Saturday, November 27, 2010

Modern Day Silk Road

As I pack an order that is shipping out to Switzerland I am thankful for the global opportunities the internet has provided small businesses like mine!

Thanks to that technological advance which brought mail order to a whole new level we have customers in over 65 countries; able to visit our shop on the world wide web any time of day or night from any place they have access to the internet.

And to think, this modern day Silk Road, providing access to endless bazaars of goods and services, can be explored and perused without even having to leave one's caravan serai! Truly amazing how over the millennium trading technologies have turned a big planet into a small world.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie Secret!

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon the things we are grateful for. When fortunate (or sometimes unfortunate ;) enough it is also a time to gather with family and friends.

I have many fond memories of childhood Thanksgivings in NYC, spent with my Italian Polish family. We would be cooking up a storm for days. My olfactory senses stir with fondness as I recall these things. I remember watching (and some years even going to) The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then Mighty Joe Young on channel 9 on a 21" tv, singing along with the Playworld commercials every sponsored break (Playworld, where prices goooo. .. so low low low low looooowwwwww).

Always one of my favorite foods was pumpkin pie. That classic squash custard in a flaky crust; so good for dessert, breakfast, lunch, a snack, so versatile! And my grandma's pumpkin pie was the best for a reason (aside from it being baked with love)! This was her secret to a pumpkin pie that stood out from the rest - separate your eggs, whip the whites and then fold them into the pumpkin mixture. Little did she know she was so adept at mastering the art of food chemistry! To her it was just good cooking.

Thank you Grandma! Your love, inspiration and spirit are always with me :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rosy Holidays Savings to Share

Dreaming of a White Rose Christmas? Want your Hanukkah to have Hydrosol? Craving confections for Kwanzaa with a kazanlik kick? ...

Well you are in luck because our HOLIDAY SPECIAL BEGINS TODAY! This is your last chance until the Summer 2011 distillation to obtain the precious aromatic jewel that is Certified Organic Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol in price saving sizes. Teamed up with FREE SHIPPING you can save a bundle and afford to share!

4 - 16 FL OZ Bottles (1/2 Gallon)
ONLY: $129.95

8 - 16 FL OZ Bottles (1 Gallon)
ONLY: $239.95

Please note that to expedite shipping all packages for this special have been prepacked. Any items ordered additionally will be shipped separately for a minor additional shipping charge.

*Free Domestic Shipping is available only for each single special offer hydrosol package purchased and shipped to a single address throughout all 50 US States, APO/FPO Boxes, Puerto Rico, Guam & the US Virgin Islands.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mass Market Here We Come

Coming soon to a store near you - ALOF and CZ Luxe are approved vendors at several shops. Wanna see our products in you local stores? JUST ASK!

In the spirit of giving back to the communities which helps us thrive, especially during the holidays, we have several upcoming events where a healthy % of sales proceeds will be donated to local charitable causes!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Art for Animals

S.A.V.E. animal rescue is holding its first ever art auction to raise much-needed funds for their non-profit, grassroots mission to save animals from harm and suffering.

ALOF and its CEO/Founder Christine Ziegler is proud to be one of more than a dozen fabulous artists who have donated their work!

If you are an artist who would like to donate a piece of work please contact them: or by phone 212-989-3456

This event will take place on December 3, 2010
7:00pm - 9:00pm at:
The Lerner Auditorium @ The LGBT Center
208 West 13th Street (Between 7th and 8th Ave)
New York, NY

Other contributing artists include: Kelly Haigh, Nina Friday, Ric Frane, Joanna Ebenstein, Lou (Art & Ghosts), Scott Cohn, Joel Peter Witkin, Mary Governalli-Garcia and many more!

So many animals need our help -- Please help us help them!

S.A.V.E Animal Rescue, is a non- profit, all volunteer run animal rescue. Our mission is to rescue homeless and abandoned animals.

We do not have a shelter facility. Rescued animals reside in veterinary offices, boarding facilities or foster homes until we are able to adopt them into the loving homes they need and deserve.

S.A.V.E additionally helps various communities by educating and advising people on proper animal care, assisting with spaying and neutering, and providing TNR services for feral cats.

We rely on the kindness and generosity of our supporters & animal lovers alike who open their hearts & homes through donation, fostering, sponsoring & adopting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Missing Web Site - We're Back! :)

ALOF experienced some world wide web related technical difficulties between 11/5 and 11/10. Due to that our site was unexpectedly down for the past several days.

All is well now in the shire and the elves are back at work making aromatic delights, enchanting the land and posting their wares for sale at: and

They also take pictures but the photography site is still a work in progress.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Aromatic Brined Turkey

Thanksgiving is one of our most cherished holidays. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, and celebrate the gracious bounty and blessings that have been bestowed upon us over the past year. It is also the time of year when many folks struggle to prepare a juicy turkey ;)

Brining a turkey is one of the best ways to give you a moist, tasty, tender, satisfying holiday bird. The turkey absorbs moisture and flavor in this overnight preparation process. It also cuts down on the amount of work while cooking as it does not require basting and the constant attention that an un-brined bird does.

