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Help with the Garlic Language - Brian Tansey
Beets as Dye - Elizabeth McCullough
Eight Worst Convenience Foods
Grapevines - Doug Essinger-Hileman
How to Make Incense - Leslie Quinn
Sugar of Lead - Adam Quinan
Spa Potion
Hair Recipes
Skin Recipes

Help with the Garlic Language - Brian Tansey
On an Irish (Gaelic) site I'm on - somebody looked for help with the Garlic language!
This is my favourite
2 dozen Large words
1/2 oz butter
2 cloves garlic, well diced
2 shallots, diced
Diced parsley
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
Clean the words, removing any expletives, commas or full stops.
Combine butter, shallots, garlic and parsley. Stir well.
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend briefly.
Place the words in a shallow baking dish.
Fill each word with a dollop of garlic butter mixture (about 1/2 or 1 teaspoon each). Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
Serve on a page with a side serving of music.
And a (well) Read wine.

Beets as Dye - - Elizabeth McCullough
Beet skins are a source of a traditional organic fabric dye, along with walnut husks, onionskins, red cabbage, et al:
Making Natural Dyes From Plants - Pioneer Thinking

Eight Worst Convenience Foods
8. Meeter's Kraut Juice (Stokely USA):
Yes, that's sauerkraut juice, which is even worse than it sounds. The taste and smell can be a bit, well, harsh, but KJ is reputed by its fans to have certain medicinal benefits (as a source of vitamin C, cure for intestinal bugs, etc.), which adds up to a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease.

7. Guycan Corned Mutton with Juices Added (Bedessee Imports):
The best thing about this Uruguayan canned good is the very pouty-looking sheep on the package label -- he seems to be saying, "Go on, eat me already." The second-best thing is the presence of both "cooked mutton" and "mutton" in the ingredients listing, which would seem to have all the mutton bases covered.

6. Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy (Dial Corp.):
If you're really looking to clog up those arteries in a hurry, you'll be pleased to learn that a single serving of pork brains has 1,170 percent of our recommended daily cholesterol intake. All the more ingenious, then, that the label on this product helpfully features a recipe for brains and scrambled eggs.

5. Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken (Sweet Sue Kitchens, Inc.):
From its size (think growth-impaired Cornish hen) to its overall appearance (it's stewed in a quivering mass of aspic goop), this product may change forever your idea of what constitutes a chicken. Gives new meaning to the old line about meat "falling off the bone."

4. Musk Life Savers (Nestle Confectionery):
You may think musk is a scent, but over in Australia, they think it's a candy flavor. A candy flavor that tastes disturbingly like raw meat,to be precise. But what did you expect from a country where everyone happily consumes Vegemite?

3. Blind Robins Smoked Ocean Herring (recently discontinued by Bar Food Products):
Possibly the world's most bizarre prepackaged tavern snack. Interestingly, the product's titular robin isn't actually blind, he's blindfolded -- the better, presumably, to avoid looking at these heavily salted herring strips, which look like giant slugs.

2. Kylmaenen Reindeer Patè (Kylmaenen Oy):
This Finnish canned good may not be particularly tasty, but at least it answers the age-old question of why Rudolph was so eager for that safe, steady job on Santa's sleigh team -- he didn't want to end up a cracker spread.

1. Tengu Clam Jerky (Tengu Co.):
Nothing you've ever consumed can prepare you for the horror that is clam jerky. Still, this product does score a sort of conceptual coup: If you're the sort who's always found raw clams too slimy and gelatinous for your taste, these dried, shriveled mollusks will help you dislike clams on a whole new level.

Grapevines - Doug Essinger-Hileman
If you barbecue, especially on charcoal, you should save any prunings off the wild grape vines. Cut into 5-8 inch lengths, the prunings are wonderful soaked then added to the fire to produce a very flavorful smoke.

