Fermented Garlic in Honey

There are few foods that I love more than those that are sweet, tangy and a little bit funky – fermentations fit that bill! You give me any fermented food and chances are I am eating it straight out of the container with a fork. My fermented garlic in honey is an easy to make ferment, requiring very little prep time, very little ferment time and has a ton of pay off.

The result is garlic that is sweeter, more mellow and less sharp, softened by time and patience, while the honey is thinner, pungent and begging to be eaten. I hear you, hesitant and wondering, what the heck are you going to do with a jar of tasty, funky garlic and tangy, sweet honey? Drizzle the honey on soba noodles with green onions, slice up the garlic for your stir-fry, or add to beef stew – anywhere you need a subtle hit of flavor that’s unexpected. Even better, take a spoonful of the honey at the sign of a sore throat. Ready to give it a try?

10-15 heads of garlic, cloves peeled – I don’t recommend using pre-peeled garlic.
16 ounces of honey
1 tablespoon of chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 pint mason jar, sterilized (see note below)

Note: To sanitize your jar, wash your jar with hot soapy water and boil your jar for 5 mins, washing the lid and ring in as hot and soapy water as you can handle.

If you haven’t peeled your garlic already, go ahead and do that. I like to take the flat part of the knife blade and press the cloves until they crush, and the peel comes loose.

Next, smash your garlic, so it’s flat and splits up, you can also run a knife through it into chunks. I found that smashing my garlic to peel and giving it another smash broke them up enough for me. You’re looking for surface area, and if you want to slice or chop the garlic down even more, you’re welcome to. I am all about easy!

Next, fill your sanitized jar with the smashed garlic cloves, leaving about 1.5 inches from the top. If you want to add chili pepper flakes, now is the time. Give everything a good tap, or gently press down with clean hands, to make sure everything is settled and to remove any extra space.


Next, cover with honey. A heads up, this part takes a good amount of time as you let the honey fill every nook and cranny and sink to the bottom of your jar, which means pouring and waiting. This may be a good time to grab a drink or watch a show and keep coming back to it! When your honey completely covers your garlic, and no additional bubbles are popping up, add just a little more honey – you want it to be about an 3/4 inch from the top. Wipe the lid of the jar with a damp paper towel and close your jar. Place the jars on a plate or in a glass dish to catch any honey that escapes or from when you burb it! Yep, you’ll burp those jars like a tiny, well-fed baby my friend.

garlic and chili

Why and how do you burp your jars?? As your garlic ferments and starts to break down, it will product carbon dioxide, so burping, or opening the jar to let that out is needed. I’ll warn you now, it’ll be a little stinky, but it’s all part of the delicious process! You’ll do this every day or two for 4-6 weeks, but you can let it go longer if you like. When you’re happy with the taste and texture, you can keep it in your fridge for up to a year.

A couple of notes – you may see your garlic turn blue. This is perfectly safe and a common occurrence! It’s a pH change and your ferment is still safe. While honey is a great fermenting tool and botulism is low risk, you should keep an eye out for mold, which can be the result of not using a clean jar, or not handling with clean hands or utensils when burping or tasting your ferment.

I really hope you try this and enjoy it! Please let me know what you think!

Yours in tasty treats,

Christmas Stressings

Hello dear reader! 

I know it’s been quite some time since my last post – I’ll update on that after Christmas!  Speaking of, the holidays can be a magical time, but they sure can be hard too! It can seem like finding that balance is an insurmountable task, but does it have to be? The pandemic got me thinking about how I spend my emotional and physical energy and I am bringing that into this holiday season this year. While I wrote this piece originally for work, there’s value in sharing it far and wide!  Here is how I am keeping myself organized and a little more sane this year – I hope it helps you!

  1. Make a list of must do’s to prioritize the things that matter most to you…and share that with others! Your Aunt and her kids want to see you, but the in-laws also want you to come over, and you should probably stop by to see your brother, but the idea of hitting all the homes in one day sounds awful. Offer to host or choose which events to take part in. Setting boundaries and expectations early on can help ensure you don’t overcommit or feel bad if you can’t (or don’t want to) do something. Which leads to the next one…
  2. Say no! It is a simple one, but sometimes being ok with not committing or not doing something is the best gift of all. It is ok to hold time for yourself and allow yourself to be recharged! If it does not feel great to say no, try offering an alternative and find time to connect after the holidays. No can also be, “Not right now.”
  3. Find quiet moments in the craziness. I am not always good at this but scheduling time to take a break is necessary to keep my energy up and my happiness in the green. Need 10 minutes of yoga in the morning or an hour of reading at night, or a hot bath to unwind? Schedule it like you would any other important meeting or activity and tell those around you!
  4. Do something different! This year, instead of the normal gift giving, I will be giving experiences for most of my presents; not your normal “gift coupon books,” I will be prepaying for gymnastics class for kiddo; wine tasting for my friends; and cooking classes for the in laws that they can do with my daughter. Less waste and clutter AND more fun? Yes, please! It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. This year, instead of standing in line to see Santa, we planned to feed Alpacas and take a holiday picture there – no lines AND it is fun! Plus, the cost is a donation of canned food to help local families. It is a win all around.
  5. Give yourself grace. While the above are great, sometimes you may still feel overwhelmed and just need to let it out. That is ok, and if a good cry is what gets you through the holidays, then let yourself have it, shame free. Bacon knows I have had my share of meltdowns and overwhelm the past few weeks.

