Home Economics

saving money /Home economics

laundry soap

4 Cups – hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
1 scoop of oxy clean.
– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax and oxy clean. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” –
•Works well in traditional or HE machines.
•Low sudsing. It is the ingredients in the soap, not the suds, that does the cleaning.
•Clumping and geling of the detergent is normal. Stir before putting in dispenser, and shake before each use.
Fabric softener

6 cups of boiled water
1/2 cup of baking soda
2 cups of your favorite I buy the dollar store brand.
very carefully add 2 cups vinegar because of baking soda causes a volcanic eruption like in science class.
1 tbs borax
mix well poor in to your containers if you would like a stronger scent you could add 20 drops of your favor essential oil.mind you the vinegar smell will rinse out.

Kitchen items:
Treadle sewing machine (Singer)
Blankets & pillows
Can opener
Canning jars
Crockery or enamel ware
Glass water jugs
2 metal basins
Clothes wash plunger
Huge pot (cauldron?)
Dutch oven
Cast iron frying pan/sauce pan
Tea kettle
Bread toaster
Hand grain grinder (will check Lehman’s)
Pan scrubby/steel wool
Meat cooking thermometer
Liquid cooking thermometer
Butcher knife
Steel and ceramic bowls
Unbleached muslin Enamel canner Pressure canner Pressure gage Jar rack Canning lids
Cooler (otherwise known as an ice chest)
Iron pots/pans
Roasting pan
Stock pot
Bread pans
Muffin pans
Cookie sheets
Wooden cutting board Rolling pin Wire racks Dishpan Drain rack Large bowls Bread board Wood spoons Pot holders/dishcloths Strainers Butter churn/paddle (check Lehman’s) Sprout growing rays
Besides the woodworking and gardening tools, the kitchen supplies are super important. Eliminating plastic and aluminum in the kitchen is also a major priority since vinegar, yogurt, soap, herbal preparations and other made-from-scratch items can only be prepared in ceramic or enamel or steel containers. The same goes for utensils. No more rubber and plastic flippers or spoons. Fortunately I’ve already eliminated disposable plastic and paper items other than wax paper, using cloths for cleaning up and paper for food storage and leftovers.

Wooden clothes pins; both large and small.
aprons; they save washing so many clothes.

Strainers; one large stainless steel on and a medium mesh one and a small one for straining tea leaves.

Funnels; a wide mouth one for filling canning jars; a medium one for bottles and a small one for little bottles.

Wooden folding clothes drying rack to dry clothes indoors.

Dust pan

Popcorn popper to use on wood stove.

Flour grinding mill and seed grinder hand cranked.

Cutting boards; one for meat, one for cheese and vegetables and one for bread.

Coffee grinder if anyone drinks coffee

Kitchen unscented candles for singing pin feathers off poultry.

Thick pot holders. Most are btoo thin handling iron pots.

Potato Masher

Garlic press

Glass onion chopper with metal handle that pushes up and down.

Non-electric yogurt maker.

Cheese press

Paring knives, steak knives, and bread knife.

Glass pots for cooking acidic food works as well as stainless steel and enamel

Wash tubs and hand wringer if washing by hand.

Supply of sewing thread n needles, scissors etc as well as elastic
Wire racks for cooling muffins , pies, cakes etc.
You can had tongs to that list. Rubber handled ones for lifting canning jars from the canner and regular ones.

Also glass storage jars and spice jars.

A supply of brown paper bags

Cotton rags and old sheets [ We use old sheets to wrap meat in when it is hanging to keep pests off of it.]

Wind up clock; no batteries

Wind up radio and flashlight.
Homemade Gatorade

Sports Drinks – to make your own, dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking, 1 teaspoon of salt, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 package of Kool-Aid in 2 quarts of warm water. Cool and drink to replace electrolytes which help you to absorb more water.

Powder Laundry Soap 504 loads

1 Box of Super Washing Soda 3 lb. 7 oz. ($3.24)
1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size ($3.38)
1 Box of Pure Baking Soda 4 lb. ($2.12)

3 bars of Fels-Naptha 5.5 oz. or
you could also use Ivory soap ($0.97 x3)

1 container of Oxy-Clean 1.3 lb ($3.86)
1. Finely grate the Fels-Naptha. Mix all the ingredients together and store in container of your choice. Use only 1-2 Tablespoons of detergent per load. (504 loads

Thinking about 10 year supply good for you because you never KNOW! i pefere this way i made a couple of these i think my grand children will have laundrey soap hahah. okay lets get started
5 gallon bucket get more if you are making to sell or store jest repeat this recipe.
15 Bars of soap graded
1 box of washing soda
1 box of borax
1 box of oxy clean
Mix well and pour your dry mixture in 5 gallon bucket place lid and store.

When ready to use scoop out 1/2 cup of your dry mixture to make one gallon dissolve in half gallon of hot water then add rest of hot water and shake well.1/8 cup per load of liquid laundry soap = 17,920 LOADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5 gallons of fabric softener
15 cups of baking soda be careful baking soda and vinegar causes a chemical reaction so do this first.
30 cups of white vinegar
30 cups of hot water
15 cups of your favorite conditioner or of your favorite fabric softener
Mix well in a 5 gallon bucket use like your regular fabric softener in the ball or your measuring cup.

Liquid laundry soap
4 Cups – hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
1 Cup Borax- and 1 scoop of oxy clean Grate bar of soap with cheese grater and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (Will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load and USE ONLY 1-2 TABLESPOONS for HE machines (Approx. 180 loads)

Toilet bowl cleaner

The Recipe!
1/4 cup liquid castile soap – there are many different scents like lavender, almond, peppermint and more! (where to buy) (read more here about why I like Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps the best)
1 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons baking soda (I buy the huge bag (where to buy) since I make so many things with baking soda
1 teaspoon of essential oils to kill bacteria and freshen – I like to use lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, sweet orange and Purification (where to buy high quality essential oils)
Mix all ingredients in a 16 oz. or larger squirt bottle and gently shake or swish.
Squirt in the toilet bowl and use a brush to scrub it clean.


· Things You’ll Need
· 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
· 1/2 cup water
· 1 cup honey
· Instructions
· 1
· Mixing: In a squeeze bottle, or reused shampoo bottle, combine the Castile soap, water and honey. Place the lid on the bottle and rock back and forth gently to mix the ingredients.
· 2
· Using: Use your own homemade honey shampoo as you use your normal shampoo. Allow it to rest on your hair for at least 10 minutes before rinsing.
· 3
· Substitutes: If your hair is oily, you can substitute the liquid Castile soap in this recipe with any gentle shampoo. Castile soap is made from olive oil and is may leave some people’s hair too oily. You can also substitute molasses for the honey if you do not want your hair to lighten with use.
½ cup honey
½ cup water
¼ cup coconut oil or olive oil or almond oil
Place all ingredients in the bottle you plan to keep it in all together and mix. After shampoo add conditioner and leave in for 2min longer if need a deeper treatment rinse as usual.
Make your own washing soda
Preheat oven 400*

Spread baking soda on baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper bake for 30 min stir after 15 min.

Basic underarm deodorant) Spray:
Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda); do not confuse it with

baking powder!

Water – distilled, filtered, or
rainwater are the best choices to avoid adding more chemicals bod your body
Lavender oil (optional) Witch Hazel Spray:
1/2 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup aloe vera gel (or juice)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 drops essential oil

Recipe One: Standard Formula (underarm deodorant)1/4 cup (55 g) baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
10 drops tea tree oil
2+ tbsp (30 g) coconut oil, melted

Recipe Two: For Sensitive Skin
2 tbsp (30 g) baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
6 tbs (72 g) cornstarch (if you have very sensitive skin, substitute arrowroot powder)
10 drops tea tree oil 2+ tbsp (30 g) coconut oil, melted
Optional Additional essential oils for fragrance, according to your preference.
Up to 1 tsp. Vitamin E or sweet almond oil, to soothe shaved skin.

Tooth paste
2/3 cups coconut oil more if you desire.
• 2/3 cup baking soda
• 1 tsp fine sea salt (optional – direct application of the minerals in sea salt is great for teeth, but can be left out if the taste is too salty)
• 1 – 2 tsp peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil (or add your favorite flavor – spearmint, orange, etc.)
• filtered water (add to desired consistency)
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp baking soda
25 drops peppermint essential oil
Put the coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl and mash up with a fork until blended. Add the peppermint essential oil,
mash and stir until you’ve reached toothpaste consistency.

Fabric Softener
The conditioner in this recipe will leave a slight fragrance after you take your clothes out of the dryer. Save your expensive conditioner for your hair, cheap-o brands like Suave will work just fine. Ingredients:
 3 cups White Distilled Vinegar
 2 cups Hair Conditioner (this works out to about the size of a full bottle of Suave)
 6 cups Hot Water
 1 cup baking soda

Mix ingredients together and pour into a storage container. Use about 1/4 cup per load in the rinse cycle or in a Downy Ball. Heads up Do NOT substitute Apple Cider Vinegar for any of these recipes. You’ll end up with dingy clothes.
 Do NOT use your homemade fabric softener on loads using bleach. Mixing bleach with vinegar can produce toxic fumes. Vinegar is a natural whitener so you really don’t need bleach anyway!

Homemade VapoRub: 3 Tbs. Coconut Oil – melted; 3-5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil; 6-10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil. Place oil into a small container and add in essential oils. Then just rub on chest, under nose or on to feet.

Flu Fighting Tea

1 bag good quality organic echinacea tea (optional)
3 or 4 thin slices of fresh organic ginger root
3 tablespoons organic lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons raw organic honey
1/2 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon organic ground clove
Cayenne pepper to taste

Looking for quality real food ingredients? Be sure to the check out the Village Green Marketplace!


1. In a large cup of hot filtered water, steep the tea bag and the sliced ginger (you may omit the tea bag if you’d like).

2. Add the lemon juice, honey and spices and stir well. The tea will be cloudy.

3. If you’d like, you may strain the tea through cheesecloth to remove the ground spices and ginger. At our house, we just drink it as is.

Enjoy, and feel better soon!


1/2 cup of raw, buckwheat honey (like this)
2 Tablespoons organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root

Optional for dusting: 1/4 cup powdered cane sugar (make your own!) and 1 teaspoon powdered vitamin C (like this).

Kitchen items you will need: a candy thermometer, a candy mold with small openings (like this hexagon mold). You can make the cough drops without the mold; oil a piece of parchment paper and pour the candy onto it. Let it harden, and then break it up into small pieces.

Looking for quality real food ingredients? Be sure to the check out the Village Green Marketplace!


1. Measure the honey, lemon juice, and grated ginger and pour it all into a saucepan.

2. With a wire whisk, stir the mixture as it heats to a boil. It will become foamy and start to climb up the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat and continue to whisk it until the foam reduces and then put it back over the heat. Repeat this until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees, you will want to check frequently because the honey heats fast and scorches easily!

3. Drop a bit of the mixture into a glass of ice water (or, dip a spoon into the mixture and then quickly dip it into the ice water). If the mixture forms a hard, crunchy ball, it’s ready! If not, keep up with the whisking and heating and try again in a minute or so. Once a hard ball forms in the ice water, you’re good to go!

4. Let the mixture cool until the foam has reduced. Then, very carefully, drizzle the candy into the mold (or onto the oiled parchment paper). Let it cool in a safe place (not the freezer or fridge) until the cough drops are hard. When they are hard, press on the back of the mold to release. Or, if you’re not using a mold, break the cough drops up into pieces.

5. Optional (to prevent sticking): In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the vitamin C powder. Drop the cough drops into the mixture to coat. Pour the sugar and cough drops into a sieve and sift to remove extra sugar.

6. Store in an airtight container. These actually do better in the fridge, as they attract moisture and tend to get sticky if left out.


Beef Tallow
Prep time: 20 mins. Cook time: 7 hours Total time: 7 hours 20 mins/
Ingredients Beef Fat (preferably from a grass-fed cow and try to get the fat that is from right around the kidneys)Instructions Use food processor to grate it up or if you don’t have a food processor just use a knife and cut the fat into as small of chunks as you can.If there are any pieces of meat you can cut out do it at this stage too.
1. Put beef fat into 5 qt. Dutch Oven, fill pan to the top. With the heat on low put the lid on the beef tallow fat and let it start slowly cooking. After 2 hours take a wooden spoon and mix the beef tallow fat around a bit. Some use a potato masher and squish it a bit too to help the process along.Don’t cook this fast because if it burns it will ruin it all.Stir again at about 4 hours.After about 6-7 hours it will be done. You can tell by all the little browned bits cooked till crispy.Next drain all the liquid oil and strain out the cracklin’s. (Cracklins are basically fried bits of meat and gristle)Use a fine mesh strainer, a paper towel, cheese cloth or a flour sack towel and line the towel over a strainer, which should sit over a large bowl.Pour all the hot oil in and strain it. It should be a nice yellow color.Pour into airtight ontainers and allow to cool overnight.Store it in an air-tight container to avoid oxidization it can be at room temperature for up to a year or longer. You can store it in the fridge as it will last even longer there. OR you can pour your tallow fat into ice cube trays and put the frozen cubes into a freezer bag to freeze.

