Searching for sassafras
I was flipping through the Farmhouse Cookbook today. It has delightful recipes, but there’s a section on preparing for canning. There are instructions on how to store food in a barrel in your root cellar. (I’ve always wanted a root cellar!)
What I found today, though, filled me with nostalgia. My grandma used to make sassafras tea. She had a big ol’ sassafras tree in her back yard. In addition to serving as a jungle gym for my brother and a place to put the swing, it offered much liquid refreshment over the years.
from the Farmhouse Cookbook
2, 3-inch pieces of sassafras root or bark
4 cups boiling water
granulated sugar or honey
Scrub roots and cut into short pieces. Boil the roots and water for 15 minutes or until the tea is red and strong. Serve hot sweetened with honey or sugar, or chill and serve with ice.
Sassafras— warming in winter, cooling when iced in summer, and marvelous as a spring tonic.
Now I’m on the hunt for a sassafras tree!
I’d also like to quote the book’s introduction.
It speaks to me …
This is a time when many of the ends seem to have become undone, when many of the familiar ties have been loosened, when things once considered wholesome are thought to contain poisons, when the perfect order of things seems perfectly out of order.
This is a time when many know it is desperately necessary to retie the loose ties, to retrace the lost steps, to find a way back to the good beginnings; when to go backward is to go forward. There is a need to replant our roots, to grow our own foods, to bake our own bread, to have some control over our own subsistence, to re-establish that perfect order of things …
This book was published in 1973. I wonder what the author would think about the way of things in current times?