Halloween, Uncategorized

Wayward Sisters’ Apothecary


33 thoughts on “Wayward Sisters’ Apothecary

  1. Your tag (“What sisters aren’t weird?”) cracked me up. The photo’s wonderful — mysterious, and just slightly worrisome. It doesn’t look like blood in that beaker, but on the other hand, anyone with the skills to keep an apothecary could do who knows what after the customers have been sent home and the door locked.

    • At Cooperstown Farmers Museum, they had live leeches in a glass jar – -the apothecary (a really great reenactor) told me they were shipped in from France! I know hospitals still use them, and they used to call certain doctors “leeches” and not in a financial/negative way. But I could not take a decent photo.

      • Shipped from France? Someone ought to tell them about Leech Lake, in Minnesota — or any of those lakes. We used to vacation there when I was a kid, and picking leeches off after swimming was just part of the deal. They still use leeches for bait up there, and last spring leech dealers were concerned about a late ice out. I wonder what’s so special about French leeches? You can get nice, plump ones in Minnesota; I wonder if they’re around Wisconsin, too?

        • Yikes! Wasn’t sure if you were serious about “Leech Lake,” but I see that you are! I can’t remember why they had them shipped in, but the guide was adamant that they were the best for medical purposes. I just read that doctors never use wild-caught ones, to make sure they’re not carrying parasites, germs, etc. so maybe the snail-raising farms in France breed leeches too, in the off-season.

            • Yes to the big feast, everyone in my family cooks, my sister makes breads & pies, usually with visiting family, and/or stray foreign kids from the college my mother works at, but this year, it’s looking like just immediate family, I’m going to fly in for 3 days.

                • Thanks, Melissa, hoping the weather is clear so we can see the lakes on the flight. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, too! We do a traditional turkey dinner, but a few years ago, I brought a college friend home with me, who was vegetarian, and we made “panzanella” (a roasted veggie salad) for him, and now that’s my contribution to the feast, so I’ll start chopping the minute I get in the door! 🙂

                • That sounds interesting~what goes into it? I’ve developed a real love for roasted vegetables. This house does not have an oven large enough for a turkey, and the dining room is my studio, so traditional thanksgiving has never worked here. Usually my ex-husband would take our kids down to his mom’s, but she has just passed away so I am wondering what we are going to do. My mother never did traditional thanksgiving either. If my parents were in the country we would go out to eat, or they would farm me out to neighbors. I don’t have good memories and generally would prefer to ignore the whole thing. I’m sorry~that all just sort of poured out!

                • So I don’t forget, first, panzanella in the summer is a great way to use up stale bread and too many tomatoes. But the fall version is from the NY Times “Panzanella of Plenty.” Very adaptable, use what fall veggies you’ve got, and you don’t have to make a massive amount. Just take one beet, some Brussels sprouts, squash if you have it, etc. and cut them up in cubes, and put them under the broiler or bake ‘em. You don’t have to put in all the stuff in the recipe, chestnuts are usually pricey, black walnuts work great, and a lot of folks are glad if you’ll pick them up off their lawns, if you can deal with the mess of cracking them, etc. they’re delicious roasted. But definitely use a roasted beet (I don’t like beets unless they’re roasted or pickled) and some cranberries, I use the dried ones in a foil pouch, it gives it great color and looks festive. I’m sorry it has bad associations for you, T-bird day is a very American thing, like Xmas, and can be overhyped and make people feel sidelined somehow, the symbol of overeating, and also, it’s November and the weather is often crappy. We should do it when the Canadians do, also usually Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival. I like the kid’s fable version with the native & Pilgrims, but I don’t like Black Friday, football coming out of every TV, and all that. If the oven’s small, can you do roasted chicken instead? Which I prefer. Were your parents in the service overseas?

                • My dad was a civil engineer and his company does hydroelectric projects all over the world. He used to joke that it would be nice to be sent to someplace North of the equator for a change. They sent him to Alaska. In Winter. LOL! He would be gone for years at a time and my mother was often with him. A couple of times I went along too. I was always so happy to get back home. All that travel was wasted on me, I’m afraid. I’m a confirmed homebody.
                  The recipe sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. I’m with you on beets but I do like their color and cranberries would add a nice zing along with color. Can’t wait to try it. We did talk about Thanksgiving and I think we have menu that will work. I hadn’t thought about roasted chicken. I’d prefer that as well.

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