Archive for the ‘tools’ Category


I left you all last with my needing to look up the botanical names of the  herbs in my apothecary cabinets, and then making new labels with both this botanical name and the common name. I also needed to do the same for labeling the different herbal extractions (honeys, vinegars, oils and alcohol, etc.). I debated on making my own labels, and threw that out the door as my printer just guzzles ink. I then did a little web search and found some gorgeous labels, but, money is a consideration, so maybe those someday…For now, I am quite satisfied with the apple trimmed designed ones I found quite cheaply at a local store. I have spent most of my free time, the last few days, getting these labels filled out and affixed, and taking an inventory of other tools that are useful in our home apothecaries. Knives slowed me down a bit, as I was pretty clueless on all the different types of knifes and have been blissfully just using me husbands different knives all this time! I have since dug out a package of knives my husband had brought me awhile back. I am guessing now that at the time he was hoping I would use them and quit dulling his! lol  I have been considering different sorts of cloths, and what and where they would be used and the reasons why each sort was suitable for each purpose. In the pictures are some of the lovely flat weave towels my brother Eric and others have gifted me. These will become liners for my gathering baskets. What good karma that will import to each gathering session, as each of these towels have good memories associated with them:) Containers, jars, funnels, brushes, cutting blocks, scissors, tapes, strainers and more were covered in this lesson also. I seem to have an until now, undiagnosed fetish for strainers, such as was mentioned! lol And jars/containers! Each tool was talked about in depth, and its function and description of what to look for in each one, was detailed thoroughly in the lesson. I have pulled out the tools I have that correspond with the lesson and assigned the ones to use that suit the requirements and made a list of what I would still like.  Really not to long of a list of wants so far. I would like to get a nice copper bowl, a small whisk (I know Eric, you tried to get me to buy that one when we were in the Kitchen shop in Galesburg shopping), and a few other things. I would like a nice natural bristle small brush, some more metal funnels, and a few other things. Many items such as the pots, bowls, wooden spoons, etc. , I am satisfied with what I have already. Most of my jars are narrow mouth and in the future am going to be getting some nice wide mouth ones. I started this apothecary with what was on hand and found through yard sales, etc, etc originally, so I am very much enjoying the process of tightening up in this tool department and knowing just what will best serve me so I can keep an eye out for these items.

A good solid wood cutting board is a necessity.  I have been in the habit of using glass cutting boards, but oh can see where I will like a good wood one for chopping up plant material better. My husband had this wooden one stored in the cabinet. I am going to use the clean it  to see if I can resurrect it for the time being. It doesn’t look to be cracked up, and is a solid piece of wood, so hopefully after cleaning it with apple cider vinegar and oiling it with vegetable oil, as she suggested, it will be fine. I am thinking that I might bring this subject up at our next herb meeting, as several of our members do timber work and I might interest one of them into crafting a few.


Whenever I work in the Apothecary, I take the time to make a nice pot of tea. Today I chose Gunpowder Green tea. I just adored this woman’s explanation for the type of situation gunpowder green might be useful for

Major in the movie A Bridge Too Far: Major: “I’ve got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven’t arrived. My communications are completely broken down.
Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?”
Corporal: “Couldn’t hurt, sir.”

Now that might seem a bit dramatic to you, but for me, taking the time to specifically do these lessons thoroughly, even though other things might be pulling me in different directions, well a good cup of tea does so help me focus and attend to the business at hand that I want to do! 🙂 The gunpowder green helped significantly and now I declare my self ready for the next lesson!

Big hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages



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