Wednesday, June 30, 2010

if you know how breaking a screen could break the logic board or cause "water damage" let me know

"hedgehog in the fog" has little to do with the actual subject matter of this post, but it and Doctor Who are all that are cheering me up right now. even muffin-sized peanut butter cups aren't helping much.

So this was going to be a recipe post for vegan pasta putanesca and garlic artichoke bread. But then I got my computer back.

Remember my computer? And how I dented the screen? I was all excited because the nice people at the apple store were replacing the screen for me. All this week I was a little confused because they said it would be 3-5 business days (of which today is the 8th) to repair it. Yesterday I called and, after literally an hour an hold (I guess a lot of people wanted to know about the iphone 4?) learned that I would be able to pick up my computer at 7:15 tonight. My dad had something to do there around the same time anyway, so I gave him my paperwork and he picked it up for me. 

There it was, all un-dented and shiny! I tried to log in. But my keyboard wasn't working properly. I restarted. Still no keyboard. I tried to shut it down for a while to see if that helped, but it wouldn't shut down. It sort of restarted (I think) but then the login screen was still there, and I still couldn't log in because the keyboard still wasn't working. 

I made an appointment for tomorrow at 11 AM, then left for the store to see if they could do anything for me tonight, since I have a business meeting tomorrow and was hoping to be able to, like, bring my laptop with all my work on it. 

Long story short, my initial paperwork said they were replacing the screen, but it also said something about water damage. I noticed this the other day while I was staring at it, vaguely memorizing my repair number, while on hold for 58 minutes. I thought it was a mistake. But apparently it wasn't? And so they replaced my logic board too? Also free of charge? Without telling me? Uh... thanks? I mean I actually am glad that, if  my logic board were broken, they fixed it without charging me. That's actually totally amazing! But why doesn't my keyboard work? Why did dropping something on the screen make my logic board stop working? Or my keyboard? I am so baffled and upset. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

my studio

I've finally set up my studio! You can see in these pictures my new book of tea bags. Wish I had more work to post, for now I'm still getting back into the swing of things.

Monday, June 28, 2010

vegan coconut oatmeal cookies, spicy chocolate snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies

The other day I baked a ton of cookies to mail to some friends. (Those closer than Oman and France, anyway.) I forgot that peanut butter cookies are basically delicious crumbs held together by force of will, and that I was low on cornstarch, my favorite egg substitute for baking. So no one was sent any peanut butter cookies. Here are the recipes for all of the above anyway.

based on a family recipe

1 cup earth balance 
1 cup white sugar 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
4 tbsp cornstarch mixed separately with 4 tbsp cold water,  or 2 egg's worth of another egg replacer
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 cups flour 
1 tsp baking soda 
3/4 tsp salt 
1 1/2 cups oats (10-minute oats are best) 
1 cup coconut 
1/2 cup raisins, if desired (I don't like raisins in baked goods, but one of the recipients of these cookies adores them) 

Beat earth balance and sugars until creamy. Blend in cornstarch or other egg substitute mixture and vanilla. This tastes really good, so when you switch from your fork or whisk to wooden spoon, I recommend licking it before anyone wrestles you to the floor for the honor. Sift in flour, soda, and salt. Blend well with a wooden spoon. Stir in oats and coconut. (Lick the spoon again.)

Chill for at least 1 hour.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375F for 10 to 12 minutes.

(from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, modified only very slightly. Mostly, I always have way too much topping sugar left over, so I've reduced it)

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
a pinch of cayenne pepper 

1/2 cup canola oil 
1 cup sugar 
1/4 cup maple syrup 
3 tablespoons nondairy milk 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 tsp baking soda 
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp cayenne

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two large baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Mix the topping ingredients together on a large dinner plate. Set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together the oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in the vanilla.

Sift in the remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all the ingredients are added, mix until you've got a pliable dough.

Roll the dough into walnut-size balls. Pat the dough balls into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2-inch discs. Transfer the dough balls to a baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they spread).

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes; they should be a bit spread and crackly on the top.

based on a family recipe

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 
1/2 cup earth balance 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1 tsp vanilla 
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed separately with 2 tablespoons water, or your favorite baking substitute for 1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour 
3/4 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt 

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cream together peanut butter and earth balance until well blended. Add sugars and vanilla; continue beating until fluffy. Add egg equivalent and beat well. Sift in remaining ingredients.

Shape into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with a fork dipped in flour, making a criss-cross pattern (or watch as your cookies already begin crumbling, and try to flatten them with the side of your hand).

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

baked vegan french toast

I had some silken tofu leftover from my zucchini skillet pie, which isn't something I usually have around, so I tried some french toast batter with my cardamom bread. I've tried a number of versions (with and without silken tofu) and it never worked, exactly (disclaimer: I have a lot of trouble with this, apparently, and also never tried a batter with lots of flour in it). The batter would flow around everywhere and not ever quite solidify and toast up properly. In defense of my frying-things skills, when I still ate eggs and dairy, I didn't have trouble making regular, egg-laden french toast, and I'm pretty sure the last time I tried to do that I was 14 years old. 

As I was searching for recipes to try, I came across a couple baked french toast recipes. Mostly they weren't vegan though, and those that were didn't use the kinds of ingredients I had on hand or wanted to use. One recipe I saw in the comments of someone else's recipe was pretty much only almond butter and nondairy milk, which sounded awesome, especially with my almond-sliver-topped bread. This is the result of combining that with all the other things I thought would make tasty french toast. I tried just baking it once, and it didn't turn out the way I'd hoped, so I broiled my toast the next time, to much more satisfactory results. 


Batter Ingredients: 
1 cup silken tofu 
1 cup soy milk 
1/4 cup maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
1 tbsp almond butter 
1 tbsp cornstarch
(makes batter for about 8 thick slices of bread)

Topping ingredients (optional): 
slivered almonds
maple syrup

Blend the ingredients together. Pour into a shallow dish and add all the bread slices that will fit (but still getting soaked with batter). Let the bread soak in the batter for several minutes on each side. Repeat with as many slices of bread as you're making. 

Place on a baking sheet and broil (on medium or normal, if you can set your broiler to anything) for about 3 minutes on the first side and about 2 minutes on the other, until golden and crispy. 

Serve with a smidge of maple syrup (there's sweetener in the batter, after all!), toasted slivered almonds, and blueberries.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

ed young's the emperor and the kite

I can't get enough of Ed Young right now. A number of my favorite picture books as a kid were illustrated by him. These scans are from The Emperor and the Kite, written by Jane Yolen. Sorry for the low quality, life is sad without photoshop. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

simple & easy vegan banana bread

I've been making some variation on the Tassajara Bread Book's banana bread since I was a young child. It's fun and easy. (The only reason I don't say "quick" is that it has to bake for about 45 minutes.) I tried mixing this up in my food processor, and I had my dough ready before my oven was done preheating! It's the perfect way to use bananas that are turning inedibly ripe. Mine were practically liquified when I dumped them in my work bowl. Also, this is the easiest not-usually-vegan recipe ever to vegan-ize. Bananas are an egg substitute, so you just leave out the egg.

Okay, one more thing. I've got to toot my own horn for a second. This banana bread is so awesome, people who don't like bananas like it. Not all people who dislike bananas (I'm looking at you, Deborah). But others (hi Bridget!) have at least been kind enough to tell me that they enjoy my banana bread.


1  cup white flour 
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup canola oil, or other flavorless oil 
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (if your bananas are as ripe as mine, that is, about to start rotting in a few minutes, go toward the 1/4 cup!) 
about 2 cups ripe banana pulp (I used 3 bananas) 
1/4 tsp salt 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mash the bananas a little, then add everything else and mix it together until combined pretty evenly. Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until fork or toothpick in center comes out dry.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

zucchini skillet pie with pine nuts & capers, topped with cherry tomato salad

I invented a recipe! As much as anyone invents a recipe, I think (feel free to correct me on this). I was originally trying to follow a recipe and it didn't work out. In Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers, there's this gorgeous photograph of these zucchini skillet cakes. It calls for 2 beaten eggs, but says, in the recipe itself in several places, that you can substitute pureed tofu. I was skeptical, but I tried it. I used silken tofu, so my mixture had a texture probably similar to using eggs. Maybe it was also that I used wheat germ instead of bread crumbs. I can see how the starchiness of the breadcrumbs could help. But I really love wheat germ. 

So, after a couple attempts to fry my mixture into crisp, golden cakes, I gave up, dumped my mixture in a cast iron skillet, and stuck it in the oven. Once baked and broiled, it got gorgeously golden and even stayed together (mostly) in neat little wedges on serving. 

There's no crust of course, but it's still a pie. It's round and full of wheat germ and baked in the oven. 

First, the cherry tomato salad. 


about 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I just used a whole package) 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tsp dried basil 
2 tsp dried oregano 
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix everything together. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to marinate, but the longer the better. 


about 2 pounds or 6 medium zucchini, grated 
sea salt and freshly ground pepper 
1 cup silken tofu 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
3 tablespoons snipped chives
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1/2 cup chopped parsley 
2 teaspoons dried marjoram 
grated zest of 1 lemon 
1 cup wheat germ (or bread crumbs) 
1/2 cup pine nuts 
1/4 cup capers, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

Toss the grated zucchini with a teaspoon of salt and set it aside in a colander while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Then rinse the zucchini and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. 

