The Herb Blurb – December 2020

Hoping to find you all safe and well as this crazy year winds up. Weird Thanksgiving this year with just my husband and I. Missed celebrating the annual feast with my large, rowdy family though he was ecstatic with the reduction in cleaning, dishwashing, and in-laws. He doesn’t share my enthusiasm for dance parties and snowball fights.

Instead of succumbing to the annual onslaught of marketing and charging up your Visa with unnecessary purchases, give a little thought to your gift-giving this year and skip the January regret. Jeff Bezos has enough money, resist the allure of free shipping and consider making purchases from local shops and artists. Gift cards from local restaurants, bookstores, and businesses will help to keep them afloat till this whole sad saga ends.

The Spirit of Giving

With all the misery and hardship in the world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and just focus on ourselves and our own little world. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, gives light to the darkness. Who can you reach out to this season? A homeless shelter? A friend in hard times? A family in need? Give the gift of kindness, it helps us all.

This has been an extremely tough year for a lot of people who are in danger of losing their homes, livelihood, and health insurance. Consider adopting a child or family for the holidays and spread a little cheer.

Check out https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/bhf/adopt-a-child-or-family for opportunities. Get the family involved.

 

Holiday Events

With glimmers of hope on the horizon (finally), there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays. The holiday light shows at the zoo and Botanic Gardens sell out, so don’t wait to make reservations on these.

LIGHT SHOWS

Denver Botanic Gardens has two extravagant light show displays, one downtown and one on the southwest side of town at Chatfield Farms. Both are quite lovely. Blossoms of Light, downtown, nightly through January 16, 4:30-8:30 pm. Trail of Lights at Chatfield, now through January 3, $9 -$13.  https://www.botanicgardens.org 

Denver Zoo – Zoo Lights, now through December 31st, 5:00 – 8:30pm. Fantastic lights, ice sculpting, treats, and frisky wildlife. A traditional favorite. $15 - $25. Reserve online. https://www.denverzoo.org/events/zoolights/

Check https://www.denver.org for more fun things to do.

 

Travel

Trip Planning

One thing that always brightens my mood is planning for travel. As long as I have a trip planned sometime in the future I can get through most anything. Here is a ticket to an upcoming, virtual travel show to get you inspired. free ticket

 

Care of Fresh Christmas Trees

 

Avoid a bristly fire hazard by New Year’s Eve with a little care for your Christmas tree. Be sure to make a fresh cut immediately before you put it up, essential for water uptake. The base container should hold a gallon of water.
Fresh trees need lots of water, so check them daily. If the tree base dries out, the resin will form and you will need to do another fresh cut. Keep them away from fireplaces and heat vents and if you love your tree, you’ll put a humidifier near it or just mist it with water whenever you think of it.
If you have a lot of lights on your tree, keep them off when you are not actually enjoying it. Your tree will appreciate the break from the heat. Use LED lights if possible, they stay cool and are energy efficient. I also turn the thermostat down a few degrees; fresh trees will last longer on the cool side.

 

Health & Beauty

 

The Holidays are Killing Me Face Mask

This is a quick skin soother, great for winter dryness. Tastes good too! Take a few minutes and relax. Put a slice of cool cucumber or a chilled, used tea bag over each eye while your mask tones and soothes.

  • A spoonful of plain organic yogurt
  • Spoonful of honey

Combine and spread on a clean face. When dry, steam off with a warm washcloth. Finish with a cold water rinse. You look fabulous!
Another great mask? Avocado. Avocado is packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins that nourish the skin. Just mash the leftover bit left on the peel and slather on your face. Terrorize the children with your best Wicked Witch of the West imitation. Rinse off when dry. Lovely!

The-Herbalists-Happy-Hour-Cover-V7The Herbalist’s Happy Hour

The Herbalist's Happy Hour includes recipes for fresh, artisanal beverages and finger foods made with ingredients from the garden. I went for low effort and delicious results. It includes recipes for cocktails, infused liquors, non-alcoholic refreshers, bitters, garnishes, savory small bites, and more. From Blueberry Basil Blast to Smoked Salmon Mousse you’ll find plenty of ideas for healthy hydrating and flavorful snacking.

Great gift idea!  Get it here.

 

 

Recipes of the Month

The first 3 recipes are perennial favorites which I personally enjoy and also give as gifts.

Chocolate Dipped, Candied Orange Peel or Ginger

Parmesan Crisps

Spiced Nuts

Holiday Salad

Squash, Chorizo, and Sage Tart

Have a beautiful holiday season. Be safe, be well, and look out for each other.

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