Monday, April 1, 2013

Change of plans with the cottonwood leaf buds in oil

After heating up my cottonwood leaf buds in my undersized crock pot yesterday for 20 minutes and today for 15, I decided to further accelerate the process.

First, I took my potato masher and mashed, but I couldn't tell any difference. Maybe the buds slipped through the squares in my masher.

Next, I took a slotted spoon, got out the buds in spoonsful, and chopped them.

Maybe I'm being too aggressive, I don't know, but maceration is a time-honored part of tincturing. I had also read that you can use a food processor on "big batches," and declined to get this stuff in my food processor. I have a feeling it would be a challenge to clean up. You can see my processor, my favorite mini-chef knife. (Easy to clean.)

The Devil Queen (my cat) was requiring attention at this time, which was good, coz these buds are not soft, easy-to-whack nubbins, like say, green beans. They require some attention. Also they are covered in oil, which makes them a little ... slippery.

Everything in the crock pot still smells like "green" and olive oil at this point, and I read that there's a wonderful "cottonwood" smell you get after awhile, so the crock sits in the sun until tomorrow's warming episode.

Also it seems like the olive oil is soaking into the buds, because each day I need to add a bit more to make sure the buds are covered in oil. I may use the whole 500 ml bottle.


raptorrunner said...

BTW, that smug comment on "easy cleanup?" I will never say that again anywhere near a cottonwood leaf bud, LOL. One word: resin! We are after the wonders of the cottonwood leaf bud resin, but it is some STICKY STUFF! -- And who would willingly put these resinous cuties into a food processor??? I'm so lucky I didn't think that was a good idea! Hahahaha!

pamit said...

Happy to have found your blog, especially when I read that the goat lady was your favorite character in Cold Mountain. (I couldn't even watch the movie because I felt it would spoil my idea/image of her!)

I'm in the foothills of the Rockies - plenty of cottonwoods around the streams here. I've noticed that the related balsam poplar (or narrow-leaf cottonwood) has the most stunning buds - very hops-y smelling. I plan to try your recipe with those. I was wondering if, as spring proceeds, the cuticle on the buds would soften up, making the concoction easier to happen without manual maceration. Hmm...

raptorrunner said...

Hi Pamit! I figured I was all alone liking the goat lady!

I have heard about the great aroma of cottonwood buds, but ours seem to have a very very delicate scent, if any. Maybe its a species thing, and not just my nose ???

I'm sure the cuticle will soften, but I'm thinking you don't want emerging leaves. Watch for the goo/resin seeping out in an amber "bead."

I'm macerating because I want a fast salve. I'm sure a slow salve would not require mutilation ... I mean maceration.

Happy foraging!!!