Tag Archive: food

share My garden soul artsy eggplant

I recently read an article on how to get children to eat (and love) vegetables. Have them plant them, watch them grow through all their stages, tend them and harvest them in a garden! As children are so curious and tender-hearted, growing their own veggies is fascinating for them to watch from seedling to maturity,  becoming protective of their well-being as they grow  ….and finally getting to EAT them too when at last they are ready! Harvesting is often like playing a game of hide and seek!



Garden Guys 10

A Grandson in the Veggie Garden


Garden Guys 2 (2)

Grandsons in the Garden!



Aiden Garden

The “little”  grandson in the above pictures is growing like a weed! He likes mini tomatoes.


I myself must have a child’s spirit when I have planted and tended my own vegetable gardens, totally mesmerized by all of the fascinating stages from seed to seedling, to green leaves , budding flowers and the pushing out, giving birth from the flower center of the veggie itself. Switching to my Mothering-self, these plants become my children in the garden and I am in and out of the house, camera-in-hand photographing them and their curious idiosynchronistic ways and then writing about them in my blogs ie  https://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/my-garden-my-soul-part-14-cukes-overboard/.  My veggie garden is a creative resource for me!


squashling iP

photo credit: from my daughter’s garden MGPerry


Colors Beanlings

Are you REALLY going to turn into a BEAN?? C’mon you can DO it!


Colors 25

Oooh! Hello baby tomatoes!

Switching again to my poetic and spiritual-self, I often make metaphoric connections between the plants and my own personal life situations, finding that the green KINdom..veggies, herbs, flowers,trees have much to teach me about how to live wisely and well.




Bean Baby

Beanie Babies: What is sprouting new in me?


Shy pumpkin teaches me it is okay to sometimes stay behind the action until I am really confident and mature enough to engage with the World! 



Shy Pumpkin

Shy Pumpkin

Purple Kale teaches me “If you’ve got it, FLAUNT IT! “


Kale with water droplet-look!

Aren’t I just so gorgeous??? (Purple Kale in my Garden)


From my lovely eggplant and its roundness, I learn to celebrate my own womanly form, round and curvy, and yet firm, full of the seeds of creativity and life in all stages.

share My garden soul artsy eggplant


This is all so much fun and fun in these ways is Virtuous. However in a more serious vein, the Veggie Virtues of Nourishment and Strength are such awesome blessings upon us  from these delicious gifts of the Earth, that forever in the Garden and at the the Table we should always give thanks for this that sustains us body, mind and spirit. There is a life force, a vibrant Veriditas/Greening Spirit,  always present in the plants whether growing in the garden or on our plates, and in partaking of this powerful energy,, we are intimately connected with the life force of Nature and of the Creator who loves us.


veggies fm

a little help from the farmers market garden



May all be blessed in our gardens of Flowers, Herbs and Vegetables and let their Virtues live in us.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

Pearls Gardening

You are invited to check out some delicious recipes on my food blog! :



Eggplant basi teasers






On the virtues of the herb Lemon Balm~ “It maketh one merry” ~ Hildegard of Bingen

herbal virtue morning herbs

Morning tea blend from my garden: Nettle, red clover, mugwort

On the virtues of the herb Lemon Balm~ “It maketh one merry” ~ Hildegard of Bingen   *(to be in a merry state is an important component of good health)

There is something particularly magical about Herb gardens and in particular, something mythically magical about Gardeners themselves who raise, tend and wisely use these herbs for the making of herbal teas and potions for healing.Those who knew and still do know about the inherent powers in the plants that offer healing to both creatures and humans alike were both admired and feared and in older times, labeled as wisewoman or witch for their knowledge of the secrets of Nature. What is odd about this view is that the healing powers in the herb gardens was also a tradition kept alive by monks of the medieval Catholic Church as apothecaries in their monasteries, most of which had impressive herb gardens to care for both the monks and the villagers where they lived. The awesome Benedictine  abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) amongst her other extraordinary gifts of music, writing, visions, prophecies and teaching, in her later years wrote three books of medicine based in the medieval use of herbalism and the greeningspirit (veriditas) energies of Nature.


