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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Mystery Kitchen Implement and Hair Styling Gel

Mystery Solved

vintage kitchen implements 

I bought these kitchen implements a while back in a charity shop, because I rather like wooden-handled kitchen tools - they have a lovely worn look. But I didn't know what they were, and despite googling around, I couldn't find out their purpose. Recently I saw a friend had a plastic one and she told me it is one of her favourite kitchen tools, used for coring quartered apples and removing stones from peaches for bottling. She had been looking for another one without success as she was worried her plastic one would break. She is thrilled that I have an extra one to give her.

Cider Saga
bottled cider

It's not really a success story, so I'm not going to put the recipe up. The cider smells a little boozy, but never really fermented, and is pretty sweet. I have decided to bottle it and see what happens. It could be because I doubled the recipe? Or maybe it just wasn't kept warm enough, I don't know.
I am storing the bottles in the bath with a ply cover for a while as I'm scared they might explode.
It doesn't taste unpleasant, so I could always add fresh lemon juice and ice and I think it would still be drinkable. 

DIY Flaxseed Hair Styling Gel

I have tried a few experiments recently, first trying New Zealand flax seed to see if it worked in the same way - let me tell you, it does not - no gelling.
Next, because I only had ground linseed (flaxseed) on hand, I tried that. It worked a treat, made gel easily, but smelled rather of linseed oil, definitely needed essential oil to cover the not-so-pretty smell. And it was not a clear gel.
So now I have followed the recipe.

2 cups of water
1/4 cup of flaxseeds (linseed)
essential oil

1. Combine water and flaxseeds in a small saucepan on the stove on medium heat.
2. Stir often with a wooden spoon. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer until the mix begins to thicken.
3. Leave the pan on the element with the heat turned off. Stir as it cools. When it resembles the consistency of egg whites take it off the stove and cool completely.

4. Strain through cheesecloth. (I used fine tulle and squeezed)
5. Stir in oil for perfume - I used 1.25 ml of cosmetic grade ylangylang.
6. Place in a jar. Store in the fridge.

hair styling gel

Just scoop some up and rub it through damp hair before styling - it gives hair body without being noticeable in any way and holds the style really well, plus smells nice.

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