About Me

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As a daughter, granddaughter (still...at my age!), wife, mom, grammy, lover of God and life, it has become my mission in life to encourage others. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the reader to the sustainable life through organic recipes, gardening tips, cleaning and organizing methods, Spiritual help, and anything else which may encourage you in your journey to wholeness--body, soul, and spirit.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making Laundry Soap with Recipe!

Commercial laundry detergent is expensive.  And has a LOT of chemicals.  
As one of those "crunchy-granola-people" I like the idea of an all natural laundry detergent that WORKS. There are a few options for those who are looking for natural laundry detergent. 

Soap nuts are an organic alternative--you use them with hot water, smallish loads, and use a separate stain remover.  On the plus side, they are extremely gentle and totally organic, and the best for the earth as no chemicals enter the waste stream from their use.  They are also reusable, so they are very cost effective.

A mixture of Borax, Washing Soda, Baking Soda, and Soap is natural because it uses oils and minerals (the minerals make it not strictly organic but they are from the earth), and works well because the ingredients react with water and fabric to remove dirt and some stains.  One recipe (the recipe used here) consists of 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup Washing Soda, 1/4 cup Baking Soda, and 1/2 cup shredded soap.  Always use soap with organic oils, no synthetic fragrances, and food grade lye.  That way you know you have the purest, gentlest soap possible.

Shepherd's Harvest makes a laundry kit with all of the ingredients pre-measured (see it here: http://www.shepherds-harvest.com/collections/home/products/laundry-kit-with-stain-stick).  The reason I decided to make the kit was that there were so many people who wanted to make their own, but Borax and Washing Soda come in huge boxes...they cake after a while.  There is a commitment to purchasing huge amounts, and what if you don't like the result?  Also, it is nice to have a little natural fragrance, but really expensive to purchase essential oils.  And what about set-in stains?  A stain stick would be nice... So the laundry kit has everything pre-measured, with some essential oil for fragrance, and a stain stick.

If you want to make your own, go for it!  Use the recipe above, and mix the powdered ingredients together before you begin.  Here is the how-to:

You will need:
Bucket that holds more than 2 gallons of liquid
Large pan
Measuring Cup
Hot Water

Pour soup shavings into a pan.


Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the soap shavings.  

Heat on low setting, stirring occasionally, until soap is melted.  

Add the packet of powder and stir until all ingredients are dissolved. 

Pour 4 Cups water into bucket, then Add soap mixture and stir.  

 Add 1 Gallon plus 6 cups hot water and allow to sit overnight.  The mixture will be thick and gel-like, and may be used as it is, or you may add additional water if desired.  Shake well before using, and use the same amount you normally use of non-concentrated detergent.


After the detergent gels, you can either leave it in the bucket (you will want to cover it) or you can fill old detergent bottles with the liquid.  The detergent will be brownish with a gloppy "wonton soup" consistency.  Always stir or shake it before using, and use the same amount that you would use of a non-concentrated detergent.

Have you ever made your own detergent?  What was your experience, and how well did it work?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Help...There are still some forms of fast food that I want!

Like KFC.  It has always been a favorite of mine.  And my husband, who, by the way, has a completely separate cupboard so that he does not have to eat "that organic crap" that I keep in "my cupboard."  Interestingly, his cupboard is becoming healthier as time progresses...and we are both losing weight.  And yet.

So, my dear hubby set out to find a suitable KFC substitute, and I set out to "organify" it.  This is what we came up with.  It is similar to other recipes we have seen, with the salt drastically reduced.  Since he does not like onions, we deleted the onion powder, but you can add a little if you like. Needless to say, all the ingredients are organic.

First, the seasoning mixture:
  •   1/2 cup sea salt
  •   1 T sucanat or organic cane sugar 
  •   1 T garlic powder
  •   1/2 T curry powder
  •   1/2 T chili powder
  •   1/2 t cayenne pepper
  •   1/2 t allspice
  •   3 T paprika
  •   1 t dry mustard
  •   1 T lemon pepper
  •   1 t freshly ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in a large airtight container.
Next, the chicken.  I like to use a free range chicken, skinless.  You can bone it too.  Since my husband made it, he picked up whatever chicken was on sale at the store (yuck), but I ate it anyway.  (Still feeling a little guilty).
Here is the recipe:
Soak boneless, skinless chicken in milk for 20-30 minutes.  While the chicken is soaking, mix the following ingredients in a bowl or gallon size bag:
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 T seasoning
  • 3/4 t pepper
  • 1 c unbleached organic white flour
  • 2 t paprika
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut up 1/2 stick of butter (pasture butter is nice) and place in a 9 x 13 pan.  Melt the butter in the oven, then spread it around the bottom of the pan.  If needed, you can lightly spray the pan with some organic cooking spray to be sure there are no dry spots. 

Shake the excess milk off  each piece of chicken, then coat it with the mixture by either shaking it in the bag or dipping it in the bowl.  Place each piece in the pan and bake for 20 minutes then turn and bake for 20 more minutes or until crispy.

This came out delicious!  The only thing we noticed is that it was not as crispy as we would have liked.  Next time we will cook it at a slightly higher heat, or for a little longer time.  The taste was incredible.

If you try this, let me know!