Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sacred Suppers ~ Snippets


Dearest homemaker,

Let us not underestimate the powers of love and spiritual growth that a home cooked meal served side-by-side provides for the family. There is nothing like a satisfied taste bud to bring about joy. There is beauty in this time around the table, when hands are clasped and a prayer of gratitude is given. This valuable age-old tradition, is a sacred part of the “old paths” of the New Testament believers who also gathered in one accord. The “fruit” that came forth from that fellowship was nothing less than amazing… Which blessings will be bestowed on your family when you take the time to serve a meal around the kitchen table?

๐Ÿž ๐Ÿงบ ๐Ÿ•ฏ 

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers…. and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.”
 ~Acts 2:42-43b

Monday, November 15, 2021

DIY All Purpose Floral Salve and Lovely Lip Gloss ~ Great Gifts

“If we allow our "high creativity" to remain alive, we will never be bored. We can pray, standing in line at the super market. Or we can be lost in awe at all the people around us, their lives full of glory and tragedy, and suddenly we will have the beginnings of a painting, a story, a song.” 
~ Madeleine L'Engle

There are times in a homemaker's life where she may feel stagnant and dull. Though this is far from true, I have found that living creatively and maintaining little projects along the way, add an immense amount of joy to the homemaking role. THERE IS NEVER TIME TO BE BORED! In this case, I have been looking at all my beautiful dried flowers with a desire to use them in a lovely way. This salve came to mind as all of these favorites are excellent medicinal herbs for women's skin care as well as quite aromatic for the feminine heart.  I’m excited to share this “ode to femininity” salve which will make for an all-purpose skin healer and lip gloss. I’ve named it my “floral salve”.  


To make this, I placed an equal amount of each of the following flowers to a clean jar (you can use any size jar you want in order to get the yield you want). Leave about 1 - 2 inches headspace at the top of the jar to leave room for the oil to cover the herbs. 

- 1 part of dried rose petals
- 1 part of dried chamomile
- 1 part of dried lavender buds
- 1 part of dried calendula

Next I poured in extra virgin olive oil (you can also use a good quality almond oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and/or grape-seed oil).  Cover the flowers in the oil by at least 1-2 inches (making sure they are completely submerged the entire time. To keep the herbs covered, I usually shake the jar once a day or so). 

This is a very flexible recipe and I encourage you to use what you have. If your apothecary has lavender and chamomile, just use those. With the addition of essential oils at the end, you will still have a fine and worthy salve! I am the queen of making do and I encourage you to do the same if necessary (during certain times in my budget, it is necessary). 

Screw the lid on firmly and let the mixture steep in a warm, sunny spot for 2 - 3 weeks (you can cover the jar of oil with a light cloth if you want to avoid direct sunlight). I usually place my infusions on my kitchen sill. When the time is up, strain the solids through a fine cheesecloth or a piece of thin cotton/muslin to remove all particles. I found that double straining with a second time through cotton works best. Pour into a clean, dry jar and measure out the amount of oil you have.

In a double boiler, gently heat your (measured out) floral infused oil for a few minutes.

(To bypass excess clean up, save up some of your discarded canned food tins to make a disposable double boiler (that means you don't need to clean up the wax residue after - you just toss your can!). Just add a few inches of water into a sauce pan and place your clean can inside. Add the wax to the can and you have a makeshift double boiler!)

Add in 1/4 c. of beeswax for every 1 cup of oil you measured (you can also add in some shea butter at this point for extra moisturizing abilities).

Stir occasionally until everything is gently melted together. I use a wooden skewer to stir so that it can be thrown away after for easy clean up.Remove your mixture from heat.  I divided my mixture in half at this point so that I could do half as all-purpose skin salves and half as tinted lip glosses. 

*Now is also the time to add in some coloring if you would like to make a tinted lip gloss that is shown in the pictures. It isn't necessary to add in the color, but it is fun. Once your beeswax and oil solution is melted, simply add in some lipstick (there is no ratio to this, just go by sight). I used an all-natural lipstick color that my daughter purchased which was too dark for her. Once it was added to the solution, it was a beautiful hue. But to be honest, it is very light on the lips (so don't expect a dark color, it is a lovely light gloss). This is also a great way to use up the bottom of the lipstick tube if you are a lipstick wearer. Just go in there with a toothpick or something to remove the excess and melt it into the warm solution. I used a whole tube of lipstick for one cup of floral oil. 

Once your mixture is removed from heat, stir it a bit to cool it off as you don't want to add the essential oils to a hot mixture (it will evaporate the oils). But you don't want it too cooled off as the oil mixture will start to set into a salve (if this happens, just warm it up again)!
Now -- stir in the essential oils. For the basic salve recipe I would add 10 drops of your favorite floral essential oil to every cup of your infused oil to give it a stronger potency of medicinal benefits and a longer shelf life.

For instance, I had a yield of 2 cups of oil. I used the following essential oils which are excellent for our skin:

- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of chamomile essential oil
- 5 drops of geranium essential oil
- 5 drops of rose absolute (you can use rose essential oil if you have the luxury or Palmarosa essential oil)

This equals 20 drops of oil - AKA -  10 drops of essential oil for every cup of floral oil used.

I usually stir the solution for another minute before pouring the warm liquid into lip gloss tins (0.5 ounce), salve tins (1.0 ounces), small canning jars or even recycled baby food jars. The salve will firm up within the hour or so.

This all-purpose skin salve can be used for many concerns such as bites, burns, stings, rashes, cuts, inflammation, chapped skin, wounds and/or dry skin conditions. It should last for six months to one year if stored in a cool, dark location. The lip gloss can simply be used as a lip moisturizer. I think these would also make lovely gifts for the sweet women in your life.

Happy herbal homemaking!