The Story of the Stones

In the practice of Traditional Herbal Medicine, there is an understanding of Stones. My Grandfather Iván would sit me by the River to have me watch and listen, to teach me about our family’s healing technique. Grandfather Ferenc taught me the traditional pond stories. In these stories were the wisdoms to grow the crops, raise the animals, find medicines, heal people, and open conversing with God. Grandfathers and Grandmothers in the traditional healing ways spent much time teaching the traditions to their children and grandchildren. Not so long ago, even the common family had great strength in healing every day concerns, and called on the healers when things went beyond this everyday know-how. The Story of Stones could be quite physical, and with careful physical medicines we can break them down, but larger than that, is a story of Stones, mental and emotional Stones. Spiritual Stones too. Calcium Stones.

How do they get there and lodge in a person, place, or soul being? Where do they come from? What hard thinking placed them there, and what of lack of curiosity of the deeper waters, the deepening behind and beyond the stones?

One day, there was a beautifully flowing River. The River flowed with Swimming Fishes, Delicate Mosquitoes, and Dazzling Dragonflies. This was in the time when Dragonflies were the size of medieval dragons, and were a force of harmony among and between the stones.

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The large stones started to fill the swimming holes with more and more stones, lodging between them everywhere. The River flowed unceasingly, ever harder to get around the stones. Then one day, the River could not move anymore Stones, could not dislodge certain Stones and move them to the River Spaces where they were so needed, waited upon, depended upon. Now, the stones became stuck. Now the water looped, not so much through and between them, but around them. One day even the water ceased flowing around the hard stones. What is hard needs fluidity around it, and what is fluid needs some hardness to make the perfect Riverbank Sands.

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The Dragonflies, no longer able to direct the flows around the stones became diminished until they were very small Winged Beings. And the stones, resisting the change of all the wet washes, become drier. And such is the shame for them, for they had a future of being sparkling treasure. And the Dragon Flies? They ever remain, waiting for the chance to move the flows around the stones again, bringing the River washes of fluids back into gushing harmony.

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This story reminds me of the stuckness that can happen with a person, a society, a way of thinking, and even physically with certain types of Stones. More than anything, the Stones forgot their place holding hands with the water, the Stones forgot the Dragonflies. The Stones forgot and became stuck, making places hard.

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(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

Medicine of Roses

This past week, Herbal Apprentices made Medicine of Roses, collected from their own home gardens and wild, on a forest path. The teachings of Roses are many and varied, and the same with the various parts and aspects of Rose.

One of the aspects that come most to my mind, was a thorough looking at the whole plant. What beautiful flowers we commune with and dance with! What amazing medicine for the heart! But, sometimes, when we look deeper, we see a deeper aspect shared by the Rose.

The Rose shares the story of its whole being with us. Sometimes, after a beautiful flowering, the branches may brown. We may wish for this flower to grow again, but it will not. And so we stare, at the branch turning brown, in a touching despair.

And then the hope, the Light of the Divine shines forth! We trim the branches that do not look so hot, their time being done, their dance already played. For the quiet death of a Rose Plant can happen by holding onto these branches too long.

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Overtime, if left unattended, the plant grows large and wiley, with many dead and dying branches, with no new growth allowed through for a chance in the sun. It may be a beautiful discovery on some old forest path, but a deep shame can pervade the air, of flowers that never had a chance to be because the Rose Tender, or the Forest Spirit, would not let those branches go.

Looking at the plant in such a whole fashion, we can see what needs to go, that is dying off a bit, and let the new ones grow! It is the Divine Rebirth of such possibility! Do you see the Faith of the Rose? Does the Rose Tender have such Faith?

And the Rose Blossoms make medicines, that heal that Divine Tear or Eye Tear, mending the Heart so Fine, so capable of new love, of loving with a different branch, the old branch fertilizing the root of the Rose Being again.

And such is the dance of a heart so fine, for if it never loved, the Rose would not put forth blossoms, it would prefer to skip to the browning before the blooming, and life would be but a withered mess with no possibility.

But, as ever, where there is Faith, there is Hope. Where Hope is Conscience and Charity. Where there is Charity, there are brown branches renewing the roots, in an act of Love so great. And the green tips grow, producing more branches, and more Roses. No two the same, but one delightful Being.

