Switchel Beer

I came across an old time recipe for a variation of ginger beer called a Yankee Switchel. You will need these supplies:

  •  3-4 gallon crock
  • 2 gallons warm water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger

Scald the crock with boiling water before the process. Pat dry. Pour in the 2 gallons of warm water into the crock. Stir in sugar and molasses until sugar dissolved. Add the vinegar and ginger. Mix well. Allow to cool. Bottle in 2 sterilized gallon jugs and store in refrigerator.

Lavender Rub

Did you know that lavender is edible? Many things can be made from it. Here is a rub that gives grilled chicken a boost. You will need:

1 T. dried lavender buds or chopped fresh ones

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dried or chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Mix ingredients together. Rub onto chicken before grilling.

The Rose And Its Mighty Power

Did you know red roses were once considered a valid treatment for rabies? Rose oil is an astringent and antiseptic. It will stop bleeding quickly, prevent infection, and help in healing. It can be used on minor cuts and scrapes. Fair-skinned women, of long ago, collected dew from morning rose petals and used it as a face wash to erase freckles. Sounds silly, but roses are good for the skin. It decreases redness and broken capillaries, repairs sun damage, and improves texture and tone.

Roses were also used for rheumatism. The treatment was to inhale the smoke of burning roses. Rose essential oil can ease asthma and lung congestion. How? Add a few drops to a bowl of hot water and put a towel over the person’s head and have them inhale the steam.

Roses were also a common ingredient in love potions and other magical brews. Any wonder why the wild rose is also called a witch’s briar? Aroma therapists prize the rose for its sedative properties. Rub a drop of the diluted oil on your temples. Anxiety and tension headaches will ease.

Rose water relieves the itch and pain of insect bites. Fresh rose petals make a tasty and healthful tea, but can also relieve a sore throat. Hooray for the mighty rose!

Scented Ink

If you’re a bit of a romantic or would like to spice up your love life, why not write a poem or a love letter with scented ink? It’s an easy recipe. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 ounces ink
  • 1 teaspoon of vodka
  • a cartridge pen or a small paint brush
  • a glass jar with a lid
  • 80 drops of essential oil
  • paper

In your  jar, combine the vodka and the essential oil. Slowly add the ink. Shake well. With your cartridge pen draw up the concoction or if using a brush dip it in the concoction and flourish your paper with your love note. Add a few scrolls or designs. Allow to dry.

How to Make Rose Water

If you have roses in your yard and you want to keep their scent longer, then try making your own rose water. You can use the rose water mixed with glycerin for a simple lotion or you can use the rose water to fresh your bath or use it as a perfume.

Roses are best picked during morning hours, after the dew has dried off and before the sun has zapped all the oils from the flowers. Place the petals in a jar or crock and cover with distilled water. Use plenty of rose petals to fill the jar. Make sure the petals are covered completely with the water or they might mildew. Cover the jar and place it in a sunny window or outside in the sun. The water heats.  The color and the essential oils are extracted into the water. It usually takes only one day to have floral water. To prolong the scent of the rose water and to kill any bacteria that might form, add  some vodka. (1/2 cup vodka to 1 gallon of distilled water).

Scented Bath Salts

Here is a simple recipe and makes a sweet gift for those people that like to take a bath instead of a shower. You will need these ingredients:

  1. 5 cc or 1 tsp. glycerin
  2. 20 drops essential oil
  3. 2 drops food coloring
  4. 2 cups Epsom salts
  5. glass container or a jar

In a glass or metal bowl, add Epsom salts. Mix in the food color and blend together until the Epsom salts are no longer white. Stir in the glycerin. Next add the fragrance. Blend well. Allow mixture to dry before placing it in your container. Do not use a plastic bowl or measuring cups because the fragrance lingers in the plastic and it’s hard to wash it out. To use the bath salts, place a handful under running water or swirl it around while filling the tub.

Fragrant Room or Bed Spray

Here is an easy recipe to freshen a room or your bed linens. You will need:
1 T. vodka
1/2 cup distilled water
30 drops of essential oil
1- 4 ounce mist spray bottle

Measure out distilled water into a glass measuring cup. Add vodka. Select your essential oil for fragrance and add last. Gently, mix the concoction together and pour into your bottle. I prefer to use a funnel or a measuring cup with a spout to make it easier. Something light such as rainwater or cotton are good scents for your bed linen. I prefer something spicy such as cinnamon for a room spray, but it’s your choice. You can find essential oils online or in craft stores like Michael’s. Warning: keep spray away from flammable areas. This is the basic recipe. You can double it for a larger container. I like using plant misters myself.