Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Herbal Sugars

After processing in a jar wool layered with cochineal, madder root and osage orange bark for a few months I finally washed it out. The wool almost looked marbled with layers of different color.
I do wish I hadn't put in the bark after sitting so long the bark left some dull tan colors.

June 24th, St. John's day, the St. John's wort is ready to be picked.

Besides being a wonderful dye plant it is a very important medicinal plant.

This year I'm infusing it in olive oil, very useful for sunburn and sore muscles.
I started with mostly flowers and buds, filling the jar as full as possible then at the top put in a few stalks to help hold the flowers under the oil. Fill with olive oil, use a butter knife to push the flowers aside to get out all the air bubbles. Air bubbles left in and flowers at the surface will cause mold. I left it loosely capped for a week, getting out the bubbles every day.

Now tightly capped it needs to sit in the hot sun for 4 to 6 weeks to process. The oil will turn a dark red.  When its ready, strain thoroughly, discarding the plant material. Place in clean jar and store in cool, dark place. Hopefully you won't need it but it's ready if you do.

Next up lavender sugar. Layers of lavender and sugar. By the end of summer use to sprinkle on home made sugar cookies and desserts.

And one more sugar using lemon balm and lemon thyme. Another topping for baking.

I used the herbs fresh so instead of capping tightly I placed a napkin in place of the lid to let the moisture from the herbs escape. Also I mix it every couple of days.
With the rose petal sugar I added rose geranium leaves for more flavor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fabric turned out great!! You have been a busy girl...enjoy your sweet summer days...they will be gone in a blink!! Deb C

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo