Good morning readers! At the risk of sounding old and talking about the weather, I have to tell you that most of us in Michigan are loving our March summer days, with temps in the 70's and going up to the 80's later this week! I suspect that the only ones not loving it so much are the skiers and snowmobilers…
Friday was my turn to drive for our cowpool. There are 5 families who take turns picking up raw milk at our new farm North of here about a half hour, and while we were sad when Lubbers Farm had to close their cow share program (due to insurance reasons), we were super thankful to find this new farm. I feel like I've known CanDe forever. She wasn't thrilled that I was taking a picture of their cows with some mud on them, but hey, it's that time of year. Don't you love the cute farm boots on these cute farm girls? 🙂
Did any of you do something fun for St. Patrick's Day? We went out with friends to an Irish bar, where they served corned beef and cabbage (of course), green beer (I had wine instead!), and they even had live bagpipe music, too. 🙂
Here's what's up today…
- Do any of you make your own laundry detergent? I tried making a powder detergent once and it didn't clean very well. However, my sister, Terri, has started making this homemade liquid laundry detergent (via the Duggar's website), and says it's working really well. I'm curious if you've had good luck with homemade stuff like this, because it could save a lot of money in a year!
- I make a loads of smoothies (for breakfast usually) and used to put homemade yogurt in them, but after hearing about how much more beneficial friendly bacteria kefir has, I decided to try to make that for the first time, so I just got some starter culture. I'll let you know how it goes. 🙂
- I need some ideas for a couple small things to add to the kids' Easter baskets. I just ordered a couple inexpensive card games that our daughter was asking for, but I'm curious if any of you have any other good suggestions?
- My friend, Geri, sent me this information: “The FDA is preparing to approve genetically engineered salmon, which would be the first genetically engineered animal on supermarket shelves in the U.S. The salmon is engineered to produce hormones year-round that cause the fish to grow at twice its natural rate. But without labels, we'll never know. There's just 10 more days until the FDA must respond publicly to a petition calling for labeling of genetically engineered foods — and we need to make sure the FDA knows how ordinary Americans feel about this issue before that deadline. In about 30 seconds and with just a few clicks, you can tell the FDA that you support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods!”
- If you're Catholic and abstaining from meat on the Fridays of Lent, have you wondered about this, too? Melissa answers the question, Can I use lard or beef tallow during Lent?
- Oh local readers! Tomorrow is our next Weston Price local chapter meeting and my friend, Katie from Kitchen Stewardship, is speaking on an a rockin' topic: FATS! 🙂 Sign up at our Meetup site to find out more and so you'll never miss any cancellations or notices about upcoming meetings.
- Kimberly Hartke asked me to ask you to ‘like' this page, No Pink Slime in My Burger, and will you please help spread the word?!
- Speaking of Kimberly, one of her posts last week featured World Premieres of Two New Food Documentaries at the DC Environmental Film Festival. One of the lines in a trailer for the movie, In Organic We Trust, was very thought provoking about the need to go beyond buying organic: “‘I'm doing enough now, I buy organic lettuce'… If we keep it at that level, we're straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic.” And another quote, “It's a problem because then the public starts to trust the certification and then they stop asking really critical questions.”
- There's some lively discussions going on over at last week's, “In Defense of Whole Foods” post, so check that out if you haven't yet. Also, did you see the post on how to make your own all-natural first aid kit?!
- There's a new Kitchen Kop giveaway up now, too, this one is for a coffee pot with NO plastic toxins to worry about! Go to that link to enter. 🙂
Have a great week!
As one other person has asked, would you mind sharing the name of the farm? We’re in Lowell (closer to Ionia) and would love to be able to buy raw milk. Thank you! ~~ Vicki
I must have missed where someone else asked, sorry!
It’s Cloghaun farm, and you can read more about them here on our local chapter resources page: https://chapters.westonaprice.org/grandrapidsmi/local-real-milk-sources/
They might be pretty far from Lowell, though. Have you tried RealMilk.com?
I haven’t tried all these but at least you can read the comments. It’s worth a look if you are interested in trying homemade laundry soap.
I tried homemade laundry detergent and homemade dishwasher detergent for a while and ended up not liking either. I tried about five different recipes, too. The costs were not saving me very much and in terms of what I had to do to rectify the inadequacies of the homemade stuff made it even less feasible.
