Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Apothecary.

A damp day, dreary only in the weather, and this even, this comforting blanket of grey, was wrapped over the day, pleased to cover the haughty sun, reminding that days of darkness are necessary, needed, and joyful.

"The Apothecary", was written on The Day's List. This List, unfortunately, never transitioned to paper form; thus, the satisfaction of crossing things off was denied. On my daily lists, I usually write down mundane things to do, things which really go unsaid as part of daily life. Yet, if one writes "brush teeth" on a list, by 7:00 a.m. one has already crossed one thing off one's list! Magical! I was in search of Gentian Root. A pharmacy or good old Walgreens would not be able to fill this prespcription, written in purple pen, by my Naturopath. I must go to The Apothecary's. Sounds mystical, no?

As I approached the large bay window which glowed greetings to my sloppy feet, I saw through streaked glass, jars of dried goji berries, tea leaves, spices, and a display of charcoal tablets that oddly reminded me of the old Necco Wafers my dad holds a fondness for. Opening, I entered, as the little bell on the top of the door announced my arrival. Worldly scents flooded into my nostrils, breathing of health, and I closed the door quickly to let none of this precious world escape.

I walked to the apothecary's counter, "Gentian Root, please" I said. "Oh!", said this herbalist, a woman with tightly curled dark hair wearing a soft green sweater, "I'm starting to salivate just at its mention." Salivate? I had been told this stuff was bitter, horrid in smell, and I would only be able to swallow down a few tablespoons before my senses said "no more." This herb, Gentian, also known as Bitterroot, is used in Swedish Bitters, and is supposed to stimulate appetite -- my appetite, specifically.

Just a sip of this stuff would get my stomach juices ready...anxious, even, for food.

Gentian's property though, is drying, and would be nicely tempered by Marshmallow Root Tea's moisture, sipped throughout the day. Yes, both please....

Carefully, 2 oz. of each were measured and bagged in brown paper. As I purchased, the apothecary asked, "would you like a bag for these?" My hesitation was broken by herself answering, "Yes, of course you do! Bags make one feel as if one has done something Important. And, you are doing something Important."

Yes, yes I am...

Later that day, on a rainy June night, I again carefully measured this root: 1 Tbs. per 2 cups of water...decocted for 20 minutes. I stirred and watched and felt saliva brewing as the bitter's
power worked even in phantom tastes.

Also on The List, was finding millet. Into my morning head had popped the perfect idea for a salad for dinner that night and I wanted millet. In a small seed store, where I have seen such eccentric grains before, I dug amid dusty bags and found one! My excitement was quickly smothered by the millet bag's neighbors: barley and wheat. That's ok, I told myself, separate bags. Yet, as my companion in quests on The List searched for quinoa flakes, apprehension arose in my gut. This was not safe, it whispered. My gut is always aprehensive, about anything. I appeased the doubt with promises to wash the grains thoroughly...twice..... Surely, this would do. A cleansing baptsim, of sorts.

Nervously, I handled the bag, turning it over and over in my hands, performing an examination through the clear bagged packaging for alien grains.

"What is THAT?!", I turned to the Quinoa Seeker -- he confirmed: "THAT," was a wheat berry. A wheat berry, in my millet! I could not get this bag! I could not, would not, get any bag. This confirmed my paranoia, which sometimes slacks, tiring of being always on guard, always watching, reading, scruitinizing...

Now entrenched deeper is this suspicion of food and originating sources, and I was reminded again to never underestimate the incompetence of individuals.

Pocono Mills Buckwheat Groats were a safe substitution. They are processed in a completely gluten free facility. Always appreciated are the companies that provide peace of mind through this Gut Guarantee.

Supping was shared, grossing happiness...

~ A Gut Friendly Salad ~

Whole buckwheat groats
Red leaf lettuce
Sautéed zucchini
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper

1 comment:

  1. The herbalist sounds like a sweet, eccentric lady right out of a storybook.