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Monday, May 22, 2017

Renaissance Faire Lore


When visiting a renaissance faire, you usually see quite a number of folk wander into the herb shop. It's always a wonder to look around and see the assortment of items they carry.  Some such as amulets, talismans, potions, charms, and spells could be used as components, more often than not, used to draw love to the one purchasing the herbs. Drawing of money or success I'm sure is quite popular too.

As a little girl I learned to pull the petals from daisies ~ “he loves me, he loves me not.” Twisting an apple stem while reciting the alphabet tells the first letter of the future spouse’s name. On and on ~ so many ways to learn of that one true love. And let’s not forget leap years. According to tradition, women proposing to their chosen mates are not considered to be forward during this time.


Many wish to learn of their lover, draw someone back to them, or feel more secure in the relationship they already have. In a sense, all potions, charms, and spells are a means of visualization ~ helping a person to focus on that which they truly desire. Some people will do anything to find out their future love. Then there are those who feel you should give up completely, decide it would be a pain in the patootie and avoid it at all costs. It will then, undoubtedly, sneak up and take you by surprise.

Talismans are often made to bring love. An easy way to remember the talisman/amulet quandary is that talisman starts with a “t” as does “toward.” Amulet starts with an “a”, as does “away” ~ thus amulets keep things away. A very simple love talisman is made by stringing rose hips into a necklace and wearing it about the neck. A more precise talisman might go something like this: start with a square of cloth ~ red for love. 


After considering what characteristics would be desired, find herbs (and other objects) that will represent and correspond to those traits.  Someone down to earth? Add a pinch of patchouli. Spicy lover? Cayenne pepper. You get the idea. Traditionally, it would seem that rose petals are an absolute must have.

Now make a romantic beverage to add to the mood once you’ve found that special someone. This can also be made ahead in anticipation.

Nectar of Venus Cordial

The flowers give it a beautiful deep pink color 
and can be served with ginger ale and lime slices.

The following ingredients should be placed in a ½ gallon jar with a tight fitting lid that allows for shaking. Be sure to label and date the jar. Put out of sunlight while it sits for 1-6 weeks. Shake occasionally. All herbs and flowers are dry.
Ingredients
For alcohol:
1 fifth of good quality vodka
½ cup red rose petals
½ cup hibiscus flowers 
½ cup rose hips
½ cup spearmint 
¼ cup granulated orange peel
¼ cup cinnamon bark chips
For syrup:
1 cup Grand Marnier
4 cups simple syrup made from 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon either rose water or orange blossom water
Directions
  • After sitting for 1-6 weeks, this mixture is ready to decant. Strain through fine cheesecloth or muslin into a pitcher large enough to also hold the additional 5 cups of Grand Marnier and simple syrup.
  • Add syrup ingredients to the vodka mixture and blend well. Allow this to rest for a couple of weeks so that the flavors can become well acquainted.  
  • Pour into beautiful bottles, cork, label, and enjoy.
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