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I am wife to Stewart, mama of five, homeschooler, messy cook, and avid fermenter. This is where I tell our story... of building a sustainable off-grid homestead in a Christian agrarian community... of raising this growing family of ours... of the beauty and the hard and the joy in all of it.
883 articles written by Shannon


Whenever some of us come down with a cold or illness, I get to digging through my herbs and supplements and try things I had long forgotten about. During a recent bout of colds when everyone but Joshie got it, I hadn’t slept well for a few nights due to both those Mama wakeups and my own throat inflammation. I started digging in our herbal cabinet.

When I came across a quart of turmeric, I remembered the concept of “Golden Milk”. Someone mentioned it to me just a couple of years ago as having helped so I made a cup of something similar… but still a bit different. It was delicious and I woke up the next morning with far less scratch in my throat and a bit more rest.


The next day I made some for Stewart and he was sold. And whenever he is really sold on something for both health and flavor reasons he asks “So… how can I get more of this?” with a smile. I’ve heard that question before so I know he’s asking what it’s going to take to have a cup of this on a regular basis – both in ingredients and in effort.

This paste is my solution.


Increasing the Bioavailability of Turmeric

One of the main healing constituents in turmeric is curcumin. It is really anti-inflammatory but is said to be highly fat-soluble so if you are taking it solely for its medicinal properties, adding some sort of fat makes a difference. The other thing widely touted as helping curcumin to absorb is the addition of a compound in black pepper.


I’m not sure if you can say for sure that you must take turmeric with fat and black pepper to have any benefit, but this paste and the tea we make from it just happen to have both of those ingredients. Both fat and black pepper make for tasty food and beverages anyway, so why not?

And it’s probably not a coincidence that traditional foods made with turmeric often contain oil or coconut fat and are often spicy. Curry is one such delicious example.


Spiced Raw Honey-Turmeric Paste

Note: While still delicious, this paste is made with an eye towards the medicinal. For a slightly less pungent flavor, reduce the turmeric to 1 Tablespoon. I recommend buying spices in bulk from Azure. We aren’t affiliates or anything; we just really like their products and prices.


  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in jar or bowl and mix well with a fork. Place on the counter and use in teas or recipes as needed.

Note that this recipe does not contain fat so be sure to add it to something that contains fat. The tea recipe I’ll share next is what we use this paste for exclusively and its got the fat covered.

This was written last Friday.


The wood stove hums away with pots of water heating on top and the youngest children are engaged in a lively game of chase. Stewart has gone to pick up hay and I will split my day between bringing in firewood, answering questions about diagramming sentences, snuggling little Joshie, and cleaning… probably in that order.


We will mix up sourdough bread this morning and big pots of soup later as we make it through the few days of Texas winter that seem to come and go. As for the happenings…


This guy is now a fixture in the goat pasture. Which means, Lord willing, Abby, Daisy, and Kitty may be mamas next summer.

And we are still harvesting bits and bobs from the garden. Stewart covered the lettuce last night and I need to check on the cabbages. The green onions, kale,and cilantro have been blessed additions to our meals. I was thinking the other day that this is the first year we’ve had something, even if small, fresh to harvest from the garden from spring until now. Thank the Lord!


It’s hard to believe, but right now this cabin – the one we inhabited for three years, the one in which both our daughters were born – is coming down. Lord willing the camper will also be coming out, making room for animal shelter. I suppose I may share more about that coming up but for now it is at once exciting and melancholic.


And oh, this boy… he turned one and decided, without once asking my permission, that standing up was the next logical step. He likes to eat a homegrown egg most mornings and washes it back with fresh goat milk… and potatoes, this boy loves his potatoes.

Maybe it’s the fifth baby, or maybe I’ve done exactly the same thing the four times prior, but I’m thinking if he could just hold off on growing up that would be alright.


But it’s not looking likely that he’ll be listening to me on that subject… and that’s probably for the best.