Monday, March 12, 2012

More Than Just an Inkling...

I've taken you down the proverbial rabbit hole to the making of sealing wax, but what's a letter if it's not written in your own ink?? (Other than a wonderful thing that you should still most certainly send--hell, write in crayon, or in a series of Pictionary drawings, as long as you write!)

To make your own, very easy and simple Rosemary Ink, follow these directions:

1. Use enough herbs to cover the bottom of your pan.
2. Add enough water to cover the tops of the herbs.
3. Bring to a boil and let simmer until the water has reduced to a generous tablespoon.
4. Strain and you’re left with a pretty light brown ink.

It takes a while to boil the water down to the last "generous tablespoon," but it smells SO good while you wait. I recommend a spontaneous kitchen dance party to pass the time.

Once you've exhausted all of your best dance moves, pour the remaining liquid into a bowl, and press the boiled herbs through a strainer (to make sure you get as much out as possible). By the end, your rosemary should be nice and pulverized, and presto! Your very own, home grown (whether rhetorical or literal) ink!

Try to use a container that is small and secure (something from the no-splash-zone to avoid spills), like a baby food jar. I improvised (there's that word again) with an old jar of caramel dipping sauce that I cleaned out and re-purposed, and it worked wonderfully well. Your batch will only produce a small amount of ink, but it goes a seriously long way; and a small pot will minimize the air exposure between uses.

You can write many-a-letter in a whirlwind of excitement, or save it for a rainy, and snail-happy day. Given that the ink is made up of rosemary, I have noticed that it's somewhat perishable, so this ink will need to be used up in a timely fashion--and refrigerating the concoction would probably help. I'd estimate a few weeks per batch.

Happy mail, my darling snails!

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