Daily Archives: June 19, 2012

The Summer of Experimentation

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This summer, for me, it’s going to be all about experimenting. I received a fun package full of goodies from Mountain Rose Herbs plus a few new books to get me started. My thoughts are of finding the perfect herbal iced tea, making variations on my favorite lotions and maybe making a fantastic smelling household cleaner. Note the very large box of Peace Tea, summer vacation for the boys started last Thursday…I will be needing this! It actually is good to have them home and not have the pressure of quickly making lunches and getting out the door in the mornings.
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We have so many calendulas growing here that sometimes I think we should go into the calendula business. Until then, I dry as many petals as I can to infuse into oils for lotions and soaps. My method simply is to fill a canning jar with a heaping handful of dried calendula petals along with my desired oil, cover and set out in full sun for an entire day. Then strain and store.
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Calendula petals are also good for adding to tea blends. This one is a custom blend I made with helichrysum, rose petals, nettle, and fennel pollen. This mixture of herbs (minus the fennel pollen, which I just added for taste) was recommended to me by a friend who’s an herbalist to infuse into oils for making eczema salves. (more on that later)
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It too spent a few hours out on the back deck and then into the fridge to cool. It tasted just great, the key was in the fennel pollen. Yesterday I sat out another jar of this with a jar of Peace Tea, they chilled overnight and today I’ll see which I like better.

It’s fun to experiment. In my school days, I never did have a head much for the sciences, but as an adult, playing around with lotions and melting points and infusions and herbal properties and natural dying makes me feel like a mad scientist!

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