick up some sausage from Szeged, Hungary. He asks if I am Hungarian. I say IGEN! (Yes!) My family is Hungarian, and it is the way I was raised (American too). My friend tells me he is from the Ukraine (also in the Carpathian Basin) and tells me that one of his relatives is from Szeged, and fought in a battle there. As we are speaking, and crossing in languages of the Ukraine, Hungary, and American, we are instantly bonded in the way that can be hard, for many to understand. Food, soil, place, animal, people, history, events, blood, culture, and thus, a connection between two strangers and a sausage. Laugh if you will, but the cultural importance of food, and the place it comes from, and the historical events, and the people connected in a period of time, is very much alive in Traditional Central and Eastern European Culture. Same as for the Native Americans, the Mongolians and the Szekely Peoples and the Sami Peoples. I cannot fully communicate to a person what is lost when meaning and significance of food, its place, its farmers, its people is lost. I cannot fully communicate to a person what is lost when the meaning and significance of herbs is lost, forgotten. I cannot fully communicate the feeling of instant bonding to strangers over food, over a piece of land, over a shared culture, a shared medicine. When our family celebrates its traditions, starting from December 6th (Szent Miklos) onward, the meaning of Merry is very deep, indeed. It is inclusive of a deep tradition, a bond of understanding, throughout a season, a place on Earth, Tidings and a Blessing.

The deep stories of Cultures, the Peoples, the Lands, when not honored, are forgotten. The bonds unravel, the next generation does not understand. Energy is lost as a person forgets their birthing into the world. This forgetfulness passes onward to the generations. When breaking the story of the world, it is easy to thus be sold a new history, new ways, ways not necessarily suitable to humanity or to life on this planet. Ways that indoctrinate into a conformity of nothingness.

I thank God that the past and present meets in me. I thank my lucky stars that I fully understand how olde and new ways can coincide and exist next to each other. I do not buy into ideas and thought forms that make people more dependent on a corporations. Progress always resides inside of us, human beings, not outside of us, in technology that strips people of their story of birth into this world, and strips the outer environment of every usable thing, including human energy. I hold fast to the bonding of strangers over land, even far away. I hold fast to understanding a peoples history, and honoring it.

To finish this writing, this long thought form of tradition, of ritual, of family, of land, of  food, of strangers and hearts that know one another, is a funny twist of sharing for the week. Our family has been making Traditional Hungarian Gingerbread, made in our family for CENTURIES. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe haven’t made it for two years, and I was determined this year to make it again, and make it for gifts. I was going to blog about it too (blog post with recipes coming as soon as I have the time!). A funny tribute to Krampusz, our Hungarian Hound Elwood snuck and ate all our finished Traditional Hungarian Ornaments. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, they are food before decoration, but not after! So, in the spirit of more Family Memories Made, we shamed our dog publicly on Facebook. 🙂 Another batch will be ready after Christmas. Perhaps a blog post following that, for now, I am holding fast to family and strangers who are family, in a true celebration (not consumer based stress).

Apparently, Hungarian Herbalists come even in dog form, Traditional Hungarian Gingerbread is a wonderful Herbal Medicine in its own right (before decoration, of course!).

Merry Christmas to all and thank you for your support as Readers of my articles that come from my Heart, as Students who attend my workshops, and as Herbal Apprentices who are keeping this very ancient craft alive. Thank you all, for everything, and supporting this way of life, which I do my best to support for you too!

Gulyas Blessings!

Summer L. Farkas Takacs-Michaelson, CH

Hungarian Cowboys Meet American Cowboys For Sharin’ Over Gulyas!

Hungary, The People Of The Horse. I’ve been wondering, for a long time now, since Hungary has a cowboy tradition (Csiko’s) thousands of years old, and Hungary spread her traditions to Italy, France and Spain through the Nomadic Herders, why and how are Hungarian and American Cowboy Traditions so separate? Answer: They are not. 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This ain’t about Hollywood Cowboys, this is about true and living, very alive cowboys! Enjoy! If you appreciate this traditional way of life ANYWHERE, and you feel moved to, you can help support this Cowboy in his Cross Cultural Cowboy Sharin’! Cowboys AND Cowgirls, UNITE!!! 🙂

Gulyas Blessings!

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

Frugal Kombucha With Ethical Side Effects!

Let’s take Vows of Abundance with Elderberry Kombucha!

WHY the soda industry? Why the artificial colors and flavorings? Corn syrup and other toxic additives? Many large soda manufacturers pollute groundwater and usurp community well water. Sodas, unless homemade, are generally very unhealthy and EXPENSIVE. Just knowing that large soda companies pollute many communities own healthy water supply, in addition to bottling water that belongs to communities of people, and not to the companies themselves, is enough to make one revolted. Changes happen with awareness. This is a change we can motivate ourselves with because of the great savings of money from NOT buying soda.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I see so many people drinking sodas. Filling their grocery basket up with these toxic drinks, especially around the holidays. Many people could save a good deal of money and health problems by brewing and making drinks at home.