It is important to pick a turkey that has not been injected with a “solution” or a Kosher Turkey (which already has been soaked and salted). A fresh turkey over a frozen turkey is generally preferred for flavor and is less likely to be “adulterated” in any way.

NOTE: You may also use this brining method for a goose


1 14 to 16 pound whole Turkey

Brine Mixture
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 drop orange essential oil
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 drop lemon essential oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 &1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups Kosher salt or coarse Celtic Sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
8 chopped garlic cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
½ tablespoon allspice berries
1 drop cumin essential oil
1 drop oregano essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Aromatics Mixture
1 apple, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf

Yield:10 to 12 servings

Directions for Turkey
1. Rinse the turkey under cold running water.
Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

2. To make the brining liquid, combine the brine mixture ingredients above
with 2 gallons of cold water in a large glass or stainless steel pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

3. Place the turkey in the pot with the brining liquid. Refrigerate at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. Turn the turkey periodically to ensure that the turkey is evenly marinated.

4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the brine and put it in a large, heavy roasting pan, on a rack, breast side up. Lightly rinse the turkey (to prevent it from being too salty). Pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.

5. Rub the turkey with vegetable oil (preferably a good quality olive oil).

6. Gently tuck the wings in under themselves to prevent burning
(this is preferable to trussing the bird, which will only prolong cooking time).

7. Microwave the apples, onion, cinnamon, bay leaf and water from the aromatic stuffing mixture on high for 4-5 minutes, or simmer on stove for 5 minutes. Lightly stuff bird with steeped aromatics mixture along with the rosemary and sage.* Add aromatic water to bottom of the roasting pan.

*This is not a traditional edible stuffing, it will be discarded after cooking (see stuffing note below).

8. Roast the turkey uncovered at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, cover the breast area with foil and roast until meat reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees F. on an instant-read meat thermometer (about 2-2&1/2 hours).

9. Remove from the oven and let stand in the roasting pan or on a serving platter for 20 minutes before carving.

*Stuffing Note:
If you are going to make a traditional accompaniment stuffing side dish, it is strongly recommended you cook it separately from the bird and not stuff it in the bird itself, especially if the bird is over 15 lbs. This is because a large bird like a turkey requires several hours to heat through to the center. A bread (or rice) stuffing provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

One way to solve this problem in birds under 15 lbs is by preheating the stuffing (a microwave is the easiest, quickest method) to 120 to 130 degrees. This gives the stuffing a head start on the cooking process so that the turkey does not overcook as it waits for the stuffing to reach the proper internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Happy, safe, holiday blessings to all!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Alep Soap

In the ancient artisan soap making center of Aleppo the sabuncu's special is traditionally prepared from a combination of olive and bay oils; lovely gifts from trees which have graced Mediterranean region with their bounty for thousands of years.

Our Liquid Alep Soap is an homage to this art; containing only pure oils of Organic Extra Virgin Olive & Wildgrown Bay Leaf, Distilled Water & Laurel Seed Hydrosol.

Enjoy a true natural wonder this holiday season - ALOF's Liquid Alep Soap.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fair Trade and Fabulous:
The Pottery of Mata Ortiz

We all love acquiring beautiful things, especially when they do wonderful things!

CZ Luxe, sister company of A Little Ol’Factory, is very happy to announce one of the newest items in our Artisan Line of ecologically & socially friendly products and packaging: Fair Trade Pottery from Mata Ortiz, Mexico.

Through the sale of their pottery, the inhabitants of Mata Ortiz are slowly transforming their community from one of impoverishment to one of economic stability.

Every stage of production of this pottery is done completely by hand, and each one-of-a-kind piece is purchased directly from the potter. Raw clay and pigment for the pots and paints are collected from the rich deposits found in surrounding hills and valleys. The potter's hand's form the pots, the hair of the children is used to make the paint brushes, the firing is done in the back yard with wood and cow dung is used as the fuel.

We are working with a member of the Fair Trade Federation who meets directly with the individual artists, discussing custom orders, buying each one of a kind piece from the artisan, keeping the cost to the consumer reasonable, paying the producer fairly and developing relationships based on reciprocal benefits and mutual respect.

Your purchase supports these efforts and furthers the worldwide Fair Trade movement.

This holiday season we will feature these delicate detailed, small, black on black seed pots filled with CZ Luxe Room Perfume . Made with only the finest floral waxes, resins, herbs, barks, essential oils, absolutes & extracts. We NEVER use synthetic fragrances or cheap sawdust bases.

We believe that by crafting with only quality, natural ingredients, we are offering you some of the finest aromatics you'll ever experience. The same depth, intensity & character is something that we feel cannot truly be obtained with synthetic ingredients and cheap fillers.