Toss the zucchini with the tofu, olive oil, chives, garlic, parsley, marjoram, and lemon zest. Stir in the wheat germ along with the pine nuts, capers, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Press the mixture into a large cast-iron skillet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until it's firmed up and the edges are beginning to turn golden. Then broil for about 3 minutes, or until the surface is a lovely gold color. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

my computer meets its nemesis (again)

what I would be attempting right now (if the guy at the apple store weren't as awesome as it turns out he is)

I'm not sure how a bottle of vinegar fell off the shelf above where I'd set my computer, far away (I thought) from the messiness of cooking, but it did. I must have heard a strange crunching / cracking noise, because when I turned around and saw the vinegar bottle I'd just tried to put away safe, sound, and whole, on the kitchen floor, I was confused. Then I saw the insane, pixelated stripes covering over half of my screen, merging in a strange, vinegar-bottle-top-sized dent. 

Here are (some of) the other things that have happened to laptops I've owned:
  • a defective battery, which would overheat and swell and contract. It turns out the battery is directly under the keyboard and trackpad, so as it swelled and contracted, the mouse would move and click, completely at random. To all appearances, my computer was possessed. Possessed by an evil demon set on selecting text as I typed (meaning I would type over it) or changing windows or moving the cursor or closing windows.
  • some dude sat on my computer. Sat. On my macbook pro. You guys: someone sat on my macbook pro. This broke the hard drive and the CPU, both of which had to be replaced. 
  • I slipped on some ice on the sidewalk in the dark and the computer fell out of my arms, sort of bouncing along the edge that has the CD drive, which of course ceased to work.
  • I knocked my computer off of my desk at a party, busting the USB ports and making a bizarre dent in the casing. A couple months after that? I dropped my computer off of my lofted bed, and it fell at least 4 feet to the ground. (FYI: if a computer falls 4 feet onto a hardwood floor, you have to get a new one.)
So when the nice guy at the apple store said that they wouldn't charge to repair the screen (something not technically covered by my warranty) it was AWESOME. 

I'm using my parents' computer for work all week, and it's all right. They don't have photoshop, so I'm using gimp, and, I know it's amazing that it's free and open source, but I really hate gimp. I hate how you have to click everything in the toolbar twice, how there's no way to get rid of the "show layer boundary" default (why on earth would you want it to constantly look like you'd selected everything?) and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad text editor. I could go on. Suffice to say I spent a lot of today yelling at the computer and frightening my dog. 

On the bright side: my computer is being fixed! For free! Thanks Apple! 

arugula and baby spinach carbon emissions can be as bad as beef

I was so sad when I read this article on boing boing about how bad arugula and baby spinach can be for the environment! Basically, if you don't live near where it's grown, and especially if you live far away and buy it out of season and/or greenhouse grown, the carbon footprint of these delicious, delicious greens is as bad as that of beef (what beef, precisely, it doesn't say). I only learned my love of arugula recently. Fortunately it's in season right now, I don't live crazily far from where it's grown, and when I move to San Francisco I'll grow my own (though I'm cringing thinking of all the baby spinach I bought in winter when I lived in New York). It'll be rad. I'll also grow my own tomatoes so I can food-process up some homemade, extra-spicy salsa whenever I please. Okay Bay Area? Get ready for some arugula salads and rad, homemade, heirloom tomato salsa. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

lisbeth zwerger

Lisbeth Zwerger is a favorite of mine from both my childhood and my (pseudo-)adult life. I love the delicacy of her line and touch, and the glow of light in all her work. Part of what's so inspiring to me about her work is that it has more in common with how I want to be working myself, while other art and illustration I can find beautiful and influential, but is simply not how I work. 

Images from a couple kidpix posts, 1 and 2

father's day giant muffin-sized vegan peanut butter cups

Father's day giant muffin-sized vegan peanut butter cups! Wooh, that's a lot of adjectives. Basically: trying to shop for my father is a losing battle; it's 105F outside as I type this; my father LOVES Reese's peanut butter cups. So I doubled the have cake, will travel peanut butter cup recipe, added a tablespoon of coconut oil to the chocolate mixture and one to the peanut butter mixture (to encourage these guys to stay solid long enough to eat them! recall: it is so hot here I have to keep my coconut oil, which is supposed to stay solid at room temperature, in the fridge. The fridge. Okay?) and made these MUFFIN-SIZED peanut butter cups that live in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to open wide and devour them. Happy father's day, Dad!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

vegan braided cardamom bread with slivered almonds

Another recipe modified from the Savory Way, in this case quite heavily, in order to make it vegan and adapt to my tastes and what I have on hand. I love having this bread on hand as a quick (once it's baked) snack or breakfast, loaded with earth balance or even a dab of honey. 


