zaterdag 25 januari 2014

Home made potpourri, part two - the flowers

In case you have missed part one, click here

Let´s continue with the homemade potpourri. If everything went well, the flowers you collected have dried in the meantime. The thing to do now is make a choice about the number of varieties you want to make. It depends a little on how many flowers you´ve collected.
But let´s assume you do exactly as I did.

Sterilize three big jars by putting them in a 200° heated oven for thirty minutes. Put them upside down on an absolutely clean towel and be careful because they´re hot.

If you are short on rose petals, you can add some lavender and/or malva because their fragrance is similar. In that case, mix well. Put the first half in the jar and sprinkle 4-5 drops of the rose oil you made last week (strain it first) over the petals. Shake a little, but be careful, rose petals are delicate.
Add the other half and sprinkle 4-5 drops of the rose oil again. Close the jar carefully.

Mix the lavender with the malva, sage, marjoram, borage and comfrey. Be careful not to crush them too hard. Put half of it in a jar, sprinkle 4-5 drops of the lavenderoil and shake slightly. Add the other half, add the same amount of drops and close the jar.

Mix the marigold with the santolina and the camomile. Be careful because they fall apart easily. Divide in two parts. Put a layer of half of the alchemilla in the jar.
Add the first part of the marigoldmix, close the jar and quickly turn it upside down and back. Open the jar, add 4-5 drops of you marigoldoil and shake a bit.
Put the second h alf of the alchemilla in and add the other marigoldmix. Sprinkle with a few drops of marigoldoil, close the jar. Turn it upside down and back.

Leave the jars unopened for two weeks in a not too bright spot.

Potpourri is always a nice gift, especially with a little bottle of your home made oil. You can use it to decorate scented candles or -sachets that make your home smell fine. Also very decorative is a large plate with an ample potpourri filling and some (scented) candles in similar colors. Be careful that the potpourri doesn´t catch fire.

When you´ve flowers left:

Roses can be used to make rosewater. Just leave them be in boiled water for half an hour to prepare an extract. Strain it and keep it in a clean bottle. It´s a great skin tonic.
A mixture of rosewater and honey can serve as a facial mask. Mix well but don´t leave it too long, one or two minutes will do.
Put a little rosewater in the reservoir of the iron and all your clothes will smell deliciously they say (I don´t know for I haven´t ironed for a long long time but it sounds logical)

Lavender is very suitable for sweet desserts. Put two or three branches in a cupful of sugar, cover it and leave it for two weeks, then remove the branches. This sugar tastes very nice in whipped cream.
Put the flowers in a sachet for your linen closet and everything will smell fresh.
Or. like the roses, use them for an extract. Lavender has a relaxing effect in a warm bath, but you can also use the extract for a facial tonic for an oily skin.

The marigold is, as an extract, very suitable to make a compress in case of inflammation as long as the skin is undamaged.
The petal leafs can be used, like saffron, to color risotto (use only two or three).

And you can of course use most of the flowers to make your own medicines, but never do that without consulting a doctor. Therefore, I will not mention any of them in this blog.

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