Saturday, 6 June 2015

Recipe for 4 Thieves Vinegar

I haven’t had coffee all week, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I have to say, I think it actually helped settle my stomach. I didn’t go all out cold turkey however, as I still had a daily cup of tea, thus avoiding the headaches commonly associated with caffeine withdrawal.

But it is the weekend, the sun is shining and I’m feeling a little French, so a petit café (little coffee) is keeping me company as I type. Oh yes, it’s great to be good; but God it’s good to be bad.

To fulfil my yearning for a little piece of France this morning I have been looking at two of my major girl crushes online - Inès de la Fressange, who I discovered in the 1980’s, whilst she was Karl Lagerfield’s muse for Chanel. Now in her 50’s, still gorgeous with a seemingly effortless chic she has a newsletter - La Lettre d’Inès.

Inès de la Fressange from her newsletter

Inès de la Fressange

The other is the illustrator and style blogger Garance Dore. Here is a picture of Garance with newly cropped hair wearing a dress at Cannes 2015.

Garance Dore

I love Garance Dore’s stylish illustrations.

Illustration © Garance Dore

One of the products Inès mentions in her newsletter is Vinaigre des 4 Voleurs

The name intrigued me so I did a little research and discovered this herbal tincture supposedly kept alive 4 thieves who robbed graves during the Great Plague of Marseille in 1720. Legend has it that under threat of death they divulged their life-saving secret, which was a herbal infusion. 

There are several different recipes online, I have badly translated one below. 

It can be used as an antiseptic aftershave, to treat dandruff even taken diluted as a health tonic for all varieties of ailment from acid reflux to general sickness.

La fameuse recette du Vinaigre des 4 Voleurs  
The famous recipe for 4 Thieves Vinegar

Dans 1 litre de vinaigre de cidre mettez ces plantes séchées: 
Add these dried herbs to 1 litre of cider vinegar.

20 g de romarin (20g rosemary)
20 g de lavande (20g lavender)
20 g de sauge (20g sage)
20 g d’absinthe (20g artemisia absinthium - wormwood)
20 g de rue (20g common rue - ruta graveolens)
20 g de thym (20g thyme)
20 g de menthe (20g mint)
3 g de muscade en poudre (3g powdered nutmeg)
30 clous de girofles ou 3g de poudre de girofles (30 cloves)
3 g de cannelle en poudre (3g ground cinnamon)
3 gousses d’ail (3 garlic cloves)
5 g de camphre (5g camphor - Cinnamomum Camphora)

Vous laissez macérer pendant 10 à 15 jours, puis vous filtrez et vous mettez en bouteilles.  La conservation doit se faire au frais et à l’abri de la lumière.

Leave to macerate for 10 to 15 days then sieve into bottles and keep in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight. 

I might try it, although apparently it tastes and smells abhorrent! And I may attempt to plant up a 4 thieves herb bed at my new allotment.

Herb Garden at Pantry Garden Herbs

Other nonsense

Quote of the day

‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

“Philately will get you everywhere”

“It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. 
It’s the hope I can’t deal with”

“Each new friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

‘Come on Dover move your bloomin’ arse’.
Eliza Doolittle