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  • Chive Blossom Vinegar

    Growing up I remember eating fresh chives by the handfuls. We even put them on our sandwiches for lunch, which often consisted of liverwurst, ma...
  • Peony & Orange Sugar Scrub

    You know it is truly Summer when the peonies blossom. My mother loved peony flowers and growing up the entire driveway was lined with them. When we bought our farmhouse in December, I had no idea what type of flowers I may find in the Spring. I was happy to discover that we have one, and only one, peony bush. 

    This year I came across a recipe by Jan Berry in her book 101 Easy Homemade Products for you Skin, Health & Home  (2016) that uses peony blossoms in a sugar scrub. I decided to make it before my limited number of blossoms had faded. It is super easy and now that I have made it, I have dozen's of ideas floating around in my head for other sugar scrub recipes.  Sugar scrubs are an all natural way to exfoliate your skin and leave your skin soft. The exfoliation polishes away dull flakiness and increases blood flow.   I chose to use Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil  because it is rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E that helps keep skin hydrated, reduces inflammation and promotes healing.  The Peony petals were free of any type of spray ( and free of ants before I was done! )

    Below is Jan's recipe: ( with a little tweak of my own)

    Small handful of fresh peony petals ( about 5 grams)

    1/4 C ( 100 g) of white sugar

    2 to 3 Tbsp (30 to 45 ml) light oil  such as sunflower, jojoba or sweet almond

    3 drops of Orange essential oil

    Put the peony petals and sugar into food processor and blend until and even color.  Darker colored petals result in darker colored sugar.  

    Next, Jan's recipe says to spread the sugar out on wax paper and let air dry for 2 days.  The only thing I could think when I read this was that a million tiny ants are going to appear in about 15 minutes after I put that down so this is what I did instead: I put the sugar in a glass oven safe bowl on the lowest possible setting  and propped the door open to slowly dry the sugar. I stirred  every little while and after about 30 minutes, I coverthe bowl with a glass lid and turned the oven off. I let the sugar cool in the bowl.  

    At this point you just add the oil and essential oil and stir it up good. Store it in a tightly sealed container out of direct heat and sunlight. It should stay fresh for several months as long as you do not introduce water or bacteria. So use clean dry hands or a wooden spoon to extract the amount you want out of the container, apply the scrub to dampened skin and rub. Rinse well. Be careful not to get into your eyes, nose or mouth. The oil in the scrub can also make the tub/shower slippery so be cautious about that as well.

    Easy Peasy  Lemon Squeezy as my grandson says! Enjoy!

     

  • Lilac Simple Syrup

    In Spring at our farmhouse the air is filled with the perfume of sweet smelling lilacs. They are a short lived gift, however, and I have often wond...
  • Four Thieves- A Folklore Story

    Have you ever heard the story of the four thieves during the Black Death in Europe? It is quite an interesting tale!    In the mid 1300's, Europe a...