Foraging for Comfort

Our Maine life has remained relatively normal. We don’t usually spend much time away from home when Spring clean up is demanding our attention…and the daffodils are coming up right on schedule…just after the pussy willows started feeding our honey bees. Our hearts go out to those who are confronting Covid-19 on their doorstep.

The one thing we can control is our day to day healthy living right here at home. Steve and I make a tea that supports our energy and well-being. It’s three simple ingredients with centuries of comfort: bladderwrack, tumeric and ginger. Each supports digestion, reduces chronic inflammation and directs energy to our lungs. This is all important during a pandemic but actually, it improves life in a Northern coastal climate regardless of what’s going on in the bigger world.

Bladderwrack is that beautiful seaweed that grows lushly on our rocky beaches. For years we’ve harvested it to fertilize our gardens, steam the seafood we prepare for our lobsterbakes, add it to soups & stir fries and steep it for this tea.

First go to the beach and harvest the freshest looking bladderwrack you can find at low tide. When you find it, cut it from the rocks leaving enough to regenerate (we leave 6″). A small basket full will be enough for a large jar of tea. Although there’s some confusion about rockweed and bladderwrack (Steve’s holding bladderwrack in his left hand and rockweed in his right) both are healthy and can substitute one for the other.

It’s a simple tea recipe…just dry all of the ingredients in the sunshine, chop them finely, mix them in equal proportions or to taste. When your ready for a comforting cup of tea, steep a couple of spoonfuls for about 20 minutes and inhale the vapors…it’s a marvelous blend of sea brine and exotic warmth that will carry you back to your time here on the coast. We don’t find the need to sweeten it but if you’d like try a local honey or maple syrup to taste.

P.S. Bringing the flock along to help with the harvest only makes the experience better

4 Comments on “Foraging for Comfort

  1. Hi Astrig, can they be dried and then left in a tin for future use? Would that be the best way to store extra?

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  2. Nice article, thank you for sharing! Dan has been making ginger lemon fruit kvass for us to enjoy, but the bladderwrack sounds wonderful. I miss the lovely aroma of the Maine seacoast…and the sweet and kind people. Hope to return before too long.

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