I have a big show to hang on wednesday ~ so why do I keep finding myself in the kitchen? The renovations are continuing...and continuing. As I write, the water guys are out in the rain drilling through the sidewalk to turn off the water in our 1930's-era pipes, so we can fix a leak in the basement, so we can finish the kitchen...
I'm balancing studio work with kitchen things. I find I'll work on some intellectual, brainy pieces for a while, then go downstairs and find something tactile to do ~ moving my Pyrex back into the cupboards, or unpacking the boxes of tea. Yesterday I helped Tim make wood oil. It was very satisfying to rub the counters and all of our wooden utensils with fingerfuls of warm beeswax and walnut oil salve. There's something about wood that still feels alive to me, and I like how it needs caring for in order to stay at its best. Everything is protected and glowing now.
Wood oil receipt:
16 oz bottle of walnut oil
1 lb beeswax block
Break up the beeswax block and place about 2/3rds of it in a mason jar. Bring a pot of water to boil and place the jar in the water, until the beeswax is melted. When it's liquid, remove it from the water.
Pour the jar of walnut oil into another clean mason jar, and place in boiling water until warmed through. This helps keep the mixture smooth when it's mixed. Pour the heated oil into the mason jar of melted beeswax and allow to cool, mixing every so often for an even consistency. When its cooled enough to touch it should act like a hand salve, becoming a solid at room temperature but easily scooped out with your fingers. If it's too runny, reheat it by placing the mason jar back in a boiling pot of water and melt, then add more beeswax. It's better to err on the runny side since you can add more beeswax but not more oil (since you use the entire bottle.) How do I know this? Because we had to go out and buy another bottle of walnut oil.
Perfect the consistency to your liking before pouring into smaller jars to cool.
Rub it straight onto your wooden countertops and utensils with your fingers and palms (this is really fun.) Let sit for the afternoon or overnight and buff with a clean cotton cloth before using. It is food safe, smells good, is non-toxic and works great as a hand/ foot/ body salve too. We keep the jars under the counter for easy access.
Do you have any good recipes for salves, balms, tinctures, or infusions? I'd love to know them!