Calendula balm – so easy to make

Gave this a try yesterday and I’m really pleased with the results. First I had to find bees’ wax probably available everywhere in the UK but here in France I found it at our local bio shop.  The bag hold’s 400 grams and I only used 30 grams to make two jars so it goes a long way. The calendula was easy to find as it grows like a weed in the garden a must have plant in the veggie plot in my option. Last year mine were still in flower at Christmas and like sunflowers they just shout cheerful.

IMG_3792First I picked the petals from about 25 heads of calendula then I added 300 ml of bog standard olive oil making sure all the petals were coated. Next, this went into a bain marie and was kept on a very low simmer for three hours.

IMG_3793I then strained the oil using a muslin cloth and returned it to the bain marie along with 30grs of wax – I used wax pellets so it did not take long for the wax to melt. As soon as the wax and the oil combined I poured them into a couple of glass jars – as you can see not very evenly! The balm was put to the test this morning as I used it on my lips when I went out for a run – well I’ve just had to start running again after all that lovely crumble.

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Hey pesto it worked!

The frozen pesto worked!  OK it’s not quite as green as it was before freezing but it tastes just fine.  This means we can make it in batches during times of plenty and freeze for the winter. This is the coriander variety so I’m hoping the basil does equally as well.

Just swapped a load of quince for a load of onions what a nice way to operate – no middle man!

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Busy bees….

That’s what it feel like at the moment. The grass needs cutting about every other day and things that were hanging back are in full flow. Picked a mass of basil and coriander and made pesto. Have frozen a bit as an experiment so I’ll let you know how that works (or not). Some of the basil was from yet another cutting of the plant that went in a while back. If we keep this good weather I reckon there’s another cutting to be had.  I think that will make five in total including the initial lopping before it was planted – not bad from a 99 centime Lidl plant.

Picked a few plums this evening that ended up in a crumble along with the rhubarb. The crumble topping is mainly seeds and oats and works a treat with custard.

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Picking things daily at the moment and lots going into soups including the wild mushrooms although we’ve held some back for Saturday’s pizza. Tray freezing the rhubarb for multiple winter crumbles – I’d better start back running or I’ll end up like the side of a house!

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The cucumbers are a funny shapebut they taste fine – I’ve maybe another two to pick before they’re done.  I got so sick of that two tone lettuce (we’ve been eating it for months) I’ve pulled it out and composted it.  The little gem is ready so we can munch on that for a while.

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The squashes are on the path hardening off before I store them indoors for over the winter.  I’ve picked about twelve of the golden nugget with more to come.  The butternut are getting to be a good size but have yet to turn from green so they’ll need a while yet.  I’ll be quite happy with a couple of dozen squashes for the winter months. Tomorrow, I need to get my act together and thin the swedes, carrots and turnips.