Sunday, October 23, 2011

Calundula Flower Infusion

 Just a few blossoms left on the new patch of Calundula flowers. I threw some seeds in from the front yard early this year, the flower bed I got rid of, and I've waited until now to pick them. I wanted to make sure the ones in the back yard had lots of seeds to fall to the ground and to re-sprout next spring. This flower is a hardy, frost resistant plant giving me a feeling of sunshine when almost everything else is dead and gone. 

I've used this flower blossom dried in soap since it is great for soothing the skin. This winter I want to make a few different recipes of lip balm and Calundula would be a great addition.

So I did a Calundula flower infusion in olive oil, a common ingredient in lip salves. I came across instructions for several ways to make the infusion. One in a crock pot, one the sun tea method, and one on the stove top.

I had only a few flowers and knew with so little, it would burn in the crock pot. The sun isn't very powerful at this time of the year to use the solar method. That left cooking it on the stove. Not easy to keep the heat down low enough with only a cup of olive oil, just enough to cover the flowers. So I turned the stove on and let it heat up and turned it off, and turned it on, and turned it off again.
When done, I strained the flowers off through my milk strainer, using a milk straining pad. You could use cheese cloth. What was left was a lovely green liquid. 

I put the pint jar of fluid in the back of my refrigerator and it may sit there for a month before I get around to ordering the other things I need to make salves. But as they say, "Make hay while the sun shines." and I had calundula flowers to pick. After Tuesday when snow is fore casted, that may not be the case.

What's your favorite lip balm ingredient?  

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