Friday, 1 June 2012

Drying herbs

I've seen more than I wanted to of the Week Day Home recently having been struck down with a virus.  It coincided with the recent HOT weather which added to my grumpiness because the Week Day Home is at the very top of an old converted chapel and the roof is more velux windows than actual roof.  So when the sun shines it's like living in a greenhouse!  Much sticky sulking :(  But as the days have grown cooler I have taken an interest in some herbs gathered from the Country House. 

My plan is to dry them out and add them to my next soap making batch. On the left is rosemary and thyme, on the right is honeysuckle on trays ready to go into the dehydrator which is usually used for raw foods.  I'm branching out to see what else I can do with it :)

And this is what it looks like after drying overnight at about 48 degrees celsius.  The rosemary has kept it's strong scent and I'm hoping the soap will take on some colour from the honeysuckle so I'm pleased the purple shade looks more intense after drying.

Once everything was completely dried out and crunched when squished (technical stuff) it was blended. On the left is what a beaker full of dried rosemary looks like and on the right is how little you get once it's had a whizz. I want to make a herb scented and masculine soap for Himself partly because I've read that rosemary is great for soothing muscular aches and increasing circulation -   ideal for his post-run showers! And partly because I like the self sufficient, romantic notion of making use of our own plants.

And this is the honeysuckle.  There are still flecks of purple in there but I'm not sure what will happen once it's added to a soap mixture.  I once put about 20 mls (!) chamomile in a recipe turning it a beautiful sky blue which all but disappeared over the 4 weeks curing time. 

Finally here's everything all ready in jars.  Honeysuckle on left, tiny tiny amount of thyme in middle and rosemary on right.  Everything seems to have it's own season and I associate soap making with summer and early autumn.  For the first year I am actually ahead of myself and have some herbs ready!

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