The weather outside is frightful; Storm Henry is still creating mischief in the garden and it’s bitterly cold outside! Bird feeders constantly need refilled as a small flock of long-tailed tits arrive, keeping company with the chaffinches. The dunnocks are learning to hold their ground when the robins try and bully them. At dusk the rooks sit on the branches plotting, in the morning the feeders are on the ground – empty. Little wrens hop around the hedge footings grabbing a morsel when they can; and through the study window a female finch observes my studious labour as she eats her fill from seeds left on the window cill.

And the spices? Well its too cold to venture outside, everything is mud spattered, torn and flattened by the unrelenting wind and they are so photogenic!

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is such a useful spice in the kitchen and the Kitchen pharmacy, taken in a little milk it helps calm the mind and eases abdominal muscle tension, but not too much or it “dulls the mind”

Star anise (Illicium verum) is high in volatile oils and is a useful digestive spice, relieving flatulence and colic, can be used for toothache too.

Cape Gooseberry (Physalis spp) have traditionally been used in Western Herbal medicine to treat urinary and arthritic problems.

Useful, pretty, tasty and photogenic!  As Hippocrates is attributed as saying “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food”

Look at your food with new eyes today – enjoy!