There's a little peppermint bush in my yard, one that I've seriously neglected over the years, that, after a bug crawled up my bum, became the subject of my next --uh-- current distillation venture. Picked and cleaned about two pounds of the stuff, washed off the little white spider who was literally hopping mad that I brought him indoors, and ungraciously flipped me the bird when I helped him outside courtesy of a four-of-hearts playing card pretending to be a magic flying carpet. Spiders are grumpy tenants.
Having learned my lesson in previous distillations with regard to heat levels under delicate fresh botanicals, after two hours of low heat, the graduated cylinder began to slowly fill. With oil.
Imagine my surprise. I was after hydrosol; oil is a bonus, and so much from such a small amount of raw material, too. Well, it's just a milliliter, and before you laugh, consider the other distillation experiments I've conducted these past few years -- like the ambrette seed project. There were gallons (ok, may A gallon) of hydrosol, and nary a ml of oil in sight. Think there were little glossy droplets of ambrette slipping and sliding through the hydrosol, but nothing that could be gathered. And the recent cucumber hydrosol distillation produced no oil, and I would have had a stroke if it had! Cukes got no oil, man.
I'm thinking of making a blended hydrosol with the cucumber and peppermint ~ something really cooling and fresh for summer.
And, no, I haven't made it out to the farm to get the lemons yet. I had a bag in my hand and decided to put them back because I didn't ask to take them. And I need to get to the olive distillation, but those can wait. The lemons can't. They're dropping and are begging to be reborn as oil and hydrosol. I can hear them screaming in their high-pitched, squeaky puckered-lip voices, "Save me!"
Ok. I didn't have much coffee this morning . . .