Monday, April 25, 2011

Making Laundry Soap

I needed to make a new batch of laundry soap this morning and I thought I would share my process for doing it with anyone who has not yet done it and would like to give it a try. I have been making my own laundry soap for about 2 years now. I have tried different recipes, tweeked them some to fit our cleaning needs and have finally setteled on this. It is finally one that does quiet well getting my husbands work clothes clean and the kids outdoor clothes, which lately are usually pretty muddy, and our stinky barn chore clothes smelling clean, but not perfumy. First, you need to grate a bar of soap. Today I am using Fels Naptha. I can get that at my loacal IGA for $1.35. Sometimes I use my own homeade lard soap but I didn't have any this morning. Dr. Broner's is also a good choice. Put your grated soap into your pot and fill with just enough water to cover.

Put it on the stovetop and heat it, sitrring occasionally, until the soap has melted.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax

Now you need to fill your bucket (mine is a 3 gallon, but I have actually made up to 5 gallons with this same recipe. smaller bucket= thicker gel larger = not quite as thick) 1/4 full with hot tap water.

You are now going to add your soap mixture to the bucket of hot water and stir. Then fill the bucket the rest of the way up with cold water. Stir.

Let cool and use. I use 1 cup per load. Now, this makes a thick gel so to make it easier to use what I do is start filling the washer with Hot water. Add your cup of soap and swish it around with your hand. Now you are ready to turn it onto what ever setting you are going to be using and add your clothes. I have figured out that each load of laundry costs appoximately $.03. Even cheaper when I use my own lard soap!Pretty decent savings and it is fun to do!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Canning Milk

This is Bertha.We love Bertha. Every day she gives us 3 1/2 gallons of wonderfully creamy milk that we can then drink and turn into butter and yogurt and cheese and many other things. It is great to open my fridge and see all of the fantastic dairy products that we get from her. Just one problem though. EXCESS. Trust me, I am NOT complaining one bit about this. 3 months of having her though has now filled my freezer with mozzerella cheese and butter and my fridge with milk and yogurt. As a matter of fact, pretty much the only things in my refriderator is milk yougurt and eggs, which I also have a fantastic surplus of. Which leads me to the question, can I can milk at home? I would think so. I mean, the way I have always looked at it, if you can buy it in cans at the grocery store then you should be able to can it at home, right? I I set off to do some searching this last week and found this article on the Mother Earth News site telling how to can milk.So here are my plans for this week. I am going to set out to preserve our abundance of milk for future use when she is not in milk. Will we need it then? I don't know. My 2 goats should be at peak production at that time as long as they are actually pregnate and due in June when I have figured. BUT since this is my first experience breeding goats, I might not have succeeded. Time will tell. But the one thing I do know is that IF those goats aren't pregnate then I will most deffinately have milk canned for those 6 weeks. If the goats are in milk? Well, some problems in life just make you smile!

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.