1 ½ cups soy milk
½ cup earth balance
1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
grated zest of 1 lemon, or a couple tablespoons of lemon juice
a ¼ oz package active dry yeast
6 tbsp cornstarch or ground flax seed mixed separately with 6 tbsp cold water for dough
6 cups or more all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch / flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp cold soy milk or water or melted earth balance for glaze
½ cup slivered almonds, approximately
sugar for topping

Heat the soy milk with the earth balance, cardamom, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Stir occasionally until the earth balance is melted and the sugar is dissolved. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, gently stir in the yeast and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes or until the yeast is nice and foamy.

Add the first cornstarch/flax seed mixture to the milk and yeast mixture. Next begin adding the flour, whisking it in to make a smooth batter until it becomes too thick; then change to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour until it is again too thick, at which point you can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading. Work in more flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Knead for at least 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and shiny; then set it aside in a bowl that has been slightly filmed with earth balance or a flavorless oil. Rub a little of the earth balance or oil on the top; then cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto the counter.

Braid into one big loaf. Glaze with the second cornstarch or flax seed mixture, press in the pine nuts or almond slivers, and sprinkle the surface with the sugar. Loosely cover the bread and set aside again to rise until about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350F. Just before putting it in the oven, check to see if the dough has expanded so that some areas are now unglazed and unsugared. Brush more glaze on these areas and cover them with a sprinkling of sugar and more almonds / pine nuts. Bake the bread until is a deep golden brown on top, about 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool before eating. 

PS: this bread was also on the lovely baking is hot

Friday, June 18, 2010

sam weber

I'm still feeling totally stuck about my artwork. I was unpacking boxes of drawings today and had that feeling that all of us get sometimes, that all of my work is boring and that I don't know what to do. 

While I figure all that out, here's another artist I've been turning to in awe and admiration: Sam Weber

Via basically the entire internet. I think my first glimpse of him was on ffffound. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

first food processor experience: vegan yumyum tomato basil cream pasta

I used my food processor for the first time ever on this delicious super quick tomato basil cream pasta. (The photo is by vegan yum yum as well, she has a gorgeous flickr account with photos of her food.) And you guys? I love having a food processor. This is one of those things that before I had a food processor, was not super quick. (It still would've been delicious.) 

dress and cardigan from calypso

The Claudia Dress, another white dress contender, though much steeper in price than I'd been hoping to spend. 

I have a beautiful, snug, buttercup yellow cardigan that I love so much, I've worn it to pieces. It has all sorts of indigo-colored watercolor stains and the seams are splitting. I got it from someone who didn't want it any more, so it hurts to contemplate dropping almost $100 on the Ceri Cardi, but it really is gorgeous. 

Calypso discovered via Oh Joy!.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

mushrooms on toast, other snacks

Another favorite recipe from Deborah Madison's the Savory Way, mushrooms on toast provencale style. Pictured above and below with an herb salad, mug of chai, and crispy kale. I had a large, late pancake breakfast and needed something green and filling to keep me from making a meal of and entire pacakge of corn chips and an entire jar of salsa. There are probably as many ways of making crispy kale as there are kale-lovers; mine is only slightly different from the crispy sesame kale recipe in the vegan yumyum cookbook (not on vegan yumyum's site, but the veggie gal has posted the recipe). My herb salad was a mix of store-bought and garden greens: baby arugula, parsley, sorrel, baby spinach, chives, celery, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.


Ingredients: (makes 2 generous servings)
1/2 pound firm white mushrooms 
1/4 cup mixed light and virgin olive oils
coarsely ground or crushed peppercorns 
1 garlic clove, chopped 
lemon juice
2 or 3 slices of bread 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 
2 teaspoons chopped marjoram and 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, or several pinches of herbes de Provence

Cut the mushrooms into quarters. Toss them with the olive oil, a light sprinkling of salt, the pepper, garlic, a squeeze of lemon, and the dried herbs, if using. Set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes. Just before you're ready to eat, toast the bread. Heat a saute pan, add the mushrooms, and saute them briskly, until they've begun to color. Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice. Add the parsley and marjoram, toss, and serve the mushrooms over the toast. 

