Recipe Trials

I'm slowly getting in the items I need to make some of the recipes that are on my long list of recipes to try. I also have Great Western War coming up next week, which is part of why blog posts have been sporadic, at best. I decided that since our King had invited so many royals (6 different Kingdoms will be represented at GWW), that I would help with the making of Largesse for them. I decided to make something simple: Potpourri. Potpourri has been around in one form or another for centuries. The word, itself, is French; when broken down, pot- means bowl and -pourri means rotten. Literally, rotten bowl. Why would such a wonderful smelling thing have such a terrible name?! We use potpourri to decorate in our homes, and it isn't rotten! But, you see... we use the more common dry method of creating potpourri. The original method for making the scented decor was wet, which means the flowers were rotting in the bowl in which they sat. Decay never smelled so good! The potpourri I made for the Largesse is a simple recipe, designed for use in amor bags or for tying to belts when cleaning clothes or body is not an option. The base of just about every potpourri recipe is roses. Why? Because even after they are dried, roses tend to hold their scents. Other good flowers for scent retention are lavender, germanium, and tuberose. The recipe I used followed one posted on Dave's Garden, modified a bit because I didn't have a large enough container. My recipe follows: 1 quart dried rose petals and buds 2 c. lavender flowers 1/2c. dried hybiscus petals 2T orrisroot powder 6 sprigs of rosemary nettles 10 drops essential oils (I didn't write down what I used and it's been a few, I put 10 drops in *each container* rather than spreading it out among the three I used, which isn't quite what you're supposed to do). The mixture is supposed to sit for 6 weeks to allow the scents to marry and have a great time on their honeymoon. I, however, do not have 6 weeks, so they will only have a chance to get to know one another and meet their future in-laws. There's no celebration. Agitate the mixture over the course of the 6 weeks just to keep it from settling out. You can then divide the potpourri into whatever containers you desire to give as gifts. In my case, I'm putting it into sachets for the Royalty, and I will likely sell whatever remains for $3/sachet. I also finally got a chance to try Lady Heodez's late-16th century antiperspirant. I had similar problems as she with it being an exceedingly messy application. Unfortunately, it's been so hot here in the harbor area that I don't think it's a fair test of the ability of this antiperspirant. My normal antiperspirant which has the tagline of turning up the protection as your body heat increases, can't even keep me dry when the temperatures sore into the 90s and the humidity tries to match. I do, however, like the feeling of the camphor in it, but I'm going to try to reformulate it to make it a bit less messy to apply. Lastly, since we're going to Great Western War, Geiri will need some type of bug protection. He gets eaten alive, the poor thing. So, I have a recipe for a spider & bug repellent that I'm going to try for his sake. I'll let everyone know how it turned out, whether it works, and if it's something that I'll offer in the shop for other re-enactors who really don't want to be eaten by bugs, but want to have some degree of authenticity. If this repellent works, I may also try to make it into a lotion for those who would prefer not to be seen spraying themselves with bug spray (I'm looking at YOU, my Civil War people). Since it's made with natural ingredients that have been around for a long time, this particular spray should work for any era. I'll do a little more research on the ingredients, themselves, and let you know in a separate post! See you at Great Western!   PS!! My class times have changed! Well, one of them has, anyway! I'm still teaching on Thursday from 2p-3pm; but my Friday class moved to Saturday at noon to help out a Kingdom member. So, please! Do stop in for the class! I'd love to meet you!
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