Autumn in Colorado – October 2014

leafThe weather is gorgeous, and though the color in the mountains will be pretty much over, the front range will start displaying spectacular fall colors. We are in the bounty of the harvest season with apples, corn mazes, and hiking and biking or just long walks in the cool, crisp air of autumn. Halloween festivities will begin with haunted houses and ghost tours. They are great fun, I do at least one every year. Throw a harvest party or pot luck, check out a new hike or park and enjoy this beautiful season.

You will thank yourself for getting those snow tires on early before the mad rush and chaos of the first real snow. Put your window scraper in, I like to add a broom for faster snow removal. It’s also a good idea to throw in some boots, a flashlight, cat litter for traction and extra outdoor wear. You’ll feel ready for anything.  

 

Upcoming Classes

Herb and wild edible walks, private cooking, crafting and garden classes are available for you or your group or organization. Check www.chrysalisherbs.com for topics or call Susan at 303-697-6060.

 

Harvest Feast – Celebrating the Bounty

harvestTuesday October 21, 6- 8pm, Denver Botanic Gardens, $42 member; $47 non-member,register here, Phone: 720-865-7287, Email: registar@botanicgardens.org

Discover delicious new ways to enjoy the fall harvest with flavors and ingredients that use the best of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Elegant yet easy, these dishes are sure to provide a special experience for your family, guests or holiday festivities. Menu includes Butternut Squash Bisque, Kale and Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts, Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pesto and Sundried Tomatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, and we’ll finish with a sweet. Recipes, dinner and dessert included.

 

Folk Remedies and Kitchen CuresGet ready for the cold and flu season!
folkWednesday October 29, 6 – 8pm, Denver Botanic Gardens, $42 member; $47 non-member, register here, 720-865-7287 Email: registar@botanicgardens.org

For centuries people have relied on safe, effective remedies handed down through generations. Start your own traditions as you ease discomfort from sore throats to hair loss with inexpensive ingredients from the garden and kitchen cupboard. Join herbalist Susan Evans as she shares her favorite remedies. We’ll have a light dinner of delicious, immune enhancing soup and you will take home a jar of flu and cold fighting fire cider, some elderberry/ginger/echinacea syrup and recipes.

 

Fun Things to Do

 

Farmfest, Saturday October 4th, farm fest, The Urban Farm, 10200 Smith Road Denver, CO
hay rides, food, music and fun, $1.

 

elkElk Fest, Estes Park, October 4and 5, Bugling elks, fall colors, seminars, bus tours and arts and crafts. more information

 

Great American Beer Festival, October 2-4, Denver Convention Center, with over 3,000 beers from 600 breweries. more information

 

Chihuly Nights, until November 30, Denver Botanic Gardens, 5:30-9 pm nightly. If you haven’t made it out to see the Chihuly glass exhibit lit up at night you need to go!

 

halloweenCrafts Spirit Festival, October 24-26, Breckenridge, Cocktails, not ghosts, up in the high country. Small batch distillers, seminars and sampling.  more information

 

Halloween Happenings, Great fun from cemetery tours, zombie crawls, Victorian horrors at the Molly Brown house and fright fests. Check out Halloween Events for all the options.

 

Free Days,

Denver Art Museum – Saturday, October 4

Denver Fire Fighters Museum – Saturday, October 11

Denver Museum of Nature and Science – Monday, October 27

Clifford Still Museum – Friday, October 31

 

Gardens

gardenThe time for procrastination is over. Snow will fall, tomatoes will freeze and probably fairly soon. Get those houseplants in, the herbs and produce harvested, any perennials in your pots transplanted and your ceramic pots dumped out and stored for winter. Put in some fall bulbs for your spring show and plant some pansies and mums to brighten up the yard.

Mound up some soil over your tender perennials and wait until spring to cut back your roses and grasses. I usually let all of my perennials stay unpruned and just cut back the messy dead annuals. I feel the extra foliage adds protection and makes for some winter interest. Then it’s time to relax, those garden chores are over for a while.

 

The Cold and Flu Season Cometh

coldWhenever there is a change of seasons there seems to be a rise in illness.   Natural methods for prevention include taking a good multivitamin/mineral daily along with 2,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 daily. I also try to get enough rest, wash my hands frequently, restrict skin contact in public places, eat a whole foods diet and limit sugar which lowers immunity.

If you or someone in your household does get sick, wipe down keyboards, lights switches, TV remotes, doorknobs and other frequently touched places with vinegar. Relieve congested sinuses and chests with a tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil steam. Eat lots of organic veggies and hot foods with plenty of garlic and onions. Skip the smoothies, dairy products and cold salads and go for spicy hot vegetable curries, stir frys and soups. Get enough rest and drink plenty of hot tea. I like elderberry or sage tea with lemon and honey.

Dress for the weather. It makes me crazy to see little kids with deep, rattly coughs and runny noses out in cold, wet weather without hats, scarves or coats. They shouldn’t be out in the first place, nor should you if you’re sick. Remember to sneeze and cough into your sleeve or elbow, not your hands! Grab a good novel, a cup of tea, take a long hot bath and go to bed!

 

Recipes of the Month

 

What to do with all those harvested herbs? Make a sauce! This is a great marinade or topping for beef, pork and chicken. I have also used it with tasty success on veggies.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • hotpeper1 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar                  
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt

Combine in food processor or mortar and pestle. Will keep in the refrigerator for weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

 

Garden Herb Blend

Another great use for those dried herbs. This seasoning blend is great for adding antioxidants and flavor to soups, casseroles, veggies and meats, basically all your savory items. Feel free to substitute whatever herbs you have on hand. The base of dried garlic and onion is essential. You can get them in the bulk section of natural food stores or at spice shops. A part is anything from a teaspoon to a cup, depending on how much you want to make.

  • 1 part parsley
  • 2 parts garlic flakes
  • 2 parts onion granules
  • 1 part dill
  • 1 part marjoram or oregano
  • 1 part thyme

Combine and store in a covered glass container.

 

Pickled Garlic

garlicUse in everything you would use garlic for. Delicious, easy and so good for you.This recipe also works great with jalapeno peppers. Takes away a lot of the heat and intensifies flavor.

  • 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar, you can also use wine or rice vinegar
  • 1tbs. chili flakes
  • 1 tbs. thyme
  • 1 tbs. rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 tbs sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup peeled fresh garlic cloves

Put all of the ingredients except the garlic into a nonreactive saucepan. Bring the contents to a boil, and gently boil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Return the contents to a boil, then cover the pan, and remove it from the heat. Transfer ingredients to a half-pint jar. Let the jar cool, and cover it tightly with a nonreactive cap. Store in refrigerator. The garlic will be ready to eat in about 5 days, and will keep for about 3 months in the fridge.

 

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

tomatoGood recipe if you have bowls of harvested tomatoes on your counter. You can freeze and use later. Also great for giving some flavor to those bland winter tomatoes. Use on pizzas, in sauces, soups, stews and casseroles, anywhere you want a concentrated tomato flavor.

Preheat oven to 275. Cut fresh tomatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl. Season with a pinch of sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic cloves and dried herbs of choice. The garden blend above is great on this. Toss gently. Place tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet, in a single layer, and drizzle with any leftover oil. Roast 2-3 hours for regular tomatoes, 45 minutes for cherry tomatoes, until soft and sweet.

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