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And such, Love is Renewed, and the Heart mended!

(c) 2015, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

Of Bluebells and Cornflowers

This morning, comes to my mind, a very Olde Family story.

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In the Mountains, such as my Family lived, and later, where I with my pack of dogs and my Beloved lived, there was a beautiful little glade filled with wildflowers. These wildflowers would jump out at me, wild yellow pea flowers, stunning lavender blue cornflowers, and the bluest of bluebells alongside shamrocks with blue flowers. So many shades and colors of blue, the wild peas interspersed were like the rays of sunshine streaming through the blue petals dancing in a protected mountain breeze.

This little glade was unseen against the courser of eyes….such as eyes who would be looking for grander examples of beauty or riches. Eyes that see what they want to see. Eyes looking for some glory to spend elsewhere, not seeing that God provided for free, a wealth of great measure. These eyes see no wealth in the field. No Spirit in the field.

For a short time, under early summer moonlight, the white bluebells and harebells would come up. Their Divine Purpose to drink in the moonbeams to radiate outwards in the day, in an unmeasured amount, with unmeasured love. The Organic Moonshine during the night helped oversee the development of the seeds, which would drop to the ground and be next year’s baby plants.

And in this dance, the pollinators swing their hips, their waists and their legs, in the Holy Work of pollination. This dance so intimate, so bare petaled, with tiny toe points and petal steps.

And the Divine Love was there, all set up, planted and dancing, and the only cost was to go look, and inhale with awe. This story, of Mountain Wildflowers, is the story of deepest love. But one has to sometimes focus the eyes from courser to finer lens to truly see. Where love is repeatedly evasive, remember it may be the eyes, for love is just there, sitting in the glade, in the sunshine, moonshine, winds and Flying Being toe tips. It is there on the inhale and the exhale, and the meanderings of the larger soul in which we all live in.

This is an Olde Family story from tradition, back in the time when stories were still told around the kitchen fire, and bread was made with love…

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson CH

All Rights Reserved.

A Gluten-Free Hungarian Dinner Workshop

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Paprika!

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Szerelem fűszerek! Love Spices!

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Home raised eggs! 🙂

I love that I can share one of my all time, favorite dishes from childhood. My Grandmother would put me in charge of the noodle pot, that was always my duty! Sometimes, we would make dumplings together, sometimes we made pinched dough things, other times, we rolled out handmade noodles. All of my Grandparents and relatives had pots ongoing on the stove. There was always soup, there was always broth, a bone cooking for something. When we cooked, in the summertime, we picked things as we needed from the farm garden. In winter, we picked what we needed from the carefully packed pantry. When we cooked, we would talk, and share stories, or we would sing! And always, food is made with Blessing woven in. ~Summer 

This workshop comes after much request from students! On Saturday, February 28th at 2 PM, join us for a Gluten-Free Hungarian Dinner, made from scratch. We will make my Grandmother Gizella’s Stuffed Peppers with all the traditional side dishes. If you’re not gluten-free, you will not notice the difference in taste or texture, so if you’re interested in learning to cook this fabulous dish, do not let those words deter you! We will come together and cook, then we will eat together, and you will go home with my families much cherished recipe, to bring a blessing to the people you cook for and love. The cost for this workshop dinner is $50, it is hands on, and includes all the ingredients for your dinner, organic and humanely sourced. Pre-registration for this workshop is required.

When: Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Where: Vancouver, WA

Time: 2:00 PM

Cost: $50.00

What to Bring: Your Loving Hands!

To Register, email lemonlotus@gmail.com

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

Merry Christmas and Birthing Love!

Merry Christmas and Birthing Love into the Growing Light to ALL!

From my heart to yours…..on Christmas, we are in remembrance and awareness of the baby growing light that brings us into the New Year. We remember the soul, the birth of Christ, the Greenary of Being, and the weaving of love that holds the years together.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our traditions in our Family are simple….they are the awareness of light, of love, of growth in the dark, of deepest roots one way and freshest branch tips the other. We live with the understanding, in an unbroken chain, of living between and ad-mist all cycles of the year.

