Wednesday, December 30, 2009
There's a definite path through the room, but thankfully, nothing falling into the walkway. It gets a regular dusting and vacuuming and if anything happens to jump from one of the overcrowded tables, it gets picked up and placed in the back of the lemming line. At times, it's overwhelming. But right now I want to do something about it, starting with the hutch.
Wish me luck because I'm going in . . .
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Anyway, the recipes are still good. Dyslexic repairs aside.
The flavor was incorporated by moi.
Petitgrain Sur Fleur Neroli Shortbread Cookies
1 cup of butter
1/8th tsp petitgrain sur fleur neroli essential oil from White Lotus Aromatics
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour or 2 cups sifted white flour and 1/4 cup corn starch
Cream the butter, add in the petitgrain sur fleur neroli essential oil and blend in, add in brown sugar until blended, then work in the flour a little at a time. Roll up into a ball and let it chill for a couple of hours. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters, pastry wheel, or cut into triangles. Bake in a slow 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 - 12 minutes until the edges of the shortbread turns light brown.
Great with hot tea or coffee.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Okay, I'm not really (this is where you, or someone 'out there' says, "No, I am Creticus!"), I just thought it sounded funny, y'know, like the old 'I am Spartacus!' line. Maybe not so funny if I have to explain it, right?
I got the cistus creticus in the mail on Christmas Eve. What a surprise. The picture here, it's from the suppliers webpage (http://labdanum-shop.blogspot.com/) it looks nice, doesn't it? Let me explain ~ it looks soft and gooey and gummy and pliable, and you can almost imagine the scent, don't you think? Well, someone must have been playing with this one in the picture because the pieces I received look like -- um -- animal doody. They're rough looking, like an omnivore made it. I'd guess it would take some warming and handling before it looked like the one in the picture. I'm not suggesting false advertising or anything like that, I like my poopy looking labdanum. The scent isn't as strong as I'd thought it would be, but it's definitely labdanum. It smells like a warm animal, and I get a hint of a peppery note. It smells much more strongly when burned, amber like, sweet and woody. The next step is an ultrasonic tincture ~ then I'll talk about it again.
I'm feeling a bit paralyzed in my shop lately. Like there's so much to do I'm overwhelmed before I start so I don't. Start, that is. There's always something more important (not really, but that's the excuse I say to myself to make it all right) ~ a kid to pick up, a grocery store to haunt, a nap to take . . . yeah, lame. But I really, really, really need to get moving on this stuff. I have evals to conduct, an evaluation of perfumes from a famous Natural Botanical Perfumer so I can choose the full bottle version I prefer most, a few articles to get started on, a workbook to finish up, loads of reading, and, yes, the shop still isn't painted or decorated or in any way put together. After having visited a few NBP's the past month or so, I've got a better idea of how to arrange my space. And to be honest, I have more space than they do, so I don't know WTF my problem is. Oh, those excuses! Yes. That's it.
And the situation with the computers is . . . just . . . unbelieveable. I have three. And I've got a loaner lap top that doesn't like the internet, so I usually use it for word processing, but something's gone wrong with that too. So, about those other three worthless computers -- two are at my son's being repaired, the one I'm using now runs on Windows 98, doesn't have Word (WordPad only), moves at the speed of a dead snail on the internet, can't read PDF files, can't transfer images, can't do a flippin' thing I need it to. I'm writing documents on Google docs for the time being. Oh, and my lovely daughter, in her most graceful and gracious manner, knocked my external hard drive onto the floor directly on the USB port and yes, it won't connect to ANY of the computers because the port is jacked. Need a new case with a new USB port and we're back in business. In the meantime, everything languishes in the external hard drive, or the "eternal hard hat" as it's been named. You'd think a kid who has taken both belly dance and kick boxing classes would be more, how do you say? Coordinated? So as not to allow something so silly as a slow moving fall of an important piece of publishing equipment to occur. But no, she just stood there, holding the power cord in her hand, and then pronounced, "Ooooopppss!" as loudly as she could when it crunched on it's poor little USB plugger dealie on the floor. And, as if that weren't enough, I broke my printer yesterday. Thank heavens I have a back-up, but, of course, there's a problem with that one -- it's run out of ink and the ink cartridges for it cost, geesh, what? Like $65? Well, sure. But I have cartridges that will work in the printer, brand new cartridges -- but guess where they are? In the broke ass printer and stuck so I can't get them out. You'd think that by this point I'd be bouncing my head against a wall, right? Not me. I give myself a moment to feel grief and self-pity, then I get over it. Not having a good computer is not the end of the world. Not having a working printer is not the end of the world. The end of the world is the end of the world, right?
