The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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on, and the gauze beneath it, is then turned upside down, and the bottom being removed, the flowers to be operated upon are carefully placed on the gauze, and the sand gently poured in, so as to cover the flowers entirely, the leaves prevented from touching each other. The vessel is then put into a hot place, such for instance, as the top of a baker's oven, when it is left for 18 hours. The flowers thus be­come dried, and they retain their natural colors. The vessel still re­maining bottom upwards. The lid is taken off and the sand runs away through the gauze, leaving the flowers uninjured.
Method of Extracting Essences from Flowers.—Petals of any flowers which have an agreeable fragrance, take thin layers of cotton batting, which dip into the finest florence or succo oil. Sprinkle a small quantity of fine salt on the flowers, lay them on a layer of cot­ton and a layer of flowers, until an earthern vessel or a wide mouth­ed glass vessel is full. Tie the top close or tie with a ground glass stopper, then lay the vessels in a south aspect to the heat of the sun, and in fifteen days when uncovered, a fragrant oil may be squeezed out of the whole mass, little inferior (if that flower is made use of)to the dear and much valued otto or attar of roses. The flowers should be removed and others added and continue to repeat the process until sufficiently strong.
Color Arrangements.—A few simple rules in the arrangement of flower beds, will materially enhance the effect produced. Among these are: rat. Avoid rose-colored next to scarlet, orange, or violet. 2d. Do not place orange next to yellow, or blue next to violet. 3d. White relieves any color, but do not place it next to yellow. 4th. Orange goes well with blue, yellow with violet. 5th. Rose color and purple always go well together.
How to press Flowers.—Lay the flowers carefully on a thin sheet-of cotton batting, then cover them over with another sheet of batting;, then put them under a slight pressure, being careful not to rumple them. But if the flowers are thick and contain a good deal of moisture, change the cotton batting the next day; lay the flowers smoothly and carefully, after which let them remain until dry. In pressing nearly all the small flowers, the cotton need not be changed, nor even opened, until the flowers are preserved.
Extracts of Vanilla.—Vanilla beans, (cut longitudinal or bruis­ed), 4 ounces; alcohol, 72 degrees, 2 pints. Let it stand 10 days.
Extract Tonquin.—Tonquin beans, bruised, 1 pound, alcohol 2 pints.
Extract Benzoin.—Gum benzoin, 4 oz.; alcohol 2 pints.
Extract of Musk.—If you can, purchase 4 ounces musk bags