1 tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1-3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1-3/4 teaspoons cornstarch(optional)

Mix cream of tartar with baking soda in a small bowl. To store, whisk cornstarch into mixture and keep in an air-tight container.

Ceam Chesse

You will need:
2-3 cups 2% or whole milk
Cheese cloth
Medium bowl
When your milk gets close to the bottom of the jug, save the last few cups for this recipe. Close to expired or completely expired milk will be the best option as it is primed to separate. As long as the milk does not have a sour smell, it can still be used to make cream cheese.
Step 1: Remove jug, with remaining milk, from the fridge and set on it’s side on the kitchen counter. Leave it on the counter for 24-48 hours, the time depends on how long it takes the milk to separate the cream from the whey. You will know it is ready when you can visually see the separation of white liquid and clear liquid in the jug. (FUN FACT: This step is called clabbering).

Step 2: Collect a bowl which can gather the whey drippings and a cheese cloth, which will hold the cream. Drape the cheese cloth over the bowl and pour the contents of jug into the bowl, using the cheese cloth as a strainer. (I fold my cheese cloth in half to have a finer strain, so the cream can’t seep through). Next, gather the edges of the cheese cloth together and tie together to form a sac. Suspend over the bowl and let the draining process continue for 24 hours. (I use twine, or a rubber band, to tie together and to hang from a cupboard handle.)

Step 3: The cream cheese is now finished and ready to enjoy. Refrigerate for up to 2 months. Add flavors and ingredients to your plain cream cheese if desired. Just note that once the ingrent is added to the cream cheese, it’s shelf life is shortened to about 10 days.
Beef Stew with Vegetables
(from Ball complete book of home preserving)
1T. vegetable oil
4 to 5 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
12 cups cubed peeled potatoes
8 cups sliced peeled carrots
3 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped onions
4 1/2 t. salt
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
Boiling water
Prepare weighted or dial gauge pressure canner, jars, and lids.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown beef adding oil if absolutely needed. Transfer beef to large stainless steel saucepan. (I used my 8 qt stock pot). Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, salt, thyme, pepper, and boiling water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Ladle hot stew into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace by adding more stew if needed. Wipe rim with paper towel moistened with vinegar. (The vinegar helps to remove any fat that may be on the rim) Center lid on jar Screw band on fingertip tight.

Place jars in pressure canner. Lock lid and bring to a boil over medium heat. Vent steam for 10 minutes. Process in canner for pints for 75 minutes at 10lbs at sea level to 1,000 ft. for weighted gauge and 90 minutes for quarts. For dial gauge process at 11lbs of pressure at sea level to 2,000 ft.
Once the time has elapsed turn off heat. Let the pressure return to zero naturally. Wait two minutes longer, then open vent. Remove canner lid. Wait 10 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Yield 7 pints

5 lbs. Corned Beef, trimmed as well as possible and quickly rinsed in cold water
5 medium size potatoes, peeled
1 large onion diced (optional)
Boiling water
Salt and pepper

Cut the corned beef and potatoes into 1″ cubes.
Fill hot sterilized pint jars with 1/4 full of potatoes and then fill to 1 1/2″ headspace with Corned Beef. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if desired.
Add boiling water filling to 1″ headspace. Remove air bubbles with chopstick or plastic spatula. Refill to proper headspace. Wipe the rim of the jars with paper towel that has been dipped in vinegar. Add hot lid/ring and pressure can for 75 minutes at 11 lbs. of pressure for dial gauge and 10 lbs. for weighted for pints and 90 minutes if you are making quarts.
To make the hash pour the liquid out of the jar. Empty the contents of the jar onto a cutting board and chop up the meat and potatoes into a small dice. Add a small amount of olive oil to a frying pan. If you have not added the onions previously add a 1/4 cup of diced onions per pint jar and saute till translucent. Then add the chopped meat and potatoes to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium and cook on one side for about 10 minutes. Using a spatula turn the now crispy hash over and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with eggs and toast!
Crock Pot Venison Stew

4 – 10 ounce cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 lbs venison tenderloin (or other cut of venison)
4 cups of mushrooms
2 medium onions, diced
9.5 ounces uncooked pearled barley
Cook on low all day, or high for three hours depending on your crock pot.
Homemade Tomato Ketchup for Canning

Tomatoes – about 25 lbs paste tomatoes or 30 pounds mixed tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are fine)
1 cup onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup cane sugar (white or brown)
1 cup apple cider vinegar


Core and quarter tomatoes and place them in a heavy bottom pot (or pots) or slow cooker on low/medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until soft and run through a food strainer, food mill or chinois to remove seeds and skins, or cook down until volume is roughly half of original volume and then run through food strainer, food mill or chinois. As I mentioned, I usually make this while working on other things, so I do my straining when time allows.

