Monday, July 10, 2006

Everlasting Potpouri

Yesterday afternoon a group of String Along-ers met at our friend Michelle's house to make potpouri. Michelle has a friend with a florist business and this friend had her coolers fail on her so she offered Michelle POUNDS of flowers to dry! A group of us got together yesterday afternoon and worked for 6 hours making this concoction, eating, talking and laughing. We had such a great time. I haven't had a more pleasant Sunday in ages. It rained for a while and we hardly even noticed it!

Moist Lavender PotPourri
You will need;
4 cups dried lavender blossoms
2 cups dried rose petals
1 cup rosemary leaves
6 cups dried assorted flower petals
Toss all together and set aside.
Mix together:
2 cups salt into which you have crushed 6 bay leaves with mortar and pestle
2 cups brown sugar
2 ounces crushed oris root
1/4 pound gum benzoin(benzoin and oris root available at health food stores or pharmacy)
In tall covered crock layer first the flower petal mixture, then a layer of the salt/sugar mixture and repeat until all is used. Tamp down with wooden block or spoon after each flower petal layer.
2 cups brandy
2 ounces lavender oil
Pour over top of entire mixture. Cover with glass plate and weigh down with a rock to keep it pressed down. Every other day for a month lift off the plate and stir mixture well. Replace plate and rock. After one month you will have a lovely fermented pot pourri that will last up to 50 years! To scent your home, simply lift the lid of your covered crock. If pot pourri dries out, add 1 cup of brandy and stir.

We all brought dishes to pass and Joe made an India dish for me to take called Alu Mattar Curried Potatoes and Peas. Here is the recipe:

1/4 ghee 1T. scraped, finely chopped ginger 1 T. finely chopped garlic 1/2 c finely chopped onions 1 1/2 t. salt 1 t ground cumin 1/2 t tumeric 1/4 t ground hot red pepper 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped 3 T chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) 2 c fresh peas 1 large boiling type potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 c water 1/2 t garam masala

In a heavy 2 to 3 quart saucepan, heat the ghee over high heat until a drop of water flicked into it sputter instantly. Stir in the ginger and garlic, then add onions and salt. Lower the heat to moderate and , stirring constantly, fry the onions for a few minutes until they are soft and golden brown.

Add the cumin, tumeric and red pepper, and stir in the tomatoes and 2 T of the fresh coriander. Still stirring constantly, cook briskly for 5 minutes, until most of the liquid had been evaporated and the mixture is thick enough o draw away from the sides of the pan in a dense mass.

Drop in peas and potatoes and turn them about with a spoon until they are evenly covered with the tomato mixture. Stir in the water, bring to a boil over high heat, cover tightly, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the peas and potatoes are tender but still intact.

Taste for seasoning and serve at once, sprinkled with the remaining coriander and the garam masala.

Any way, thanks Michelle for a great time. Hope to get in on the kaluha project next week. Should be lots of fun!


There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

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