This past month an incredible woman became a garden fairy. Leslie Gardener was an author, gardener, teacher at The California School of Herbal Studies, and also started the Sonoma County Herb Exchange. I had the incredible honor of studying under her this past year, before her passing.
I went with a few friends this past week to visit her alter at The California School of Herbal Studies. I lit some sage, left flowers, and we shared food and stories together in her honor.
Leslie was one of those people you remember. She had a twinkle in her eye and a visionary spark. Leslie would always consult the fairies before planting, transplanting, or making any major changes in the garden. She knew the folklore of almost every plant in the garden, and there about 400 different species of medicinal plants there at the herb school.
I came home that evening feeling anxious and scattered. I know that she is in another place now watching over us and the plant Queendom, but I still feeling this change deeply. To calm myself and bring the day to a close, I burned a candle Leslie gave each of us upon Herb School graduation and made a meal with the herbs she loved so deeply.
That night I made lamb that was marinated with lavender flowers, paprika, thyme, and garlic. For a dressing I made this Lemon Balm, Lavender, and Mint Yogurt Sauce to calm my frazzled nerves. It turned out great so I thought I would share this with you all. It is perfect for a summertime barbecue to share with family and friends.
Thank you for your blessings Leslie, I love you dearly.
1/4 cup of mint
1/4 cup of lemon balm
lavender flowers and paprika for garnish
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper
Chop the fresh lemon balm and mint until it is very fine. Mince the garlic cloves. Stir into the yogurt. Squeeze in half a lemon and add salt and pepper to taste. You can add more lemon if you feel it is needed. I often add a full lemon because I like things to have an abundance of flavor. Garnish with lavender flowers and a dash of paprika. Now you have a yummy yogurt sauce with the healing powers of lemon balm, a nervine that helps to reduce anxiety, stress, and calm the nervous system.