How to Make Incense By Leslie Quinn
Incense has been burning on alters and in homes for over 5,000 years. There are four basic forms of incense--loose, cone, cylinder or stick. Choices of scents come from berries, bark, flowers, gums, leaves, roots, seeds, spices, wood. Some herbs do not burn like they smell, such as peppermint, which smells quite unpleasant when burned. You can test a scent by sprinkling a pinch of your mix on charcoal first, keeping a record of what works and smells pleasing.
A recipe for incense always has five ingredients: an aromatic substance, a base of wood powder (sandalwood, vetiver, cedar etc.) saltpeter or potassium nitrate (the igniting substance), a glue (gum arabic or tragacanth) and liquid (water, wine, brandy, olive oil, rosewater, etc.). Frequently used ingredients are (frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, copal, rose petals, bay, cinnamon, pine needle resin and others.
Loose noncombustible incense is easiest to make. Combine finely powdered leaf, bark, flower, root etc. with a few drops of liquid or oils. Mix by hand, label and store in a jar. Burn this incense on charcoal. You may also scent a "blank" incense stick with a few drops of your favorite essential oil--very simple!
Recipe for Cone Incense:
6 parts powdered sandalwood (or cedar, pine, juniper)
2 parts powdered benzoin (frankincense, myrrh etc.)
1 part ground orris root
6 drops of essential oil
3 to 5 parts loose incense mixture
Mix all ingredients in the order given and weigh. Add 10% of total weight of saltpeter, mix and add gum arabic "glue" one teaspoon at a time - it's a bit messy and sticky. Roll cones thin and shape approximately 1 3/4" long. Cones will shrink and dry in two to seven days. Continue to turn cones to assure even drying without cracking. Start drying in upright position. Cones will burn 10-25 minutes.
Stick incense involves dipping bamboo sticks repeatedly into your cone incense mix until your desired thickness is achieved, changing the mixture between dippings. Are there "rules" for making combustible incense? YES: Never add more than 10% saltpeter of total incense weight, keep woods and gum resin in proportion--use twice the amount of powdered woods as resin. Frankincense, myrrh, etc. should never be more than a third of the final mixture.
For more wonderful formulas and recipe ideas, refer to the sourcebooks listed below. Add the magic of scent to your daily ritual, personally created by you!

Wylund's Book of Incense, Samuel Weiser Press
The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews, by Scott Cunningham Home Page
Copyright 1995 Electric Newt

Mary S writes:
I was looking for something else in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica when my startled eye fell on the following words in the article SUGAR:
"The process of continuous defecation which was introduced into Cuba from Santo Domingo about 1900 had by 1910 borne the test of some ten years' use with notable success. The Hatton defecator, which is employed for working it, has been already described..."

Jim Biggerstaff replies:
Here is a description of the device, indeed used in sugar processing:
From the rollers, the juice falls below into a large receiver, from which it flows into great, open vats, called defecators. These defecators are heated by the exhaust steam of the engine, led through them in pipes. All the steam condensed forms water, which is returned warm into the boiler of the engine. In the defecator, as their name denotes, the scum of the juice is purged off, so far as heat alone will do it. From the last defecator, the juice is passed through a trough into the first caldron.

Sugar of Lead - Adam Quinan
Mary S. asked: What is sugar of lead, anyway?

Adam replies:
I think sugar of lead is lead acetate which is noticeably sweet to taste.
Confirmed by: The Columbia Encyclopedia: Sixth Edition. 2000.
Lead acetate:
chemical compound, a white crystalline substance with a sweetish taste. Like other lead compounds, it is very poisonous. Lead acetate is soluble in water and glycerin. With water it forms the trihydrate, Pb(CH3COO)2 • 3H2O, a colorless or white efflorescent monoclinic crystalline substance that is commonly known as sugar of lead, plumbous acetate, or Goulard's powder. Lead acetate is used as a mordant in textile printing and dyeing, as a drier in paints and varnishes, and in preparing other lead compounds. It is made by treating litharge (lead monoxide, PbO) with acetic acid.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2000 Columbia University Press.

Spa Potion
Mix 1 cup each of baking soda, Epsom salts, and citric acid (available at drug stores) in a large bowl.
Gradually add a drop each of various essential oils to the mixture.
Lavender relieves anxiety.
Rosemary and thyme revitalize.
Stir ingredients thoroughly.
Transfer ingredients from a bowl into a glass container, such as a jam jar. Seal tightly, and shake well.
Draw a warm bath, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Sink in and soak for at least 20 minutes.

Hair Recipes
Herbal Shampoo
2 tablespoons catnip
1 tablespoon castille soap
1/4 cup boiling water
Place boiling water in a cup and add catnip. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Add castille soap to cup. Mix well. Apply entire portion to wet hair and lather well. Rinse with cool water.

Leave-In Conditioner for Dry Hair
Handful of fresh rosemary
Handful of fresh mint leaves
1 cup cider vinegar
In a glass jar with a lid, drop the rosemary and mint leaves and cover with the cider vinegar. Seal the jar and leave for two weeks. Strain the potion. After shampooing, pour a tablespoon onto dry hair and leave in.