Continue cooking tomato puree until volume is roughly 1/4 of original volume. Add remaining ingredients; cook until onion and garlic are soft. Puree with hand blender or food strainer, or leave lumpy – your choice. Cook on low until desired consistency is reached.

While the homemade ketchup is cooking down, prepare your canner, jars and lids. Lids should be kept in warm (not boiling) water. Water bath canner should be filled enough to cover your jars with two inches of water. Jars should be sterilized and kept hot. I run mine through the dishwasher. Some people heat them in their canning water or in a warm oven.
Ladle into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two piece lids. Screw bands until finger tight. (Air exits from above the food during processing to leave a vacuum behind, and the vacuum creates the final seal, not you. Just FYI to those who are new to this.) Process for 15 minutes in a water bath canner. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, let sit five minutes. Remove from canner and place on kitchen towel on counter top. After jars are cool, check seals. Refrigerate jars (if any) that did not seal and use them first. Makes around 9 cups for me when I cook it to the thickness we like.

How to Make Yogurt in a Mason Jar
Large stockpot
Four quart-sized glass canning jars with lids (or repurposed glass jars)
A thermometer (optional- see note below)
A small cooler
1 gallon milk
8 Tablespoons of plain yogurt containing live, active cultures
1. Fill jars with milk, leaving 2 inches room at top
2. Optional: To prevent jars rattling, place small dishrag in bottom of pot before you set the jars inside
3. Set jars in stockpot and fill pot with water 3/4 of the way up the sides of jars
4. Bring water to a boil and simmer until milk in jars have reached 180-185 degrees F or until a “skin” forms on top of milk
5. Carefully remove HOT jars from pot and allow to cool to 110-120 degrees F (I loosely cover jars with lid and leave 30-60 minute)
6. Check periodically with thermometer (or feel outside of jars) and stir (warm is good but too would kill your active cultures)
7. Once cooled, gently stir about 2 Tablespoons yogurt into each jar and cap jars
8. To keep yogurt at 110-120 degrees while it incubates place jars in a small cooler
9. Then fill cooler with warm water
10. You might need to replenish/reheat water once or twice throughout the process
11. Allow the yogurt to incubate a minimum of 8-12 hours (the longer it sits, the tangier it gets)
12. When done, remove from cooler and put jars in fridge where it will continue to thicken
13. Cool completely before eating
14. Eat plain or flavor to your liking- our favorite toppings are fresh fruit, maple syrup, raw honey, homemade jam, or nuts!

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe
3 cups water
2 tablespoons grated bar soap– I used my homemade tallow soap
1/4 teaspoon washing soda
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20-50 drops essential oils — possible combination ideas below

Mix the water, grated soap, and washing soda in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture is hot and all the ingredients are dissolved. (If it simmers or boils, that’s ok–just make sure everything is completely dissolved.)
Remove the mixture from the heat, and mix in the vegetable glycerin and essential oils. (If it’s very hot, allow it to cool slightly before adding the essential oils)
Pour the liquid dish soap mixture into a jar and allow it to sit at room temperature for 6-12 hours. It will thicken during this time. I like to give it a stir every couple hours (if I think of it), but you don’t have to.
When you are ready to use it, give it a vigorous stir (it might seem too thick at first, but should easily soften once you start stirring) and pour into a soap pump or squeezable container. (I repurposed an empty dish soap bottle)
Give it a shake, and enjoy doing those dishes with your very own homemade liquid dish soap!

Homemade soft scrub
Half a bottle of regular size dawn or your favorite liquid soap
A whole box of baking soda
And water depending on t5hinkness preferred.
All-purpose cleaner
1 cup water
1 cup Vinegar
And 20 drop essential oil.
Add to spray bottle shake well to combine

Window-Glass Cleaner

2 tsp vinegar
1 quart distilled water
Shake well before using
Bathroom Mold Cleaner

one part hydrogen peroxide 3%
two parts water
spray affected areas and wait one hour before rinsing
All Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 gallon water
Shake well before using
Granite Cleaner

1/4 cup 80 proof vodka
3 drops liquid castile soap
1 cup distilled water
Shake well before using
Yield: 1 pound American cheese prep time: 20 minutes total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
An easy recipe for making your own American Cheese at home!
1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
12 ounces Colby cheese, shredded fine (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon whole dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ Teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk

1. Line a 5×4-inch disposable aluminum loaf pan with plastic wrap, using enough so that excess hangs over the sides.
Homemade American cheese: Lining pan with plastic wrap

2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small cup and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

Homemade American cheese: Softening gelatin

3. Meanwhile, pulse together the shredded cheese, dry milk powder, salt and cream of tartar in a food processor until combined, about 3 pulses.

4. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the softened gelatin until it is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

5. Turn the food processor on so it is running, then slowly add the hot milk mixture to the cheese mixture until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Homemade American cheese: Processing

6. Immediately transfer the cheese to the prepared pan. Working quickly, packs the cheese firmly into the loaf pan to eliminate most air pockets, and then smooth the top. Fold the overhanging plastic tightly against the surface of the cheese and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The cheese can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month.

Homemade American cheese

Note: Be sure to use whole dry milk powder, not nonfat dry milk powder, as it will make a difference. I purchased my whole dry milk powder from King Arthur Flour.


yield: About 22 ounces

prep time: 10 minutes

total time: 10 minutes
Make your own Velveeta cheese at home in less than 10 minutes!
¼-ounce packet unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 cup boiling water
16 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap, covering all sides and leaving excess to hang over the sides.
2. Place the unflavored gelatin and dry milk powder in a blender or food processor (I used my blender). Pour the boiling water over top and immediately pulse to combine. Add the cheddar cheese and puree the mixture until smooth.
3. Immediately pour and scrape the cheese mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing it into an even layer with a spatula. Fold the excess plastic wrap over the cheese, pressing it against the surface of the cheese, ensuring that it is completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, until set. The cheese will keep in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month.

Shred 4/5 potatoes
Place on two /three dish cloths and squeeze all liquid out of shredded potatoes
Meanwhile heat oil for frying
In another bowl beat one egg and add ½ cup of flour mix well add you spices of choice and bacon shredded cheese optional. Now add potatoes mix well shape. fry till golden brown sprinkle with salt as soon as you pull out of oil. Drains on paper towel enjoy.
Hard Lotion Bar Recipe

1 part each, by weight

Cocoa butter or shea butter
Oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil
Melt all ingredients together, pour in molds, let set until hard, unmold, and you’re done!

I used plantain infused olive oil, almond oil would probably work nicely as well. I made one batch with cocoa butter and one with shea butter, just to compare. For the wax, I originally used granules from Frontier, but will probably switch to some sort of unrefined beeswax in the future because it is more therapeutic.

bcart Update: Mountain Rose Herbs sells unrefined beeswax tabs for those who need it. I was able to purchase a five pound block of beeswax from a local apiary and have been using that.

Here’s a shot of all the ingredients as they begin to melt. In this batch, I used two ounces by weight or volume of each ingredient. I weighed the wax and cocoa butter, and used a liquid measure for the oil.

hard lotion ingredients

When everything has melted completely, pour the liquid into molds of your choice. I had molds available that I used for melt and pour soap making. You could also use muffin tins or some other small container. 6 ounces of product filled two molds completely and one partial mold.

Hard lotion in liquid form

After several hours, the lotion will be firm and hard and should release easily from the mold.

Hard lotion done

My mold set has a lot of fun shapes. I’m rather fond of the basic oval bars, but the boys like the stars and moons better. I bought these years ago at a local craft store, but there are some super cute molds available now like this fish, frog and turtle mold.
hard lotion barsShea Butter Lotion Bars
Both the shea butter and cocoa butter work well for moisturizing. I find the shea butter bars to be a little tackier and take longer to absorb into the skin. They also smell a bit “planty”, not bad, just not as good (to me) as the cocoa butter.
The cocoa butter bars smell good enough to eat! My younger son loved the smell so much I caught him rubbing the bar all over himself after he got out of the shower – even in his armpits. I had been using the bars as a lip balm, too…oops… The next time I made a batch, I poured some into smaller containers to use as lip balm, and made my son his own special bar.

Hard Lotion Bar If you make several bars and don’t use them right away, keep the extra bars in a sealed container or bag. This will help preserve the lovely chocolate smell or any essential oils you may choose to add.

Another option is to pour the “bars” into a salve tin with a lid. You can also use a rectangular bar mold to create a bar that will fit into an Altoid type tin.
Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes Recipe

1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
4 pounds ground beef
14 oz ketchup (can use homemade/lacto-fermented)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar or rapidura
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Saute onion in butter. Add ground beef; brown lightly. Drain off excess fat. Add rest of ingredients and simmer covered 30 minutes. Use to fill 30 to 40 hamburger buns.

