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Dreaming on my pillow March 6, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 12:09 am

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

Dream pillows were once called comfort pillows because of their use with the sick. Relaxing herbs, like lavender and chamomile, also helped crying babies get to sleep. The shamans of old believed dream pillows carried messages from the gods. These days, you can make a dream pillow for yourself or others and help everyone sleep and dream like a baby. Sunday I’m joining some friends to make myself a dream pillow. Sunday night I’ll be dreaming nicely.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Needle and thread
  • Your choice of fabric
  • Mesh bag to hold your herbs and a string to close the bag
  • Herbs and flowers; try a mix of 1 part dried chamomile, 1 part dried lavender
  • 5 to 7 drops essential oil. Some good choices include sandalwood, jasmine and geranium
  • 2 tsp. orris root to retain the wonderful scent
  • Pillow stuffing
  • Velcro

Choose your fabric and cut it into two pieces about 6″ by 11″. One will be the top of your pillow, the other will be the bottom. Silk is a great fabric choice. Although other fabric is fine, silk is cool and soft and works nicely in case you wish to place your dream pillow on your forehead to help banish a  headache.

Sew the two pieces together so the wrong side is on the outside. Stitch three sides of the fabric together. Turn it inside out so the right side is on the outside.

Fill a mesh bag with your choice of herbs and flowers. Add some fragrance oil and orris root, a member of the iris family and a perfect fixative in dream pillows. Tie the bag with some string.

Slide the herb-filled bag inside your pillow and pack a bit of pillow stuffing around the bag. Don’t over stuff because the herbs will need room to release their magical scents.

I think I’ll bring the gals some fluffy cloud-like cookies because we’ll be dreamin’….

Meringue Cookies Recipe:

3 large egg whites (3 ounces or 90 grams)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Meringue Cookies are airy, sweet and crisp that seem to almost melt in your mouth. I love how the outsides of the meringues are nice and crisp, yet the insides remain wonderfully soft and puffy, almost like mini-Pavlovas. While I often eat these just as they are, they also make a very nice plated dessert that you can top with whipped cream, ice cream, sorbet, and/or fresh fruit.

Meringue Cookies are made with just two main ingredients: stiffly beaten egg whites and superfine (caster) sugar. To ensure the egg whites reach maximum volume, have your mixing bowl and beaters clean and free of grease. It is easier to separate your eggs while they are cold. Once separated, cover the egg whites and let them come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes). Cover and refrigerate the egg yolks for another use. Superfine sugar makes the best meringues as it dissolves easier in the whites. To make your own, take 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar and process in your food processor until very fine.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making meringue cookies. The standard ratio when making hard meringues is 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated white sugar for every egg white. This amount of sugar is needed to give the meringue its crispness. Adding the sugar gradually to the egg whites ensures that the sugar completely dissolves and does not produce a gritty meringue. Cream of tartar is used in the whipping of egg whites to stabilize them and allows them to reach maximum volume. Also, it is a good idea to use parchment paper or aluminum foil to line your baking sheets, not wax paper, as the meringue will sometimes stick to wax paper.

Baking the meringues in a slow oven allows for gradual evaporation of the moisture from the meringues.  If the oven temperature is too high, the outside of the meringue will dry and set too quickly. You will also notice that the outside of the meringue separates from the inside. Another indicator that your oven is too high is when the meringue starts to brown which causes the sugar to caramelize. If this happens, lower the temperature about 25 degrees F. If you decide to make meringues on a rainy or humid day, you will probably have to bake the meringues longer (could be up to 30 minutes more) than on a dry day. Lastly, to prevent cracking of the meringues, do not open the oven door during the first half of the baking tim

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!