Archive for November, 2009

Just in time for winter and the holidays, Farmers’ Fresh now has beeswax candles!

I love beeswax candles. I live in a small house and regular candles are just too smelly. But beeswax candles are terrific.

I bought four candles:


bee skep, bee cylinder, diamond cut cylinder, and honey pot.

My favorites are the diamond cut pillar and the bee skep. I think they will burn the best.


I’m worried about the honey pot. The melting wax forms a pool where the wick is, and it has nowhere to drain. Eventually the wax extinguishes the flame. I may end up carving the pot into a different shape.


I love lighting a candle before I tackle a project. It’s like having a little focus buddy on your desk. It’s even better to be able to get them from Farmers’ Fresh.


Beeswax – the gift that keeps on giving

I hang on to the beeswax once the candle’s done. Beeswax is just too cool of a material to throw away. I save it in bowls in the hopes that one day I’ll feel crafty and bored enough to make something with it.


Trimmings from the skep candle so far

Last year I made hand lotion and lip balm. It’s pretty simple. (If I can do it, it doesn’t require painstaking care.) Here’s one site with instructions.

And you can always google “homemade beeswax lotion” to get more ideas. I don’t like the smell of coconut oil, so I leave that out. My favorite oil is sweet almond oil. This time I think I’ll try adding some vanilla, too, for more aroma. To make lip balm, just increase the ratio of wax to oil. Same stuff, just thicker.

Here’s some thick, creamy lotion I made last year.


And from my scribbled notes, here’s the recipe:

  • 8 oz sweet almond oil
  • 2 oz beeswax
  • 4 oz water
  • 20 drops of Vitamin E

Melt oil and wax, remove from heat, add water, stir lots, add E, stir continuously. Pour when still warm.

It’s kind of like cooking and not at all like baking. You just play around with the ingredients till you get something you like. And if it doesn’t work, you melt it back down and try again. To make it even easier, pick up a cheap double boiler pan at the thrift store and designate it as your wax melting pan.

waxpanEven if you don’t feel like making anything you can heat the wax in the pan on low and make the house smell delicious.

And Patricia and Wally have verified that this wax is clean, so no worries there.

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  • sweet potatoes
  • arugula
  • honey
  • apples
  • lettuce
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • kale
  • eggs
  • lemon balm
  • garlic
  • par-cel
  • chervil
  • edible flowers


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Susan rediscovers the microwave

I’ve got some half-roasted butternut squash in the fridge. My plan was to broil slices of it for a side dish, but last time they came out too dry. So this time I steamed the slices in the microwave for 3 minutes, and they were perfectly serviceable. (The drizzled butter and maple syrup probably helped.)


Maybe next time, I’ll steam the slices and the broil them for just a tiny period. I want to see if I can get some good caramelization.

“It’s amazing this doesn’t taste absolutely horrible.” (more…)

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