Diligently stripping off non perfect leaves:)
Archive for the ‘melissa officinalis/lemon balm’ Category
Today is simply a gorgeous day! The sun is strong, the winds mild and just a sprinkle of rain once in awhile. I did go out this morning and say hello to the world. Patted our maples, noted a darling pine sapling that must be relocated next summer. She is two now and strong enough to handle the move well. Also noted the things i can get a last harvest of and jotted down the things that would need divided and shared with others. I have to get back outside before tomorrow and “weed out” (not a phrase i am found of), a few more of our prolific violet friend. A couple of years ago i went around and transplanted violets all around our little pond and she loves it there! She keeps popping up anew and i might actually get a few more leaves of new growth to save and use. She reminded me of herself today while i was organizing the cabinets. There she was time and time again. In jellies in the food pantry, and in the medicinal cabinet as well. Not to mention she has been replicated through art in many of my everyday usage items like teacups etc. I wandered to the back of comfrey cottages gardens to say hello to the bees and to bring them a gift. I had a hive not make it last winter and i am certain it was due to them getting too wet in the fall,and not disease. i had saved back all their brood box frames that had honey in them. A good idea to always save back such honey as a rule, in case your bees need the honey fed back to them. I fed them back two of these frames today just for fun really. Oh, it will used by them, for certain, but i had fed them back the honey super that was just full of mostly uncapped nectar over the course of this last week, so i really don’t think they are light on winter foods. I did it just to share the joy of sunlight with them and to pay homage to them. I love my beautiful sunshine bees. They are in for another treat soon as i strained off some lemon balm honey and i have a plate of the strained balm and i am going to go out and share that with them when i am through with this post!
So, i suppose i should have been outside more today but i chose to open the windows wide and pull aside all the curtains and straighten my various cabinets before i got to work on a few things that needed done.
This is the cabinet i store mainly the dry herbs, roots etc.
and in the bottom of it i store the kitchen appliances and tools like the sprouted. all the dried beans, grains, flours etc plus the seeds for sprouts
this cabinet is mainly for the herbs and things i use for culinary reasons, foods as medicine reasons, smudging, and glycerites, vinegars, etc etc you get the idea
that is my beekeeper suit hanging on the door there. plus lily’s little blue apron:)
to the left on the cat ledge, violet joy supervised. the milk jugs on the floor are kept refilled and the lid left off of them so the chlorine can evaporate. cats are healthier with dechlorinated water. we almost lost of kitty earl of eight a couple of times before i discovered that trick! now he is thriving and healthy.
and the yellow cabinet. this has all the jars full of herbal oils and tinctures waiting to be used and to be stores in some of the containers you see. this cabinet has alot of containers and also where i keep the seeds i have collected for next year. i found this cool metal cabinet for a real deal at 10 dollars. the downside was the paint the peeps had on it just smelled foul, so hubby and i stripped it and he repainted it one of my favorite colors:)
and david gould, my friend, if you will note the bag hanging to the left of the screen, it is the wonderful bakery bag you gave me last christmas. big hugs to you and liz:)
now that i have taken the time to sort out from the helter skelter of summer, and organize, i can work more efficiently and know what just i do and don’t have on hand. the whole experience was just grand with the sun shining through the windows, the breeze gently carrying the scent of the outdoors and our pine, and the whole aromatherapy experience of being immersed in dozens of herbal and spice smells at once… well i was just giddy i swear!
this is a picture of the lemon balm honey and the hops and honey straining. i feel so empowered making lovely, healthy things for myself and my family and close friends. i am certain this hops infused honey will be a great treat and benefit for someone this winter with bronchitis. and the lemon balm will be a special joy on some wintery day when someone is feeling a bit blue or non vibrant. i am thinking it will be a great benefit to one who is in the process of recovering their strength from illness also.
the next cabinet has my microwave on top of it, but the drawers and cabinet is used for mainly my canning things. I am a bit ocd in always sterilizing every container, even when they are not going to be used specifically for canning foods.
this taking time to organize and take stock has really helped me already, while in the process of doing it. i managed to strain off some honeys, catch an awesome herbal buzz through all my senses and feel some satisfaction with my learning process this year, as many of the herbs in the herbal cabinet and on the seed shelf are the results of my own gardening or wild harvesting this year. i love my wild harvest friends val and katee:)
my lovely val shared some pears with me last sunday. I have been eating a few but they were going soft quickly so decided to make a nice pear jelly which i infused with star anise, cinnamon, and tarragon. very nice! did the trick of replacing some of the juice and sugar in the recipe with honey again and really love the results:)
well i am off to check on the bees and offer them the strained lemon balm:) i have a friend stopping by at 6 to get some of my feverfew to try for her headaches. I am going to offer her a healing touch session as the same time so i must go rest up a bit too!
herbal and honey blessings and hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages. and please do share your pics of where you store your things sometime! i love to have visuals when i am sending blessings to you all:)
oh july 11th we had a huge family get together. several brithdays to celebrate,one being my herbal accomplice aka eric, my second brother,( i have three!) the picture is taken after everyone attacked it but you can see how i decorated it with lemon balm leaves, beebalm, dianthas, lavender and other flowers. here is the recipe, it rocked!
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lavender
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
heat the oven to 325 degrees. grease a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan. cream the butter and sugar until soft. add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. add the rind and lavender. combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing lightly with a spoon. add the dry ingredients and the milk into the creamed mixture, alternating in two or three pours. beat until just mixed. don’t over beat. pour batter into greased loaf pan and smooth top with a knife. bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
toward the end of the baking period, combine glaze ingredients in a small pan, bruising the lavender between your fingers before adding it. bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and when the sugar is dissolved, remove from stove. when the cake is done, remove it from the oven and prick the top of the loaf all over with a toothpick. pour the glaze slowly over the top of the loaf until all of it is absorbed. when the loaf cools a little, remove from pan. it’s best to let it sit for 10-12hours before slicing!
awwww my sweet melissa officinalis! harvested some this week and steeped 1 part of the lemon balm to 3 parts boiling water. this infusion can be strained and used for lovely teas, jellies, sorbets and other lovely things. i am just going to freeze some to use as i have the time and the inclination for using it in jellies. making lemon balm popsicle for those times when the kids are wild. lemon balm/melissa is a wonderful calming herb. humming the allman brothers song melissa all the while working with this lovely herb
raspberries are ripening daily now! washing, and then freezing them on trays to be put in bags in freezer to use later too. freezing them on the trays first keeps them from all sticking in a big clump in freezer bags. makes it convenient also, to just reach in the bag and take a handful as needed to add to fruit salads, etc. have the prince song raspberry beret flowing through my mind while harvest these berries!lol
checked the hives and found they are both ready for new honey supers. put one on the yellow hive and cobbling together the frames for the new one for the pink hive (the newest bees). the yellow hive had all their honey frames mostly capped. lovely white wax there! the pink hive honey super still hadn’t finished capping their honey is why i chose to go ahead and put the prepared new box on the yellow hive. figured i still had a day or two to finish putting together this other box for the pink hive.
peeking down in between the frames i pull out i can usually get a good idea how many frames are already capped and if they are ready for a new super.
so what are you doing in your gardens dear friends? big hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages