Party in the Pantry
We were delighted to welcome 15 intrepid creatrix, to our Dangarsleigh herb garden last Saturday evening for our inaugural Party in the Pantry. It was a Herbalist's Show'n'tell if you like, with live cream making (what could possibly go wrong!); a 'guess-the-hydrosol' quiz to test the senses; foot and hand spas if desired and of course yummy finger food and bubbles!
We were blessed with a lovely warm evening, and an attentive and curious audience, each bringing their own interests and personality to the proceedings. Jenny Davis joined us from Sydney where she looks after our clients there.
We think that people learn best when they're well fed (thanks to Julia Mackerras & her beau Shayan), able to laugh and join in - so that's what we did handing out the bubbles and then sending each lady off to gather their ONE sprig for the pot and to have everyone return too before sundown without having to get the German Shepherds out. (Hint: keep the wine at the 'posy results' end!)
I've discussed the ingredients chosen in Party Posy and it was fun taking this direction and making a cream live so to speak AND the end result was - well done ladies - a REALLY LOVELY cream, of which all should be justly proud. Have to admit I was a little surprised as creams can be tricky sometimes, some ingredients- like married couples (!)- were never meant to be together, but not this one, it worked beautifully. This result also reflected the gracious harmony of the group. Never underestimate the power of group energy on results.
We also did a 'sniff' test quiz with 10 'secret' hydrosols which proved harder to identify than might have been anticipated, but offered a good insight into the complexity of herbal extractions versus the fresh, dried and even alcohol-extracted samples. Of course scents vary with not only the cultivar of a certain plant, but how and where it is grown, kept and watered. For example, we rejected many different lavenders before settling on our favourite oil variety, in this case from NZ. We have also noticed how our hydrosols (water based distillates) change with the seasons and years, they're really never the same twice.
After discussing the differences between creams and ointments and balms and what might be used where and when, the audience was still game enough to ask questions and decorate their own cream label, because marketing matters these days. It is amazing what a label can do as a finishing touch, although of course the cream hasn't changed. Yet, this is the world we live in today.
We would like to thank everyone who came along and joined in. We loved that you did and made it very special for us.
In one of our 'thank-you' notes, one lady said 'the trick [with experience] is to make it look simple'....but even after over 540 production batches, we still had our fingers crossed!