I went back to using soapnuts and a little Tide in each wash load. I use a little vinegar as softner sometimes, but I usually use a small cap of Downy in each load, especially blue jeans.
What I’ve learned about washers and dishwashers in the past three years is that the expensive ready-made, powdered “cleaners” for stinky machines are totally overpriced. I have a large capacity washer (not HE just a top loader) and I’ve found a mixture of 1 cup bleach and 1 cup white vinegar on the longest cycle with hot water once a month does a good job of cleaning and getting rid of odors.
I no longer use a dishwasher (except as a place to hide dirty dishes until I can wash them by hand until my DH has time to remove the DW and put in a cupboard) but my DIL used this same method for her DW and it worked beautifully to clean it out and help keep her dishes sparkling. She used coffee cups (not big mugs) and filled one half full of bleach and the other half full of white vinegar and ran it through the long, hot cycle. She then did a short extra rinse after it was done with the long cycle and made sure the arms and filters were cleaned out. She says it helps a lot.
Also, a plumber told me some time ago not to use liquid laundry soap (only powdered) and never to use liquid gel dishwasher soaps. He says they build up in the pipes and cause plumbing issues. He also said 1/2 cup vinegar just tossed into the DW before starting it is very helpful.
I’m glad I’ve always used powder then!
Melissa @ Dyno-mom says
Thanks for the shout out Kelly, I had really wondered about the whole fats issue. As for the laundry soap, it did well for a while and the it started causing rinsing issues and I had build up on the diapers and towels. I went back to the Country Save which I had been using and was barely more in terms of cost.
i did the homemade powder soap for awhile and i HATED grating it, it was so time consuming. i tried the stand-up grater and it was a pain, so i bought one of those fancy hand-crank graters, but i still have to cut my bar in thirds to get it in there. needless to say that is the only thing i use that grater for. then i tried couponing for awhile. i bought prob. a year’s worth of name-brand soap for $2/bottle (about 25 loads per bottle). i’ve never done the math on making my own soap.
whenever i make my way thru my couponed soap, i will like try the liquid homemade soap next time.
kelly – i’ve found a local blogger here in ks and i’ve only gotten to go to one of her classes, but she is all about the kefir. i’ve been soaking my oats in kefir every day to make baked oatmeal in the mornings – DELISH!!! but i’ve also been using kefir in my daily green smoothies – yum! the next task is to learn cultured vegetables using the kefir whey from my kefir cheese i made. don’t you have a carrots recipe like this? i think that’s the one i want to try. will have to paruse (SP?) your recipes again.
It’s funny that you brought up laundry soap. Kelly, because it is on my list of things to do this week! I’ve never done it before!!
I did, however, make my own dishwasher soap and I hate it! It leaves a film on everything, that I don’t mind visually, it just feels so gross! I have tried using more, I’ve tried using less….nothing helps! And yes, I’m using vinegar instead of rinse aid. The other day, I just threw vinegar in the bottom of the machine before I started it hoping that would help. It didn’t.
Anyone else experience this or have any tips?
I have been wanting to try making laundry detergent, but every recipe calls for grating bar soap. Is it ok to use your food processor for this? Then go back to putting food in?
You can definitely use your food processor for it (I have), but be kind an gentle to your food processor and don’t “force” the soap into the chute with too much force or you might damage the grating attachment. Be prepared for a lot of noise–earplugs help! There might be a small chunk that you’ll still have to grate by hand–not a big deal–just watch your fingers. You’ll need to wash the soap off–hot water and a scrub sponge work fine (don’t need to add MORE soap) before running food through the food processor, but other than that it’s fine.
I use my salad shooter. (This is easily our most-used small appliance, with the coffee maker coming in second)
That’s so cool, Heather! My grating attachment to my food processor broke (hence the warning I left above), so I am looking for an alternative to buying a new food processor (replacing that one part is ridiculously expensive). Tell me more about the salad shooter. Does it seem sturdy enough to grate a LOT of soap? Does it ever seem like using it on the soap is straining the machine or the grating apparatus?
Don’t feel bad–I broke part of mine making sugarplums. Check with the manufacturer & also on ebay–often parts are available. A salad shooter is basically a motorized rotating drum grater (they have slicing capabilities, too, but grating is their specialty). The one I have right now is a Cuisinart version, but I have had the Presto kind also. In 20 years, I’ve had 3 salad shooters, and, come to think of it, none has been new when I got it. I have used the snot out of them–carrots, soap, cheese, including parmesan, zucchini, you name it. If you’re trying to push things through too hard, thr drum will bog down. I never had a food processor per se, until a couple of years ago, when I bought the one that is an attachment to my Cuisinart stand mixer (which was my bday present about 3 years ago and I LOVE)–just good knives and the salad shooter. And I’ve always been a mostly from scratch cook, so my kitchen equipment gets a workout.
