Stinko-Ginko & Witches Brew!!!

Date: October 25, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: The Good Acre, 1790 Larpenteur Ave. W., Falcon Heights, MN 55113
Teacher Name and Titles: Betsy Nelson
Nelson, Betsy

Hi! I am Betsy Nelson – freelance food stylist, recipe developer, cooking teacher, Ayurvedic chef and certified herbalist. Why do I wear so many hats? I have always loved learning and exploring how our food relates to our health and well being.

I have always been interested in food, especially plants that are the sources for nourishing our bodies, as well as our minds and spirits. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Psychology and Studio Arts, which may seem like an odd background for a food person, but I find the process of cooking to be very much a creative process and a great way to connect with others. I have continued my education studying Ayurveda and Western herbalism with a variety of local and national teachers, as well as completed/participated in a Wellness Coaching Program through the Mayo Clinic. Teaching cooking classes to learn how to incorporate foods and herbs for supporting our health as well as foraging for wild edibles, is a passion of mine and I love to take people on walks in the woods to go out and see what nature has to offer!

Autumn is the time for us to hunker down and get back to our roots and nourish ourselves. Betsy will talk about some ways to work with roots in cooking and tea and bitters making. We will do some ’show and smell’ with some common roots found in our area and sip on some roots teas.

Autumn Roots Bitters
The roots in this sipper are bitter but also aromatic and helpful for digestion. When I serve this to guests after a meal they are delighted with the flavor and surprised to learn what is in it.  I think that is part of the mystique of roots.  Feel free to get a little in touch with your inner witch and try some other combinations.  A little fresh turmeric root can sub for the yellow dock root, if you like.  Dried roots can work as well, just use about 1/4 the quantity for the recipe. Licorice root is nice if you like that flavor, although I wouldn’t over-do it, especially if you on blood thinner medication or have high blood pressure.  Sometimes I toss in a couple of star anise, a cinnamon stick, some cloves or a little orange zest.  Let your palate and intuition be your guide!
4 ounces brandy
1 ounce maple syrup
1” vanilla bean, split
1 slice burdock root
1 slice yellow dock root
1 slice elecampane root
6 slices roasted dandelion root (or raw, up to you)
1 slice ginger root
1 slice turmeric root(optional)
1 star anise pod (optional)
1/2 Ceylon cinnamon stick (optional)
Add all ingredients to a 6-8 ounce jar or bottle. Label and date the container.  Let it infuse for 6-8 weeks and strain through a fine strainer or coffee filter.  Taste and add more maple syrup if you like.  Will keep for at least a year in a well-sealed bottle at room temperature.
Witchy Roots Syrup
Roots like burdock, dandelion, elecampane and ginger are great for the digestive system and this witchy concoction is a sort of DIY root beer that is wonderful enjoyed as a soda or a cocktail.  Dried roots can be found at herbal shops or online, or even in your own backyard.
Makes 1 ½ cups syrup
Roots Syrup:
2 Tablespoons dried burdock root*
1 slice dried elecampane root*
1 Tablespoon roasted dandelion or chicory root*
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
½ teaspoon dried licorice root or star anise pod
½ vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup water
½ cup maple syrup
Simmer the roots and vanilla bean in water for 5 minutes and steep for 25 minutes.  Strain, add maple syrup and chill.  This syrup is delicious added to drinks and also when drizzled over vanilla ice cream.
For the drinks:
Wild Root Beer:  Pour ¼ cup roots syrup over crushed ice and top with fizzy water or gingerale




Betsy Nelson