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Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to roam around and learn a bit more about Portuguese History. To find your interests, please, have a look at the right side of the page, where you can find all the posts arrenged into labels, such as "Society", "Politics", etc. Enjoy!

HOW TO....

STARCH WITH EGG WHITES

This is what I found out today and successfully tried out, knowing that in the "old days" people would starch clothing with egg whites.
I have this felt hat I bought in Poland last year to wear during my Middle Ages re-enacting. But now that I started a 2nd time period, the hat is much more usefull to me in the Peninsula Wars. There's only 1 glitch: the felt hat isn't stiff and it hangs from my head like it's supposed to, in the Middle Ages of course, but not very practicall in a war re-enactment scenary.
Tried to starch it with the modern spray variety and what a load of cow menure!
So, to chare with all of you my experiment gone "awsomlly" well (it doesn't leave a white trace!), here's the recipe:

-1 egg white
- about the same amount of boiling water

Mix the boiling water with the egg white very carefully so it doesn't curdle.
Try to avoid the egg white to foam (you're not making pavlova!).
Let it cool to room temperature and pass it through a sieve before putting the mix in one of those spray containers (clean one, pelase!).
Spray the mix on the cloth you want to starch and iron it over.
Leave the fabric to dry in a shady and airy place.


My hat will take me 2 days to completly starch, with the whole drying period I mentioned above.
Let me know if you get the same results!


Make smelling salts – in a new world order after 9/11

In my pursuit to know what smelling salts are made of and possibly to buy them on-line I soon found out that they're made out of ammonia. Yeah... That's why you cannot order them on-line...
There are recipes which use essential oils and use other ingredients that are difficult to get nowadays and make you look like a terrorist.

What I want is that pungent effect that wakes up a half-dead that classical smelling salts have and, after that initial research's result, something that I could make at home with local ingredients. So, keeping my thoughts simple and logical I came up with this concoction:

Fill one little flask with salt (the grainier type) and cider vinegar (it is the strongest vinegar we have in Europe). Close it tightly and you'll have something just as good as ammonia smelling salts. You can top the vinegar or the salt continually or just wash the flask and start fresh if the effect of the vinegar wear off.

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