Homemade Jerky

This post was prepared earlier this week but because of some technical and soul searching issues, I had to sit on it for a while. Be sure to read the entire post please as I explain in full below.

Last week was a wintry one!dec 2017 003

The great thing about being house (and barn) bound is that there’s more time to do creative things, be that crafts or kitchen work. I love both crafting and cooking (or baking) but since I’m feeding a family of 5, extra time usually means experimenting with new stuff to eat.

Enter one of Farmer Hick’s gifts to the family over the holidays.jan 2018 001

A brand new jerky maker.

It was a necessary and appreciated gift in my opinion because the whole family loves to eat pepperettes and jerky.

I have two big problems with buying those items at the store:

  1. the cost of those ridiculously small and overpriced packages
  2. the ingredients used to make these overpriced items

What’s a mother to do? I believe in eating clean, unadulterated, wholesome foods, increasingly difficult to find in your grocery store.

So we’d better look to preparing more foods ourselves from home-grown produce.

Many readers will remember we butchered our old, beloved cow last autumn and ended up with lots of ground beef, if not you can read about it here. Homestead Butcher Shop

Did you know you can make jerky with ground meats?

I didn’t, so this was welcome news, what a great way to use up our own ground beef.

The jerky gun was bought at Princess Auto and since it was a gift I’m not going to check out how much it costs, but trust Farmer Hick to source out good quality equipment at a reasonable cost. You can check it out yourself.

The jerky gun came with two attachments, a flat one for jerky strips, and a round one for a more pepperette style jerky.ย jan 2018 002

Operating the jerky gun was a piece of cake. If you’ve ever used a cookie press then using a jerky gun will immediately feel familiar. The jerky gun is a bit heavier but just as easy to use.

The night before making the jerky strips you mix up a pound (or more) of ground beef with your favorite jerky ingredients and let that sit, covered, in the fridge overnight.

The internet is full of good jerky recipes to try, I couldn’t believe how many jerky aficionados exist and how very liberal they are at sharing their jerky-making successes. Very helpful if you need some advice.

My favorite spice blend “Southern Chipotle” for one pound of ground beef is as follows:

  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t chipotle powder
  • 2 t liquid smoke
  • extra chipotle powder for dusting each jerky strip before dehydrating

Next morning, take the ground beef out of the fridge and stuff it into the jerky gun, the gun will hold exactly one pound of meat and it loads easily.

Screw on the desired tip, I used the flat one for strips, and press the meat onto a dehydrating tray. You have the choice of making long or short strips, whatever suits your fancy.

The first tray went a bit uneven, but as I grew accustomed to using the gun the results were more even.

Turn your dehydrator to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check on the jerky strips every hour or so.

This batch took between 3.5 to 4 hours to dehydrate.

Remove the strips, let cool and package in an air-tight container.

Eager to try my hand at jerky making I prepared a different spice blend as well, this one was favored by the rest of the family, it is a little less hot.

For one pound of ground meat, mix:

  • 1 T soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t lemon pepper
  • 1 t curry
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1/4 t coriander
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder

Follow the instructions above.

Everyone loves these jerky strips, it makes a great snack and I can finally feel good about the quality of the snacks my family consumes. ๐Ÿ™‚

While I have some good pictures to show of the finished jerky, it bothers me not to be able to include them in this post. The reason being that WordPress refuses to upload them. Apparently I now have to pay a fee if I want to continue blogging with WordPress.

Because WordPress only keeps track of the number of posts read on a PC I have no idea how popular (or not) this blog is. How many of you are reading blogs on hand-held devices?

Would you please leave me a comment in the comment section below if you’re enjoying this blog or if you’d like me to continue blogging about our homestead and homesteading life? Am I encouraging or entertaining you?

Also, any suggestions for new topics are welcome.

Thank you in advance.

Looking forward to hearing from you and (hopefully) sharing many more posts with you.

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Another Dumping of Snow

In order to stay positive during this grey, cold and snowy winter I’m exercising my mind to see beauty where I can.

As much as I dislike winter, as many of you do too, I do admit to finding the winter scene strangely beautiful.

