February cultivates a kind of sharp anticipation. Buzzing under the tree bark is the impatient flow of maple sap, the first sweetness of the day. With the holiday of Eros, wounds of old love ache arthritically like a once broken bone, and the desire for intimacy and companionship are magnified.
Songbirds return, as if to midwife the Elm flowers and Fiddleheads. Poplar branches surrender to the winds, dripping with vanilla pearls. Eagles return, Falcons scream, clouds paint. February freezes and melts and freezes and melts, and all the dreams of gardens and foraging and feasting on the earth's bounty become wild in our heads!
Thaw the berries form last year's pickins, eat them up in thanks for what is to come. Soon we will be scrambling to keep up. For now, we sit in the cave of winter's womb, sipping anticipation.
Pierce the cold with
Vedic Roots & Spices Milk Brew:
Set out a medium sized non-reactive pot.
For every 4 oz mug of water, add the following dried herbs:
- 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon chips
- 1 heaping teaspoon dandelion root
- 1/2 teaspoon burdock root
- 1/4 teaspoon chaga
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 pinch black pepper
Keep your herbs and water just below a simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Then add whole milk, at the same quantity you added of water.
Continue to let brew just under a simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Ladle out a mug at a time (strain through a tea strainer), and add a small dollop of: Ghee, grass fed or cultured butter, or virgin coconut oil.
This is a variation on traditional Ayurvedic milk with ghee, which warms, nourishes, and lubricates all faculties of the body. It's a brew I speak of often; in the summer with rose petal jam, in the fall with more spices. And especially for children, elderly, athletes, undernourished/overworked, and new mamas.
February is extremely dry here in New England. Many folks come down with bloody noses, sinus infections, and severe head colds. Keeping the body well lubricated and our digestion tip-top with bitters and aromatics, strongly supports our immune system during these bitter weeks.
So does cuddling.