I am not a fan of the argument that kids won’t drink things unless they are tasty, and tasty being the definition of industrial corn syrup and MSG flavorings. Kids drink what they get used to, what they are offered in the home. Developing their palate for fresh foods, many flavors, especially unsweetened flavors (like salty, sour and bitter) would do so much for the global health of children today. The palate is trained from birth. We, as parents and guides of the next generation, carry great responsibility for what our children will accept in their flavor repertoire as adults.

It has been shown that if you feed young ones lots of processed juices and sodas, they will deselect healthier options like water, plant teas, broths and home fermented drinks. Their palate will be trained and attuned for high sugar and artificial sugar flavors. This is also true in the special needs population.

Water is also a great carrier and attract-er of trace minerals and water soluble nutrients. Making drinks is more than just taste, drinking water based drinks can be delivery methods of nutrition needed by the teeth, the bones, and tissues of our young, developing ones. For us older folks, the nutrition aids our metabolism, our immune system, and our general health status.

Making the case for moving away from commercial drinks, we can brew and make home-made sodas and drinks for special holidays and as supplements in our own diets. Saving much money, and adding healthy, tasty additions loaded with good probiotic organisms will bring many smiles. If you’re in the commercial drink rut, make a plan of escape and take the time to recondition your palate!

Kombucha is a very easy drink to start with. It starts with a SCOBY which is the Mother of continuous batches of fermented drinks. These are economical to attain, or may be free if you have a family member who brews. A healthy SCOBY (symbiotic community of bacteria and yeasts) will continuously reproduce, so you can share with loved ones. You can even dehydrate pieces at a very low temperature to save as back up for the future if you wish!

Every culture is like a plant. Each has its own rhythm and needs. Some take longer than others in the fermentation process. Generally, Kombucha takes between 8-12 days to ferment. The longer you allow it to ferment, the more sugar is digested, and the more vinegary it becomes. Some people like it with a pronounced twang of vinegar, others, like it sweeter, so adjust fermentation time to taste.

For 1 gallon, you will need:

A Kombucha Scoby:

1 Cup of Organic Sugar

Near 1 gallon of Clean Water (no chlorine)

8 Oolong Tea Bags, Green Tea, Assam, or Red Tea

Bring your water to a boil, removed from heat and steep tea. While tea is still warm, stir in sugar. Remove tea bags or loose tea when at the flavor strength you desire (green tea, I generally steep no more than 2 minutes).

Let your tea mixture FULLY cool, or you will burn your Scoby and hurt her. Next, in a clean gallon jar, pour your COOLED tea and sugar mixture in, then place your Scoby in the jar. If your Scoby is already in the jar, please gently pour in the tea mixture.

Cover with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin and a string or rubberband. Let sit on your kitchen counter or designated place for 8-12 days until desired strength. Strain off your Kombucha into jars.

At this point, you can cap your bottles or jars, and let sit another day or two to develop fizzies, or you can drink right away! Please keep in mind you will need to move to a cold place when done to slow down fermentation and reduce the chance of bottle explosions. You can store at room temperature, as long as you do not cap and keep cloth over the mouth of the jar. Just keep in mind, it will continue to ferment, turning into vinegar.

I love batches that turn into vinegar, I will can them up or store them for cooking use and other recipes. Voila! Your own home-made, mineral rich vinegar!!!

To make flavored Kombucha, after you strain your drink, add in some juice or fruit slices and herbs into your jar, and let sit for two more days, then strain off.

Elderberry makes a lovely Kombucha. You can add Elderberry syrup to your Kombucha, or the berries directly into the jar.

Other beautiful medicinal and nutritional possibilities are Rosehips, Ginger, Apples and Cinnamon, Cherries, Peaches.

Dried fruit dropped into the decanted Kombucha and left to ferment another day or two is also lovely, my favorites being Sour Cherries, Apricots and Figs. About 7 is perfect for a gallon jar.

A gallon of nutritious home-made continuous probiotic soda for pennies. Not much work, continuous supply, holiday gifts, cheer to shelters, love shared around families. Tasty. Low sugar. Mineral rich. Amazingly alive.