Particularly for those who live as poets, close to the Earthen Lands of God, unapologetically living in the mystical grace of the way our ancestors left, we bless all the dark spaces, all the composting condensing that allows our soul the space to grow with the growing light.

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Blowing Wind in Glass

In a very old herbal healing tradition, practiced in and amongst the kinship of animals, the wind on the face, the touch of frost on the cheek, and the deep warmth of a hay pile, we grow under the cloak of fibre and spinning. We grow under the tree, in the tree, and the very tips of the tree.

We are graced with the beautiful gifts of life, we are graced with a soul of deep awareness….aware of Heaven and Hell, aware, of everything Green, aware of the deep down roots and the tops of trees. We are planted in God’s World to grow.

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Birthing LOVE!!!

Those who grow the herbs of separation are simply growing their awareness of their own destruction…for the herbs of rebirth and renewal are of the protection and protector of the grace that provides life.

This is not of the hands of man, this is the hands of something greater which we are asked and offered to participate in. The hand of the Steward, the hand of the Shepherd, the hand of us that live so close to land and God, and away from the internal oppression that bewails Spirits so separated from the Grace.

And all it requires is our resounding, and beautiful, crystal clear voice that sings YES! Yes, to this rebirth, of sleeping body and soul and spirit, of sleeping tree and sleeping Borage plant. The YES that the Linden Tree sings in the breeze with open wings, wings given of and from God.

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Crane from a Tree on a Tree!

As a Traditional Herbal Healer, in contemplation of Spirit, of Herbs, of Herding beautiful animals and beautiful children, I am reminded of all the lessons of teaching from my family of Healers, of Hunters, of Herbalists, of Herders, of Farmers. How we, we each hold the balances of love, of life and death, of resurrection, of destruction, of beautification. How each, is given a great responsibility. How each of us, can choose to live this love, instead of making excuses against the love, or proving, why we are right not to experience a deep love in this deep season of darkness and growing light.

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Hand Loved Made

However deep, we can prove ourselves right by the barring of great love, or we can open and say YES to love and find there is no barrier that exists against it. And YES, the ages of this knowledge passed down, will never die, simply hiding within cycles of light and dark, love and oppression, until we understand.

It is hard to understand without the air touching our face, or frozen earth under our feet. It is hard to understand if one is not standing upright under the cloak, recycling heat under the fiber, from herding the animals, that show to us what we do not understand.

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Hungarian Hound was ecstatic over sensed treats!

We are one with our flocks, yet we nourishing and steward the diversity and the difference. It would be no other way.

Our ways with the plants are the same, we open and say YES to them, and they dance through a prayer of grace in our beings, our souls, our very Mother Earth.

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Our Tree of home-made and gifted Remembrance!s!

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Family Tradition of Hanging Cream Filled Candies! 🙂

One of our Farkas Takács Family Traditions is the hanging of candies filled with cream on our tree. With the beautiful and exciting taste we remember the Gift of Taste we are given. However, this is a later adaptation of an earlier tradition.

We cut the trees, and cut the greens for our house for decoration and celebration, but also, to see and contact the Divine in a closer manner. Sitting with trees, we hear them and know them, and the removal of trees has always been considered a Sacred Action to be closer to God. In doing so, the trees were thanked and given blessing before the fire, and decorating with them brought a connection into our homes with God.  Tree Clearing was only for communion, any other benefit was secondary. The connection with Jesus and Holy Trees is a long one, as well as many other peoples of many other religions.

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See Heart?

From the Song of Songs, there is a little winged beast that beats from the chest, and springs thereof.

To desecrate the world, is to create the greatest of all sins against God.

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Eggs are Everything, but mean nothing anymore except commercial suffering?

In our world today, we would do well to remember the teachings of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents. I have been besotted with grace to have meetings and living ins with Great Grandparents as well as a brief touch from Great Great Grandparents. Our Family has always been long lived, and for the little that it is worth, we teach our young ones from a small age the traditions that are ageless.

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Pine Love!

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Love is Glittery!

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Merry Christmas ALL!

From a small age, we are taught about living in the boat of the tree in space. For this, we see many and much written account as well as direct teaching. Like Jesus, we die upon the tree, and the soul is born of it. So my Grandfathers taught to me. Not some effort of recitation and early childhood programming…but a living tradition that continues.

