1/4 teaspoon borax
1/4 cup distilled water
1/2 cup mineral oil, or another oil that is liquid at room temperature (Almond is nice)
1/2 ounce (by weight) grated beeswax**(see below)
"Dissolve the borax in the water in a (one cup) glass measuring cup. Set aside. [Women who want a fragrant cream say that they add something nice to the water and borax at this point. A fruit infused tea bag, for example. Or, they simply use rose water.]
"Dump together the oil and beeswax in a larger (2-cup) glass measuring cup.
"Heat the oil/beeswax mix in a microwave until the beeswax is melted in and the mixture is clear.
"Heat the borax/water mix in a microwave for a minute - almost to boiling.
"Slowly pour the borax/water mixture into the oil/beeswax mixture, using a stick blender [immersion blender] to mix as you pour. Now beat well with the stick blender until the mix is glossy white and thickened up some. [Again, women looking for fragrance can add a few drops of an essential oil here. Rose is traditional but hugely expensive.]
"Pour the (hot) cold cream into an 8-ounce jar with a lid.
"Let it cool to room temperature.
"NOTE: If you don't have a stick blender you can beat the cold cream with a whisk or in a regular blender, but the cleanup will be much more difficult. By using glass measuring cups and a stick blender you will be able to simply wipe most of the excess off with paper towels, then wash in hot soapy water. Cleaning plastic measuring cups, and a whisk or (worse yet) a blender of this wax-containing product is difficult and a pain in the neck."
James Boswell once fretted to Samuel Johnson about whether or not he should think of wasting his time reading or writing on some small topic he had in mind. Johnson said, "there can be nothing too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we have as little misery and as much happiness as possible."
I hope that is true, because amid all the awful and serious news in the world, I do have a small subject that frets and interests me. Everyone must promise not to laugh, or be disgusted.
Wonderful Pond's cold cream has lost its wonderful old scent, and now smells like just nothing at all. Chemicals, perhaps, or some kind of locker-room hygienic cream.
Really. That's what is on my mind, as all the micro-blogging platforms ask. What have they done to it? It used to have a fragrance that, now, I'm afraid I can't remember well enough to describe. It was very fresh, flowery but not fussy, a little powdery, fruity but not in the typical melon-and-cucumber style that any cosmetics company can do well and then call pear or kiwi anyway. It was unique.
And now it's gone. I'm sure they have changed the formula, because ever since I noticed the loss well over a year ago, I have continued to buy the product in small sizes and large, in grocery stores and drugstores, reasoning that perhaps that store got a bad shipment, or this one's supply is old and faded. Alas, each jar is now the same. Even my family agree, when I thrust the jar under their noses and demand their opinion that I'm not crazy, that classic Pond's doesn't smell as strong as it once did. The problem has to lie in the factory, and in the decisions made by the nice chemists there. It's become scentless and dull, and even the creamy feel of the stuff is different. I used to be able to catch up a dollop of it on a fingertip, and it sat there white, cool, plump, and perfect, crowned with a little gay curl on top. Now it is thin, greasy, and tacky. I plunge my fingertip into the jar and I pull away nothing. I have to dig into it with some fierceness, and do my best with a clump instead of a dollop.
To prepare asparagus, bend the stalks head to stem; the stem will break at exactly the place where the fibers stop being edible. Peel -- this is a must or you will lose half the delicacy of the vegetable -- with a potato peeler or a parer from the blossom end down, starting just under the close crop of leaves. Assemble the stalks in bundles of small, medium, or large asparagus.So the disappointing photographs betray the cooks' ignorance or disregard of Madeleine's rules by repeatedly showing us (1) long, long, unsnapped spears, all (2) fully green with not a peeled, fresh and delicate white surface in sight. Perhaps it's understandable considering A. officinalis' expense. Perhaps even people who might know her instructions balk at the seeming wastefulness they imply. But what of the wastefulness of tough, strong, often crisply undercooked, therefore uneaten or certainly not much enjoyed asparagus?