The still room book is a traditional component of the still rooms found in great houses of yesteryear.
Originating in the sixteenth century, the still room was a pharmacy, perfumery and preserving place where salves, lotions, essences, syrups, posies, sweets, balms, pomanders, creams, cleaning fluids and medicines were all cooked up safe away from the hustle, bustle and smells of the kitchen. Oh for the sheer luxury of a space dedicated to drying herbs, storing oils and creating sweet-scented fragrances…
In each still room there would be a still room book: a journal in which the “receipts” or “recipes” would be recorded for both reference and posterity and ultimately handed on to the next Mistress or housekeeper and it is this idea, my Sweet that I am suggesting we steal and make into a ritual of our own…
Yes, lets create our own Still Room Book – a place in which to note down all the recipes we procure for everything from our signature room scent to the ginger cough syrup we stir up for the children. We may not have the bliss of a dedicated space in the house nowadays, but that does not mean we cannot take the liberty of journaling what it is that keeps our home smelling sweet and our children healthy now does it?
In the Still Room Book we can record jam recipes and home-made perfumes, flavored vinegars, oils, aromatherapy blends and all those cleaning recipes we mix up monthly so our homes never have to be showcases for the lurid packaging of the toxic unguents found on the supermarket shelves.
And so today begin the search for your own pretty Still Room Journal.
Then make it a ritual to write down recipes you find or create as you go long. We are all so very used to noting down recipes, and this is merely its puttery, lovely equivalent.