Friday, November 18, 2011

Aromatherapy/Botanicals Tip of the Week

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at the Cooperstown Farmers Museum (click here for details on all of their upcoming programs), where we learned how to make several wonderful recipes from an old pharmaceutical book, Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes (which can be found on Google Books if you're interested). The "Fragrant Waters" workshop was held in the historic village's pharmacy building, which was originally built in 1832 and owned by Dr. Freeborn Garrison Thrall in Hartwick, NY.

Cooperstown Farmers Museum Pharmacy

The building itself is an amazing piece of history--the folks at the Farmers Museum even went as far as to build historically accurate shelving units and work-counters based on building plans from old pharmaceutical guides. I swear, the second you walk in there you feel like you're transported back in time, it's so neat.

That atmosphere only made this workshop even cooler because, not only were we lucky even to have someone teaching us historic recipes, but we were doing it in an authentic 1800s pharmacy, complete with a cozy wood-burning stove and shelves upon shelves of beautiful glass bottles holding all sorts of natural concoctions (made by the resident "pharmacist" in the Village, of course).

For the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you the recipes that we learned during this workshop. They can also be found in Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes on Google Books, along with many, many others.

So, let's kick this off with my favorite of the bunch: lavender water! Because this lavender water is made with alcohol, it's really more suitable for culinary uses, but you can also substitute the alcohol for water if you want to make a lavender water to be used in a bath or on your skin. If you do replace the alcohol with water, just note that the liquid will eventually spoil since the alcohol would normally act as a preservative.

Lavender Water
3 1/2 quarts water
1/2 quart vodka (any cheap vodka will do, no need to buy the expensive stuff!)
25 drops all-natural lavender essential oil

Pour the vodka into a container large enough to hold at least 4 quarts of liquid. Add 25 drops of lavender oil and shake vigorously. Add enough water so that the total mixture is about 1 pint shy of a gallon. Shake again. Add the remaining water to make 1 gallon. Filter the water using a coffee filter then pour into amber glass bottles to store (the dark bottle helps keep the liquid from going bad).


1 comment:

  1. Hello, This sounds marvelous! I just love the fragrance of lavender! I hope you're having a wonderful week,