A similar salad, with chimichurri on toast. Chimichurri is really a sauce for grilled meat, but I love just spreading it on toast, or serving it as an appetizer with crackers. It's also great on seitan, and probably on fake meat. But on toast! Yum. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

robert the

I'm enjoying Robert The's approach to altered books and book work.

Monday, June 14, 2010

pasta with vegan sausage and greens

I had some Italian-sausage-style tofurkey sausages leftover from when my father decided he wanted to grill me something meat-like, so I whipped up a vegan version of this quick dinner recipe from the kitchn, simply substituting the vegan sausage for the meat sausage and leaving out the parmesan. Next time I think I'll try a bit of nutritional yeast as well. 

my neighbor totoro animated gifs

My Neighboro Totoro, is not only my favorite movie, it is also one of the greatest movies of all time. So here are some Totoro-related animated gifs. If you haven't seen this movie, PLEASE SEE IT. Unless for some reason you don't like giant trees, buses that are cats (and cats that are buses), gorgeousness, wonder, magic, and nature. (Look, I don't like children. This movie is about children. There are forest spirits only children can see. And it is my favorite movie. Okay? So even if you don't like catbuses and giant trees, which, what the fuck is wrong with you, you should still like this movie.) Just look at those totoros blinking at you! Look at Totoro with his little umbrella! 

The first is via monster munch, the others via the lovegifs tumblr.

(update on 7/25/10: I've made another post of My Neighbor Totoro animated gifs. Keep checking the animated gifs tag for more!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

little red by Shlomi Nissim

I love the uncanniness of this photograph. So much to love here: the linear perspective of the trees; the contrast between the red dress and the green grass; the way the figures are framed by the trees; the movement of the wind and the wolf.

clothes from

Contemplating this cherbourg dress. Not quite my ideal white linen day dress, but it's made of beautiful material and has large pockets. 

Love this gorgeous easy weekend white linen blazer! If only it were a dress...

I've been wanting some bright, cadmium red shoes like these restricted scrabble oxfords, but they're currently out of stock in my size. Waiting for them to come back in stock will give me a while to decide, I suppose. discovered via lushlee.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

wooden structures

I've been looking lately at images of wooden buildings; I'm trying to get more into landscapes and depicting whole scenes. These are some images that have been inspiring me along those lines:

Wooden Siberian houses from, found via laceandflora.

Wooden church photographs by Richard Davies, found via moon river.

The world's tallest wooden house.

More buildings are on my tumblr under the "exterior" tag.

food processor and spice grinder!

I just came back from Williams Sonoma, where I got my graduation presents, a beautiful new food processor and a spice grinder. I can't wait to make nut butters and grind my own fresh spices and curry!

Friday, June 11, 2010

favorite bibliodyssey posts at the moment, and a general link round-up for myself

I'm still in the planning / designing / pseudo-research stages on a new book project. I expect there will be sketches posted on naomese soon. For now, these are the images and sites that are inspiring me right now. 

The images above are from the bibliodyssey post botanical beasties.

The image below is from tribes of Burma.

Onto other, non-visual links and quotations. From the history of birth control:
In German folk medicine marjoram, thyme, parsely and lavender in tea form were used. The root of worm fern was used by German and French women and was also prescribed by a Greek physician in the time of Nero; in French it was called the “prostitute root”. Other ancient recipes called for a paste of mashed ants, foam from camels’ mouths, tail hairs of blacktail deer dissolved in bear fat. In modern times, women have been reported to use turpentine, castor oil, tansy tea, quinine water in which a rusty nail has been soaked, horseradish, ginger, epsom salts, ammonia, mustard, gin with iron filings, rosemary, lavender, and opium.
To abort a fetus at three months, the following receipe was used: 1 drachma each of cardamom seeds, wallflower (or stock,) myrrh, and wormwood. Let a woman insert it before taking a bath and drink pennyroyal wine. (Riddle, 1992, p.62) ... In addition to abortions, there were some natural anti-fertility medicines to avoid pregnancy. Some of these included fenugreek, mallow, pennyroyal, rue, birthwort, cyperus, arum root, cassia, reed, valerian, calamint root, and myrrh. 

The Greeks used Silphium, known commonly as giant fennel. Its pungent sap was good in cough syrups and gave food a rich, distinctive taste. These plants were also known to have contraceptive and abortifacient properties. ... The demand for the plant was so great that by the third or fourth centuries, Silphium was extinct. Related plants survived, but were less effective.
The seeds of Queen Anne's Lace (a wild carrot) may have also been effective. Studies in rats show that the seeds inhibit both fetal and ovarian growth. 
Other links: Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance; abortion in the ancient and premodern world; natural herbs for contraception and abortion; silphium on wikipedia.

And one more pair of images, these are from a post titled aggregate.

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