Stop taking vows of poverty, both of wallet and health with commercial sodas and drinks. Take a vow of Abundance with Kombucha!!! 🙂

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

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 4

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI could continue with more parts, but it’s running into present beautiful happenings, so this will be the last part until Thanksgiving 2014. So this is A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 4, the last part for Thanksgiving 2013. To catch the previous installment:

A Life of Gratitude, a Life of Meaning, a Life of Love…this is what we weave, and the weave does go on and on, our weaving being woven in even larger and smaller tapestries as I speak. As my family are Weavers, and have been Weavers and Storytellers for CENTURIES, and as my name Takacs signifies this Sacred Tradition, this amazing work, ever forth we carry on making a life, sewing those heart beats of love into everything. With the Weavers and the Farkas, the herders who bring the raw warm wool for working, and the laughter of my family of Mountain Top Herb pickers, relishing the seasons of picking the herbs necessary for Shepherd’s Tea, Shepherding Tea, and Winter Herbal Splendors that opened pathways of healing in the colder, and darker months, babies crying and growing under influence of Nettle Beings and Elderflower Wings.


Benjámin’s Favorite Request…Chocolate Cream Pie!

We make all our feasts of love, hard work, skin, bone and cloth. We make it of dirt. The ring of bells reverberating through mountain echoing calls. Even our family songs, when one listens closely, are Transylvanian echoing calls. The Mountains themselves styled the music, the song, earth beats coming through into the culture of song and dance. Hungarians have always danced to these beats. Listen to Transylvanian music, and you will hear the Shepherd’s Call, the Mountain Mistress, the Planting Patterns.

We made chocolate cream pie.


We Bless the Pastured Butter.

We blessed the pastured butter.


Thankful for Benjámin’s Dark Orange Chicken Eggs from his own Flock. We blessed the eggs!

We’re thankful for our dark orange chicken eggs in cold winter temperatures.


Gravy from Loved Birds!!!

We made gravy from the drippings of our free range turkey bird, and prepared bone broth from chickens gifted to us that I gently butchered. We plucked the feathers and saved some to make decorations this coming Christmas Season. We also kept a bit of them to remember them thankfully for their nourishment. In the letting go of life, our family wastes nothing. And so, this is a beautiful reminder of living and being in the cycles of life, in a way of ever present respectful grace. I thank the Carpathian Basin Peoples and I thank the Buffalo Ridge Peoples for this beautiful ancestral offering to our world.We strung peppers on strings to decorate our pepper shelf.


Peppers…..Much Red Hot Love!


We donned smiles for our creamy, mashed potatoes that were the colors of rainbows, heirloom purples, pinks and gold, from a farm called “Stewardship Farm”. And THAT, could not be any closer to my own true feelings of where I feel a potato should come from.

To top this Thanksgiving off, we’ve been in a constant gathering mode for our local Share Shelter up the road from our house. Many trips and many goods and donations from friends, students, colleagues and acquaintances has resulted in sharing abundance, passing on and on. The SEEDS of LIFE. Living, Loving, Sharing, In the mix and swirl of everything. Abundance is grown, it multiplies, with watering, there is more and more. Have a Happy, Hand Made Thanksgiving Yourself and thank you for sharing in my own A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving!!!!



Collecting for the Shelter quality and nourishing foods.


(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH


More Shelter Donations Collected. 🙂

All pictures and text copyrighted. Please do not use photos without permission!


Benjámin holding a HUGE bag of Nettles from a group herb order with the Students of our Herb School. Benjámin got in the box, and looks very medicinal!

A boy and a HUGE bag of Nettle Blessing Being!

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 3

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Continues…


Saving Seeds is a Sacred Duty!!!

Saving Seeds I believe is a Sacred Duty. I have been a seed saver for many, many years. I am honoring my family for continuing on this non-corporate legacy. As some of my readers and students may recall, from a while ago, in 1956, when my family fled Hungary from the Soviets, they only came with the clothes on their backs, our family, Hungarian Dolls with special embroidery from the regions our FAMILY still lives, and pepper seeds.

To me, the drama of those choices, when fleeing…..FAMILY, EMBROIDERY from SPECIFIC FAMILY LANDS and FAMILY SEEDS, speaks everything about my own family. In a dangerous moment, when one must choose the most important aspects of all ones life, to choose those three is the making of a heroic journey that I would be hard pressed to find in any book. I find my own family history is glorious, the decisions and choices of all my ancestors, who lived in a specific place (and still live in a specific place) for such a long period of time, the values imparted, the seeds given to me for my own journey through life, is all a very Sacred Happening! I can do nothing but carry on all the family legacies, honor what my Family honors and honored. It is nothing, short of a mission!

So, how is this all part of our Thanksgiving? I wouldn’t be here without all those specific choices! I am thankful for a rich history, and all the gifts that has given, the family connecting lands Olde and New.

