Wednesday, August 20, 2014

almost heaven Casi Cielo update

The dog days of August are upon us, and if it weren't for the slugs, I would be completely ecstatic about how the garden is growing.  It would be easy to be consumed on a full time basis by weeding this little patch of paradise, but other things like my "real" job are calling my attention, so I have to be content with the wildness and Amazonian appearance of the garden.  Spaghetti squash growing through the hedge, over the raspberries, pumpkins that will need to be harvested by ladder if we don't get frost.  Look at this passion flower, it has gone over the top of the trellis and is reaching for the sky!

Zucchini, that get away on me, when I think there is nothing there, and suddenly they weigh 3 pounds. here is a recipe to use the zucs and basil

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon of dried
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425F. Lightly grease or line with paper baking cups twelve 2 3/4 inch muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, basil oregano, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Beat in the milk and oil. Stir in the zucchini. Combine the two mixtures, blending until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve warm, or invert onto the rack to cool completely
The  calendula are drying in the garage, and each day there are scads more , so here is a healing salve recipe that I am going to make later this week.
You will firstly need to make up a calendula infused oil. I do this each season when the calendulas are flowering in the garden. They self seed so you won't have to plant them each year & they are so useful. To do this, pick fresh calendula petals, as much as possible, (NOT MARIGOLDS) preferably straight from the garden. Place in a pyrex bowl & cover halfway with olive oil. Boil this mixture until the oil has made the petals crisp like chips. I do mine in the microwave but you need to be extra careful getting boiling oil out without burning yourself. It works fine on the stove, using a stainless steel saucepan, but takes longer. When cool, place in a sterilized glass screw top glass jar. It will keep unrefrigerated for yonks!!!
3 Steps:
Step 1
·         3/4 cup purified water or rosewater or other floral water, e.g. lavender, chamomile, orangeflower,(also called hydrosols)
·         2 teaspoons glycerine
Heat water or floral water to 60C, then add glycerine, stir thoroughly & heat again to 70C. (I don't measure the temp, I just go by feel, the temp is not critical).
Step 2
·         16g emulsifying wax for a lotion or 30g for a cream
·         2 tablespoons of calendula infused oil (see above for directions)
Heat the oils to 70C, then pour the hot water in a slow stream onto the oil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the temp drops to 45C when you add the next step.
Step 3
·         20 drops carrot E/O
·         15 drops E/O according to skin type, can be a mixture of ones you like & are suitable(see above).
Add the E/O's & mix thoroughly.

If the cream is too thick, add a trickle of floral water, beating & adding until you get the consistency you like. Pot into sterilized glass jars

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