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Chamomile, so well known for soothing and calming, I never expected it to give me lessons in strength.
Three years ago I decided it was misguided to think myself an herbalist having no experience in growing herbs. In fact, I didn’t have experience in growing anything, but I had a beautiful backyard. So I had my landscaper shape a new large garden bed and I bought a starter seed pack with 20 varieties of medicinal herbs. Besides the brief planting instructions on the seed packages, I had no idea what I was doing. I planted in stages, 4 or 5 types of seeds at a time, some in the new garden bed, some in other barren areas of my yard. Among the first group I planted were tiny chamomile seeds. Less than half the herbs ever grew, but the ones that did flourished. I watched every little bud but often I had no idea what I was watching because amateur that I was, I forgot to mark my plantings. I also could not tell the difference between the prolific weeds that popped up everywhere and the herbs that I wanted to grow but sometimes didn’t.
But there was no mistaking the tiny daisy-like chamomile flowers. I was completely excited the first time I saw one bloom. For such delicacy, my chamomile has reseeded itself each year since I planted and just keeps spreading, growing taller and making more flowers. A true example of endurance. This plant has become my inspiration for I would like to endure and flourish with the herbal bake shoppe. The whole concept of baking with herbs entered my world with chamomile and vanilla cupcakes. Since, I have seen other recipes but when I first mixed chamomile into cupcake batter, I never had. So, as my chamomile blooms, it is with motivation to create delicious and well loved culinary herbal treats that I turn to brownies. These are another of my children’s favorites and they too are my inspiration as I ever strive to bake what they love and for their tasting approval. Adding chocolate chips helps, too.