Conditioner for Oily Hair
1 lemon
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Wash, slice, and de-seed the lemon. Whir lemon in a blender to a smooth pulp. Filter through muslin. Mix with the cider vinegar. After shampooing, blot hair with a towel and rub lemon-vinegar mixture into scalp. Leave on 5-10 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Conditioner for Fine Hair
2 strips kombu (Japanese seaweed)
3/4 cups boiled spring water
Steep kombu in spring water for 30 minutes. Remove the seaweed. After shampooing, massage into hair. Rinse.

Dandruff Elixir
4 or 5 drops tea tree oil
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
In a glass jar with a tight lid, combine ingredients. Shake well. After sectioning wet hair, dab mixture onto a clean cotton wad and stroke along the scalp. Wrap hair in a towel and let sit for 2 hours. Work shampoo into hair with a little water to remove oil. Rinse.

Hot Oil Hair Treatment
3 tablespoons pure jojoba oil
Warm the jojoba oil and apply it to your hair, starting at the ends and working up to the top of head. Wrap hair in a towel and relax for an hour, or leave the oil in overnight. Rinse and shampoo hair as usual. Do once a week, more often if your hair is extremely dry.

Skin Recipes
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Great for all skin types. Mix all ingredients together and place in a sealed container. Store in the refrigerator. Use 1 teaspoon morning and night to cleanse face.

Mild Face Scrub
2 tablespoons oatmeal
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons wheat germ
Perfect for exfoliating normal to sensitive skin. Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Make a paste by adding a splash of warm water to one tablespoon of the mixture. Use once or twice a week.

Serious Face Scrub
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Ideal for dry, flaky skin. While washing face with your regular soap, add the sugar and scrub gently. Splash face with the lemon juice and rinse with cool water. Do at least once a week.

Astringent for Normal Skin
1/4 teaspoon borax powder
3 tablespoons distilled water
3 tablespoons rose water
1 tablespoon vodka
Dissolve the borax powder in the distilled water. Stir well. Add the rose water and vodka. Bottle in a container with a tight lid to prevent the alcohol from evaporating. Apply to clean face with a cotton ball after washing skin.

Toner for Problem Skin
A few drops of tea tree oil
1/4 cup distilled water
The best tonic for combating pimply skin. Mix the tea tree oil and water together and store in a sealed bottle. Shake well before using. Soak a clean cotton ball with the potion and apply to just-cleansed blemished skin. The tea tree oil is both a natural antiseptic and antibiotic. Use after washing skin whenever you have blemishes.

6 tablespoons jojoba oil
1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons grated beeswax
1 tablespoon pure aloe vera
2 tablespoons rose water
8 drops sandalwood essential oil
4 drops rose essential oil
In a small bowl, combine jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and beeswax. Place bowl in a shallow pan of boiling water and heat, stirring occasionally until the beeswax melts. Remove the bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. (The mixture will thicken and become cloudy as it cools.) In a blender or small food processor, combine aloe vera and rose water. Add the cooled oil and blend on high until the mixture becomes thick and cloudy (about two minutes). Add sandalwood and rose essential oils and blend mixture into colored glass jar. Apply a small amount (a little goes a long way with this skin softener) to face every evening in lieu of your usual moisturizer. For very dry skins, use also in the morning.

Face Mask for Normal Skin
1 tablespoon whiskey
1 whole egg
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine all the ingredients. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator. Spread the compound over the entire face, avoiding eye area. Allow to dry. Remove with a wet wash cloth. Use once a week.
Face Mask for Dry Skin
Same as above, except use only the egg yolk.

Face Mask for Oily Skin
Same as two above, except use only the egg whites.

Stretch Marks
1/2 teaspoon wheat germ oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon camellia oil
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Mix the four oils together and rub into the scarred areas twice daily. This concoction can also be applied as a preventative measure.

Zit Blaster
Skin of 1 egg
Carefully remove the skin from an egg's inner shell. Place this membrane over just-cleaned blemishes. Leave on for an hour or more, preferably overnight. Rinse with cool water. Do this once a day whenever you have a zit.

Herbal Facial Sauna for Acne
1 tablespoon lavender
1 tablespoon red clover leaves
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
Sprinkle the lavender, strawberries, and red clover leaves in a bowl of steaming water. Place face over the steamy concoction and cover head with a towel. Soak up the fruit and herb-rich steam for 5-15 minutes. Rinse face with cool water and pat dry. Best when done once a week.

Minty Lip-Gloss
1 tablespoon petroleum jelly
3 drops peppermint oil
Mix petroleum jelly and peppermint oil. Apply to lips as often as necessary for a minty, fresh lip-gloss.

Cuticle Softener
1 bottle of vitamin E oil
Rub the vitamin E oil on the cuticles of both feet and hands after bath or shower daily and at bedtime.