December 16, 2008

Non-Food Gifts
From Your
Christmas Kitchen

I really thought I'd get back to you before now... but then, it IS the holiday season! Aside from all the goodies that may come from your kitchen at this time of the year, there are many non-food gifts that you can make too. Let's start with a few kitchen cosmetics that you can make.

The base ingredients used in so, so many of today's high-end HABAs have been around for years, are readily available, and generally are very inexpensive. Take bath salts for example. Usually based on Epsom salts that you can buy very inexpensively at any drugstore or Wal-Mart, fancy bath additives can be made elegant, therapeutic or even just fun at very little cost.

A wonderful basic "recipe" calls for ingredients you're bound to have on hand. You can use the cologne called for or a drop or two of any essential oil you'd like. Essential oils which are, well, really essential, for making soaps and so many other beauty preparations, are available at natural food stores (for your best selection) and often also at drugstores, or even some grocery stores.

Refreshing Salt-Starch-Salt Bath Soother
1/2 c Epsom salts
1/2 c cornstarch (remember this has always been used as a soothing baby powder)
1/4 c table salt
few drops scent

This is enough for one bath. To use, sprinkle under running bath water, swirling to dissolve and spread, or mix well and put in jar or bottle, label with directions for use.
NOW, to make really special gifts, make a large batch of the base salts and starch, then add different scents to each of a half dozen jars. For example, a whiff of pepperment can be quite invigorating while a few drops of rosemary, lavendar, or rose oils will yield a totally different product.
While this is a good start, for a really excellent aromatherapy bath salts recipe, visit the Annisquam Herb Farm at
This is a site worth bookmarking as Suzanne always has interesting info...check out her recent ginger cookie recipe too!

For an old-fashioned skin softener and mositurizer, you can't beat rosewater and glycerine.
This has been around for generations and still works very, very well. I'm going to give you two recipes either of which is lovely.

Rosewater and Glycerine Skin Care
1 c rosewater
6 TBSP glycerine
3 Tbsp witch hazel


1/2 c rosewater
1/2 c glycerine
1/4 tsp borax

Mix and bottle in fancy containers. The rosewater is usually available at drug and healthfood stores, but if you can't find it, just add a few drops of rose oil to distilled water.

Another of my easy favorites is a bubbling bath oil made with the least expensive baby oil and baby shampoo you can find. Little kids love to make this for their friends, especially using some of the neon food coloring and maybe some bubblegum scent!

Bubbling Bath Oil

1/2 c liquid baby shampoo
2 TBSP baby oil

Mix, scent or color as you'd like. Add 2 Tbsp to running bath water. To give, put in an old shampoo or squeeze bottle and label including use directions.

Wow, I was going to include so many more recipes here, but time is getting so short. I'll come back to this general idea again, and since I absoluely love fancy soapmaking, I'll plan to do a series on that next year too.
I'll see you next year when we'll start 2009 with some birdseed cake recipes.

I wish you, each and all, a very peaceful holiday season and a New Year full of promise.


1 comment:

Herb Farm said...

Mary, an answer to why my anticipated fruit preserves become syrup, how to make my own pectin, use my less-than-perfect apples for more than compost material, save money and have wonderful fruit jam! Yea!