Monday, September 19, 2011

From Bees to Balm

September is not only the month of my birth, but one I share with the appreciation of  BEE's !. How fitting should I dedicate this little piece of writing with one of lifes' simple pleasures (not that one!) HONEY. September is National Honey Month!  This piece of information came to me recently. So it is fitting that I write about my first pass at creating a Honey Balm, or skin cream of course "Au  Naturale"

Honey I found to be so multi-useful -  therapeutic, an energy booster, skin moisturizer, cough suppressant, a main ingredient in Honey Ale/ Meade-one of which I am dabbling in- (that will be a blog of itself) and Healthy all alone. This one little creature produces a simple ingredient that can be used a multitude of ways. 

So here I share my balm, my moisturizer, my cream! This must be what a scientist feels like. Hence forth my kitchen, is turned into a lab of sorts. Coconut oil , Almond oil, Bees wax, Vitamin E, and Lavender oil (E.O) and water. That's it! melt, stir, add and cool down, and before you know it, Voila a moisturizer is assembled. Wow who knows it would be so easy. So creamy, okay, the first pass a bit grainy, a bit too much water perhaps. The consistency was thick, smelled very nice and white. I impressed myself, yes I was quite smug with my results. As with all experiments, one must have testers and yes I do. Several of my friends, received testers ( those who would like to test, need only ask!) Next to survey results. Will write the results in a future blog.

 On a much Sweeter Note, and another use for Honey.  Here is a recipe for Welcoming Fall 

  Honey Pumpkin Muffins 
Did you know that  Honey acts as a humectant and retains moisture in baked goods, which results in an incredibly soft, moist muffin. And because of its antimicrobial properties, honey gives baked goods a slightly longer shelf life. Who knew one ingredient had so much functionality?
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light; beat in honey, egg and pumpkin. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just blended; stir in walnuts. Spoon into 12 greased or paper-lined 2-1/2 inch muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy with a cup of Chai, or your favorite cup of Tea! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Silver Years or Silver Lining ?

It is often said that one should look forward to the "Golden Years" when aging. You know that time in your life when the fruits of your labors have come full circle, the time when you should be enjoying your spouse, significant other, traveling and doing all things you've dreamed about. Well, I think someone lied! Sure, there are many who are enjoying all those things. Lately, by my count there are a good many who are not. Troubled by medical "issues" and Dr.s appointments, many of these "Golden Agers" are finding that their having to enjoy life around appointments.  Not to say, folks do not take care of themselves. Reality is what it is. However, we must begin to take care of ourselves now, so that we can do all those things. Mom & Dad, I love you for having taught me that. I look at you two and feel blessed that you two are still young and are enjoying life, even at 80!

Today I celebrate another Birthday and approach the "Silver years of life" , I find myself gravitating to enjoying life, it's challenges and oh the "journey". Did I take a wrong turn? Perhaps, the unexplainable has been in front of me all along, yet I failed to "embrace" it. To my friend Elisabeth, you were right .  So now I am embracing this journey, and have accepted to aging with grace. Let it be known, I have NOT reached that benchmark yet .To my friends, who have started their journey, I look to you for support, love, friendship and for answers, (even if we are still seeking them LOL) and to the males in my household, well, your in on this journey too like it or not.

So I ask myself is this the beginning of my Silver years, or the Silver lining in the best years of my life.