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Sunday, December 06, 2015

25 Days of Herbs and Celebrations -- December 6

Dear Folks,

Celebrating the Multicultural festivities of December, I thought I would pick an herb or spice which is referenced in the Bible (land of three of the Major Religions of the world) and used in many cuisines around the entire world, as a way of gathering together all the wealth of diversity around us - in true celebration.

My older chicory and finches eating seed.

Day 6
Herb Chicory, (a bitter herb of the Bible) Numbers 9:11
The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Exodus 12:8 They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Hanukkah (through December 14, 2015)
The Bitter Herbs used in Hanukkah Celebrations is symbolic of the bitterness of slavery
in Egypt.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.  Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.  See wikipedia for more history and information.

Feast of St. Nicholas called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian Saint and Greek Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey). -- Wikipedia

Devotion to the saint in the Low countries became blended with Nordic folktales, transforming this early Greek bishop into that Christmas icon, Santa Claus’.  -- wikipedia --

. . .

Chicory Cichorium spp, is a group of herb/vegetables from the Compositae family which includes herbs like Chamomile and Dandelion.  The leafy green leaf varieties and the head form like Endive are all known for their bitter principles.

Chicory has properties similar to those of Dandelion (Day 7), its action being tonic, laxative and diuretic.

In modern times bitter herbs are recognized for their healthy digestive properties.  It may be that the admonition to consume meat (flesh) was as much for health as it was for remembrance of slavery.

It is used as forage for livestock for the same reasons it is good for people.

The roots, leaves and pretty blue flowers are edible. 
Food uses include grinding the roasted root as a coffee substitute
Pictured - Young plant.
"Chicory" Curly Endive (Cichorium endivia) (aka Frisee or Escrole) is a wild looking leaf variety that grows well here as a salad green.  Plant through the winter for a continuous harvest.  It will re-seed in the spring for next year.

Read more at wikipedia --


Chanuka, Oh Chanukah!
Explains the Holiday and refers to some of the most popular songs, including Rock of Ages.

Here Comes Santa Claus
Gene Autry

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-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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