How to make froth without a machine

I recently discovered how easy it is to make froth without a machine. I love going to cafes, but I don’t love all the sugar they put in my chai tea latte. I also live in a small town right now, and there isn’t a great selection in good cafes here.

I’ve been making my own chai recipe at home for some time. Now that I live in Norway I especially  appreciate those warming spices, and the beautiful aroma that fills my kitchen. This chai is delicious, however I still missed that beautiful milky foam I would get when ordering it at a cafe.

I did some research and realized you only need two things to create milky foam. Milk and a jar with a lid.

Making the froth

  1. Pour warm milk into a jar. Put the lid on.  (Skim milk seems to work the best for this)
  2. Shake the jar
  3. Pour the now foamy milk into your tea.

And that’s it! If you’d like you can sprinkle some cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom on top. My favorite is cardamom, which is also an aphrodisiac….I’ve found that the froth melts when I dust it with spices.

I hope you enjoy this small ritual of froth milk and self love.

Soothing oat cookies

I haven’t felt very good lately. My anxiety has been bothering me, and today I also felt that suspicious tingle in my throat which warns of a coming cold. What did I do? I made cookies!

Ok. I also drank a mix of apple cider vinegar for colds, slept for two hours, and then I made some delicious almond flour oat cookies. I love oats as they are very soothing to my nerves. To make the cookies even more full of happiness, I stuck a piece of dark chocolate in the middle.  Yum!

Sometimes my day doesn’t turn out the way I planned. Today was one of those days. I had a list of things to do, but instead I allowed myself to rest and soak in some healing from cookies and rose hips.

And that brings me to rose, one of my favorite herbs. My friend and I went for a long walk the other day and stumbled upon bushes full of rose hips. I stopped to pick some, enjoying the sunlight on my back and the wonderful feeling of being so close to Rose. This is my first time gathering rosehips. In the past I’ve only bought them dried as tea.

There is something special about picking my own medicine though. There is something about being close to the herb throughout the whole process. I suppose this is the invisible part that makes the medicine extra powerful.

I’ve learned that rosehips are full of vitamin C as well as A, and D. Most of all I want the spiritual properties of rose, which I feel is love. I only managed to pick a few rose petals this year to make my rose honey, since I arrived Norway i Autumn. But now I’ll put some rose hips into the mix. I use this honey whenever I feel I need some extra care and love. The rest I will dry for tea.

Rowan Tree Facts

I’ve been wanting to gather some rowan tree facts. I’ve long been curious about this tree, but few seem to know much about it and use the medicine it offers. I’ve admired it’s beauty on my many strolls through the Norwegian countryside. These days it glows a brilliant red among the green and yellow colors of autumn, and I can’t help but think that this tree must hold some powerful magic.

I find it interesting that the name “rowan” comes from the Old Norse word “raun”. It is somewhat similar to “rogn”, which is what we call it in Norwegian.

Medicine

Medicinally the berries seem to get used the most. People would make jam out of the berries which was often eaten as a side to red meat to help prevent gout. Tea was made to heal urinary tract problems, diarrhea and hemorrhoids.

The fruit is very high in vitamin C, and is loved by many creatures of the forest. Eating the berries raw can apparently cause kidney damage in humans, and its therefore best to cook them to neutralize this effect. Rowan berries taste pretty bad in their raw state so its rather hard to eat a lot of them. Freezing them helps reduce their bitter taste. Picking them after the first frost can be a good idea.

Someone told me to use the rowan leaves, especially the new leaves to make tea as they taste better than the berries.

The bark would be decocted to make a drink to treat diarrhea, nausea and an upset stomach.

The wood was traditionally used to make bows, bowls and other objects.

Folklore and Mythology

In norse mythology it is said the first woman came from the rowan tree, and that it saved the mighty god Thor from drowning. He was being swept away in a river when the tree bent down to help him back to shore.

In the British Isles it was used for protection against enchantments. At the tip of each berry there is a tiny pentagram (which I found to be fascinating) and this might have been one of the reasons it was thought to ward off evil. Pentagrams with the right side up, are in themselves protective symbols. I personally use them frequently.

Red was also considered to a color of protection. The rowan tree was as well thought to be  a fairy tree and belonging to the Goddess, because of its beautiful white flowers.

The place in which the tree grew was also said to be protected, and there were strong taboos against removing or harming the tree in any way. Today we don’t think like that. On one of my walks I saw that someone had cut a rowan tree and just left it at the side of the road. It made me feel sad, even more sad than for all the other trees that were also being cut down to make room for houses.

There are many more beautiful myths about the rowan, and it’s a pleasure to read about them.

Gathering all these facts makes me want to connect with it more, and from my own experience feel the magic of the rowan tree.