Aside from being an ethnic Magyar, I also carry 25% Cherokee heritage. Why such a direct heritage when so many of the Cherokee were demolished in many ways? Because my Cherokee Family did not sign the rolls. They are Buffalo Ridge Folks. They never left the Eastern Mountains. They never marched. They never took an English name. The Mountains protected them, they became them. 100% Mountain Blood on all sides. From them, I have learned the lesson of never signing away my name. My first name, Summer, is indeed a testament to this fact. Not just a season, it is a name of blooming. Of becoming the fullest bloom without being told how to bloom. How sticking to ones guts, to ones own true nature, may always be harder, but in the end, one wins, wins integrity. My precious first name means much. While I am predominately Hungarian, I will always honor my quarter Cherokee heritage, the teachings from my Mother’s Mother and Grandmother, and the grit and elegance of these lovely peoples. I have found, over time, many similarities between the Hungarian and Cherokee sides of my family, including bow and arrow hunting which is a very alive practice with both today!!!

What does this have to do with a Blessing Feast? The food all comes from a place, it ALL has a story, and it is one of Thanksgiving. We People all come from a place, and we all have a story. If one doesn’t know where they come from, one may not know where they are going, or what they are made of. The Blessing today of Thanksgiving comes from a deep rooted place, which I will continue to honor, and teach my children to honor.


Pumpkin Pies from our Front of the House Pumpkins and Dripped Goat Yogurt Cheese!!!

We had, on our Feasting Table, Pumpkin Pies. We cooked the pumpkins in our pantry, saving the best seeds from the choicest of squash. After cooking the pumpkin meat, I placed in a bowl 4 cups of cooked pumpkin with two cups of dripped, yogurt cheese, 1 cup of coconut sugar, a dash of salt, baking soda, 4 or 5 eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. I beat this good with a wooden spoon, and slipped the filling into ginger cookie crumb pie crusts. We baked this at 350 for about an hour, covered. Yum! Hardly a thing to make!


A Perfectly Perfect Turkey, Full of Blessing!

Our turkey is looking super nice, resting on the counter, while side dishes finish in the oven. This will be continued in “A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 4”.

“A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 2”

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All pictures and text copyrighted. Please do not use photos without permission!

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 2

Part 2: A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving continued…a celebration of blessings, hand made work of love. Everything honored, everything a Blessing. In conjunction with our Thanksgiving Celebration, we also celebrated my youngest son Benjamin’s birthday for three days! He is now 13, and well fed! 🙂

No Hungarian Feast is fully a feast without sausage! And look, to my surprise, what I found when I jaunted into one of our local markets (Neighbor’s Markets, a downtown farm store). I opened the front door and what stared at me from the front table were wrappers of red, green and white. I spied Hungarian Sausages!!!


Local Hungarian Sausage Love 🙂


This sausage is the perfect olde world staple, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. In workshops this year, we made dry salted specialties together, and we will have some curing workshops again in 2014. I love living food, and food that does not require refrigeration nor much transport. These olde ways have been living on with a few of us…it is also nice to support real meat artisans when one can find them!


Kashkaval, a fun Hungarian Cheese!

Next on the list, is the lovely and mandatory Kashkaval cheese. This one is made from cows milk, but is often found made from sheep’s milk. It is the perfect compliment to lacto-fermented Hungarian sausage. 🙂


Hungarian Cabbage Wedges, as my Grandfather and Grandmother used to make!!!

With all this sausage and cheese, Hungarian Cabbage Wedges are next on the menu next. Take a cabbage, slice in half, then slice in wedges. Place in a glass or stoneware bowl, drizzle with home prepared bone broth and spices such as Hot Hungarian Paprika, Aleppo Pepper, Black Pepper, Unrefined Sea Salt, Garden Sage and a pinch of Black Caraway seeds. This can be baked, covered, after the Turkey is done roasting, with the second round of side dishes.

Making Hungarian Eggplant Pickles. Preparing ahead of time, allows the pickles a chance to develop a deep flavor. On stove, heat up apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, 5%, water (equal parts vinegar to water), with a bit (to taste) of coconut sugar/raw sugar, a pinch of unrefined sea salt, juice of one lemon. Heat up until boiling, then add in your sliced eggplant rounds with sliced Hungarian Wax Peppers or Hungarian Black Peppers, basil leaves, lemon zest from one lemon. Cover and simmer for no more than 5 minutes. Press out many cloves of garlic  and chopped dill leaves over the eggplant mixture, jar up and place in the refrigerator or a crock in a cool cellar. Ready to eat immediately, but will taste best in 2-3 weeks. We also had fresh picked Hungarian Pickled Mushrooms. 🙂


Hungarian Eggplant Pickles and Fresh Picked Hungarian Mushroom Pickles!!! Starting at age 3, certain people in our Family start with mushrooming. It is olde, it is tradition.



Buttery Marshmallow Yams need no explaining!!! You can use real Marshmallow Root from your garden for this!

Buttery Yams, with marshmallows, butter and coconut sugar are self explanatory. Delicious indulgence!!!

This will be continued in Part 3. 🙂

A Hand Made Hungarian Native American Thanksgiving Part 1:

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All pictures and text copyrighted. Please do not use photos without permission!