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In my long herbal life thus far the question I have been asked most about herbs exposes a deep fresh herb hesitation: “How do I use them all up?” My answer has always sounded as smart-assy as I am, despite the sincerity. “You just do. You just use them up.” Transcend the conservatism. Learn at least a little about the flavor and potencies of the herbs you like, play and take risks. That’s how we grow as cooks and eaters. I have always had my work cut out for me in trying to encourage fresh herb usage in American kitchens. My herbal salts, which are all packed full of fresh herbs, are just one way to increase excitement about herbs.

August 30, 2022

I have to go back pretty far to recall how my herbal salts first materialized. While surely some form of fresh herbal salt has existed in my culinary repertoire for a long time, I know the first shelf-stable, oven-dried version started in Brooklyn while running Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center: one of the few Brooklyn-based businesses I started in my early 30’s. My herbal salts transformed and matured as I traveled the globe. I became a better, more skillful cook and ingredient finder as I traveled to each new place, my herbal salts reflected this growth and found more creative fuel for my artistry, more passion and more personal happiness in creating. The herb salts just kind of metamorphized, despite the irony to of me being a salt-hesitant cook, into what they are today, as I fed my mind, passion and artistry and I hardly even noticed it was happening. It’s been an incredible journey refining this herbal salt thing inside me, cultivating joy while doing it, all from the unlikely position of southern Missouri. But it is indeed here, in my Blue Eye, MO, kitchen that these herbal salts have culminated.

August 30, 2022

Something deep inside me lights up in the presence of fresh herbs. I am enraptured by them, as well as those who grow and use them. I hope I can inspire you to use more of them. Fresh herbs have been a symbol of my own artistry and creative spirit since I started growing them in my garden in Eugene, Oregon, in my early 20’s. Not only are they a staple in my cooking, but they have sprung up in every aspect of my life ever since. My Herbal Roots is the creative manifestation of everything herbal I have experienced along the way, and a projection of all to come. It’s a place for me to share my herbal passion indiscriminately, allowing me to document the herbal moments that light my path, providing a home to pause in celebration and appreciation. I have been conscious of my own innate passionate streak from an early age. Like many others, I remember coloring outside the lines as a child. What set me apart was the self-confidence I had that couldn’t be swayed by anyone telling me it was wrong. My inner strength carried me forward from the get-go, fearlessly driving me to where and who I am today. The Summer 2022 – The Fruit Series is a manifestation of my life in Missouri. I hope you enjoy.

July 28, 2022

Even though these are sold out, this will give you a good idea of what is to come. Something deep inside me lights up in the presence of fresh herbs. I am enraptured by them, as well as those who grow and use them. I hope I can inspire you to use more of them. Fresh herbs have been a symbol of my own artistry and creative spirit since I started growing them in my garden in Eugene, Oregon, in my early 20’s. Not only are they a staple in my cooking, but they have sprung up in every aspect of my life ever since. My Herbal Roots is the creative manifestation of everything herbal I have experienced along the way, and a projection of all to come. It’s a place for me to share my herbal passion indiscriminately, allowing me to document the herbal moments that light my path, providing a home to pause in celebration and appreciation.

July 28, 2022

Where do I belong when I am “different”? How do I belong in both the bigger world and in the smaller place I reside simultaneously? These questions have followed me around my whole life and feel fresh again as I carve out a real home for my fruity & weird self here in Missouri. The questions, the timing, maybe my age, and certainly the remote and wildly different-for-me locale I’m afoot in has been challenging everything I know about myself. But it is exactly here that my culinary and herbal creativity has produced some of my finest, most precise and innovative work yet. My creative visions are soaring despite the trouble I have finding my grounding here. My herbal concoctions – the herbal salts, most definitely – have always been a collision of everything I see and feel, flavors, people and cultures in ingredient form. Could Missouri be a place where I thrive in the ways I need to most? Is Missouri stirring my creative juices? Maybe, just maybe here is where I need to be: to learn more, to do more and grow more.

July 28, 2022

From an early age, I desired to embrace life to the fullest regardless of the loneliness of such a path. I have spent most of my life traveling. That is when I am happiest and at my most humble and learning. Through my work in agriculture, famers have invited me into their homes and kitchens. Here I discovered the deep connecting power of food, culture, and community. Here I learned my love of cooking. I have witnessed how food ignites and excites and connects humans all over the world. I discovered the same in myself.

December 30, 2021

2022 will be the year I focus on what and who sets my soul on fire. While I have almost always approached life this way, these days the older and wiser me has a much deeper connection to what that actually means. There has always only been one path to get here, to this position of soul fire clarity: by allowing myself to feel the fullness of things deeply, which is not often a comfortable task. My world, the world that I saw from an early age has always been a large one. My path has always been one that seeks, explores, travels and shares.

December 29, 2021

Thanksgiving and the act of giving thanks, the acknowledgement that there is something to be grateful for is something I think we all need to do more often. On Thanksgiving many Americans put forth great effort to make elaborate or in the very least home cooked (from the heart) meals. This effort, that they put forth annually, gives me faith in people and in love because loving people is about showing up and putting in effort.

November 25, 2021

Fall is not my favorite season. It’s full of mystery, significant change and its sense of loss tends to rile and agitate me. So, as we descend into fall, I always feel trepidation and fear in my blood. As a human being, the fear of the unknown is omnipresent. Habitually I have always tried to control that which is unrevealed, to fight my way through what I don’t know. Lately I wonder if I should stop fighting it and just fall back into myself, hold on and let it pass through me? Letting that which is mysterious reveal itself, in its own time, as nature intended. I think this is what autumn is about. It feels natural. I think human beings, like wild deer know when to be still and when to move. Humans, I think, mostly must learn to listen better, to hear what’s happening inside us.

November 4, 2021

It would be difficult for me to write a fluff piece on non-alcoholic drinks. That’s not simply because a fluff piece is generally rare for me (unless I’ve been paid good money to do so, which is also rare) but because I consider the topic of non-alcoholic drinks to be an incredibly important one these days, a topic with many layers and complexities. Mostly I want to encourage honest discourse on the darker side of alcohol, the side that far too many of us are well acquainted with in one way or another. Today there is a myriad of non-alcoholic drinkers out there that are often forgotten about: under-agers, sober people, the health-conscious and those with a general consensus that too much alcohol isn't ideal for the human body, spirit and mind. Kids and adults alike should all have easy access to well crafted, non-alcoholic great tasting drinks regardless of whether we are at a restaurant, a park, the beach or at home.

July 25, 2021
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