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Shall these bones live?


This week, besides celebrating my new leopard labels, Ash Salt becomes a farmers market offering. We will see how it does on Saturday.

I’ve read at least three books on salt since I started thinking about ways to offer my garden’s abundance of things like hot chile, garlic and Mediterranean herbs, in forms which have a longer shelf life than fresh picked on the day.

The Ash Salt recipe came from the Leslie Bilderback title, which I purchased for its significant section on flavoured salts, with recipes, satisfyingly arranged in alphabetical order.

First I air dried a bundle of herbs - thyme, marjoram and sage in this case. I happened to have a tinfoil pie dish, saved at some stage, to serve as (safe) fire bowl.

Feeling like a Hindu making Yajna, a sacred fire offering to Agni, I burned the herbs in the area which incidentally also serves as my outdoor yoga asana practice studio.

Nothing like a little fire to tell you that an apparently windless day isn’t really so windless.

When it had cooled, and before that pesky wind stole too much, I sifted the ash through an old flour sieve, and combined it with Pacific Ocean sea salt.

Does it taste smoked? Yes. No. Maybe. I don’t know. What is the taste of ash?


Will people like it? Yes. No. Maybe. I don’t know.


I put it on chilled Madhu Ras melon. It was interestingly hint of smoky and muy salty. I prefer the Chilli Lime Salt on melon.


I put it on avocado. Though subtle, it might have a tasted like the memory of being at a braai, long ago, and faraway, and in another county.

My leopards aren’t white, but they do sit under a Juniper Tree. Svaha!


Because I do not hope to turn again

Because I do not hope

Because I do not hope to turn

Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope

I no longer strive to strive towards such things

(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)

Why should I mourn

The vanished power of the usual reign?


Recommended reading: TS Elliot’s Ash Wednesday (Yes, all of it)

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