To serve the sloppy Joes, I make homemade buns using a recipe that is very similar to my mom’s favorite bread recipe. This variation is sized to fit in a bread machine, so if you have a bread machine you may use it to mix up the dough without worrying that it will overflow as it rises. I normally use my Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine and mix up a double batch at one time. That way I have enough dough to make two loaves of bread plus one dozen hamburger buns. Most of the time I make sourdough bread, but I like this recipe for when I need something quick and my starter isn’t active. I figure it’s still better than the majority of what’s available in the grocery store, even if it’s not soaked or fermented.

Dough Recipe for Buns or Sandwich Bread

1 egg plus enough warm water to equal 1 1/3 cups
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar (Could use honey instead, but the dough will be more sticky)
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups bread flour (I used half organic white bread flour and half fresh ground hard white winter wheat. You could use 100% whole wheat, but the dough will be heavier.)
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast/bread machine yeast or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place all ingredients in mixer or bread machine and mix for 6-8 minutes, until ingredients are well mixed and gluten has had a chance to develop.

Note: If using active dry yeast, add the yeast to the warm water and allow it to warm and dissolve following directions on yeast package before adding the rest of the ingredients.

A double batch covers the bottom of the Bosch.

homemade bun dough
If mixing by hand, blend all ingredients except flour. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. (You may need to adjust the amount of flour based on humidity conditions.) When dough is stiff enough to mix by hand, dump onto a well-floured counter and knead for 5-10 minutes. Continue as below.

Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Punch down dough, let rise until double in size. This batch got a little past double, but that’s okay.

bun dough rising
Divide dough into desired number of buns and loaves and shape accordingly. Remember, the bread will rise again and double in size, so small buns will get much larger. When making hamburger buns, I make them about 2 inches across, and then flatten them slightly before letting them rise.

Cover with a clean dish cloth and place in a warm location until it doubles in size. Note: I line my baking pans with super parchment reusable parchment paper to prevent sticking and any transfer of materials from my well-used pans. I grease my bread pans with locally rendered lard. (New bread pans are on the wish list.) I like to use my kitchen scraper (the metal thingie at left the photo below) to cut the dough to size and transfer the loaves into the pans. It’s also great for scraping the counter clean when you’re done.

shaped dough
Here’s the bread ready to go in the oven. Notice the size change.

rising dough
Bake buns around 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, until lightly browned. Bake bread at 350 degrees F for around 25-30 minutes.

homemade buns
Easy homemade sandwich bread plus sloppy Joe recipe – both freeze well, so they’re great to make ahead.
Cool on wire rack before slicing (if you can wait that long). My preferred cooling rack is a 16×20 inch with a grid pattern, because it’s large enough to hold a double batch of bread dough, but the grid pattern keeps small cookies and such from falling through. Cutting hot bread will allow steam to escape and dry out the loaf of bread,
Potato Bread Recipe Using Real Mashed Potatoes
7 ounces cooked potato (you can use leftover mashed potatoes, or cook up a small potato and mash it)
Water, enough to equal 1 3/4 cup when combined with the potato
(I put the potato into a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup, and add water to bring the level up to 1 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons softened butter
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour (I usually use a mix of fresh ground wheat flour and pre-milled flour)
2 teaspoons dry yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons saf-instant yeast

If using a bread machine, select “wheat”, “sweet”, or “white” setting, do not use a timer.
potato bread ingredients
Gathering ingredients – yeast, sea salt, freshly ground flour from the Nutrimill
I add everything into the machine and mix for 6-8 minutes, adding additional flour if needed. Add the last of flour slowly – you want a soft, elastic dough. Too much flour will give you a harder dough and a drier bread. If kneading by hand, mix wet ingredients with yeast until thoroughly blended, then add dry ingredients, adjusting flour as needed to give a soft, elastic dough. This dough will be a little bit more sticky than many bread doughs. This is normal. If you look closely, you can see little bits of brightly colored blue potato.

potato bread dough

Let bread rest and rise for around 20 minutes, then punch down and allow to rise again. (This develops the flavor and gluten of the bread.)

potato bread risen

Once doubled in size, form dough into loaves and place in greased bread pans. A single recipe makes one large loaf or two smaller loaves. I usually divide the dough into two 9×5 pans, or make a double batch (shown here) and divide it into three regular loaves. When I bake, I like to make more than one loaf so I can keep the extras in the freezer to have on hand when needed.