Herbalist (2)

Herbal wise woman




Cadfael herbs

Brother Cadfael in his herbal apothecary

I have always felt like that magical wise woman as I tended the many herbs both medicinal and culinary in my gardens. Moving amongst them, gathering them, LISTENING to them, using them,  always stirs my imagination and images of ancient times dimly remembered and seemingly familiar. A felt-sense of history/HERstory. A scriptural quote that was presented to me serendipitously seemed apropos to this experience:

  “And the Holy One says ‘Stand at the crossroads and look, asking for ancient paths where the good way lies. And walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’ ”  ~ Jeremiah 6:16

The herb garden with its ancient paths and ever-present healing gifts is certainly a good way to follow!




Ms borage without border

Borage (for courage!)



Milkweed and Echinacea PICA

Echinacea and Milkweed in my garden



Mugwort and clover

Mugwort and red clover in my garden

BUT herbs have another virtue and that is saved for the kitchen and those of us who love to cook and adore delicious food! The herb garden is a scentuous symphony of flavors to tempt and delight even the most jaded or bored eater! Basils, rosemary, sage, chervil, lemon verbena, the thymes, sweet marjoram and oregano, chives, caraway and of course, the heavier spices from bark and seeds imported from faraway exotic places not near or backyard gardens. Fresh or dried they make us hungry for beauty on the tongue and for the tummy and stimulate creative cooking for ourselves or as loving gifts for family and friends! Or even a delicious tea to sip while reading a good book! A kitchen without bouquets of herbs on the counter or collections in the cabinet tells me much about who cooks dinner regularly or orders take-out!




My special herbal vinegar with lovage, garlic and hot pepper




Chives in my garden





share basil quiche

Tomato, Basil and Cheese  Quiche

Herbal virtues one cuppa

Spearmint, lemon balm and rose petal tea

    Whether you include herbs for either medicinal or culinary projects, know that you are entering a truly magical time filled with ancient secrets and wisdom… enjoy and share these virtues with others whom you love and treasure! In fact all herbs are a mixture of both medicine and food… you can’t lose either way…you bring the gift of love and healing from your garden of herbs!

Other herbal post on the Greening Spirit:






From Christine, the Greening Spirit

Moi FM

I invite you to visit my other blogs for recipes, inspiration and music!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com    (Tomato, Basil and Cheese Quiche)


http://thewinterkitchenfarmacy.wordpress.com  (Herbal Fire Cider Recipe)





Why is a recipe from my foodie blog http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.worpdress.com here on the Greening Spirit site? Because delicious food lifts our spirits and gives us something to look forward to after our day’s work and travels “in the world”. Good food also brings loved ones to and around the table for “communion”… and communion means food for the soul as well as the body around the table’s altar. Here is the  “greening spirit” recipe from yesterday’s post on “sensuous soups and suppers”:

Well, yes it is true that so many of us grow weary and discouraged on FB these days given the chaos of our present political challenges. Taking time out from posting alarms and alerts, some of us eventually resort to alternating posts between our opinions and activism, with Comic Relief (funny cartoons or snarky wit), Beauty (flowers and scenery), Cutsies (kittens, puppies and babies) and  FOOD! (WHAT WE ARE HAVING FOR DINNER!).

Last night I fled to my kitchenette (only 6 inches away from my tiny apartment living room) to free my mind and heart from stress, and to dive wholeheartedly with my hungry tummy into pure comfort and creativity with an awesome Italian recipe inspired by Lidia Bastianich,  I say “inspired by” because she started the whole thing off in her recipe book, but I, Imdependent  and renegade Cooker myself, always have to tweak a recipe to make it mine, ALL MINE! So to be fair, let’s maybe say it was a winning “collaboration”,

When I posted the above picture on FB for good cheer, it must have provided some much needed comfort as more people jumped into my post with comments about this than about anything  elseI have posted all week. Several even sent me private messages asking (begging) for the recipe. Which of course I promised to do…what else are friends for? So wipe your chins dear salivators !…here we go… feel free to make it yours too with your own tweaks.


