Did you receive a gift of a spice blend from Karen & Edgehill Herb Farm recently?

Welcome to the Edgehill Herb Farm Blog!

By Karen England, the Edgehill Herb Farmer.

We are glad you are here. Recently, as the world opens up for in-person meetings again after locking down, Karen gave out little jars of three different spice blends she’s developed over the last 22 years, to give as gifts to people she only had seen on Zoom ’til recently; HOY Salt-Free Popcorn Seasoning, EHF Chef’s Seedsoning and Herbes de Provence. These blends and others will be added to the EHF store in the coming year for purchase but, in the meanwhile, if you like yours, or didn’t get a gift, here’s the information so that you can make your own and ideas for how to use them.

Herbs of the Years Salt Free Popcorn Seasoning


Mix together equal parts (such as 1 tablespoon each),

dried marjoram (Herb Of The Year™ 2005)

dried thyme (Herb Of The Year™ 1997)

granulated garlic (Herb Of The Year™ 2004)

dried basil (Herb Of The Year™ 2003)


Put the blended herbs into a spice grinder and grind as needed onto freshly air popped popcorn.

Optional; Drizzle popcorn first with extra virgin olive oil, garlic or basil flavored olive oil or melted unsalted butter if desired before sprinkling with seasoning blend.

 Edgehill Herb Farm’s Chef’s SEEDSONING Blend

You can easily substitute parts for the teaspoons and make more.


2 teaspoons dill seed
1 teaspoon of each of the following:

    • anise seeds
    • caraway seeds
    • celery seeds
    • coriander seeds
    • fennel seeds
    • flax seed, brown
    • flax seed, gold
    • lavender florets (I know it is not a seed –what can I say? It was on the counter and it looks seed-like and tastes great!)
    • mustard seed, brown
    • mustard seed, yellow
    • nigella seeds
    • poppy seeds
    • sesame seeds


Mix all together and store in a cool, dark place. For long-term storage, the freezer works great. (You can use “Seedsoning” straight from the freezer.) Use “Seedsoning” in or on baked goods such as yeast and quick breads, bagels and rolls, with sautéed and steamed vegetables and with meats such as chicken, pork & fish.


Powerscourt Seedsoning Bread

In Ireland, the Avoca Hand-weavers have retail locations throughout the country, not just in Avoca and one of these locations is inside the glorious Powerscourt House and Gardens. Besides beautiful hand-woven goods, the Avoca name is also known for their cafés of delicious fresh cafeteria style food at each location. This bread is my version of the multi grain & seed bread that I ate in December 2005 at the Avoca Terrace Café in Powerscourt .


6 oz. all-purpose flour, organic preferred
11 oz. stone-ground whole-wheat flour, organic preferred
2 oz. wheat bran or bulgur wheat
1 oz. wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup Edgehill Herb Farm Chef’s Seedsoning Blend plus more for the top if desired 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon molasses
1 pint milk (I use organic Low-fat—use whatever you have…)


Using a scale, weigh out the flours, bran & wheat germ into a large bowl. Add the salt, baking powder, “seedsoning” and seeds and stir everything together well. Make a well in the center and add the molasses and milk into the well. The Irish way to mix this bread is as follows; make a “crab” with your fingers on your right hand and use to mix the moist dough to be like a stiff porridge. Of course, you can also mix with a wooden spoon…Pour dough into a loaf pan that has been prepared with a greased parchment paper sling. (Note: I put more “seedsoning” on top of the loaf at this point.) Bake at 350°F for 1 hour until the loaf is well browned and sounds hollow when turned out of the pan and tapped underneath. Leave on a wire rack to cool.

Herbes de Provence Seasoning

Great w/everything including deviled eggs!


Note: All herbs are dried…

1 tsp. fennel seed

1 tsp. mint

2 tsp. lavender florets

2 tsp. orange peel

2 tsp. crushed bay leaves

3 tsp. rosemary

3 tsp. savory (summer or winter)

3 tsp. marjoram

3 tsp. thyme


Mix, store & use!

For best flavor, lightly grind or crush in mortar immediately before using.

Nigella Lawson’s Deviled Eggs Made Karen’s Way


12 large, peeled, hard-boiled eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 – 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 – 3 teaspoons Herbes de Provence seasoning, to taste

1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for sprinkling

sea salt flakes, to taste

a few drops Tabasco, to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 – 3 tablespoons water from a freshly boiled kettle

2 teaspoons finely chopped chives and/or parsley


Halve the eggs and put the yolks in a bowl and mash the yolks. Mix into the smashed yolks, the mayo, mustard, seasonings and oil. Thin the yolk mixture with warm water and dollop the smashed yolks back into the whites. Sprinkle with paprika, chives and parsley.


Memories Of Being Santa’s Daughter (Niece, Cousin, Wife…)

December 25th, 2021

This circa 1965 picture of six years old me sitting in Santa’s lap is awkward now in light of my becoming Mrs. Claus some 50 years later.
My two collies, Devon and Dover, pulling Santa’s sleigh in 2019.