potato bread loaves

bread loves in pan
Bread loaves in pan, before and after rising.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Try to wait for the bread to cool before cutting, if possible. When you cut open a steaming loaf of bread, much of the moisture escapes as steam, leaving the remainder of the loaf dry. Of course, if it all disappears within a matter of minutes, this is a non-issue. 😉 I let this batch rise a bit too much, which is why the finished loaves (shown below) don’t look quite so picture perfect. Remember, bread will rise a bit in the oven, so bake before it is overflowing the pans. (And don’t get involved in another project and forget about your bread…)

loaves of potato bread

This recipe produces a moist, dense loaf that is great for sandwiches and toast, and holds for the better part of a week. For longer storage, it freezes very well, in case you want to make a double or triple batch.

Women sanitary pads

cloth pad tutorial, you can make your own. They use a waterproof backing (PUL or Fleece), an absorbent inner and soft top layer.

Regular Mama PadS till confused as to why anyone would use cloth? I mean, didn’t these die out in the 60’s? Intrigued by my friend’s switch, I decided to give it a try for the environmental and economical benefits. Using scraps on hand from making diapers, I whipped up a couple, using a pattern I made based on disposable pads. Once I switched, I noticed instantly significant improvement with back pain. I could hardly believe the effect on my body! Though thoroughly convinced this was the route for me, my first few pads were really uncomfortable. I changed the pattern (and the fabric) a several times before I settled on this design. Easy to sew wings (straight lines!), easy to launder and a good, comfortable fit.

One key element to finding a comfortable pad was the fabric I used for the top. I’ve first tried using flannel and microsuede, but bamboo velour has far, far outperformed them. Hand-dyed bamboo velour is more comfortable, more durable, resists staining, and the fabric has stayed soft, even after years. I use 1mil PUL for the backing and Zorb for the absorbent inner. I mainly use Zorb because I have it already and it’s easy to sew with… but it performs just as well as the other soaker choices I’ve used.

And before I get off my soapbox, if you have not heard of menstrual cups, I recommend checking them out and see if they will work better for your needs. Nuff said, onto the pattern…


Waterproof Backing Fabric – PUL, Heavy or waterproof fleece
Absorbent Soaker Fabric- Zorb, Bamboo, Hemp, Cotton (even old towels would work just fine)
Soft Topper Fabric – Bamboo/Cotton Velour, Microfleece, Microsuede, Minky, Flannel, Cotton prints
Snaps – Plastic (size 14/16) or Metal
Pen/chalk/Water-soluble Marker

Quick estimates for regular sizes give about 5 in 1/3 yard of each fabric, or about 8 in 1/2 a yard for 45″ Fabric… But this is a great project for using up your scraps.


Two sizes available, Regular and Overnight. A scale comparison of the two patterns is shown below, and the links to the pdf patterns are just below licensing.


Optional Step – If you are using bamboo velour and PUL, you may want to starch your velour first. Starching causes the fabric to become stiff and flat, which is good for sewing a non-stretchy fabric (PUL) to a streaky fabric. Starch comes in an aerosol can and costs about $1 in any big box chain, sold with the laundry detergents. It helps so much with sewing, and washes out in the first wash. Use heavy starch and spray in a well ventilated area. Really, it’s worth it!

1) Print pattern and assemble pieces. There is no seam allowance on these patterns! Trace the pattern out on the back of the fabric (pen on PUL works well) and cut arbitrarily around it giving you a seam allowance (at least 1/2″). Once assembled you’ll sew right along the lines, and trim after.

For the absorbent soaker fabric, you’ll want to use either 1 layer of zorb, 2-3 layers of bamboo, hemp, or thick cotton towels. Cut the soaker out using the inner contour on the pattern, this time cutting directly on the line (no seam allowance needed).

2) Sew the absorbent fabric to the back of the topper fabric. Use any sort of pattern you want. I like the simple 3 lines like in the image above, but quilting or darning will look great too.

3) Using polyester thread, sew around the line you traced out on the back of the fabric. If you use pins, use them only on the selvage. I prefer to sew with the PUL side up, as it’s less stretchy, but that only works if you have a walking or teflon foot. Before you sew check out our Sewing with PUL Page. Leave one side of the wing unsewn, on the straight part between the curves.

4) Snip around the curves, especially right where the wings attach to the body.

5) Turn the cloth inside out, and top stitch around the edges, closing up the hole, using coordinating polyester thread.

6) Apply your snaps. One side facing up, one side facing down.


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