How to distill BorrageWater

This is a post about what happens when you leave your A&S project at home on the counter, but you have borrage petals and a hotel room with a stove.

Artifacts of a Life was an event where contestants were judge by a body of work in a given area and persona.  My persona is that of a 16th century grocer/confectioner. My entry was breadth of knowledge across this discipline. One recipe called for borrage water to be added at time of service to help with stomach issues. Since it was added later and not at the time of crafting, I had it on the counter ready to pack up to take on the road trip to the event. I packed the dried borrage flowers so people could see the raw ingredients.

When I got to the hotel that night, I realized I left the water at home. The hotel had pots, pans, and a stove in the room. I had borrage flowers and distilled water.  So… the night before the event, I distilled borrage water, like you do when you forget things at home.

My water ended up less than water colored. My pan was not deep enough for the bowl I had placed as a condensation vessel. So there was a little bit of borrage tea water that got into the distillation as I removed the bowl.  This gave it a beautiful faint purple color and a slightly stronger borrage flavor. The hotel did not have ice and I didn’t think to bring any. This meant I needed to do the condensation portion without the addition of an external cooling agent. Turns out, that it’s not really needed. As long as I kept the heat low and the water at a constant rate in the pan, I got condensation in my collection bowl. It took twice as long, but it did work.

This is something I would not have discovered without my forgetting the original water at home. I was able to make new water, learned some new science, and people at the event were able to try the citrus syrup as it was written in Mrs Corlyon’s book.

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