I spent an sunny spring hour picking buds and two hands off hours letting it get melty over a double boiler. The original recipe came from this book
which I HIGHLY recommend for anyone in the Pacific Northwest. It's packed full of amazing recipes, foraging tips and hand drawn plant parts that really show the difference in plants. Okay it also has photos too. I've yet to find a plant that wasn't in the book, believe me I tried!
Cottonwood Bud Balm
1 cup of lard
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of beeswax
fabric to strain through
jars or tins to hold your balm
pick the cottonwood buds--make sure you either pick your own or get permission to pick your neighbors, try not to pick every bud from a branch this will hurt the tree--yeah I know they are just cottonwood trees but it's good practice when foraging, use it always and you'll never kill something by over picking it
put them in the top of the double boiler, I used a pyrex bowl over a pan of boiling water, along with the lard, the oil and the beeswax
melt everything together, reduce heat, cover and let infuse for at least 2 hours
strain through a piece of muslin or a couple layers of cheese cloth
then pour into tins or jars
|strained and tinned|
The smell of this balm is heavenly, it smells of fresh air, spring and earth energy. It feels alive and we love it. I'm glad to have a use for those silly sticky little buds that annoy so many folks. It really helps bring the outdoors in and even extend that spring feeling right on into summer.
Peace and Love--