And so, when our Family comes together, united, and decorates our Tree of Blessing, it is of handmade, and loving gift, of remembrance. Remembrance of God, remembrance of toddlers, remembrance of the next generation, remembrance of the Holy, of the Divine, of the Connection between Heaven and Earth that is the powerline behind our hearts. We are in remembrance of Love, and continuation to rebirth that into the world through the cycles of light and shadows, compost and seed sprout, tree root and tree limb. We are that which we remember in our herding, in our healing, in our weaving, in our blessing and our heart shaped knowing. We are the remembrance that carries through the growing understanding of multiple millenniums.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And if one has lost family and is not in contact with that anymore, do look for your true home. Pick up your thread, pick up your cloth, pick up your fiber, and your barbed needles, and tease the material until the wisdom of healing pours forth. Then, you will know, and be thankful!

(c) 2014, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

7th Annual Ol’ Fashioned Fermenting and Preserving the Autumn Harvest Workshop!

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Imádom!

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A Toast to Bugs!!!

7th Annual Ol’ Fashioned Preserving the Autumn Harvest Workshops are coming up! A favorite workshop, this is a fun, hands on workshop devoted to the understanding of traditional food storage techniques that use the basic gifts of earth, air, water and salt to put up food in a creative and individual way, to best enhance the flavor, nutrition, over-all health and pure excitement of fresh, local whole food and garden harvests. This class is poetry in motion and participants are encouraged to bring their ideas, questions and recipes, every class is unique!

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Swirling Lekvár!

We’ll cover techniques for Lacto-Fermentation, Pickling, Oiling, Wet and Dry Salting, Summer’s Hungarian Salt Preserves, Drying, Cold Cellar Storage and more low energy techniques and recipes!

This class is also potluck, so please bring a dish to share, your own plate, mug, fork, spoon and napkin. Cost: $40, Pre-registration only to guarantee a spot!

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That’s a Crock of…!!!

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Cabbage Fingers. 🙂

What to Bring: A dish and or snack to share, pen and paper, eating utensils, questions, and a heart ready to have fun!

Saturday, November 22nd, from 2-4 PM’ish. To register, send an email to lemonlotus@gmail.com

(c) 2014, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH

All Rights Reserved.

The Spiritual Food of Living Seasonally

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Lekvár Making Between Friends!

As I wrap up a busy year teaching, writing and food preserving, my energy changes in this autumn. Living seasonally, at times, means there are periods of having no time, leading into periods of having greater time. It’s mushroom foraging, and writing, and tending people who have sickness that is predominantly on the winter time plate. Seed saving, tea making, laying of hands. Research, and deeper works. Kissing beautiful animals, gratefulness for all our food this season, and all the hands that contributed to our winter cabinet.

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Purple Diva!

From the season of dreaming, comes the season of awakening from slumber…the wintertime, where portals in the deeper earth energy awaken, cleanse, and sift through the seeds from the flowering season. Far from winter being a time of slumber, in the olde ways, it is the time of the descent into wakefulness, the sifting, and the weighing, the learning of new knowing, and what  belongs in the sacrificial fire. Attending to the work of renewal in the deep down places of soil roots, paves the way for new and increased vigor in the dreaming months, the springtime rebirth. The start of planting happens with the sifting of seeds from the previous harvest.

Only the best will be planted, in a soil that is warm, and alive and nutritious.

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Attending to the Self Healing Self for Spontaneous Healing!

From this soil, the deep down roots of being, the seeds burst forth in sprouting, growing, being, blooming, becoming, and another harvest.

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Garden Spiral Changes After Every Rain, Wing, and Paw.

In lives deeply rooted in divided industrial consciousness, this attending to the soil is completely forgotten. Yet, just a couple of generations ago, for so many peoples, this was an awakened knowledge that was lived amongst people who live closely to the land. This is a knowledge that Herbalists, Healers, Foragers and Farmers have been carrying on. Being fed by Spirit, we follow the cycles. As I was raised by Herbalists, Herders, Farmers, Hunters and Woods People, close hand I was given these eyes to see, and what valuable eyes!

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Sun Disk Worshipping!

