dried white sage
Recipe yields 5-6 incense cones.
1. Grind a handful of sage leaves using a mortar and pestle, avoiding the woody stems and. Using the blunt end of pestle crush and grind the dried leaves in a circular fashion until they resemble a rough powder. Measure out three teaspoons of the powdered sage and place into a small mixing bowl.
2. Add one teaspoon of the makko powder to the sage and thoroughly combine. Prepared makko powder is easiest to source online – I purchased mine on etsy.com.
3. Using a dropper, add distilled water to the sage and makko powder. Add just enough water for the dough to hold together when you sqeeze it in your hand. The amount of liquid may vary for you depending on your climate, but adding six droppers of water allowed me to knead the dough into shapes that held their form.
4. Roll and pinch small amounts of the dough to create incense cones with your hands. Alternately, I found the little conical shaped metal tips that you attach to an icing bag when decorating a cake work wonderfully as molds. Measure out ½ teaspoon of the dough and press it into the mold. In order to get the cone to release slip a twist-tie into the tip, running it along the inside wall.
5. Place your incense cone on a tray or board lined with waxed paper. The top of the cone will likely be a little misshapen – but you can easily use your fingers to press it back into place.
Set the cones in the sun or in front of a fan on low to dry. Our two ingredient mixture dries pretty quickly, but allow it about 12 hours. And be certain to tip the cones over at the half way point, allowing the undersides to dry.
6. To burn your incense cone, use a heat-resistant bowl filled with sand. Light the tip of the cone, blow out the flame and set it in the sand. The cone will continue to gently smolder, filling your space with ribbons of fragrant smoke.
A couple of quick safety precautions – never leave your burning incense unattended and you may want to open a window or two to avoid setting off your fire alarm.