Halfway through July already! Before we know it it will be Autumn and I will have you demented digging out your Christmas Planners and hassling you to get organized with the Christmas Countdown before the madness of the festive season descends. But until then there is still so much Summer left, so many days filled with the chaos of kids and holidays and unadulterated joy of the kind we are all obliged to have when the sun is shining…

So let me fill your heart with Summery gladness with a few scrumptious Puttery Treats from the 31 I sent out last month on the Puttery Post…

My favorites from June?

Brocante Hungary Water

The original recipe for perfume was thought to have been scribed by Queen Elizabeth of Hungary back in the 1300’s, and was in actual fact the charming result of allowing rosemary to seep in water for fifty hours.

While this does indeed make a tincture heady with the greenest of fragrance, it isn’t to most modern tastes and when combined as described often results in a murky brown product even us the most enthusiastic of vintage gals couldn’t be enticed to dab on our décolletage, and so Sweeties, I have taken the liberty of coming up with something a little lovelier, which I have found invaluable on hot days as a facial spritz, and which makes the most of the herbs we have begun drying in the past week or so..

Brocante Hungary Water

Ingredients.

Handful of dried rosemary
Handful of dried lavender
Peel of one orange
Peel of one lemon
3 tablespoons of dried mint leaves.
Vodka
Distilled Water

Method

Shred all the ingredients and put in a mason jar with enough vodka to cover. Screw on lid and allow to steep on a sunny windowsill for one week. Strain and pour on two parts water to one part of the remaining tincture after straining and mix well. Decant into something pretty and make yourself a label…

Can be used as a facial toner with cotton wool in the bathroom, or poured into a spray bottle and kept in the fridge to be used as a cooling, aromatic facial spritz you and kids will love on burny hot days.

Ah, the old fashioned joys of the still room…

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RoseWater Smoothies

A smoothie bursting with natural goodness is a truly scrumptious way to start the day isn’t it?

But all too often we go through a short-lived burst of juicy smoothie enthusiasm, and then pop the juicer in the back of the cupboard where it rots, destined to never see the light of day again because using it seems like the kind of effort we just can’t conjure up on even the most languid of August mornings…

But that’s about to change, because today Housekeepers I am going to insist that you drag the juicer or blender out of it’s culinary burial place and offer it a permanent home on the kitchen counter if only for the rest of the Summer.
Are you with me?

We are going to create a Smoothie Zone: a place where everything you need is available in one place to whip up the most delicious, nutritious morning juices.

Start by establishing a place for your juicer or blender to live and place it on a pretty tray big enough to hold everything you need.

First up, and perhaps most obviously we need a fruit bowl. A tiered cake stand is a good choice as it will allow you to use vertical space to display a wide variety of fruit of different shapes and sizes…

Next up, a collection of nutritious additions in small Kilner Jars with pretty labels:

*Flaxseed (buy in the health food store): for essential fatty acids.
*Lecithin Powder: for aiding the digestion of fats and increased brain power!
*Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds: for added crunch and texture.
*Wheatgrass Powder: to harness the inner cleansing properties of chlorophyll.
Oatmeal.

Now for some puttery juicy treats:

*A bottle of rosewater and a bottle of orange blossom water to add delicate fragrance to your juices.
*A pot of Fresh Mint.
*Fresh ginger and a tiny ginger grater.
*Dried nutmeg and cinnamon.
*Vanilla Essence

And finally a few practical additions to your zone.

A small chopping board
A selection of knives.
An orange squeezer.

My favorite Smoothie?

Strawberry Rose Juice.

Ingredients

Two handfuls of Strawberries
Half a banana
One apple
A long glug of rosewater
2 Tbsps. of oatmeal.
Lots of ice and a few leaves of mint to garnish

Put all ingredients in the blender and whizz. Add water to reach desired thickness and drink…

Truly scrumptious!

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The Garden Basket

Summer brings with it a huge amount of to-ing and fro-ing between the kitchen and the garden doesn’t it, with it usually falling to us to fetch and carry an extra fork, the salt cellar, or a towel to wipe up those inevitable spills!

Today I want to suggest a teeny little project that will perhaps save our legs over the course of the next two months of outdoor dining: a basket filled with everything we need, ready to grab and go for even the most impromptu of alfresco meals.
Creating a garden basket is quite the most wonderful excuse for really going to town with a riot of pattern and colour, for what looks outlandish inside often takes on a air of jolly elegance out, so begin by seeking a scrumptiously happy tea-towel with which to line your old-fashioned shopping basket.

Wrap napkins around individual sets of cutlery, add tablemats, coasters, a cruet set, olive oil and vinegar, plastic tumblers, stripy straws, citronella tea-lights, an oil-cloth tablecloth, a spray-bottle of surface cleaner, another tea-towel and a packet of wipes for messy eaters, and there you have it, everything you need for supper in the garden…

The trick here though is to keep the basket permanently stocked: when the tumblers and cutlery are washed don’t put them away: re-pack them in the basket. Wipe down the oilcloth and re-fold it and make a point of replacing the tea-towels each evening…

Is there anything lovelier than eating in the garden?

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Happy July Housekeepers!