Here is to a holiday that is fun, relaxing, and more of what you would like it to be! If you have other ideas for self-care during busy times, please let me know! I’d love to share them!

Yours in taking care,

Where There’s Smoke

What a year. Covid, murder hornets, wild fires and don’t get me started on all the sourdough bread I ate. What a dumpster fire 2020 was – but you know what pairs well with a dumpster fire? A Cocktail.

Specifically, Mezcal cocktails. With it’s smoky goodness it’s a pretty great ingredient to help send out the year. Mezcal can range from floral to heavy smoke and for these cocktails, I went with one lower on the smoke scale. While I partnered a few months ago with El Silencio, Yuu Baal is another good option.

So, ready to put 2020 behind you with a couple cocktails?

Smoke and Fire
1 part Mezcal
3 parts pineapple juice
1 splash key lime juice
Tajin or a spicy lime salt for dusting (I also like Kinders’ Tequila Lime)
Pineapple slices for garnish
Directions: Coat the rim of your glass with line and coat with your Tajin. Combine juice, Mezcal and ice, shake, strain and pour into your glass. (1 part = 1 ounce, but you can mix it up to taste).

Since one cocktail is delicious, why not add in another? This one combines the herbaceous flavor of rosemary, the tartness of grapefruit and the slight smoke of the Mezcal.

1 part Mezcal
1 part rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
1 part grapefruit juice
1 part fizzy water or tonic
Directions: Combine all ingredients with ice, shake, strain and pour into a glass.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
A tip: Simple syrup is always 1 part sugar to 1 part water.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 large sprigs of rosemary
Directions: combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring until combines and just starting to simmer. Take off of heat and add your rosemary and let it steep for 20 minutes while it cools off. Remove the rosemary and chill your syrup. A note: When I added my rosemary at the start, the flavor was a little too bitter for me.

So there you go – 2 easy drinks to wrap up the year and bring in more of the good! I’ll be back soon to update you on all that’s been going on and to showcase more of what you can expect to see in 2021!

How are you spending your New Years, dear reader?

Yours in looking forward to better days!

****As always, I disclose when I have partnered with a company. I did receive both product and compensation for an Instagram post with El Silencio, but this post is all me. 🙂

Relaxing Winter Tisane

Lately my sleep has been all over the place. Blame it on the craziness of 2020 or any of the other things that a normal year may bring. Up late? Yep. Asleep at 7 pm? That too. I’ve been working on other relaxation techniques, but came to the realization that I needed to cut down on coffee and not have it after noon if I wanted to get any sleep. It’s cold here in Seattle, and I still want something warm – enter my winter tisane.

Wait…I can hear you asking, “what’s a tisane”? Think tea, but without the true tea leaves – various plant components (like roots, stems, flowers, leaves of plants) steeped in hot water.

This tasty combo is earthy, chocolaty and has just a hint of orange. 3 easy to find ingredients that I now keep in my rotation to keep me warm and happy.

Relaxing Winter Tisane
Makes 3 cups

2 Tablespoons cacao husks, like the ones from the Cacao Tea Co.*
1 Tablespoon organic roasted dandelion root (it should come chopped, if not, run a sharp knife over it until it’s in small pieces)
1/8 Teaspoon dried orange peel (optional)
Cream and honey to taste

Add the cacao husks, dandelion root and orange peel to a heatproof container or coffee press, pour hot (but not boiling) water over the mixtures and let steep for 5-7 mins. Strain out the solids and pour into a cup. Add cream and honey to taste.

Easy, right? It’s easy to make it your own by add other herbs or flavors that make you happy. Enjoy!

Yours in getting a good nights sleep,

*As always, I will only recommend products I have tested and feel good about the quality of those products. The nice folks at The Cacao Tea Co were kind enough to send me a bag of their cacao husks to try out.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Hi there Dear Reader. Remember that last post when I said that this year was the year of doing more and that 2020 was already looking to be pretty dang great? Yeah…I clearly jinxed us. Or Covid-19 did. Either way, here we sit in the middle of a pandemic, playing homeschool teachers, trying to carve out a sense of normalcy, and likely (let’s face it) trying to figure out when an appropriate time to day drink actually is.

My work day is mostly the same – I wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee, walk the 20 steps to my office, shut my door and go to meetings like always. Meetings now kick off with discussions of how everyone is coping and moves back to business. I am so very lucky that my work life really hasn’t changed much and I know it’s not that way for everyone. My little family has felt the impacts of Covid as well. Nick is a chef, and the hospitality industry was hit hard and early on and he’s on leave for now. Izzy’s school is also closed. Lucky for us, those two things happened close to the same time, so they are able to play together and she can get some version of home school.