Take a look.dec 2017 001

The scenery here earlier this morning.dec 2017 003

My favorite love birds are back, these beautiful mourning doves have been making their home here for many years. I love them.March 2017 ice cream and bread 002

A little later this morning, the sun came out while Shop Boy cleaned up the snow, he always does a thorough job. The guys seem to take turns blowing snow.dec 2017 025

Our road heading north.dec 2017 009

Then one more dec 2017 011

A wild apple tree loaded with snowdec 2017 033

The garden wearing a thick winter blanket

dec 2017 020

Makes for a beautiful post card, right?

dec 2017 021

With the sun shining, the milking and all the chores done, enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate near the wood stove, winter doesn’t feel so bad.

I hope you can enjoy some peace and cozy as well today.

Winter Rant

 

As I ponder my existence during these dark,ย  extremely cold, last days of 2017, I’m torn between loving and hating my present life circumstances.dec 2017 028

You gotta understand….

We’re dealing with extreme cold temperatures, making the whole off-grid homestead more work than fun.

Aren’t homesteaders supposed to have a break during winter?

Right!

Truth of the matter is that winter brings its own set of difficulties, especially when you live off-grid.

dec 2017 002

the girls taking in some “fresh” air

Who feels like milking the cow when temperatures drop to twenty below zero?

Who feels like carrying chicken waterers back and forth to the house and barn because they keep freezing.

I can hear your advice…just buy a pail with a heating element.

Sounds good, right? But how do you suppose that heating element is powered?

Can’t run the generator all day to keep the cows and chicken in fresh water…so, we have to carry water.

Luckily Farmer Hick put in a hydrant in the barn…at least we won’t have frozen water lines, a problem all too many farmers and homesteaders experience when the weather dips below zero.

Then there’s the issue of supplying the house with electricity.

“Well, you have solar panels!” I can hear you exclaim.

Sure we do, but in order for solar panels to work you need sunshine, and that is in short, very short supply where we live. We’re lucky to have sunshine once or twice a week for half a day right now.

The batteries have to be checked consistently and the generator started if we want to keep power.

Oh yeah, it’s all a pain in the butt. But it would be much more frustrating if Farmer Hick hadn’t spent years fine-tuning all the equipment.

I haven’t even mentioned all the snow that needs to be dealt with on an almost daily basis,

… the wood stoves, one in the house, the other in the shop that have to be kept going,

… the wood cellar that dips below freezing if we don’t run a little heater once a day,

…the milk machine that needs to be brought to and from the shop just to keep the lines from freezing,

…our diesel vehicles that need to be babied in the cold.

Are we having fun yet?

NO!!! I do not enjoy this time of year. No amount of coffee, or good books by the fire will make me change my mind about winter.

I HATE it.

Wish we could hibernate and just come out of our dens when the weather warms up again.

dec 2017 001

Teddy hibernates

But we can’t, so we gotta take the bad with the good and concentrate on finding a lot of good. ๐Ÿ™‚

And dream of spring……….cuz spring is fantastic!

I promise to be more optimistic in my next post because, let’s face it, there are a lot of things to be optimistic about.

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

It’s been busy this last week.

Not so much with the homestead but with visiting friends.

Which is great, but it can be distracting. ๐Ÿ™‚

While having a quiet moment here on our homestead I just wanted to send out a holiday wish for all my readers.

Have a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah or whatever you call your special holiday.

dec 2017 012

our beautiful Christmas wreath made by a friend

We’ve had some fun family times together already.

Last night we had our traditional Swiss cheese fondue, satisfying my cheese and white bread (homemade of course) craving, as well as honoring my Swiss heritage.dec 2017 006

For those of you who’ve never had or heard of cheese fondue, it’s a delicious pot full of melted Swiss cheeses with a little Kirsch and white wine, you dip cubed crusty bread into it, swirl it around on a long fondue fork (to prevent the cheese from dripping all over the place)dec 2017 008

and pop the cheese covered cube in your mouth, you fork up a new piece of bread, dip it into the cheese again and do this over and over and over again…..until you’re full. Traditionally you drink hot tea with this meal to prevent a big ball of cheese from forming in ย your stomach, which a cold drink would undoubtedly cause.

We’ve baked cookies,dec 2017 003

We’ve spoiled all the animals with special or extra little treats in hopes that the chickens will lay more eggs (which they’re not at the moment)dec 2017 023

that the cow will produce more milk (which she’s not so much right now)dec 2017 020

that Teddy will forgive us for adding another pet (which she’s trying).Oct 2016 019

The biggest event this holiday has been the addition of a new bird. Shop boy has a great love of birds and bought himself a Cockatiel named George.dec 2017 013

It’s wonderful to hear him sing and whistle, surely a great addition here. We’ve got his cage on the coffee table for now, but are looking for a more permanent place for George.