My Grandfather Iván, who carried on the very olde world farming his whole life, always attended to the soil, to the roots. Compost was the gold of new growth…the fully digested remnants of the old matter of life. For this reason, if the curing of compost is stalled, it cannot aid the furtherance of life and life force for the future plants in the same way. Animals know this. The plants know this. Humans know this, when following Spirit. It is only forgotten when the ties to Land and Spirit are severed, with a deep abiding in an industrialized system. We have forgotten where our food comes from, our Spiritual food and sustenance.

To have faith in higher purpose, a higher good, a higher ideal, means one is led to face this digesting process. To bring forth beauty in spring, a rebirth of the senses, a rebirth of life, of a growing stage, is to be covered in a delightful compost, with the seeds carefully sewn in the pocket of ones heart. It is, to live from a great depth that one can really grow, one can really love, one can really bloom, one can receive light and love too.

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Warty Wonders Love

In the way of my Grandfathers, who were Farmer Poets, one thing comes to mind. When the season shortens, the awakening time lengthens. The time of seeing the seeds of harvest and carefully collecting the best, the strongest, the ones with a good integrity, and plant them in. Carefully, beautifully. This is the way of Cultivating the Earth. This is the way that sees and grows the beautiful shapes of the future. This is the living blackness of love, alive and constantly bringing into existence. We work as Stewards for bringing Soul Beings alive, we work to bring healing.

To some this may seem unintelligible, but to those who know, working closely with the earth, we see the deep Stewardship responsibilities that are called forth, bringing out love to those we tend. In the Autumn, the energy retracts and lights inward, to see the year differently, to see the fungi, the decomposition, and the light of new life.

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

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Careful Harvesting of Sage Love 🙂

All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Májas hurka Hungarian Liver Sausage…Igen!!!

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I love Hungarians!

Continued from Hungarian Sausage…Igen!!!!!

https://serendipityherbals.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/hungarian-sausage-igen/

Gizzards always look like jewels to me! And these have been gifted for a shared sausage making venture from one of our beautiful local farms, Friendly Haven Rise Farms. http://www.FriendlyHaven.com These babies are thawing so I can clean them for the making of a very traditional Hungarian Sausage! When cooking, I believe love must be woven into the making. They are now finished, so am writing more on making them. As always, the food comes with story. A memory, as food for me is as much living present, contribution to the future, and memory of old.

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Thawing Chicken Gizzards from Friendly Haven Rise Farm!

When I was growing up, there were many interesting places I would find around my Grandfathers houses. In our Family, when we were young, we lived with Grandfathers and Grandmothers, who had many nooks and crannies on their homesteads. As I grew older, being a military child, we moved all over the world, but I was lucky enough to return during the summers to stay again with Grandfathers and Grandmothers. So my Great Grandmother Zsa Zsa was a true chicken farmer, on a very large scale (a thousand plus at a time) watched and guarded by her and the dogs. She knew so much about everything, about growing, about sewing, about making…she made just about everything she owned!

And in this growing, raising and sewing, she also preserved everything in ways that required mostly just the cold of the ground beneath the house, things wrapped in cloth, in hay, sand, newspaper, string, covered with afghans. From the ceiling in a dedicated food room, she had meat hanging and sausages. She would have the peppers in strands, and garlic in braids. Dried mushrooms danced on strings, herbs in bundles and paper bags. In the food room, she had stacks and stacks of foods and boxes of jars of home-made things, things I swear are beyond the imagination of what can be preserved with certain olden ratios. Cakes and breads, pie makings, cheese. I am not sure if our modern day recipes really reflect safety and improvement, rather, there is a dependence on appliances instead of Earth. That’s a writing for another day!

So making sausages reminds me of her, anya Zsa Zsa. Of how, when we make something, it is a celebratory event. It is making love with ones hands and ones heart and ones head and ones senses, ones touch, ones smelling, ones seeing. It is a process of faith that whatever is made will turn out just perfect….because the teaching of the rural mountain dweller is you cannot always go buy what a recipe calls for, you use what is on hand in the larder that you and your neighbors have grown. In these days of wondering what the future will ever bring in our society, I can just imagine my nagy Nagyanya Zsa Zsa’s response! She would have spit on the ground for dramatic emphasis, and she would point to the Earth!