I won’t lie, It’s really hard not to grieve (for a lack of a better word) the ability to see people, and go out normally. I do find myself anxious and unsure of what to do with myself. It’s the unknown that’s the hardest – when will this end? How bad will it get? Not having answers and feeling isolated is hard for me, as I’m sure it is for all of you. At least we’re all in this together.

We fill our time with the long list of to do’s that had been piling up – rebuild and paint the chicken coop, make more beef stock, redo the garden beds – check, check, and check. The 3 camping trips I set up were cancelled with the closure of state parks, so we camped in the living room. We’re finding creative ways to stay happy, and I’ve had time to reflect on myself and this situation. Do I have a lot of answers? Oh man, no, but here’s what I have learned so far:

1. Turns out I am not a homeschooler. Nope. Not good at it. No thank you. While my kiddo is learning, I am so grateful for a partner that seems to have infinite patience and is really good at teaching. I am throwing beers at him to keep that going.
2. I need tasks and I need structure. So much of my off time was spent running errands, or going to the park, just going. Without that, I turn into a grumpy mess that no snack bar can fix. I’ve got a list of tasks to keep me from turning into a tornado of emotions.
3. I also need time to recoup. I’m still taking my PTO even though plans have cancelled. I am resting, taking baths, and trying to write.
4. I’m working on avoiding social media. This one has been hard for a social gal like myself. I crave interaction, but loathe the pettiness and misinformation on the interwebs. For every person I have to mute, I “like” a page on llamas or something fun.
5. Lastly, my kid is resilient. I asked her how she was doing with everything that’s happening and when it got to the topic of fear, she reported, “why would I be scared? I have you and Daddy.” As long as I can keep a safe place for her, I think I am doing alright.

So here I am reporting to you from my office, still in my pajamas at 12:30, because, well, I don’t have any place to be and frankly these sweat pants are dang comfy.

Here’s to all of us getting through this together – how are you taking care in this crazy time?

Oh, and Dear Reader – the answer to your earlier question about when an acceptable time to start drinking actually is? Yeah, about 2 weeks ago, when all this crap started. God speed.

Yours in isolation,

Getting to more

Man. 2019 was an odd year. Anyone else feel that way and ready for all that 2020 has to offer? I started 2019 neck-deep in a project at work, launching a new program and coordinating background checks and technology access for over a dozen people, while supporting my other teams. While that program required long hours, creative problem solving and a lot of training needs, it was the highlight of my professional career and I was happy to give it my all. 8 months into the year, I would eventually hand it off, and prep for the next projects, and of course breathe. If you were wondering where I’d been on the blog the past year, that’d mostly be why – if it wasn’t work or family, it took a back seat.

2019 wasn’t just about work, it also became the year of travel. We camped in tiny cabins in the woods, sitting close to fires, chasing salmon runs, and watching herds of elk make their way slowly into clearings. We stomped through puddles in the woods on the hunt for nettles and miners lettuce, and we sat in hot tubs for hours on the San Juan Islands. We celebrated my 41st year of life in Canada, exploring every area we could. We flew to Kansas to visit family, riding on tractors and spotting cows, taking in time with Izzy’s Great Grandparent’s in what would likely be our last trip to see them. We experienced the Midwest’s storms and watched lightning strike while listening to family stories well into the night. We headed to Disneyland for the first time as a family and I was able to watch the excitement of my favorite place through the eyes of my fast-growing kiddo. So many adventures squeezed into the year, and so many good memories.

If you know me in real life, or followed on the blog – it was quiet in 2019, more so than my normal adventure packed years. I wasn’t feeling the desire or ability to write. I would start posts and then park them. Start, and then park. The ideas were there, but the energy wasn’t, so those posts, along with a few craft projects and friendships went to the way-side, the passion to do all the things tempered with the reality that I couldn’t (and at the end of the day didn’t want to) do it all.

Slowly, the creative urge started to return. I worked on crafts, teaching myself how to spin fiber into yarn and how to dye fabric with natural dyes. I took classes on crafting and herbalism and continued to focus on making salves and tinctures. I even started dipping my toes back into teaching crafting classes one on one.

Oh dear reader, there was food; always food. So many nights spent cooking, curing, fermenting and canning. There was the epic weekend of 50 lbs of tomatoes, the week of all things peaches, and the pickled fiddle head ferns, the nettle pesto, or that smoked brisket. When stressed, or just needing a break, I’ve always taken to the kitchen and this last year was no different. The gardens produced more flowers and tomatoes than any other vegetables, and we ended up adopting out the rabbits that had turned into pets rather than meals.

So here we are, already 2 months into 2020 and it’s already feeling different than last year. While 2019 was the year of hunkering down and saying no, 2020 is already the year of more. More time with friends, more long chats and reconnecting. More trips away planned, more house projects completed already with a to do list a mile long (dang old houses). The year of more is just that and it feels good.

So dear reader, while I’ve not been around as much as I have, I’m changing that and hope to hear more from you all too. Here’s to one heck of a 2020 and to more of all of the good.