Wow, thanks for that info, Heather! Out of the 3 salad shooter’s you’ve owned, which would you say is the most durable, if any stand out that way?
If I were buying new, I would buy the Salad Shooter Pro that Presto makes. 2 of mine have been Presto Salad Shooters (not Pro), with the 3rd being the Cuisinart. The Cusinart’s drum is not cone-shaped the way the Presto machines are, and that tends to make it more likely to get pieces of grated whatever in places besides the bowl/pan/etc that you are aiming at. But it has a nice retractable cord that the Presto salad shooters don’t. They all get the job done very well, and are less dishes to wash than a food processor, since you can “shoot” right into whatever you are making. Or even a ziploc bag, if you’re just grating cheese to have handy in the fridge. When I grated up soap for laundry soap, I started out with the finer grating drum, but that was going just TOOO slow, so I switched to the coarser one, and it worked fine. I grated up Zote, which isn’t very hard, but I also grated up a bar of DrBronner’s, which is a much denser, harder soap, and both went through with no problems.
The Cuisinart version I currently have is called the Prep Express, and Amazon seems to not know about it, so I would guess it’s not made anymore. But they have plenty of Presto Salad Shooters.
Cool! Thank you soooo much for the super helpful information, Heather! I know what to do now!
I have been making my own laundry detergent for several years now and I LOVE IT! My recipe is quite similar to the Duggars’ recipe except I don’t use quite as much water with it. (I think I usually make about 8 gallons at a time where as they make 10.) Each load takes 1/4 cup of liquid detergent and I think it works very well–everything comes out looking and smelling clean, no matter what water temperature I use! Most of the time I use Ivory soap but lately I have used our own homemade soap that my husband made at Christmas time using mostly organic fats (palm shortening, coconut oil, olive oil). It works great, too!
My cousin perfers to just grate up the soap and add the other dry ingredients and then add that directly to the washer as a powder detergent. Both wet and dry homemade detergents are low suds, they are great even for HE washers.
Making your own detergent (liquid or powder) really takes less time than making a trip to the store to buy the expensive, chemical laden detergents, so I will happily continue to make my own! Hopefully you will find a good recipe that you like as well. 🙂
Donna C. says
For Easter, I like to add sidewalk chalk, bubbles, art supplies, cute hairclips, matchbox cars, stickers, jump ropes, small stuffed animals, easter eggs (filled with money, little rocks like quartz), jewelry, coloring books, lip gloss or nice chapstick, books, frisbees, baseballs or bouncy balls, small lotion, homemade fruit leather, small toys, etc.
Adrienne @ Whole New Mom says
For Easter, Kent Novelty on Michigan has TONS of things to choose from for baskets. It’s fun too!
Also, I’ve been working on detergent also, but Fels Naptha has ingredients you & your readers for sure don’t want on your skin. Just an FYI. And the fragrance is quite strong.
Soap (sodium tallowate*, sodium cocoate* (or) sodium palmate kernelate*, and sodium palmate*), water, talc, cocnut acid*, palm acid*, tallow acid*, PEG-6 methyl ether, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium chloride, pentasodium pentetate and/or tetrasodium etidronate, titatium dioxide, fragrance, Acid Orange (CI 20170), Acid yellow 73 (ci43350)
I make my own laundry detergent, and find that it works better than the natural detergents I’d been buying. The recipe is very simple: 1 bar grated soap (I use a 4 oz. bar of coconut castille soap, but a lot of people use Zote or Fels Naptha or Ivory), 1 cup borax, and 1 cup baking soda (mixed well of course). You can use scented soap, or add essential oils if you like a scent. Most recipes for homemade detergent call for washing soda, which is a bit different than baking soda, in that it is a lot more alkaline (caustic), which makes it more likely to burn your skin and is also less gentle on your clothes. For my purposes, I have found regular baking soda to be plenty strong enough. You use only 1 tablespoon per full load, and half that amount for front loading machines. It is extremely low sudsing, which is a requirement for HE machines, dissolves well in any temperature water, rinses completely, and leaves clothes soft. I love it, and it’s frugal as well.