And so, here are the jewels, the gizzards, given to me by Jacqueline and Joseph Freeman, to make sausage out of. Here is the process for making Májas hurka, a fresh liver and offal sausage.

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A Pig Heart

Gather your meats. Submerge your meats in ice cold water up to a day before processing, so as to leach any last remains of blood from the organs. While there are Hurka sausages made of blood, they are fresh blood only, not old. I use only meats of animals well raised, humanely, in traditional style. Beef grass-fed only, pastured pigs, pastured chickens. I used 51 chicken gizzards from Jacqueline’s Farm, an assortment of livers, hearts and gizzards and tail flap fat pads from my own recently butchered chickens, 2 pig livers and 2 pig hearts from my friend Barbara John’s, and a batch of frozen head cheese that I had made about three weeks prior from my friend Melissa Church’s pigs. To this, I added some chopped grass-fed beef fat and organic pastured herb eating pig fat from my friend Lynn Tidland’s pig. Be sure to clean your meats well, wash them very clean, and cut extraneous veins, trim off membranes from the heart. A rule of thumb is to keep meats very cold to make the slicing easier and keep them fresher.

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Pig Liver

Here are the chicken gizzards cut open. I love to cut gizzards with a good buck knife! Here I have sliced them in half, revealing their stomach contents. Clean out the stomach contents, but do not throw away. Cut away the meat from the gizzard wall. Pictured below, left is the gizzard wall after meat is removed.

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Gizzard Wall with Meat Removed

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Chicken Gizzards Sliced In Half

Here is a picture of the gizzards with stomach contents removed, waiting for another bath to remove stray particles before the meat is cut away.

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Sliced Gizzards with Contents Removed Waiting for Bath

Next, this picture is a little wonky because I am trying to get a good angle of a tendon attached to a gizzard. Remove the tendons. Wash them AGAIN.

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Remove Those Tendons!

Drop the thrice cleaned gizzard meat pieces into a bowlful of Cold Rosemary Garlic Vinegar while you process the rest. This handmade vinegar below is made by my close friend Cynthia Hoffman. The vinegar will keep the gizzards fresh and flavor them beautifully.

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Gizzard Meat Soaking in Cynthia Hoffman’s Homemade Rosemary Garlic Vinegar!

Remember I said do not throw away the gizzard contents? In this case, they are full of organic grass, little pebbles and quality legumes. I saved everything I scooped out and fed to our own chicken flock. They are so thankful for these tidbits as they go wild for them! You can also compost them in a special bin or a special place you bury animal trimmings.

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Gizzard Contents Shall Not Be Wasted! To the chicken flock they go…watch their excitement!!! 🙂

Next, chop your fats! Pastured, organic fats only please! I used fat pads from retired layers, pastured beef fat from my friend Heather Velazquez, and pastured pig fat from my friend Lynn mentioned above and a little left over from my friend Melissa mentioned above.

Place all prepared meats and fats together in a large crock or bucket, and mix in spices. I used Sage, Marjoram and Thyme from Erin Harwood’s Farm Garden Delights http://www.gardendelightsfarm.com.

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Organic Marjoram from Garden Delights

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Organic Thyme from Garden Delights

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Organic Sage from Garden Delights

Garlic and Basil from my friend’s farm Storytree Farm and my own garden plot here at Serendipity Plant Lore School of Ethnobotanical Studies!

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Organic Garlic from Storytree Farm and Serendipity Plant Lore School of Ethnobotanical Studies

Himalayan Sea Salt from our Serendipity Azure orders group.

Black Pepper from Mountain Rose Herbs. I would grow this if I could!!! But when I cannot grow or forage something locally up here, first I check with other local area Herbalists, and then I use Mountain Rose Herbs as the backup larger regional supplier, because their standard of ethics is in line with my own values, and they are supportive of the deep tradition of Herbalism we are part of, as opposed to marketing products

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Organic, Fresh Ground Pepper!

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This black pepper, to be as fresh as possible, is not ground until it is added to the meat mixture.