1 box/pkg of gnocchi

1 10 oz pjg of frozen peas, defrosted)

5 thin stalks of asparagus, steamed and cut into thirds

4 or 5 small cocktail tomatoes, seeds squeezed out and quartered

1/2 heavy crème OR half n  half OR evaporated mil

1 cup of chicken broth

2 tablespoons of butter salted or non salted

6 oz of crumbled gorgonzola

a dash of garlic powder, a dash of Italian herb blend (I used Penzys Tuscan blend)

a little squeesze..drops really to taste…of lemon. Go very easy on this to taste

salt and pepper to taste


**(Don’t forget a glass of rose (not red! not white!) wine to accompany. (Red is too strong, white is too “white”…I cook with complementary colors..there is enough white in this sauce)

*** Put on some nice music. Preferably by Josh Groban singing in Italian. Shut off the news on tv!



Boil the gnocchi according to the instructions of the box (Lidia makes her OWN gnocchi from scratch. Not me…one of my ingenious creative tweaks). Drain and set aside

Saute the butter (you can add a little more if you want.) in a large frying pan with  higher sides. When melted, add the combined milk and broth and dash of herbal blend and bring to a boil, then lower heat and let it cook for about 8 minutes to thicken a bit..sort of..stirring often. DO NOT burn or rapid boil and bubble (trouble!).

Add the gorgonzola and stir to melt. Taste and season to your liking.,, salt and pepper, a tiny squeeze of lemon (be careful here) and a dash of garlic powder.

Add the peas, asparagus and cocktail tomatoes and stir.

FINALLY,  add the gnocchi to coat completely.


IMPORTANT ! Take a picture and post it on FB so your friends can drool, leave lots of comments and then send them the link to this recipe on my blog!


From Christine, the Greening Spirit a la “The Cook” on https://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

***Picture with my granddaughter Giana who is now 11 years old. ( I am the same age as I was then).

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A-MAZE-ing Corn Chowda!

        In yesterday’s post I gave you the recipe for Norman LeClair’s awesome corn chowder recipe, so you will have to seek it out by backing up a day to find it here. This is an absolutely scrumptious soup..I used two cups of fresh local corn, scraping off the kernels and saving the clear milk of the plant to add to the pot..a variation is that I added a touch of heat with a dash of ground cayenne…I hope you try this and I am SURE you will LOVE it! (Comfort food) Make some buttermilk biscuits to go along with this…


Starting with the     ingredients…

chopping and sauteeing

Go back to October 3, 2014 for the recipe https://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/a-maze-ing-maize-with-corn-soup-recipe/



The state of healthcare in this country is in a mess! The economy is in a mess! I personally have become one of the millions of self-employed people who have lost health care because of what is happening now, caught at the dangerous and chaotic crossroads of cultural breakdown and the as yet uncertain new direction and possibility for overhaul and renewal. I am fortunately quite healthy and in the unusual position of being past “midlife” and on no medications whatsoever. Yet, in this culture, being without health insurance is cause for anxiety and for many people whose medical and medications needs are great, terrifying.

I am also an herbalist, and a lover of the Earth and in this, I am able to work past some of the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness by drawing on the indigenous traditions and knowledge that lead us into nature and our gardens for healing of body and spirit through the wise use of wild plants, herbs and home grown vegetables. Whether it is conscious or not, there is a trend culturally that seems to point to this emerging awareness of seeking wellness by going back to our natural “roots” as it were… farmers’ markets are emerging in odd lots with a delightful feel of festivity in many local communities, garden centers are everywhere, their herb sections are overflowing and enticing passers-by. People are drawn to them as if magic, altho often one will over-hear the statement…”I am not sure what to do with these or what they are for….”. The interest in Heirloom Vegetables (grown for flavour and immediate consumption from the garden rather than tasteless long distance transport and shelf life) reveals an emerging interest in both sensuous nutritional savouring and the fascinating histories that come with the “seed savers” movement. In all this is a fierce, tho possibly unrecognized, call to independence, natural values, connection with the earth, and desire for beauty and wellness in forms that are free from the rigid structures and indoctrination of the industrial, multinational and advertising conglomerates that have shaped our consumerist consciousness and that is often misleading, false, and downright dangerous to a healthy way of Life.

