Wild Garlic Pesto.

The weather this weekend has been spectacular. Sun shining and birds singing and a lovely puff of breeze. It’s what Nick Cave referred to once as ‘the dirty end of winter’, but the snow doesn’t seem to think so – it snowed for a week in mid-January and since then it’s been getting a little more like spring every week. Last week I saw the first wildflowers of the season!

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Something else that happens at the start of the spring is that the wild garlic (in German: Bärlauch, pronounced bear-lock) starts to grow in the forest, which means when I go for a run through there I come home ravenous because it smells so good. So today I finally went and collected some. I got a few good handfuls and brought them home.

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After a good rinse, I dried the leaves and used my stick blender to mush them up. I then got some cashews for the mix but decided to crush them a bit before using the stick blender on them. Like so:

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Ta-da!

So I poured about three quarters of these in and blended them well, then poured the rest in and added a bit of lemon juice and a good bit of olive oil, blended a little more (not too much, I like a little bit of crunchy cashews in my pesto), added salt and pepper, and that’s it! 

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This stuff is a bit hot when raw, so cooked is probably best unless you like the taste of raw garlic. Mix it through cooked pasta with some grated parmesan, or however you like your pesto.

So to summarise, here’s the recipe:

2-3 good handfuls wild garlic leaves

about 1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1/2 a lemon

cashews

salt and pepper, to taste.

Blend and eat!

The great thing about wild garlic leaves is that they taste like yummy garlicky goodness but don’t leave you with garlic breath!

Hope you had a great weekend, 

Cheers,

Luci

Homemade Shampoo Didn’t Work.

I”ve been off the radar for a few weeks sorry guys. The reason is actually a combination of things. First, I tried to update my operating system on my laptop and it crashed the disk, meaning I had to wipe it and reboot from a backup. Unfortunately my most recent backup was 18 months old, so I had to find creative ways of getting my data off the machine first. Anyway, long story short is that it took about a week and a half but we”re finally back on track in that regard.

During that time a couple of other things happened. I idled upon a new (to me) podcast which is focussed on trying to encourage people to think scientifically. It sounds a little dry when I describe it like that but it”s actually fascinating and has really made me reassess the way I think about certain things. 

Another thing that happened as a direct consequence of this is that I signed up to a course! It”s called Food For Thought and it is designed to help people understand eating, health and nutrition scientifically, and see through the hype of marketing and misinformation that we’re bombarded with every day.

Why am I writing this here? Because something I’ve learned is that I have had some false ideas about certain things. And I’ve written things here such as ‘trying to use more natural products’ and so on that is not only not based on science but is just a silly way to prioritise things. ‘Natural’ things include cyanide, mercury, and botulism, and I don’t want any of those things in my daily life if I can help it.

I will continue to make my own lip gloss and moisturiser, as these things when store-bought tend to contain petroleum-based ingredients which are non-renewable. I’d rather avoid using fossil fuels as a beauty aid. 

I’ll keep blogging and creating as much as I can. I will try to avoid too much preaching (aside from this post, obviously), but I will equally try to avoid making unfounded health, nutrition or other claims. 

All this finally leads back to my title. I started making my own castile-soap based shampoo due to the popular thought that sodium laureth sulfate has health risks. After looking into studies made to test these claims, I can safely say that aside from being a mild skin irritant to some people, there are no known health risks. The whole myth is based on hype, and misinformation, and poorly-conducted, biased studies. Aside from all that, the homemade shampoo made my hair greasy, brittle and really hard to brush. And it got worse and worse. So I have gone back on the store-bought stuff. I’m alternating with this soap, though, as my mum sent it to me and it smells great, and works pretty well as a shampoo. 

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The reason for the mixture of normal shampoo and this soap is because I’ve started riding my bike to work each day and so my hair needs daily washing. It gets a bit too flyaway with the normal shampoo washing everyday so the alternating with the soap makes a good balance.

So this was a pretty different post to usual! I hope you don’t mind. I’ve got some yummy recipes to share and I’ve been sewing, too, so I’ll be back with more of my regular style of post very soon.

Have a great weekend guys!

Cheers,

Luci

Air Freshener.

Hi there everyone! I’m sorry it’s been a little while, life has been conspiring to keep me off the internet. But I’m back now!

So this is just a quickie. My stick-diffuser air freshener in my bathroom is empty. It very well may have been for a while now, but I happened to notice it today, which is incidentally also the day that my lovely new essential oils turned up. One of which is Jasmine, which is one of my favourite scents in the world. We had it growing all around the house when I was growing up, and aside from smelling great it looks pretty too:

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The recipe is simple. I used almond oil as a carrier, a little vodka (you could use any strong clear alcohol) to help carry along the sticks, and about 25 drops of the jasmine oil. I’ll give that a day or two and then if it’s not strong enough, add more. 

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So that’s my solution to keeping waste to a minimum – recycle the old bottle! It was vanilla flavoured last time so we’ll see how much of that carries over, but vanilla and jasmine scents together will work pretty nicely anyway, I think 🙂