The hubs is washing dishes and just asked, "Are you burning more of that stuff because I can really smell it now." I'm not burning more of that 'stuff', and the scent does seem to have gotten stronger. This creticus is some special -- um -- stuff.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I got lost yesterday. I went out with the intent to be "antiquing" and ended up on a windy wet road headed for Kings Canyon National Forest. And like the old Arab proverb suggests, one can fix a mistake by turning around at the crucial moment. Like, just before plowing into a snow bank. So, yeah, went with the intent and ended up eating a really horrible veggie burger in a little dive diner in Three Rivers, CA. I dare you to google map that one. There were two really great antique shops open when we arrived, but by the time we finished our lunch, the shops had closed, an hour earlier than their posted times stated. Which means we drove an hour and a half for a sh*t burger, bad service and a forced gratuity. Instead of going back the way we came, I decided to take a detour through a couple of other small towns to scope out their antique shops. And of course none were open. Then I saw a sign on the 245 that said "Kingsburg and Kings Canyon". I'm thinking Kings Canyon as in the direction of, not the actual park, perhaps even the 180. But nooooooo, the road I chose, the windy, wet, practically devoid of human life road was taking us straight up to the park entrance. After my son, who never turns green turned green, I decided it was wise to go back and take the road that said "Kingsburg". Didn't make it that far, though. Ended up on a faded, overgrown road that nearly catapulted us into Orosi. Go ahead, look that one up too. But we made it back home in one piece.
Here's the problem, though, with that ride, aside from the obvious -- all I thought about as I was hurtling around curves in hopes of finding the elusive 180 was 'I wonder how that oak's bark smells?' and 'Rox does the leaves, I wonder if any of these leaves would have a different scent profile?' and 'that moss on the rocks over there, can I tincture it?'
It was pathetic. While I was daydreaming of tincturing, distilling, enfleuraging and somehow, anyhow, squeezing scent out of the California foothills, my son was getting ready to heave up his French fries.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Today is baking day. Cookies and bread. I haven't made bread in ages. Well, that's not really true. I made a couple loaves the first day I got my new stove, which was about mid-October (I think). But first, it's morning errands that take me away from the house. On the Day Before the Day. I have stressed the fact that I am a bit of a crazy person before, right? Well, this just validates it.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
White Chocolate Peppermint Bark, candied pecans with clementine peels (very small amount of clementine peels), candied assorted nuts (hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans) with real maple and a hint of rose, candied citrus peels, and plain butter toffee. These are for munching on the Day, and for gifting.
Then Thursday, the Day Before the Day, it's cookie time. Mounds of chocolate chip cookies, pecan/patchouli snowballs, petitgrain sur fleur neroli shortbread cookies. May try my hand at some rose flavored mini cheese cake tarts. Whatever else I have time and ingredients to make.
Then on the Day, I won't be making cheese, but slicing Armenian style string cheese, goat feta, Irish Killaree Kerrygold, Austrian gruyere, and a stinky blue valdeon wrapped in hazel leaves, to be washed down with Sierra Nevada's delicious Celebration Ale, a few Jack Daniel's whiskey sours and a shot or three of Jager. There may be shots of Metamucil and Rolaids on the side as well . . .
And turkey chile verde tamales, a ham, sweet potatoes, mashed organic potatoes, corn, homemade bread with unsalted butter and a fat Greek salad with delicious Kalamata olives and more feta.
Then some poker, no cigars.
It's a smelly fabulous food fest on the horizon.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Happy Yule, my loves.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Next time bring a book to read. And a folding chair.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
On the 'fume front, I recently received a spectacular array of lavenders. Stunning stuff. My two favorites are the Grosso lavendula angustifolia x intermediate, and the Purple Bouquet lavendula angustifolia. I get more of the lovely lavender floral and less of the lavender medicinal from these two, but there are more ~ there's a Maillette, a Royal Velvet (nice, nice, nice), a Super and a Hidcote. I'm thinking of using a blend of some of these to make a nice temple rub (the temples on your head, m'dear, not A TEMPLE!), and maybe a spiced vanilla lavender solid perfume. We'll see. I change my mind as often as I change my socks, so what goes up for sale could be an entirely different animal from what's described here.
I also received a special parcel from across the pond, which I suspect is a birthday gift ~ a lovely quilted cloth grocery bag (I can ALWAYS use one of these! Yay!), a large tin of galbanum resinoid that smells like no other galbanum I've ever sniffed. Sadly, galbanum has a bit of a cigarette butt scent quality to it that is a bit off putting to some people, but this resinoid is so green, so sweet (yes, sweet!), but so definitively galbanum, and not a single whiff of butts! And, as if that weren't enough, my patron also sent a bucket--yes! a BUCKET!--of olibanum resinoid for my little al embic. See? My friends even send my perfumery tools gifts. And, yes, my al embic was pleased, thrilled even, and her little copper bottom blushed bronze.
I'm going through the looking glass this weekend ~ can't hardly wait! Gonna make merry, as the season dictates.
Au revoir! Until we meet again.