Saturday, April 14, 2012

Playing apothecary

Not surprisingly, my lavender plants came through the unusually mild winter very nicely. Today I moved them to a sunnier spot, one that was just lawn last summer; but after sitting through the fall and winter under layers of newspaper and a covering of woodchips, the turf was beginning to break down nicely, so I dug four holes and placed the lavender plants in them. It's supposed to rain again tonight. Perfect.

I had a nice quantity of lavender buds from last year, sitting in a jar all winter, and I was pleased to discover that when I started to mash them with my mortar and pestle, they still had plenty of lovely fragrance.

The buds don't quite get ground into a powder this way, their texture kind of reminds me of rubbed sage. Soft like that. I added them to a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda to make my own body powder, something I've been meaning to do for some time now. I'm happy to report that it turned out fine and has a lovely fragrance.

Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup baking soda
1–2 Tblsp lavender buds, ground as finely as you can

Mix it all together, and you're done. And just in time—it was surprisingly warm and humid when I was working in the garden today, moving those lavender plants, but I didn't work long or hard enough to get truly sweaty and dirty, just a little moist.  So a freshening up with a bit of my newly made powder was just the thing.

This little shaker holds about a third of the total, the rest is in a pint jar, ready for refilling. I tied a few more lavender buds inside a bit of cheesecloth and placed it in the jar to infuse the powder, because I wasn't sure I had ground up enough of them. I might try just doing it that way next time anyway. Or buy a spice mill for easier grinding. Although there is something satisfying about working with the old mortar and pestle, like a medieval apothecary.

1 comment:

Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts.