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            Suddenly, everything is ripening...doesn't it seem that way when you have a garden?  One day you look at it and things are just starting to bloom and the tomatoes are still green, the peppers are still smallish and then suddenly, you take another close look and it appears that everything has ripened all at once and the blooms are starting to brown...overnight!  That's how I perceive it to be anyway.  Yesterday, I had to get myself in gear and pick up some cold-pressed safflower oil before my marigolds stopped blooming!  And to catch the rose petals I hadn't dealt with yet. 

            My Aunt Linda gave me this recipe and it's basically the same as any others in my numerous herb books.  It's very easy to make infused calendula oil and rose oil works on the same premise.    These jars here look quite lovely don't they?  Well, wait until you see them in 10-12 days....GROSS!!  Then they are all brown and slimy looking inside and have lost their gorgeous colours.  They look like something you'd see in a witch's kitchen at that point.  They'll have been sitting in a sunny window ledge  all that time actually fermenting in the safflower oil.  It's so worth it in the end though because you'll have a wonderful, natural homemade remedy and some bath oil!  And, the colour doesn't really matter in the end because it will be clearer and stored in a coloured bottle or jar.

            I'll go over the recipe again with you (for those of you who missed it in the Calendula blog last week).   Also, if you are going to make this Calendula Oil or Salve...please ensure you read up on Calendula.  I try to use only the most aromatic roses in my Rose OIl as well...there's no point in putting rose petals into the infusion if they only look beautiful, because as I said above...they won't for long!  Ew!

Calendula (Marigold) and Rose Oil
Pick  bowls of flowers
Break off the petals and rub (bruise) the them as you fill a canning jar.  Push them down.
Pour in Cold-Pressed Safflower Oil to cover the petals.
Seal and place on a windowsill in a sunny spot.
Leave for 10-12 days.
Fill another jar tightly with bruised flowers (after the 10-12 days).
Strain the calendula mixture that's been sitting through cheesecloth into the new jar.
Top up with more Cold-Pressed Safflower Oil to cover.
Repeat  standing time on the windowsill for another 10-12 days in the new jar.
Repeat straining process.
Store in a coloured glass bottle or jar for up to a year in a cool, dark place....no...not your mind!

            The Calendula oil can be used as described in last weeks blog Calendula and the infused Rose Oil can be used similarly in hand and body creams or I like to put a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil into the tub with some of the Rose Oil...I love the combination of these two scents! 

Calendula (Marigold) Salve
Wash 4 small 1/2 cup jars in hot soapy water and dry well.
Pour 1 cup infused oil into the top of a double boiler that has hot (not boiling, just hot) water in the bottom of it             and heat the oil until it's warm...not hot.
Add 5 Tbsp. grated beeswax slowly and keep stirring until it melts.
Add 4 tsp. aloe vera gel if you have it.
Test the consistency of the creamy salve by dabbing some on a plate with a spoon and letting it cool.  If it seems             to be the thickness you want, then it's ready.  If not, add a little more beeswax.
You can also add 5-20 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (also a healer) into the mixture for added scent.
Remove from heat and pour into jars labelled and dated.
Store in a dark, cool place for up to a year.
(rule of thumb: 4 parts oil, 1 part beeswax)

            You can add almost any ingredients you like to this salve.  If you add some drops of tea tree oil as well because it is antifungal and antiseptic, it will only enhance your homemade salve.  Calendula is great on cracked skin and for healing cuts.

            Obviously I won't be making my creams for a few weeks, but if you want to start doing the first step, do it now!  Get the flowers infusing in the oil on your windowsill!   Don't wait to see my finished product or it will be too late for you!

            I really forgot how much I enjoyed dabbling in herbs until I started this blog up.  Thanks to the readers of my ramblings!

           





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