Saturday, 15 April 2017

How to make Honey Mustard

I seem to have been chopping a lot of onions this week making jars of onion relish and onion marmalade. To take break from watering eyes here's a recipe for Honey Mustard. It can be easily adjusted to taste.

Honey Mustard

To make this you will need:
  • 8 tablespoons in total of mixed black and yellow mustard seeds
  • 150mls white or white wine vinegar
  • liquid honey
  • salt
  • light olive oil
  • a small jar

Using a food processor or mortar and pestle grind the mustard seeds together until you have a paste. It doesn't need to be a completely smooth paste - a bit of texture is fine. 

Put the mustard seed paste in a non-metallic bowl. Pour over enough vinegar that the seed paste is just covered and stir. Repeat this process adding a vinegar a little at a time until the seeds have absorbed all they can, Stir well between each addition.

Add a little salt and honey to taste. Try the mustard after a few days - if you find the taste too strong it can be mellowed by adding a small amount of light olive oil. If you find you've over done the olive oil let the mustard stand for a couple of days, then pour off the excess. 

Once you're happy with the flavour, pot into a sterilised jar and seal. The mustard will be ready to use in about two weeks.

You may also like to try:
Pickled Garlic
Peach and Chilli Chutney

Monday, 3 April 2017

Eleven ways to use Calendula

Calendula is a hardy plant, with daisy-like flowers ranging in colour from vibrant orange and yellow through to pale apricot. Calendula will grow in most conditions, but prefers a sunny spot. It is most often used in traditional medicine for it's skin-healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

1. Calendula Infused Oil

Many of the ways to use calendula in this round-up are based on either a calendula tea/infusion or calendula infused oil. Both are simple to make although the oil does need to steep for a few weeks. Always make sure that the calendula petals used to make teas and infusions are spray and insect free. Learn how to make an infused oil here or it can be purchased here.

2. DIY Paw Balm

Once you have your calendula infused oil there are many ways to use it. If you have a dog you may like to try making DIY Paw Balm. Paw balm helps to create a barrier between the sand, snow, ice and grit that can be be hard on the pads and get between the toes of your dog's paws.

3. Oatmeal Bath Bags

These combine calendula oil and oats to make a soothing bath for sensitive or irritated skin. Learn how to make Oatmeal Bath Bags here.

4. In the bath

If you don't have time to make bath bags add a handful of petals to warm bath water

5. Calendula Tea - for sore throats

Calendula is most widely used for it's anti-infammatory and skin-healing properties, but here is the base of a throat soothing tea. Recipe here

6. For you scalp

Steep a handful of dried calendula petals in boiling water. Allow to cool, then strain out the petals. The cooled "tea" can be used after shampooing to help relieve an itchy scalp.

7. Calendula Cleanser

This simple two ingredient cleanser can be used with any skin type, but is best suited to dry skin. Learn how to make it here.

8. Hot Spots in dogs

Make an infusion using the same method described for the scalp rinse. This can be gently dabbed or sprayed onto the area.

9. Mouthwash

The same cold "tea" infusion described above for scalp care and hot spots can also be used as healing mouthwash.

10. Edible Flowers

Calendula has quite a mild flavour. Fresh calendula petals (spray-free) can be added to salads for a bit of colour. The petals keep their colour when cooked and can be added to rice as an inexpensive alternative to saffron.

11. Chamomile & Calendula Bath Salts

In a non-metallic bowl or large jug combine the following ingredients:

Mix will to disperse the oils through the salt mixture. Store in an airtight container. Leave a few days before using so the oils can infuse the salts.

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