a simple syrup recipe for immune support & sweet relief~
Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.
Call up your men, dilly dilly, set them to work,
Some with a rake, dilly dilly, some with a fork;
Some to make hay, dilly dilly, some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly, keep ourselves warm.
If you should die, dilly dilly, as it may hap,
You shall be buried, dilly dilly, under the tap;
Who told you so, dilly dilly, pray tell me why?
That you might drink, dilly dilly, when you are dry.
- English nursery rhyme from the 17th century
September brings us to a great balancing point… Summer is officially slipping away, the wind tugging on its hems. The berries, the seeds, the grains are all available to us & we can watch the world busy in the gathering of them both in the animal kingdom & in our farms, in our own gardens. Perhaps the leaves have begun to shift their colors where you are. Just this morning, I noticed that the Mulberry trees in my backyard have begun to yellow in places & even drop some of their leaves.
We are moving towards Autumn, one of my most cherished times of the year, & we will celebrate its arrival on the 22nd of September: the Equinox. This is a time of complete balance in light & dark, & it is on this date that we are officially ushered into the fall.
Just like our animal companions, this is a wonderful time of the year to stock our pantries with Summer's bounty & harvest.
I can personally feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do at this time of the year, how much there is to harvest & make medicine with, so I always keep a little list at the start of each week with the plants I'd like to harvest, & what kinds of medicine I'd like to create with them. In the spirit of this, I am delighted to offer a favorite recipe of mine to line your Autumn & Winter cupboard with. It will support digestion, immunity, & the nervous system while also bringing a little sweetness & warmth to the body & Spirit:
Lavender Blue Syrup
-- 2 cups of dried elderberries
-- 1 nice handful of fresh or dried lavender
-- 1 stick of cinnamon
-- a few cardamom pods
-- 5 cups of water
-- 1 cup of raw, local honey (substitute maple syrup or agave for a vegan/infant friendly recipe)**
-- 1 cup of brandy is optional to keep a longer shelf life
-- combine your elderberries, lavender, & herbs with 5 cups of water in pot & bring to a boil
-- reduce the heat & simmer 30-45 minutes
-- remove from heat & let steep 1-2 hours
-- strain this strong infusion with a sieve or cheesecloth back into the pot
-- on low or no heat, add in the honey (or your sweetener of choice), keeping this ratio in mind: 8 ounces of honey to every 1 cup of infusion
-- stir your mix well, taking care not to overheat or let it boil, but allowing the honey to dissolve & incorporate
-- if using brandy, remove from heat, add now, & stir well
-- pour into clean, sterilized bottles/jars
-- add a label
-- especially if you choose not to add brandy, store your syrup in the refrigerator, it should keep for up to six months
Enjoy this syrup on its own by the spoonful when feeling under the weather, added into tisane, into an immune supportive tonic blend, drink some in seltzer, & add to your favorite foods such as over pancakes, oatmeal, or anything else you'd like to add a little sweetness to ~