We are spending some quiet days at home, other than dealing with all the snow that fell last night and keeping all the animals fed and warm.

Hope you’re having a splendid holiday!

Homemade Donuts

I gave up eating donuts many years ago.

Besides not needing all those calories, I hated the unhealthy canola oil that was used to fry them in, plus all that sugar and yucky dough…. it was not a hard thing to give up.

Fast forward a few years. We were visiting some wonderful friends who liked making healthy donuts.

I can just see you frowning and shaking your head. But it’s true! Let me explain.dec 2017 014

First of all they prepared flour from freshly ground spelt kernels and soaked the flour in a sour cream mixture for 8 hours or overnight. This neutralizes the phytic acid in the flour, making the finished product more digestible.

Later that day, they heated up some tallow, rendered from their own beef fat, and used that to fry their donuts in.

Wholesome, yummy, lip-smacking, tasty donuts.

Did I mention that even the kids went nuts for these?

Our friend could hardly keep up at first, only when the kids (and I must admit, the adults too) were full, did the donuts finally start filling the cooling rack. ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily she had a huge batch going.

Later, with gifted tallow from our friends, I tried making donuts too at home, the first attempt was a bit of a failure, but the following batches were quite successful.

Making donuts is not something I do often. Maybe once a year. But it’s always memorable and I make a nice, big batch. They always disappear fast.

During my last donut-making session I decided to take some pictures and share.

These are the only donuts I will eat. ๐Ÿ™‚

Healthy Donuts:dec 2017 002

  • 4 cups flour (freshly ground and lightly sifted, if possible, to get the optimum nutrition)
  • 1.5 cups sour cream

Mix well and let sit overnight, or at least for 8 hours. The dough will be stiff, not very pliable, see below.dec 2017 007

Next morning add:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c flour (unbleached white) to thicken

dec 2017 008

Sprinkle your (clean) counter top with some flour and roll out the dough, half an inch thick or slightly thinner, cut the donuts and bits with a donut or biscuit cutter and pop the donuts in the oil/fat that you’ve heated up in a Dutch oven (or deep fryer), they will sink to the bottom.

dec 2017 010

Once the donuts float to the top you can then turn them, 1 – 2 minutes per side or until golden-brown.dec 2017 011

Lift the fried donuts and set them on a cookie sheet lined with several layers of paper towel, this will absorb some of the fat. Sprinkle donuts with icing sugar if you wish…..I wished.dec 2017 016

 

Let cool, eat until full ๐Ÿ™‚ and put remaining donuts in an air-tight container, they will keep for several days if you are able to hang on to them for that long.

This batch makes at least 30-40 small to medium-sized donuts plus their Canadian called Timbits, donut holes in the states, or trous de beigne en francais.dec 2017 012

Loving Life on our Homestead

After an extended busy period on our homestead, things seem to have settled down a bit.

dec 2017 026

one of last week’s sunsets

This happens every year once the garden is done. It is a great time to reflect on all the activities that we’ve been busy with over the last several months, think on what I’d do different next year, and of course…dream of what I’d like to add to our homestead.

But I promised myself not to get ahead of time, to take some time for activities that I really enjoy but can’t find the time for during summer.

It’s wonderful to have time for knitting,

dec 2017 018

I always have 2 or 3 different ones on the go, I know….weird!

and reading again without feeling guilty that some little job isn’t being looked after.

My piano is finally getting a good work-out again, sure missed that.

I love spending more “fun” time in the kitchen, creating foods that take time to prepare;

nov 2017 006

homemade fries

dec 2017 006

French croissants from scratch

dec 2017 016

homemade donuts

And yet, can’t help but think about the things I’d like to do next summer, ducks, pigs, more tomatoes, sunflowers and greens…..

No! Stop that!

Take a break first. ๐Ÿ™‚

And so, instead of keeping myself constantly busy I’ve been trying to relax more.

Go for walks,

dec 2017 015

a walk in our woods, does that not look like some wild animal about to jump out?

work on a puzzle,

dec 2017 015

just finished this one, the guys liked it too, they glued it and it’s ready for hanging

brush the cows,

dec 2017 022

7-month old Poppy is weaned and loves being brushed, she’s a gorgeous and calm little cow

play games with my teenagers (who really aren’t that interested, lol), and make more time for tea with friends.

