zaterdag 25 januari 2014

Home made potpourri, part I - the oil

This blog consists of two parts: making the herb-oil this week, and making the actual potpourri next week.
It is not to difficult to make your own potpourri, but it takes time, you will for the major part spend waiting, and so it takes patience too. Now that means, that if I can do it, you can do it.

You start collecting flowers. You can find them everywhere, in your own garden, in the neigbors´ garden (maybe you should ask him first), along the road, you can buy them, or use the ones given to you by an admiror.

For mine, I used roses for the first, marjoramflowers, lavender, sageflowers, malva, comfrey and borage for the second and marigold, chamomile, alchemilla and santolina for the third.

Put aside a cupful of rose, lavender and marigold.
Spread the rest of the flowers -sorted out- on a clean tablecloth and let them dry for one or two weeks in a (warm) well ventilated spot. Next week, I am going to tell you what to do with them.

The oil
Start cleaning 3 little bottles or jars and sterilize them for half an hour in an oven heated to 200°C.
Then put them upside down on an absolutely clean towel. Careful not to burn your hands.

Rose: rose petals are very delicate so it is best to use the so called cold method to get the oil. Put the petals in a sealable jar, press them a little and pour vegetable oil all over them. The petals should be covered completely. Close the jar and leave them on a sunny spot like your windowsill for one or two weeks.
It will be ready at the same time as the flowers.

Lavender: put half of the flowers in a heat resistant jar. Put it in a pan with hot water and let them simmer `au bain marie` for two hours at very low heat. Strain the oil, put it back into the jar and add the other half of the flowers. Let simmer for another, strain again and pour the oil into one of the bottles.

Marigold: follow the directions for lavender.

Don´t make too much oil, you´ll only use a few drops for the potpourri.

If you accidentally or deliberately made too much oil:1
But if you like, there are a lot of purposes you can use your oil for: NB use these only if you are very certain that you are not suffering from any allergy. I don´t accept any responsibility.

Rose oil:
  • Make an ointment from 40 ml. rose oil and 4 gr. beeswax (melted au bain marie), put in a sterilized jar. Smells deliciously.
  • Make an air refreshener by mixing 5 drops of oil and half a liter water.
  • Use it as a bath oil.
Lavender oil:
  • Make a footbalm from 6 spoons of lanolin, 3 spoons of almond oil, 3 spoons of glycerin and 1 spoon of lavender oil. Melt it au bain marie, beat until cold and put in a sterilized jar.
  • Make a bodylotion from 2 spoons of almond oil, two spoons of lavender oil, 1 dl. rosewater. Put it in a sterilized bottle.
  • Make a deodorant from 5 dl. sterilized water, 1 spoon of lavender oil, 1 spoon of sugar. Leave it for two weeks and put it in a clean vaporizer.
Marigold oil:
  • Make a hand jelly against dry hands from vaseline and marigold oil: melt the vaseline a bain marie and mix it at a 5:1 ratio with the marigold oil.
  • Make a balm against myalgia from tincture and marigold oil: mix 50 gr. dried marigold petals, 75 ml. wodka, 150 ml. water and leave it in a sterilized jar for two weeks in a cool spot. Shake it every now and then.
    After two weeks, mix 60 ml. tincture with 60 ml. marigold oil. Only for external use!!

1I tried out my own recipes, but based them on The New Herb Bible (Foley,Nice&Webb 2002)

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