Homemade Crackers YouTube photoshoot

The focus of the video is my Homemade Crackers and Easy Dips with Herbs books.

You've probably heard me mention before that we have aYouTube/longcreekherbs channel where we post videos of my recipes and books. Check it out if you haven't. Yesterday we filmed 2 more videos. That's the easy part, the editing and pasting it all together is the harder, and more creative part. Thankfully, my job is to stand in front of the camera and let David Selby and his associates do all the work. Here are some views of the photo shoot from yesterday. The end product will be 2 videos, one that will be about 3-4 minutes long, where I'm showing my friend, Makala, how I make cheddar crackers. The other is a 2 minute video telling what roses are good to eat and which ones to avoid. (There's more about the Herb of the Year and the Rose, official Herb of the Year for 2012, on my Herb of the Year blog, here). In a few weeks the videos will be up on our YouTube channel, but for not they're "in the can" awaiting the editing process.

Makala is the daughter of one of our employees, Neva Milke. Neva is one of the 2 ladies who answers phones when you call us to place an order. Makala first came to visit Long Creek Herb Farm when she was 4 years old, with 19 other vacation Bible schoolers. She was interested in herbs and gardening then, and her interests continue to grow. I invited her to be a part ofHomemade Crackers with Herbs video taping and she was fun to work with. Here are some scenes from the kitchen and the crew yesterday.

I took this photo, looking down into the kitchen from my upstairs office. You can see the kitchen counter all set with our working tools, David and Ben are getting the cameras and lights set up.

Everyone just discovered I was taking their pictures, too.
David does lots of film projects. He intends to make movies but for now, does a great job doing videos. Ben, to the left, grew up with David. Ben is in the Army Reserves and is currently attending Drury University School of Nursing. Makala, standing on set at the ready, is a second year student at College of the Ozarks.
It takes a lot of tinkering with lights, sound, cameras to get everything working right.
I could have slept another hour!

Out of camera view, on the sunporch, I had backups of the crackers, the baked crackers, the unbaked ones and the roses for the what roses to eat video that came next.
And here we are in front of the lights, almost ready for the rose video. Makala was patient and fun to work with. David and Ben were loads of fun and very professional. David's production company does an outstanding job. All the recipes for the crackers and dips came from my books.
I hope each and everyone a pleasant and peaceful holiday season.


Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

The 3 wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

We’ve all seen those late night t.v. ads for, “Bring your old gold jewelry to sell - prices are the best in history.” The last I looked, gold was selling for $1724 per (Troy) ounce. I don’t really know what an ounce of gold looks like, but I know it’s a lot of money for not much to hold in your hand. Most everyone knows the story in the Bible of how the three wise men brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We know what gold is, but few people know what the frankincense and myrrh are.

Frankincense tears.

Frankincense is from the Boswellia tree and comes from Somalia on the southern coastal area of Arabia. It was used in ancient times as an incense, for embalming and as a treatment for depression. People used it in temples, believing the smoke from the burning incense would carry their prayers Heavenward. 
Myrrh "tears" meaning, drops of resin, caught from the tree after it has a cut in the bark.

Myrrh, a brown to red aromatic tree resin comes from Commiphora abyssinica (which is in the same overall plant family as the frankincense tree). It’s a scraggly bush-tree which grows in semi-desert regions of North Africa and near the Red Sea. It is considered a wound healer because of its strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to treat wounds, bruises and bleeding as well as a treatment for swelling.

Frankincense and myrrh were once as valuable as gold.

Both frankincense and myrrh were burned, usually together, as incense and were deeply connected to holy places and worship. Even today in Catholic and Episcopal churches, you will find these two resins still burned as incense during special services. Back in Biblical times, these resins were extremely valuable, fully as expensive as gold. Harvested far from  Jerusalem, they were brought on the spice routes over long distances on the backs of camels. Everyday people couldn’t afford to buy them. The specific healing properties of both made them even more desirable. For a mother who had recently given birth, the two resins were even more useful and valuable.
Our Frankincense and Myrrh Incense Kit in a Keepsake box.

We use frankincense and myrrh today in much the same way as they were used in Biblical times, in medicines, incense and aromatherapy. With better growing conditions and faster and less expensive shipping methods, they are no longer equal to the price of gold. You can buy these in today’s world, for just a dollar or two per ounce.

Both frankincense and myrrh are created when multiple cuts are made into the bark of each plant. As the sap oozes out it hardens into a hard resin. The resin is collected into bags and sold. The cutting process, of not done to excess, does not kill the tree or bush and can produce resin for many years. It's a slow process on plants that grow slowly in desert climates. The resins are harvested by hand, the same way they were 2,000 years ago.
Our Frankincense and Myrrh Incense Kit in a Keepsake box.
If you would like your own Frankincense and Myrrh Kit, you can order one from my website. It's on special this month. Each kit contains a bag of Frankincense and Myrrh, a charcoal disk for burning the incense, a special tile for the charcoal, instructions, all in a keepsake wooden treasure chest. Order two for $25 or one for $12.95 plus shipping.