I'm updating my iphone as I write this, so there's the terror that the thing is going to explode or something in the process. Right now, it's just sitting there with an Apple logo and this long, thin white lozenge-shaped outline on a black background.
Now my life has been swept through with school stuff, all the big projects, beginning of the semester organizing have been taken care of, and life should proceed like clockwork, with time for writing, once I finish a major personal avoid-like-the-plague project this week. This summer, to balance the intense writing, I petted my witchy side with two projects. One, to create a successful non-dairy vanilla ice cream, and two, to make a luxurious body oil to slather on after showering. Both projects took many trials, but ultimately met with success.
Tastiness was easy for the ice cream, but to get an acceptable texture proved surprisingly difficult. I did a lot of research, and I found out various strategies to keep it from freezing so hard. I ended up adding eggs to my homemade almond milk and cashew base, which makes it not vegan. Part of me thinks I should keep trying, but I don't mind the eggs, and my homemade vanilla ice cream is the best nondairy vanilla ice cream by a mile that I've ever tasted. It's insanely good.
The body oil also took many trials, but, again, it's this divine luxury product that would cost $$ in a fancy boutique.
Today I took things up a notch and made my first herbal balm. I took photos to commemorate the occasion.
First I solar-infused olive oil with calendula flowers for 6 weeks. I purchased all my ingredients at Rainbow Grocery. There are special places online you can get everything for cheaper, but it's wonderful to be able to buy all the witchy supplies I could possibly want, a few blocks from home.
Today I strained the oil through cheesecloth:
Here it is in bottles. You're supposed to put it in dark bottles, but I didn't have any, so I'll store it in a cupboard or the refrigerator.
Then I grated some beeswax. I read that you should use a dedicated grater for the beeswax, so I used a microplane grater that sits in a drawer because I don't like it. A box grater would be easier because with the microplane the wax wanted to fly all over the kitchen, but I developed a technique that minimized that. Note the glove in the following picture. I've learned from repeated finger gratings to use a cut-resistant glove.
Then I melted the beeswax in the oil. The measuring cup is sitting on top of a canning ring, which left rust marks on my pot. Fortunately with a bit of Bon Ami, they were easy to remove. It was really hard to keep the water from boiling like crazy. Next time I'll use a makeshift double boiler set up.
Then I stirred in some vitamin E oil and poured half of the concoction into a jar. I added lavender essential oil to the remaining stuff and poured it into a jar. The third jar contains a mixture of the scented and unscented. There are indentations in the surface because I couldn't keep myself from poking it while it cooled.
I'd refine my technique next time, and future infusion plans involve herbal blends, things like comfrey and plantain and lavender, but I rubbed this stuff on and it was velvety and amazing in every way. I'm having this fantasy of living in the backwoods somewhere, stirring my cauldron and making magical potions for all my friends.