Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Honeysuckle Butter and Fruit Glue

Back in February, I made this really sticky concoction called spoon butter to condition my wooden utensils and bowls.  The idea came from Marisa at Food in Jars.   Marisa also made mention of how well the spoon butter conditioned her hands.  So I started thinking maybe I could use that formula for a hand salve.  And maybe I could use some of the sweet-smelling blossoms from the multitude of invasive honeysuckle bushes trying to take over our property to scent it. 

Not-so-sweet smelling eau de toilette.
May that's why it's called toilet water.

After a bit of research, I attempted a couple of different projects with the honeysuckle.  The first was simmering some blossoms in water for sort of poor-woman's eau de toilette.  Unfortunately, once it was finished the smell wasn't the same and not as appealing.  But instead of pouring it down the drain, I've been using it in the laundry when I wash towels from drying off the dogs.  Even though it didn't turn out the way I wanted, it still smells better than wet dog.

The second thing I tried was infused oil.  I put some blossoms in a bail jar, stirred them around a little to bruise them, covered them with some oil and let them sit in the sun for a day.  On the second day I strained them and added fresh blossoms.  I used olive oil, so I can still smell the oil a bit, but this project definitely turned out better. 

Honeysuckle blossoms in olive oil after a day in the sun.
(The sun has been scarce around here lately.)

So now back to the spoon butter.  I remembered that my first attempt at this involved some poorly recollected proportions.  That being the case, I decided to refresh my memory.  But then I thought since it was hand salve, maybe I'd use a 1:3 ratio on the beeswax and oil instead of 1:4.  This is how it looks so far:

hot from the pan

I'm really curious as to how this is going to turn out, but I won't get to find out first hand.  I had just enough to fill the jar and it's intended as a gift, so I can't just leave a gaping hole in the middle where I scooped some out.  I don't usually give gifts with conditions, but this one will have to have a report back.

starting to cool

And in other news, since I'm finally feeling better, I can return to food projects in the kitchen.  This week I'm going to give the pate de fruit (aka fruit glue) another go around. 

I remembered that some time ago I had found some recipes from a manufacturer of fruit purees.  The only problem was that they were all in French.  I am not fluent in French.  Not even a little.  I decided to check out the site anyway, thinking maybe Google Translator could help me out.  Much to my pleasant surprise, the recipes had been updated to include English (and Spanish and Chinese) translations.  Awesome!  It was also awesome that I could click a little flag and the entire site was in English.  Brilliant!!  Now armed with knowledge, I will again be entering into battle with pate de fruit.  I really hope I win this time because I hate getting my butt kicked by French fruit candies.