It’s good to take a bit of a rest, and while there aren’t any roses to smell here right now, there are plenty of other things to enjoy.

Life is good.

News from the Barn

It was high time to do something about our milk cow, Ava.

As many of you know, she had a beautiful heifer calf early May (see the full storyย here) and we, no, I’ve been milking Ava ever since.

may 2017 002

Ava and her brand new calf Poppy

They’re doing very well, and I’d like to continue to milk Ava, but in order to do so we have to find her a boyfriend or a “one-night-stand”.

You know what I mean…

Like humans, cows need to give birth in order to have milk.

dec 2017 020

Ava and Poppy today

Some special cows continue to give milk for a long time, but usually cows have a calf every year. The cycle goes something like this…

… the cow calves, you can milk the cow or share with the calf, get the cow pregnant again 2 months after calving, continue to milk until 2 months before the cow’s due date, stop milking and get ready for a new calf and another cycle of milk.

Anyways, that’s how it’s usually done on the big dairy farms.

Not being a dairy farm, we’ve been a little more lenient in getting Ava pregnant again. The biggest reason for this is that I wasn’t sure what I was doing…..which is often the case. LOL

Before I implement a plan I really gotta do my homework, once I’m comfortable with the procedure or series of events I will usually implement them.

We’ve had a visiting bull on the homestead before, you can read about it here if you wish, and though things went well, it’s not something I’ll do again. Bulls can be very destructive, we lost several up-coming trees, bulls can also be very dangerous. Midnight behaved himself very well, but it was quite a responsibility, one that I’d rather not repeat.

So then what?

It took me a while to familiarize myself with the concept of AI.

That stands for artificial insemination.

There are these huge companies that collect and sell bull semen. They choose the best of the best bulls, collect their semen and then have trained technicians implant said semen into the cows for a small fee. This keeps cows in milk without the need of keeping a bull around.

AI does not work 100%, a lot depends on getting the timing right…which took more reading/learning and studying the cow’s behind. ๐Ÿ™‚

After studying one of these company’s websites I made a choice for Ava and had her inseminated by a trained technician during her last heat. Ava remained calm, the guy was quick and the whole thing was over before I knew it had started.

It was veryย simple and easy.

Now we wait. If Ava doesn’t come in heat again around December the 8th, then we’ll know she’s pregnant.

The lady who owned Ava before told me that Ava always “took” on the first try. Hopefully that’ll be the case again.

Now, what about Ebony?

dec 2017 021

Ebony at 19 months

She’s 19 months now, she seems to be in good shape and has continued to grow a bit since her ordeal with the twin calves last summer. Read all about it here if you like.

A few weeks ago I was wondering why my milk pail was not filling up very well, it took us a while to realize that Ebony was serving herself whenever she wanted! Farmer Hick noticed Ebony sucking on her mother early one morning and then, because he was alerted, caught her several more times during the day. It didn’t take me long to buy some extra weaning rings to put an end to that behaviour. She looks sort of silly…a grown cow with a weaning ring, but we like our milk!

I decided to have Ebony inseminated on her next heat as well, which took place yesterday.dec 2017 006

So if all goes well, we’ll have new calves next August and September.

Rendering Tallow

Have you ever had the pleasure of eating french fries fried in tallow?nov 2017 006

First of all, what is tallow?

Tallow is rendered beef fat.

What does it mean to render beef fat?

It it the simple process of melting down the fat.

Since our recent butchering events (see here), we have lots of beef fat lying around.

If you don’t preserve the fat somehow, it will go rancid in a short period of time.

It so happens that tallow is very useful. You can make candles with tallow, tallow is great for making soaps and tallow can also be used in the kitchen. Our feathered friends, wild and domesticated, also appreciate a chunk of tallow so now and then.

Because tallow remains stable at high temperatures it is great for frying foods. Tallow makes amazing french fries and…. can’t believe I’m admitting this, donuts. Yes! Greasy donuts! More on that some other time.

Furthermore, the fat from healthy, pasture raised animals contains some vitamin D which is something all Northerners can use a little extra of during the winter months. Tallow is a healthy fat, a great alternative to the more popular, but not so healthy vegetable and canola oils. Tallow fat is similar to fat and muscle in the human heart. Recent studies show that humans need quite a bit of these healthy fats to keep the heart pumping on strongly. Tallow from grass fed cattle is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which helps prevent and/or spread cancer. Tallow is high in vitamins and minerals….what’s not to like?

