Saturday, March 17, 2012

Taking care of wooden kitchen tools

This week I decided as I was cleaning out the pantry and organizing everything that I should also clean my wooden spoons. Something like at the end of summer gardening you clean and oil your tools to help them last a long time. Well I had never done this before because I never researched what to clean and oil my wooden tools with other then petroleum products. Since I have a nice collection of wooden tools some of which I spent a nice sum of money on to support local crafters I decided at the end of a hard winters use I should refresh them to help them last a long time... but with what? So after some research I found that a simple oil and beeswax paste would be the best thing to use. You can make your own or buy something already made up. I didn't realize how beneficial this little task would end up being. I took a cloth put a little paste on it and started to rub all over my lovely wooden tools. I then set them on the table to dry and absorb all that bee goodness. After part of the afternoon passed I wiped them down a bit and put them back in my wooden tool crock and back to their place on my counter. Later I decided to mix up some bread to soak overnight. I always use a wooden spoon to incorporate everything and boy was I surprised how easy that spoon came clean. The bread I am making gets pretty shaggy and makes it hard to clean my spoon. I don't like to soak my spoons so it takes some scrubbing to get it clean.... but not anymore. So go spend a little quiet time waxing your lovely cherished wooden tools so they keep on doing their job or get the kids to help. After I was all done with the task I rubbed the bee goodness that was left on my fingers into my hands... gotta love multi-purpose products.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Spring really brings out in me the need to reorganize and clean-out. So as I reorganize my pantry, freezer, fabric stash, herbs, etc.  Today though my encouragement is to get on over to The Stone Soup website and sign-up for a cooking class. I am taking the one on Master Meal Plan and it is the best and easiest meal plan ever. Also click around to see her recipes and try a new one this week. So far we are enjoying them. I love the 5 ingredients recipes too.
I am also enjoying the virtual cork boards if you will of Being a visual person I need these ideas to keep me going. So please share in comments.... have you caught the spring clean-out bug yet? What areas are you working on organizing?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Herbal Inventory

 Tis the time for some spring cleaning and inventory of what is on the pantry shelves. My pantry is in my basement because I don't have a kitchen large enough to handle all my pantry items. So I started with my herbs for making teas, remedies and balms.
So what I typically keep on hand are:
Astragalus/Burdock/Dandelion roots to add to bone broth
Chamomile(we use this for pink eye and bladder infections)
Calendula/St. John's Wort/Plantain/Comfrey(for salve)
Children's Composition(from for glycerite
Rose Hips
Lemon Balm
Nettle Leaf
Red Raspberry
Echinacea root
Red Clover
Elder flower/berry(for Elder flower tea and Elder berry syrup)
Slippery Elm
Myrrh powder
Beeswax/Shea Butter/Olive Oil/coconut oil/assorted essential oils
Most of my supplies if I don't grow them myself come from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Remember I am not a medical doctor so this is for educational purposes only and not meant as information to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
I keep my roots, bark, and berries for 3-4 years and leaves/flowers for 1-3 years. We make salves, chest balm, lip balm, toothpowder, deodorant, hard lotion bars, teas, glycerites, tinctures, lozenges, poultices, infusions, and cough syrup. Sometime this year we will try our hand at face lotion, flower waters, and soap making.
My favorite beginners site is where they offer free ecourses, a newsletter, and kits to get started. My kids also love their board game about herbs. If you want more in depth studies try the link on my page to Vintage Remedies School. Try your hand at a recipe from one of the links above or try growing a few new herbs in your garden this summer. In a later post I will share my plans for a new medicinal herb garden that I hope to plant this summer. Growing and using herbs has been such a joy for me and my family that I have a hard time not sharing it with others. I hope you find something in this post that is helpful... let me know in the comments.

Making herbal chest rub. If your wondering about the wooden tool it is called a spurtle that I use just for stirring things I make with beeswax. 

Finished chest rub.

Making sniff jars for Christmas presents.

Homemade tooth powder and deodorant.