A case in point is the Dandelion..one of Nature’s most glorious healing plants both from a medicinal and culinary point of view…which, by the way…is what all natural food should be. In native culture the word “medicine” is not used for what fixes you after you are broken or sick. ”Good medicine” is what keeps you whole and healthy so that you don’t get sick! The Dandelion, is both food and good medicine. And the Dandelion is in DANGER! Except for those artistic gardeners for whom a perfect green turf is part of an aesthetic creation, the Dandelion is in danger by the cultural thoughtforms and the market that is “status” driven and has convinced us that a perfect bountiful green lawn is equal to a perfect bountiful GREEN bank account! A sneaky was to “strut your stuff” and success by a very patrician standard. Dandelions are wild and free and “mar” the image of perfection and wealth ( do only the riff-raff have “untidy” and wild lawns?)…therefore a thought form that emerges in the competitive neighborhood one-upmanship and is culturally sanctioned is: “ let’s eradicate that threatening force by calling in the chemical assassins of green imperfection”! I cringe every time I see an advertisement on television for weed killers that graphically, tho in playful colorful cartoon imagery, shows us the wilting/dying of a once joyous dandelion in full yellow bloom after a dead center spray of “weed” poison! Does anyone else recognize what is actually happening there? (What we do to the Earth, we do to US!)

On a May day a number of years back I received an enthusiastic call from a chemical Lawn Service: “WE are going to be in your neighborhood tomorrow!!!… and will offer you a FREE evaluation of all those pesky weeds, with a special one-time price to eradicate…..” I interrupted ” Err…Excuse me…please..WAIT!..I am an herbalist and all those weeds you “eradicate”..chickweed, plantain, DANDELION..we use for medicine and food…I teach people how to collect, cook and prepare them!” He said “hold on, Lady” as he placed his hand to muffle his voice while he shouted across the office “Hey LARRY!..I got this lady on the phone…and she EATS her lawn!”… and turning back to me he says laughing “Thanks Miss, you’ve given me a good laugh….! We’ll call back next year”. (I don’t think so…!)

I have just started my month of May- left-over-from-Fall yard cleanup…in the bright sun last week, my lawn was FULL of bright yellow dandelions…I plucked off the flowers for dandelion fritters for lunch with a cup of soup on the side, and dug up a small basket full of dark dandelion leaves for a stir fry with garlic onions and tomatoes over pasta for dinner, saved some leaves also for a tea for the urinary tract (the French word for Dandelion is Dente de Leon, or “tooth of the lion “ because of the shapes of the leaves, and its common name is “piss-en-lay”, or piss -in-bed since it stimulates the cleansing flow of urine). I saved the roots for a tincture for the health of the liver and digestion and elimination.

Dandelions in Danger! Protect them! Dandelions to the Rescue! Use them! ..A veritable treasure of “good medicine” when you need to bring health, nourishment , vitality and healing to your life and the lives of those in your community. Using this “good medicine” wisely will hopefully keep me in good shape as I use the “health insurance” of the Earth until I can once again afford the hundreds and hundreds of dollars necessary to purchase the Health Insurance of the dominant medical system.

****Christine will be offering a 2 hour-workshop in southern RI in early June called “Your Magical Garden” highlighting the wonderful wild plants/trees that are on the land you call “home”. Culinary, medicinal and magical uses of the plants will be explained, encouraging the participants to go home and identify the GreeningSpirit energies on their own property. Workshop information will go up in the next week. Christine can be contacted at cphoenixrising@earthlink.net

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