The Other Tuna: Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit

misssk Eat local, Garden, Herbs, Mesoamerican, Natural healing, Texas Leave a Comment

As the summer heat slowly begins to die down and the first autumn breezes roll around, prickly pear cactus fruit, known as tuna in Mexico, is coming out bright and ripe. It’s a magical time. Prickly pear cactus is a characteristic plant of Texas. Wide-faced, inverted teardrop paddles grow in close clusters, some studded with sharp needles, others bred to …


Journey of the Gourmet Herbalist

misssk Eat local, Garden, Herbs, Natural healing Leave a Comment

Last Saturday, after many moons of studying tinctures and decoctions, plant parts and families, how to recognize native plants and the role they play in the healing of ourselves and the Earth, I graduated from the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine with a big smile and tons of inspiration and gratitude. It’s been quite a journey. We were assigned an …


Stay Hydrated with Aguas Frescas

misssk Eat local, Handmade, How-to technique, Kitchen, Scratch cooking, Texas Leave a Comment

Spring came early in Austin. Our flowers are blooming, the sun in shining, and although still intermingled with of a few nippy days here and there, that Texas heat is beginning to creep in. It feels like agua fresca weather. Aguas frescas are around year-round, but they’re especially apt to battling warm weather. Literally “fresh waters,” they are simply water …


Grow Your Own Herbs

misssk DIY, Eat local, Garden, Herbs, Natural healing Leave a Comment

I started taking a course on herbal medicine and local plants at the Wildflower School recently, and since that time have upped my commitment to cultivating and understanding our favorite culinary herbs, plus many more that never get the kitchen spotlight. Having my own little potted herb garden has truly made a huge impact on my life. Growing your own …


More than Maple: Homemade Fruit Syrups

misssk Eat local, Handmade, How-to technique, Kitchen, Scratch cooking Leave a Comment

There’s no doubt that maple reins king in the land of syrup. Other than generic pancake syrup (sometimes artificially “butter” flavored and never quite as satisfying as the natural stuff), the only other type I’ve seen with any frequency is blueberry (and whatever other flavors come in those little IHOP caddies). But we’re not growing any maples round these parts, …


Cinnamon Sticks and Fortunetelling: Stove-Brewed Coffee

misssk Eat local, Handmade, Herbs, How-to technique, Kitchen, Scratch cooking, Spirituality Leave a Comment

A couple of years ago, my dad took my sister and I out for Turkish coffee in Houston. We happily sipped tiny mugs of the thick, foamy, potent brew all the way down to the bottom, where a layer of thick dregs stuck to the cup. “Now flip it over onto your saucer, quick,” my dad instructed, demonstrating with a …


Mayan Honey for a Cause—Now That’s Sweet.

misssk Adventure, Eat local, Mesoamerican, Natural healing Leave a Comment

Ah, local honey. Sweet, thick, familiar scents and flavors of home carried on the backs of bees and varied wildly from city to countryside, all condensed into a little pot or honeybear of golden goodness. Beekeeping is an ancient tradition in the Riviera Maya, and pedaling honey products is a common occupation among the locals. When a friend offered to …