Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scent-sible Herbel Gifts

Alicia North of North Star Botanicals led a bunch of 7 in making great gifts to either give away or use ourselves.

Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizer.
2 cups pure aloe vera gel
1-2 teaspoons witch hazel
30 drops eucalyptus essential oil (1/2 teaspoon)
20 drops rosemary essential oil (1/3 teaspoon)
1o drops lavender
8 drops cinnamon essential oil
8 drops clove essential oil

Herbal Eye Pillows
Flax seed because it's cooling.
Lavender flowers for soothing.
Mint to make things look brighter (but go light on the mint 'cause its a stimulant).
Hops if you want, to help you remember your dreams, only a little bit (it smells like dirty socks).
Stitched up tight in a pretty fabric pouch, frog shaped or mask like or a starry blue sky.

Calendula Salve
3 oz. calendula infused olive oil
1 oz. beeswax
Calendula salve is an all purpose healing salve. Good for cracked hands, to keep cow udders from getting chapped, helping heal burns and other things of this nature.

Christmas Tea
1 cup each dried cut rose hips, lemon verbena leaves, and orange peel
6 cinnamon sticks broken into small pieces
1/4 cup cloves
Infuse 1 tsp tea blend in 1 cup freshly boiled water for ten minutes. Serve with honey if desired.

Fizzy Bath Salts
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt
1 cup baking soda
8 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops orange essential oil
6 drops neroli
4 drops peppermint essential oil
1/2 cup citric acid
Mix dry ingredients first except citric acid. Add oils, mix, add citric acid and mix thoroughly.
We had an accident with the bath salts because we used Celtic sea salt instead of regular sea salt.
After riding home we discovered the salt had pulled enough moisture out of the air to cause the bath salts to fizz right out of the bag!

Corning Spices
1/2 kosher salt
1 Tbsp cracked pepper corn
3/4 Tbsp cloves
1 Tbsp thyme
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 4-6 lbs. beef brisket or tongue. Rinse and pat dry.
Rub each side evenly with salt, mix, place in 2 gallon Ziploc bag and force out as much air as possible. Place in a pan, cover with second pan and weight with 2 bricks or heavy cans. Refrigerate 5-7 days. Turn once daily. To cook, cover with water and boil 2-3 hours.

To perches these and others go Alicia's website

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Contra Dance

On the cold and snowy night of December 5th contra dance caller Fern Bradly and Still the Home Grown Band gathered at the Cornwall town hall to call and play for two families plus roadies and we had a tiny but lovely contra dance.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shave-Horse Making

Joe Brien and a lively bunch of 7 wranglers embarked on a wild ride to capture, train and ride a shave-horse.
Joe had a table with the shave-horse parts already cut out and ready for assembly. There were several work stations set up. We all needed do was plane edges, drill mortises, cut tenons, and assemble a jumbled assortment of wooden pieces into something resembling a four legged, very loose necked, slow moving but once its dumb-head gets ahold of something lets go only when asked, wooden creation. In short a shave-horse.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Whey of Cheesemaking

Angela Greco, an experienced kitchen cheese maker, led the whey through the process of making "Meso Fresco".The first step was to warm up the milk. The pot of choice was selected by Angela for each table to use. A good place to get stuff Warm the milk to 90 degrees F through indirect heating in a water bath of 110 degrees F. Then sprinkle the culture on top of the milk and let sit for 30 to 60 seconds. Stir GENTLY!!!!Dissolve 1/4 rennet tablet in 1/4 cup water.
The correct whey to add rennet:
The culture bacteria make the milk acidic and rennet likes acid and 110 degree heat but if it's too happy the curd turns out rubbery, so we only give it 90 degrees. It took a group effort to keep the milk at the correct temperature.Then we let the curd set. After getting a clean break in the curd we cut it. A clean break is when you make a small cut in the top of the curd and it breaks cleanly and fills with whey.

Cut the curd into 1 inch cubes and give it a stir.Warm the curd to 95 F ( by adding hot water to the water bath) while stirring.
Then put the curds into a stainer lined with butter muslin or cheese cloth. Let drain for 15 minutes.
Then mix 2 1/2 tsp of salt in with your hand GENTLY.
And then put the mix in a basket mold and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Cut serve and enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Milking Stool Making

Joe Brien took us in-hand, in using hand-tools to make a handy milking stool.

This is a draw shave used by pulling towards yourself and with the grain of the wood.

By clamping the pre-cut stool seat in a neat gizmo called a shave horse. It's a foot operated clamp.
Another way to hold your stool seat.
Smoothing the edges.
Using piece of wood, a nail and a pencil to figure out where to drill holes for the legs. A little decoration.
A hand operated drill press.

Tapering the ends of the legs.

Marking where wedges will go.

Making splits for the wedges to go into.

Putting glue on the wedge.Setting the wedge.

Sawing off the extra leg length.
Planing the top smooth.
How long do you want your legs?
All hard at work.

All done now!!