Today was a Tuesday. As Tuesday’s go, I found myself at the house of my good friend Emily. Emily is the midwife who attended the birth of dingo, but at her last appointment with us, I presented her with a sappy card begging her friendship. Pathetic? Maybe. But it worked. So I should really just start calling Tuesday’s post “Making With Emily”. Last week it was Kimchi (remember?) . Today we were deep into some herbal concocting. We made jars of baby bottom balm with plantain, calendula, comfrey, and rosemary. First things first, we took a trot to the back yard to collect some fresh plant matter.
Basket and bowl full of fresh clippings, we headed indoors to begin brewing away. I even escaped with some dried calendula blossoms to experiment with in my dyeing endeavors, I’ve got a freezer stash of marigold blossoms already building. Emily referred to an herbal concoction’s book and a journal of personal notes from concoction’s past. I giddily stood aside as Emily opened her magical cabinet of herbalist doo-dads and mixings. I may have audibly gasped. I do love this cabinet. It is on par magically with a certain wardrobe that leads to a mysitcal land of fantasy. Ah, yes, Emily’s Narnia cabinet, if only I could fit inside. We gathered up oils, beeswax, aloe vera gel, essential oils, and tinctures. We spent even more time sniffing about and sighing.
We scratched our heads at some different essential oil blends, debating over the perfect combination for the undeniably decadent and luscious Hester/Van Walleghem skin cream. We settled on a combination of yarrow, lavender, and spikenard.
I began chopping our garden finds, layering the leaves and blossoms in a cast iron skillet. We then covered the greens in olive oil, having to re-configure some mathematics to account for additional oil used. I believe our final ratios came out to 3 cups of olive oil and a half cup of beeswax. So, the herbs simmered in the oil for thirty minutes and were strained from the oil in a cheesecloth. Add the oil back to the skillet, and plop in your beeswax to melt. Once melted pour into clean jars.
Can you believe the color? Once it cools to room temperature it solidifies, retaining a pale green color and smelling amazing. The comfrey is a potent anti-fungal and the rosemary is antibacterial. It’s really lovely stuff. Some more images from the garden:
I’m sure you’ve noticed that some of my posts regarding processes I engage in aren’t the most detailed. This is due to my nature. Recipes are only a recipe the first time around (unless it is pie crust). Afterwards the recipe/instructions served as a learning experience. Also, speaking of recipes. I think I want to spend some time to digging through my great-grandmother’s recipe box and devoting some blog space to the reincarnation of her spirit. What do you say? Some posts with actual recipes. We can have a cook-along.
This is such a photo heavy post. You may have noticed that I’ve discovered the macro setting on my little Cannon Powershot. Brace yourself, the close-ups are coming. From the garden last night:
Such full days, these long summer ones are. After I was gone all afternoon, upon my return home, baby dingo saw me come through the door and he lit up like a sun lamp. He bounced up and down, failing arms and shining eyes. Chabbering. Giggling. He turned circles, cackling and singing his delight at my return. He radiated joy like a sprinkler head. He then immediately signed for milk. Sigh. I am the milk vessel. So it goes.
Warm cookies from the oven and a cold mug of milk. I am going to cast on some washcloths now. Happy dusk, readers.