By Karen England, the Edgehill Herb Farmer.

Who wore it better? This Santa (my dad) wears red shorts in summer.
Who wore it better? This Santa (my cousin) wears shorts in summer with his suit.
My Santa dad (left) and Santa cousin (right).

In December of 1998 I wrote a story called Santa’s Daughter – A Merry Christmas Tale (this was long before there was a Hallmark Channel! Otherwise, my little tale could have been made into a Hallmark Christmas movie by now!) that I sent out as a Christmas card to all my family, friends and colleagues and I’m revisiting that little story this year in light of the closure of our family’s business, Sunshine Gardens nursery, after 50 years in Encinitas, CA, owned and operated, then and now, by my cousin Ron, better known as Sunshine Santa, and the formal end on December 31st of my nine year stint as Sunshine’s Mrs. Claus.

Although I stand by my original story, a lot has changed since I wrote it and someday I might write a sequel.

One of my numerous cousins who received the card in ‘98 complained loudly that I ignored altogether my aunt, her mother, my dad’s sister, in my story and that my cousin firmly believes that her mom was “The Santa Claus” completely contradicting my story and knocking on its head any commonly held beliefs about the gender of Saint Nicholas (in any era, including non-binary 2021, let alone back in 1998.)

That said, I heard my cousin’s argument and dismissed it as farfetched, mostly because I knew her mom, who was, without a doubt, generous in the extreme, as well as a list maker extraordinaire – her naughty and nice lists were epic! But in the end, the reason I don’t think that my aunt was Santa Claus has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the fact that she was Crotchety (with a capital C!) Don’t get me wrong, she was a perfectly lovely aunt, even as a curmudgeon, and I loved her dearly but her as Santa? Not feeling it.

Santa and his daughter, me. c. 2012


By Karen England

First published as a Christmas card, December 1998.

As everyone knows, I am one of many cousins. This fact is practically the sum total of my identity – that is, except for the fact that I am also . . . Santa’s Daughter. Many of my cousins have very good arguments of their own that their particular paternal parent is in fact “The Santa Claus” (actually – an argument can be made, albeit weak, that even one of my cousins might be Saint Nick) but I believe that my argument is the strongest of them all, and I offer the following proof that, my dad, Ernie Richter, is “The Santa Claus”.

The known facts about Santa Claus are: he’s a large, jovial, bearded man whose ethnic roots are European. Santa looks good in the color red and has a tendency to wear hats. Santa likes mail, has a wife and elfin help. He resides at the North Pole and rides around in a sleigh with eight, possibly nine, tiny reindeer. He’s a saint, with a generous heart and a limited work schedule. These are the undisputed, stipulated facts about Saint Nick.

With the known facts about Santa in mind, it is easy to see that the similarities between Santa and my Dad are more than coincidence. My Dad and several of my uncles (as well as, a couple cousins) are all large, jovial, bearded men with European ancestry. However, of these, my Dad is the one with the large hat wardrobe and a propensity for wearing red. These facts, in and of themselves, prove nothing, but – when added to the other facts, such as, my Dad was a holiday mailman with the U.S. Postal Service and he’s married to an elfin wife, then the evidence starts to become overwhelming.

My argument that Ernie Richter is “The Santa Claus” is at its weakest when his address is considered. He lives in paradise (San Diego County, California) and owns no livestock. Actually, none of the possible “real Santas” in my family tree live at the North Pole own reindeer (probably making the point moot). However, this problem is simply solved by understanding, that in order to have a normal home life, Santa has a “decoy” home and workplace (i.e., the North Pole), sparing his family, neighbors, and friends the craziness of his holiday work. This would be the same problem-solver for all the possible “Santas” I know. Alas, the reindeer are unfathomable and I offer no explanation – some things will always remain mysterious when it comes to Christmas.

Of course, I saved the most powerful similarity for last and this particular similarity is where the strong arguments of my cousins (Linda and Eric especially) lose credence that their dads might be “The Santa Claus”, in that – Santa Claus and Ernie are saints! Both are “men of the (red) cloth”, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. And, although my entire family is extremely generous, it is my dad alone who has claim to ministerial gifts, as well as a limited work schedule.

I think that this is sufficient proof that I am Santa’s daughter! And no matter what, when all is said and done, even if I’m not Santa’s daughter, then I must be Santa’s niece or cousin, and any of those (Santa) suit me just fine.

The end.

(Please send all criticism, arguments to the contrary and bills incured, to Karen England, Santa’s Daughter. North Pole.)

The first time I played Mrs. Claus was in 1989 at Nordstrom where another salesperson, unrelated to me, played Santa for a special store event. My real Mr., David, came to see us perform our Kringle duties.

Merry Christmas to all! May all your memories be happy!

Yep! Santa is wearing shorts while working in the poinsettia greenhouse during this advertising shoot for the Sunshine Gardens “Santa Grown” poinsettias back in 2013.
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