Kalocsa, Hungary Paprika. I used plenty of sweet smoked from Kalocsa and Hot Paprika from Kalocsa. I used some Szeged Sweet Paprika as well, along with a special Turkish pepper from Aleppo, Turkey. The Paprika is very special, they each have their own flavor profile, and each Paprika from each region of any place has its own, distinctive flavor as it works with the particular soil nutrients, sun, and rainfall patterns and palates of people in a region. For Hurka sausages, these are the best places to obtain paprika for the traditional style. The Magic Mountain Basil I grew in my own yard. I also used a goat culture.

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The BEST Paprika and Magic Mountain Basil grown in my herbal garden!

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Aleppo Pepper from Aleppo, Turkey!

Mix all these wonderful spices and fresh garlic cloves! Put all prepared meats on ice, in a freezer, or someplace in ice cold well water prior to grinding. Here they are sitting in Pyrex bowls before being cooled.

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Meat and Fat Mixed with Spices ready to be cooled down!

Bring your near frozen meats to your grinder and grind away!

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Freshly Ground Offal Meats!!!

At this point, I tried some ground sausage in a home-made batch of Chili Verde from tomatillos growing wild in my yard and from one of my favorite farmers Anne Lawrence, looking good! This chili verde had been cooking ongoing for 4 days…when it becomes PERFECT! Here is a post I made about Chili Verde a while back, I have a long history with fire roasting Hatch New Mexico peppers and green chili cooking under the watchful eye of a Mexican Family I worked for. The Family would go on an annual pilgrimage to Hatch, and we would spend two weeks fire roasting them in a great big roasting wheel, together, over fire, taking turns in a task that takes much energy. We would roast truckloads to put away for the whole years worth of chili verde! If you’re interested in the step by step recipe and more pepper musings, read it here:

https://serendipityherbals.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/the-hungarian-mexican-cartel-and-a-sacred-chili-verde-recipe/

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My homemade Chile Verde. Pretty much to die for!!!

Time to season and taste again with some home-cultured sour cream and fresh dill!

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Taste Test!

When spices are splendid, then I added some Tokaji Furmint for a binder. Amazing, and gives extra fermentation potential for the sausage as it short ages (some sausages require longer aging, but I made these for to be fast and fresh and for braising).

Make the sausages and age them for 2 days….voila! They will deepen in flavor as they age.

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I LOVE the look of home-made Sausages!

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Drying out and Aging. 🙂

Now, to eat them up Hungarian way! We eat these gently braised in an oven at low temperature, in hard apple or fresh apple cider (you could use apple juice too). Serve them up with cultured sour cream and dill on the side, baked in acorn squashes with butter and apple cider (we did this with our LAST 2 acorn squashes from the previous year grown from Yacolt Mountain Farm and Nursery http://www.yacoltmountainfarmandnursery.com or simmered in a pot or oven on a bed of sauerkraut, Traditional Hungarian style!!! What a nutritious and beautiful way to eat the the whole of the animals we raise, or our local neighbors raise. 🙂

This has been a beautiful shared opportunity from a precious farm, that also honors something I hold dear to me, the traditional foods of my family for generations. The pure fun for me to share this with everyone has been a gift. There was a time, in the making of food, where the good food came from the ground of soul, the food radiating from a place between places. The food comes through hard work and sweat and combined interests, but also from a place that exists before the food even existed. When bringing about gifts of Spirit, we are bringing about something from that place, and THAT is the Great Knitter, the Great Weaver, the Great God that is working through all of us.

For the sausage to be and become made, we must, in the deep tradition of my Grandfathers, be there in the making of it every step of the way. Not a product, not a thing, not something that is not something from the beyond, but IS the beyond, the beyond here present in the making. So we make, and we cook, so we take the precious bones of a process so old, and we infuse ourselves into it fully. My Grandfathers and Grandmothers, my Great Grandmother taught me that. For when we tend to the home fires, the home fires of soul, our food comes from that. We give thanks for the grace, for the heat we are given, for the kitchen that holds and keeps the home together. There are little homes, and there are greater homes, and homes within homes. All fires lit, all lives given over to the Great Beyond in the making of these sausages send their gift and their blessing back to us from that very place. Always we honor that place, whether the people have passed on that we love, our animals, our plants, our loves. This is the Great Knitting that we are all knitted in. The Great Weaving that I and my larger Family eat from. 🙂

Happy Májas!!!

