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Bone broth has been bubbling on the stovetop all week.

In the morning I turn on the gas, in the evening I turn it off. The house smells of warmth and turkey and, when my nose is good, a hint of parsley.

My recipe is simple:

  • Put the turkey neck and back in a pot.
  • Cover with water.
  • Add a big splash of Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Boil for a bit.
  • Lower the flame and skim off the scum that forms on the surface. It’s not fat, not yet. But the bitterness burns off first. So you skim it before adding veggies: onions, carrots, celery, and, of course, some parsley.

This has been my sustenance for the past week along with oatmeal, the oats out overnight with a spoonful of yogurt mixed in so they boil up soft and creamy, a spoonful of slippery elm (a medicine saved for the times when all I can eat is oat gruel and bone broth), and a dribble of maple syrup.

Should I be surprised that it all comes down to food?

To what I can digest and what I can’t?

As my stomach heals from last week’s bout of nastiness, I keep thinking about food, about how this journey from wellness to witch began with wheat and then the lack thereof, twenty years ago when no one had heard the word gluten.

Food is the ultimate metaphor:

That’s hard to swallow.

You make me nauseous!

Give me a minute to digest that.

And food has been central to my healing, both actually and metaphorically.

I’ve had to learn what my gut can handle and how to handle my gut. I’ve studied the intricate dance of precursors and neurotransmitters made not in the brain, but deep in the twists of the intestines. And I’ve had to admit what I simply can’t digest. The bits of life that I can’t transform into fuel. The things that drain instead of energize me.

80-90% of our serotonin is produced in the gut. So this connection between food and mood is not merely metaphor.

Happiness is reliant on good digestion.

Emotional alchemy.

The part of me that loves words and drools over a good simile, is tickled that the taste which makes life sweet is bitter. It’s bitter herbs—dandelion and gentian, elecampane and angelica—and that stir our digestion and help us assimilate, turning food into energy…

… turning life into living.

You know I always love to hear your thoughts. Talk turkey with me. 🙂 Seriously, we all have a food story (mine actually started when I was quite young. I hid food in my bedroom so I could eat my cupcakes in peace. Now what I wouldn’t give for a bite of a glutinous cupcake! Life is funny like that…).

Hugs and honey and hazelnut ice cream—





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