Friday, April 22, 2011

More Scones & Lemon Curd & Gardens & Alcoholic Beverages


Being on the computer for any length of time exhausts me, sometimes to the point that I'm too tired to work on perfume or write or study or work in the garden or prepare dinner. So I've been shortening my "work" time on the computer of late and the results have been phenomenal. I'm making real headway with the two fougere parfums I'm creating, the garden is making it in little by little, I'm journaling more, and I'm baking with perfume essences on a regular basis, and dinner is on the table almost every evening between 5:30 and 6:00 pm, even when there isn't anyone here to eat it but me.

I finally finished up with the gourmand baking essences -- well, I've been finished up. These three essences (absolutes/ottos) have been used in my baking for two or three years now. I've just begun making larger batches and bottling them up. They will be formally introduced at the perfume exhibition/scent event in May. Nothing fancy schmancy, just the essences I use most in my baking, like rose otto, jasmine sambac and petitgrain sur fleur neroli. These three essences, plus lavender, make some of the most beautiful smelling (and flavored) shortbread cookies, scones, cakes and ice cream, and flavor enhancement to creams, curds, puddings, and jellies. I still can't wait to make the frankincense ice cream Trygve Harris mentions on her blog "Absolute Trygve". I have a bucket of frankincense resin to experiment with, plus several frankincense essential oils and a frankincense absolute. I have a bartender friend who has been helping me develop a series of cocktails using eo's and absolutes as well. Not a new idea, but one I think I can add my own unique twist to. For example, a few years ago a friend of mine "loaned" me the idea of a lovely perfumed summer cocktail that I served at my son's 21st birthday bash -- a middle-of-summer-pool-party-with-live-band kind of thing. It was made with Hangar 1 Mandarin Blossom Vodka, jasmine green tea and honey. Because I am who I am, I also dropped in a single drop of a 1% dilution of jasmine sambac into each glass I prepared before pouring in the tea. No one could taste the vodka and the "tea" ended up being a big hit at the party. Nobody got dangerously drunk or anything like that -- I hate when that happens -- everyone was mellow, sitting poolside sipping their tea and gossiping. Ever since then, when I see folks who attended the party they'll ask me, "Hey, can I get the recipe for that tea?" Now that California mixologists have the green light to create some of their own bitters, tinctures and tonics for making spectacular one-of-a-kind cocktails, a project like this seems much more viable to me. Have I mentioned before that I've also been talking with a wine maker? More on that later.

So yesterday, after shutting down the computer, I made a larger batch of the fougere base I'm using in the two new fougere "flavored" parfums, then I plucked more jasmine and put them in the zippy zapper, then I went to the garden and pulled up the bulbs and planted strawberries, then I prepped the other vegetable bed, then I washed up and started in the kitchen making jasmine scones (it must have been because I've been smelling jasmine all day long) with regular lemon curd. And once again, the thirty odd scones I made yesterday afternoon are gone. So is the lemon curd. I think everyone here has finally gotten used to the idea that anything edible that I prepare has a very high likelihood of being "parfumed".

Just imagine ~ champaka and osmanthus tea cookies.

6 comments:

  1. Ooooh - I can hardly wait... y 23 more sleeps til the soiree!

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  2. Oh, my. JUST 23 more sleeps?!

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  3. *Sigh* wish I could come to the soiree! I wish you great success for the event!

    I really should be trying a few essences in our curries.... I never think of it when we've run out of a certain spice!

    I'll have to stick a note with the word 'Essence' on it at the back of the spice cupboard to remind me as I'm digging for cardamom pods..... lol

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  4. Using perfume essences in cooking is so much fun. Some of the herb and citrus eo's are great in salads and fruit. One of my favorite foods to scent is Greek yogurt. A tablespoon of honey, a couple drops of jasmine essence transform yogurt into ambrosia. Just have fun and play around. Just check whether or not what you're using is typically used in flavoring, and usage levels. Dilute your essences in alcohol and/or vegetable glycerin to about 5-10%.

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  5. Ambrosia indeed - greek yoghurt is my favourite, I will definately try! Grandifolium or Sambac?

    I love neroli hydrosol in coffee, tastes lovely but also calms the caffeine effect on my body.

    I can imagine orange and lime essences (ie the distilled juices) would be gorgeous in a salad dressings, a little EVO, a little red wine vinegar, a little shaking..... yum!

    Funny, there is a yoghurt dressing I love that requires lime juice. I don't make it often because I don't often think to buy lime. Think I've just solved my dilema? :-)

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  6. Cilantro eo in salsa really livens it up, as does a little lime distillation. Eo's pack a lot of rich flavor in very small increments. Well worth experimenting with. Hydrosols, too. I used my lime hydro in a cake last year and it was delicious. Just play.

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