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

All Rights Reserved. If you share this, please attribute credit for the pictures, writing, and recipe. This is all my life, my lived experience with my community and family, and should be honored as such, as yours should be honored in the same way. Thank you! 🙂

Hungarian Sausage…Igen!!!!! :)

Gizzards always look like jewels to me! And these have been gifted for a shared sausage making venture from one of our beautiful local farms (more on the sausage in another blog post). These babies are thawing so I can clean them for the making of a very traditional Hungarian Sausage! When cooking, I believe love must be woven into the making. I will write more about them when they are finished! But for now, a memory, as food for me is as much living present, contribution to the future, and memory of old.

 

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When I was growing up, there were many interesting places I would find around my Grandfathers houses. In our Family, when we were young, we lived with Grandfathers and Grandmothers. As I grew older, being a military child, we moved all over the world, but I was lucky enough to return during the summers to stay again with Grandfathers and Grandmothers. So my Great Grandmother Zsa Zsa was a true chicken farmer, on a very large scale (a thousand plus at a time) watched and guarded by her and the dogs. She knew so much about everything, about growing, about sewing, about making…she made just about everything she owned!

 

And in this growing, raising and sewing, she also preserved everything in ways that required mostly just the cold of the ground beneath the house, things wrapped in cloth, in hay, sand, newspaper, string, covered with afghans. From the ceiling in a dedicated food room, she had meat hanging and sausages. She would have the peppers in strands, and garlic in braids. Dried mushrooms danced on strings, herbs in bundles and paper bags. In the food room, she had stacks and stacks of foods and boxes of jars of home-made things, things I swear are beyond the imagination of what can be preserved with certain olden ratios. Cakes and breads, pie makings, cheese. I am not sure if our modern day recipes really reflect safety and improvement, rather, there is a dependence on appliances instead of Earth. That’s a writing for another day!

 

So making sausages reminds me of her. Of how, when we make something, it is a celebratory event. It is making love with ones hands and ones heart and ones head and ones senses, ones touch, ones smelling, ones seeing. It is a process of faith that whatever is made will turn out just perfect….because the teaching of the rural mountain dweller is you cannot always go buy what a recipe calls for, you use what is on hand in the larder that you and your neighbors have grown. In these days of wondering what the future will ever bring in our society, I can just imagine my nagy Nagyanya Zsa Zsa’s response! She would have spit on the ground for dramatic emphasis, and she would point to the Earth!

 

(c) 2014, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH
All Rights Reserved.

Dances with Ferments Behind A Billowing Curtain!

Life has been good, with lots of time in the field with the School’s Students, fellow Herbalists and the budding young Herbalists in our community! It’s been a blessed time of finding and harvesting herbs, of prayers for all, the work of the healing streams that open up as we work with medicines and foods that bring out the best of the life force. These all come with stories, the stories of actual meetings, experiences, and understandings that grow ever larger, ever closer, ever working into the everyday.

Just Monday, my very favorite actor died, Robin Williams. Such a soul and such a light in this world! There is hardly an end to the beauty that this one man, famous or not, shared with the world. In my own family tradition, we remember to always remember the light, and send our respect and our love to the dead. We hold a space in our hearts for those deceased, and while most of us did not know Robin Williams personally, our souls were touched by who he lived to be. He shared love with so many. Many are sharing love with him back. My gift to Robin was to pick up my accordion and play a song dedicated to him, along with sending a prayer to fly up to his Soul. Precious gifts we give, both in life, and in death. We give them from the heart.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some of what we’ve been up to….

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Lightening Huckleberry Pie from fresh found goodness!

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Jars of ferments from uncertain thickets!!

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More ferments going from a friend’s farm!!!

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One of the school’s students, and dear friend Erin, surprised me Tuesday with this beautiful hand-made curtain for the consulting room! I am so thankful for the amazing thoughtfulness and sweetness of this gift! I love it and its usefulness adds more ambiance to the consulting room. 🙂 Thank you Erin Harwood!!! Completely heart touching!!! 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

(c) 2014, Summer L. Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH
All Rights Reserved.
 
http://www.serendipityherbals.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/blessing-of-the-olde-world-simple-pie/
 
 

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