I have used the fels-naptha homemade laundry detergent recipe many years ago. I also made it with regular bar soap. It was OK. I have just switched to the laundry ball https://www.mysticwondersinc.com/, based on recommendations from a friend who does a lot of laundry for her colon hydrotherapy business. Spot stain soap is still needed.
As for animal fat during Lent, I read in Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, that people were not allowed eat any animal fat during Lent. It was especially hard for northern Europe because butter and animal fat are available dietary fats. In southern Europe, people preferred olive oil, which was allowed during Lent. It became an economic issue because low quality oil was exported to northern Europe which was an economic burden in the north. In addition, the people who could afford it paid a dispensation to the church to continue eating butter during Lent. This was just one of the issues that fueled Protestantism.
This business of paying money to the churches for certain activities (like eating food and like getting into heaven???) is only one of the reasons I’m becoming more and more agnostic with each passing day.
i once heard an apologist say about religion in regards to paying tithes (different from the dispensation we’re talking about, i know) “You get what you pay for.” the Church does a LOT of good, but it takes money to do that and you get people who want something for nothing. people leave the Church in droves claiming they’re not being ‘fed.’ it takes tithes to pay for speakers, books, materials, conferences, banquets, new schools and churches and the like to evangelize and ‘feed’ people. if the people don’t tithe, then yes, activities are going to come with an admission fee. sorry to get off subject.
Oh why did I bring this up? LOL! Any more comments on this, please email me and I’m happy to chat all you want about it. I’m just not sure if this is the best place.
I’ll only say this: Lenten practices are just ways to sacrifice a bit for God, I think of it as a neat way to show Him my love back, and this helps me grow in my faith as Easter gets closer. But when it becomes all dogmatic like Valerie mentioned, that’s not where it was supposed to go. I just thought that post from Melissa was interesting, that’s all.
Deb (“D.”), I know how you feel sometimes, but I often remind myself of this: When a person or a church really turn us off, what they do or don’t do or say really has nothing to do with us and God. They are just people. If something bugs us, and it’s done in a way that is turning people off, He must hate it even more than we do.
Leigh, that is a good point. Heat, activities, books, etc., they all cost money. We happily tithe to our church, they are doing great things and we want to be a part of it.
Well, sadly there’s just so much more to it than that, but I don’t like to discuss religion unless I’m face to face with people, as a rule. I will, however, say that a lot of people believe a lot of things concerning religion which are totally questionable. Most people, however, feel as if they are bordering on blasphemy if they explore the origins of religion. Not me. I want to know what I believe and why I believe it. That’s curiosity not blasphemy, in my book.
Also, paying a tax to the church (which is what tithing is) to do things to help educate people is a whole ‘nother subject than what I was talking about. Paying to eat certain foods (to please whom?!) or paying to be afforded other “church held rights” is, in my estimation, ludicrous.
It’s worth noting that Weston A. Price noted that that the cultures he studied were all deeply religious. Seems to be something deeply rooted in the human spirit (in properly nourished people), which means something to me.
In fact, I’ve wondered if the widespread absence of religion today might be due to nutrition/physical degeneration. That’s a whole other topic, though…
“I want to know what I believe and why I believe it. That’s curiosity not blasphemy, in my book.”
I TOTALLY agree with that statement, and every Christian I’ve ever spoken to about this agrees with that, too, honestly! Most of all, I believe God loves it when we question. Especially in contrast to those who go along lukewarm never questioning anything.
You have a heart searching for Truth, that’s a very good thing. 🙂
Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie says
I was sooooo sad when I heard about Lubbers. We were fortunate enough to get milk from them for one winter. The best milk I’ve ever had. And such wonderful people. Looks like you found a good source for milk now. If you don’t mind me asking, where is it?
One of these days I’ll get to a local WAPF meeting…when my kids are older and I don’t have someone to feed/put to bed by 7:30/8 😛
I have used both powdered and liquid. In the past, neither has dissolved very well in my HE washer in cold loads, so I use it when I wash towels and sheets (on hot). That’s a lot of loads of laundry in my house, so it definitely helps save money.
I’m using homemade powdered laundry soap, and even cloth diapers come out nice and clean. Better than the Charlie’s Soap that I’ve been loving for the past several years. I used part Zote and part Dr Bronner’s for the soap in mine.