Wash the fuzz off your quinces. Cut in quarters and take out the core. The birds love this. Then I peel the quinces but I guess it isn’t necessary. The birds also like the peels.
I put about 7-8 in my crockpot with 1/4 cup of orange juice or water. Cook on high for about 3-4 hours then on low for another 2-3 hours – until very soft. Run them thru a moulinex, or purrée them in a blender and push thru a strainer. Put the butter back into the crock pot, add 1 -2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a teaspoon of nutmeg, and cook on low for another 3-4 hours until it tastes just right.
Put into sterilized clean jars and cap them with sterilized lids. These will keep fine for a few months. For longer keeping, boil in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
Honey, maple syrup, and a different spice could be used – like Cardamon or cinnamon.
Yogurt Roasted Cauliflower
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem. Parboil the cauliflower for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)
Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad. Makes 6 servings
Making an Herbal Infused Oil
Herbal infused oils have many uses, including: massage oil, or addition to other products, ie, salve, ointment, lip balm, creams, lotions, bath oil, bath salts. Some can also be used for food, ie, rosemary infused oil makes a fine addition to marinades and salad dressings.
Prepared by steeping (macerating) plant material in a fixed oil for an extended period of time until the properties of the plant are absorbed by the oil.
Vegetable oils obtained from plants which are fatty, dense, and non-volatile. Includes olive, sesame, grapeseed, almond. Mineral oil is made from petroleum products, not recommended for skin care as it does not allow skin to breathe and many people are sensitive to it.
A volatile and aromatic liquid (sometimes semi-solid) which generally constitutes the odorous principles of a plant. It is obtained by a process of expression or distillation (usually steam) or extracted with CO2 or a solvent from a single botanical species. A distiller is needed to make these, plus quite a bit of plant material, often resulting in a very small amount of essential oil production. Therefore, essential oils are usually purchased already made. They are added to a product after it is made, in very small amounts.
Remember oils and beeswax are HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. Never leave them unattended while heating. Be careful to avoid burning yourself. The oils are also very slippery on hands and jars. Plan to use plenty of paper towels to wipe hands and surfaces
Best to buy designated pots for use with salves and oils, preferably stainless, no aluminum. Used ok.
Infused oil: weight of herb x 5 = amount of fixed oil to use.
Example: Dry comfrey leaf weight = 6 oz x 5 = 30 oz of olive oil needed
Start with good quality herbs. If dried, they must be “recently dried” or volatile oils and other constituents may have been lost.
Powdering the dry herb in a blender breaks up the herb and increases the surface area exposed to the oil. Or chop with a knife on cutting board or use hand pruners. Do NOT puree fresh herbs and oil unless you wish to make an emulsion!!
Moisten ground herb with small amount of vodka or other alcohol to dampen; this starts to break down any constituents not readily soluble in oil. Allow to “digest” for several hours or overnight, tightly closed to prevent evaporation of the alcohol.
Then add chosen fixed oil to herb in a glass jar, cover and shake to mix. Be sure all of herb is covered with oil. Several methods can be used to infuse the oil from this point, all use a source of heat to enhance absorption of the oil by the herb.
- Solar Method: Place in sun for several weeks or the rest of the summer. Shake daily.
- Crock pot Method: Place folded dish towel in bottom of crock pot, add jar of oil, fill crock pot with water to level of the oil in the jar, cover with bath towel to keep heat in. Bring water to boil. Turn off, allow to “steep”. Turn on periodically to reheat. Repeat for 1 to several days, depending on the urgency of your need for the oil. Stir periodically with a big spoon.
- Other methods include heating in the oven, electric roaster, honey pot, or directly over heat on the stove in a pot of water. Be sure to place a folded towel under the jar to prevent breakage. Keep temperature around 100-150 degrees F to avoid damaging the herb.
When finished, squeeze by hand or use a fruit press to get out as much oil as possible, compost the marc (the spent herbs). Warm oil first for easier and more extraction.
Store in a dark, cool place. Amber bottles are nice but hard to clean. I prefer wide-mouthed jars. I can get my hand inside to clean. Most infused oils are best used within a year if properly stored.
Keep a Medicine-making book with details of every remedy you make and comments. This will prove invaluable and a great history.
Sources of all supplies can be found online.
For more information, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming soon: Make your own mustard