October Vacation Begins

I’ve got an order for Beard Oil and Coffee Scrub. I also have some more lotions to make for relatives I should get to some of these things later today or tomorrow.

I am on my vacation so I should get to soap making in a few days after all this other stuff is done.

Fall has been really nice so far this year. The trees are beautiful right now.

This Weeks Gardening And Kitchen Projects

I was about to enter my apartment when I heard a tiny defeated tweet from what looked like a scrap of dried leaf. Upon closer inspection it was an Anna’s Hummingbird that had gotten trapped in the stairwell and become exhausted. I offered it some sugar water and carried it to safety.

This morning I planted some ginger and put it next to my Aerogarden for light. Then trimmed back my lemon balm & chamomile and planted those this morning.

I started cilantro, dill and basil in the aerogarden.

Trimmings from the lemon balm and lemon slices are steeping in cold water for later. I baked some bread and some bran muffins.

I tried a new park I haven’t been to yet. It’s a bit of a walk to get to but worth it, at least up until spider season arrives.

 

I’ve been working on some soap recipes, I have a loofah I want to experiment with and also I was gifted a wire coat hanger for some experimentation with hanger swirls. I’m having some trouble deciding. I know scent wise it’s either going to be Vanilla with Espresso, Ginger Patchouli or Valencia Orange.

Freshening the air, gardening and ordering new things.

Cinnamon Scented Automotive Air Freshener 

I used  3 cotton balls and let about 1 ml of cinnamon essential oil absorb into them

You could also use a nice sachet or a piece of decorated felt to hang from the mirror but I didn’t want it to be seen so I used a large tea bag and tossed it under my seat.

Then I came inside and boiled about 6 cups of water with an orange peel, a stick of cinnamon and 8-10 cloves until my home smelled nice. 

I planted a new aerogarden so I will have fresh herbs soon. From my last grow I just used the last of my dried sage and parsley in my turkey day stuffing. I got a whole jar of dried dill which I use all the time. The Lavender is still drying, then I am going to reinfuse my lavender oil to make it stronger. As for my outdoor plants the native strawberry is still green and my moroccan mint is clinging on, everything else has died back, fall is certainly done. The first snow fell last night but melted right away. I hope it’s not too late to post that fall picture I took three weeks ago.

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I am restocking citric acid and I may make some bath bombs later on since I ordered Rose Clay but more importantly I needed it for dish washer soap, I’m almost out.

New ingredients I haven’t tried yet are nettle extract and tamanu oil, I got sample sizes of them. I am really excited about making a nettle hair wash and a tamanu lotion.

Pear Lotion and Soap

I got an Anjou Pear sampler with my order I have also had a request for pear scented lotion so it worked out, I made a batch of lotion and a soap earlier and most of the sample is gone. I made a bit of the lotion as spiced pear by adding a few drops of bay rum. Tomorrow I will experiment with Pumpkin spice and Peppermint.

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Laundry Soap and Dish Washer Detergent Recipes.

I keep forgetting to write this recipe down so I’m just going to put it here.

 

Laundry Soap

4 lb Borax

4 lb Baking Soda

3lb 7 oz Washing Soda

3 bars of grated Fels Naptha soap

3.5 lb Oxy Clean(optional)

 

Make sure you have a container large enough to mix all of this together or reduce the recipe.

1-2 tablespoons per load

 

 

Dish Washer Detergent

2 parts Borax

2 parts Washing Soda

1 part Citric Acid

1 part Salt

Strawberry

I have to bring all of my plants indoors/outdoors weekly it seems because they have been working on the exterior of the building. Replacing boards, power washing, painting. As a result it’s never quiet and all of my plants look spectacularly half dead. I did manage to grow this little guy.

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My Vacation Adventures with Tanqueray(aka “I Measure Nothing!”)

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Pomegranate + Garlic Press = Pomegranate Juice

 

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Ice and Gin

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1 Lime and Soda water or Club Soda. I juice half of the lime and add slices with the other half, also top with about a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds.  I believe this drink is called a Pomegin if you need to look up exact measurements. If you leave out the soda and add a little sugar you have a Pomegranate Gin Sling. I needs my drinks more watered down than that, I’m a lightweight.

 

Drink # 2 was the English Mojito

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Add 6 spearmint leaves to a glass and cover with ice about half a glass full. Cover glass with your hand and shake ice and leaves vigorously for about 10 shakes, the leaves should be bruised and/or in pieces. Half squeeze a lime into the drink and drop the rest in, or slice it, however, I was going for simple. Add Gin and soda water, I have lemon lime unsweeted seltzer water. If you use Rum then you have a proper mojito, if you leave out all alcohol you have a Nojito. Traditionally Yerba Buena is used instead of spearmint, you could use other mint varieties but it is said that spearmint is a popular alternative. Lemon can also be used instead of lime.

 

Drink #3 The Tripple Berry Smoothie with Gin

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Add to blender 1 banana broken into 4 pieces(it matters for how I “measure”) and about the same volume of ice as the banana, add about the same amount of frozen fruit as the banana also. I use the triple berry frozen fruit from the market, Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries. It’s in the freezer aisle near the pie crusts usually. Tap the blender pitcher on the counter once or twice to settle the contents then pour in Orange juice until it is almost to the top of the ice and berries and all of that, add a shot or so of gin. Blend well. if too thick add more juice if too thin add more ice. If you use fresh fruit I recommend adding more ice. You can substitute the orange juice with something like sprite or the ice with something like Raspberry Sorbet.

 

Consider my vacation well enjoyed.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Pudding

I’ve had a box of vanilla pudding in my cupboard for what seems like ages, it never looks appealing however my b/f wont go near home made pudding because he doesn’t like the texture, was that how this ended up in my cupboard? Is this a hint? Well lets see what I have to fix this…

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Whipped Vanilla Bean Pudding

1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 1/2 cups 2% milk

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 vanilla bean

1-3 drops brandy or bourbon (optional)

 

In a small sauce pan gently heat 2% milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add Vanilla bean seeds and wisk, let it sit for 10 minutes before transferring to the freezer to chill.

In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream to a whipped cream consistency. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.

Add chilled 2% vanilla bean milk, Instant pudding, whipped heavy cream and brandy/bourbon to blender and mix until smooth and fluffy.

Transfer to serving dish, chill for another 10 minutes then enjoy.

 

 

 

Indoor Garden

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My kitchen garden is growing beyond my means to consume it, salads, salad dressings, chip dips, herbed chickens, herbed potatoes, infused oils and all of the other things I forgot I made were not enough, The Aerogarden grows fast! It’s time to start drying. I’m going to try the paper bag method. I now regret not bringing the food dehydrator with me when I moved.

(For the paper bag method you cut and tie small bundles of herbs, make sure any damaged leaves are removed. Tightly tie them hang upside down by the stem in  a paper bags for two weeks.)

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My next grow is going to be Oregano, Savory, Mint, Chives, Parsley, Cilantro, and Genovese Basil.