The best (but not the only) beef fat to work with is the fat that lies next to the kidneys, it is quite hard and often has a thin layer of cellophane-like substance over it which you do not need to remove, the rendering process will deal with it.

Having located this particular fat on butchering day, we set it aside for rendering into tallow.

nov 2017 009

You can cube the fat into one inch size pieces, or if you prefer, quickly run the fat through the meat grinder, you’ll end up with smaller pieces of fat which render into tallow a lot faster than cubes will. Some people have success using their food processor to blend a piece of fat into crumbles…I did not. Maybe there was just too much fat to deal with, or maybe my old food processor wasn’t up for the job.

Farmer Hick was busy running meat through the grinder, so I just cut the fat into cubes using a good, sharp knife and into the pot it all went.nov 2017 008

To render tallow you need a big, heavy-duty stock pot like this one.nov 2017 025

If you’re only doing a small batch a crock pot works great. However, the quantities I was working with required a huge pot…I still ended up doing 3 batches.

It took a while for the fat to render into tallow because this needs to be done over low-medium temperature, you do not want the fat to burn onto the bottom of the pot.nov 2017 010

It took all day…and most of the night. Nope, I didn’t stay up with it, just added some logs to the wood stove and let the pot simmer away while I slept.

In the morning it was finally ready! Beautiful, golden tallow and pieces of crackling floating on top. You can eat the cracklings if you want to, but they’re much too rich for me. Our dog cannot handle them either, so we got rid of the cracklings and bottled the tallow through a cloth right into mason jars, just about 14 liters/quarts. That’ll last us a while.

nov 2017 024

It appears that Dexter cows have yellow fat, just like Jersey cows do. Hence the tallow didn’t turn white like I expected it to. This could be due to a number of reasons, old cow, mixing some other fat in with the kidney fat (there was SO much fat on that cow), grass-fed cow, or who knows what. All I know is that the tallow in my jars didn’t turn white as expected. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

This doesn’t mean the tallow is bad, not at all!

We fried some french fries that night, with our beautiful, homegrown potatoes, fried in that golden tallow… they were delicious.nov 2017 004

Truly, homegrown, home processed, self-sufficient, simple, yummy food.

The best place to store the tallow is in a cool, dark place where it should last for a year or more, a root cellar would be perfect.

nov 2017 008

solidified tallow, stored in the cellar

Of course you could freeze the tallow as well and I may do that once our freezers are not so full with meat. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Homestead Butcher Shop

It’s been a busy week here on the homestead.firewood 019

I wasn’t sure at first whether I should post about butchering, it might turn some people off….

Yet it’s part of homesteading and self-sufficient living, so I’ve decided to keep things real and I will share a bit about it over the next few days.

After the initial butchering, it’s best to leave a carcass hang for a week to 10 days, less in warmer weather, longer if the weather stays cool. We had the carcass hanging, wrapped in a tarp, off the boom on our tractor, which worked extremely well, but unfortunately I forgot (or didn’t really want to) snap a picture of this.

The weather cooperated beautifully for us this last week with temperatures between 0-5 degrees Celsius. Perfect butchering weather.

Yesterday it was time to deal with the carcass. With both boys at home we had enough help and when The Writer saw the boys at work, she donned her work gloves and joined them, happily even.

First the manageable pieces of meat were brought inside onto the make-shift table that Farmer Hick had set up in the shop. Then the meat was cut and sorted. There was a bin for the fat, a container for roasts, a bowl with chunks of meat for the grinder, and a waste bin.nov 2017 022

The guys kept cutting and sorting, Farmer Hick fed the meat grinder,nov 2017 018

a heavy-duty piece of equipment that he had attached to a motor.

Once he had a nice big, bowl full of ground beef, I brought it into the house and started weighing, wrapping and packaging.nov 2017 013

I enjoyed weighing, wrapping and labeling the meat. It was strangely satisfying.nov 2017 015

I prefer one pound packages of ground beef, so I weighed out the meat, wrapped it in butchering paper, secured it with an elastic band and labeled each package. Ready for the freezer.nov 2017 016

I made quite a few trips to the freezer with boxes full of wrapped meat; ground beef, stew beef and roasts. We decided not to bother with steaks since the meat was very mature compared to average butchering age. However, we do have friends who maintain that grass-fed beef is great no matter what age.

After dealing with one half of the meat I thought the freezers were full.

Next morning with all the packaged meat nicely frozen I was able to rearrange the freezers better and found more available space, enough for another quarter, so the guys (and girl) went back at it. The last quarter, plus our portion of ribs, which we don’t care for, went to some of our friends who are used to dealing with meat.

Our teenagers were of tremendous help during this task, I’m down-right proud of them. They dealt with all that meat under Farmer Hick’s supervision. It was very good for them to see what goes into a pound of meat, fresh from the field to their plate.

I’m grateful the job is done, and thankful for freezers loaded with good, organic, grass-fed beef.

We all look forward to some wonderful meals.

Healing Salve

Every summer, when the herbs are fresh and full of healing properties I make infused oils,

Sept 2016 044lavender, comfrey, plantain, calendula, Saint John’s Wort (SJW), arnica, etc.

I remember doing a few posts on how to make the oils here, here and here.

Once the oils are made, I usually stick them in the pantry and forget about them until I need to make a new batch of healing salve.herbs 007

Today was that day.

There must be as many recipes for healing salve as there are herbalists. It seems each herbalist has his/her own special blend. Over the years I’ve developed my own combination of healing blends as well.

The oils in this healing salve are especially good for little wounds, such as blisters, rashes, bruises, burns, scrapes, bug bites, etc. It’s great to have this salve on hand if you have young ones, but can be used and is good for people of any age.

If you need salves that are geared more towards pain management you’ll need to use a combination of different herbs such as, but not limited to, cayenne, black pepper, kava-kava, ginseng, saint john’s wort, willow bark, turmeric and valerian root plus some essential oils, especially wintergreen.

But today we’re making healing salve.herbs 001

The oils that I used for the healing salve were arnica, calendula, comfrey, plantain and SJW and I measured out roughly two tablespoons of each.herbs 002

Arnica is good for bruises, chapped lips, muscle pain, insects bites and more, (do notย use on large open wounds).

Calendula is good for skin dryness, chapping, soothes skin irritations, reduces pain, it is an anti-inflammatory as well.

Plantain helps reduce swelling and rashes, helps heal cuts, may be used for insect and snake bites.

Comfrey is good for healing sprains and broken bones, speedy wound healing, prevents and heals scars, prevents skin dryness, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory.

SJW is excellent for treating burns (including sunburns) and nerve pain, it also protects and soothes the skin.

These are just the external benefits, many of these herbs can also be taken internally to treat different issues.

Pour the oils into a small saucepan and to these oils add 2 tablespoons of beeswax. The beeswax firms up the oil so it can be rubbed into the skin, but it also contains its own healing properties, it forms a protective barrier and holds in moisture thereby preventing dryness. The broken up pieces of beeswax shown above came from our own hives.

It doesn’t take much heat to melt the beeswax and you can remove the small saucepan from the heat before the last bit of wax has melted. The beeswax will continue to dissolve.

herbs 004

To the oil and melted beeswax add 20 drops of lavender oil, which helps with cell regeneration, and 20 drops each of rosemary and myrrh tincture. Normally I prefer to use the essential oil of these herbs, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Lavender helps with wounds, cuts, burns and sunburns, may help with acne and wrinkles.

Rosemary contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, adding it to a skin healing salve makes sense to me.

Myrrh is full of antioxidant properties making it great for skin rejuvenation and healing.

As I’m writing this post I realize I forgot to add a little tea tree oil. The smell of this oil is very strong, sometimes a little harsh. I do leave it out at times but admit that tea tree oil has amazing healing properties. Hopefully I’ll remember to add it to my next batch. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have your little salve jars ready.herbs 003

Carefully pour the oil/beeswax solution in your jars, this needs a steady hand and preferably a little pan with a good spout for pouring.

The jars are filled.herbs 005

In a very short time the salve will set.herbs 006

If you have a color printer, it’s nice to label the jars with a pretty label or you can choose to just write the details and contents of each jar on a label. When you are preparing a large quantity of jars you’d appreciate the help of a printer. Listing the contents of each jar is especially important when sharing the healing salve with other, they’ll want to know what’s in the salve.

To use the salve, rub a generous amount into the skin as often as needed.

If you live in my neck of the woods, feel free to pick up a sample of healing salve.