Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homemade Body Wash

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I have had the recipe for homemade body wash on my to-do list for a very long time. Although time hasn't been on my side lately and it got pushed to the back burner.  Well, when you're down the the last drops of shower gel and you don't want to pay the big bucks for a new bottle, you make time to cook up a batch.

The original "recipe" comes from HERE. It looked pretty straightforward.  I mean if I can follow a recipe for homemade bread I can for sure melt some soap in a pan with some water.  Haha!  I did figure out how to make it but there was some trial and error involved.  

The recipe is as follows.  

Homemade Body Wash
3 Bars of Dove soap
6 C. water
Grate the soap into the pan
Add the water
Heat on low and stir until all the soap is melted
Cool in mason jars (no lids)
Pour into body wash bottles or place lids on the mason jars

So here is where my troubles began....

"Just grate it" they said.  "It's so simple." they said. 

After 10 minutes of grating the first bar of soap my arm muscles were burning, my grater felt like it was going to break, and the soap was melting in my hot hand.  It was literally a hot mess!!  I turned to my trusty food processor.  I had read that some people grate their soap in it, so I gave it a try. 

You can't really see it in the picture, but the soap wouldn't budge and I ended up with soap all over the blade and nothing in the bowl.  I pushed the soap harder through the chute and my processor literally stopped.  I think I broke it, but I'm too scared to try and turn it on again. It got cleaned and put back in the cupboard.  (which by the way you would think soap would wash right off of kitchen doesn't!  It's so sticky!!)

 I resorted to chopping it up the old fashioned way and what I noticed is that the soap just breaks apart naturally.  I tried to cut the pieces into similar sizes so they would melt all at once.  

 After chopping all three bars of soap I added in 6 cups of water and brought the mixture to a low simmer.  I stirred pretty consistently with a whisk.  Now, I have to warn you.  If you do not like the smell of the soap in it's bar form, then you will be forced out of your home for several hours while the smell permeates your residence.  It was strong!!  It took about 15 minutes for all of the soap pieces to fully melt.  I then poured the liquid into mason jars to cool.

I filled two quart mason jars and let them sit for several hours while they cooled.  They will turn from a runny liquid to a thicker body wash type gel.  I then poured one mason jar into my leftover commercial body wash container and placed a plastic mason jar lid on the extra body wash.  

 I haven't done the math, but I am sure this is a great deal compared to purchasing Dove body wash for upwards of $6.00 a bottle.  It was a messy, soap smelling process, but I will try this again.  I learned what worked and what didn't.  I have been using the body wash for just over a week now and I LOVE it!!! I use one of those poof type spongy things and it foams up just like the store bought stuff.  And the Dove soap really moisturizes my skin.  I have not had that dry itchy feeling after my shower.  I am sure you can make this with any bar soap, I just had Dove on hand.  This was a to-do list win!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Post Disaster Meals - No Cooking Required!

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*This is a a re-post from Oct. 2012

{While talking to a neighbor last night this post came to mind and I thought it would be a good reminder for everyone. We were discussing what we would eat in the days immediately following a disaster.  Even those of us who like to eat fresh food most of the time, the hours and days after a disaster will require a different approach to eating.  The concept of having at least three days worth of food will go right along side your 72-hour kits.}

Post Disaster Meals--No Cooking Required! 

I read a great post over at Homestead Revival and it got me thinking about the minutes, hours, and first days after a disaster.  What would I be doing?  What would my family be eating, drinking, sleeping on, etc?  Amy, from Homestead Revival, described a situation just like Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath that ensued.  I was inspired by her words and her challenge to come up with enough meals for 3 days that required NO cooking.  This is definitely a challenge!  I do  have ways to cook without power, but in the hours following a disaster I don't know if I will be able to get to my butane stove, and have the sense to even want to think about cooking a meal.  

The first meal that Amy put together was tuna, crackers, a small container of mayo, pickle relish, canned fruit, and small bags of trail mix.  She keeps this in a Rubbermaid type container and has it labeled.  Everything required for the meal would be contained in the box, even a can opener, and there is no cooking needed.  Amy then challenged her readers to come up with their own meals to add to a disaster kit.  I sat and thought what could I possibly have on hand for breakfast, lunch, and, dinner without cooking.  Here is what I came up with......

Breakfast would include:
  • Cereal
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • bowls and spoons

 Lunch  #1 would include:
  • Tuna
  • Saltine crackers
  • Mayo
  • Pineapple (for in the sandwich or a side fruit)
  • Chex Mix

Lunch #2 would include:
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Oranges

Lunch or Dinner idea:
  •  Soup (different kinds for picky family eaters)
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Spoons & bowls
  • Pears
The soup wouldn't be warm, but it is edible.  

 Dinner would include:
  • Taco shells
  • Black beans
  • Olives
  • Salsa
  • Oranges
  • And I forgot the utensils in this pic :)

Now I need to put all this food into a water safe container with a variety of crackers, more silverware, napkins, and utensils.  I added some peanut butter and crackers at the top of the picture for a snack.  I might just add a few pieces of Halloween candy to keep our sweet tooth happy too!

And don't forget a......

What meal ideas would work for your family??  This is only the beginning, I will have to ponder this subject some more and see what else would work for us!  This idea will supplement our 72-hour kits nicely and having it all in one bin will allow me to rotate it easier, and I know that all our food is in one place.   

Friday, November 7, 2014

Butter Sale!

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If you have a Kroger grocery store near you then I have a deal for you!  Butter is on sale for $1.99 when you buy 10 participating items in their Buy 10 Save $5 sale.  Ronzoni and American Beauty pasta are also part of this sale and are only .49 after buying 10 items.  It's a great food storage stock up sale.  But there is only one problem....the butter sold out the first day of the sale! Butter has been really expensive lately so this is an amazing price! If your store is out of butter make sure to get a rain check to secure your price of $1.99lb.  

 Even though my store was out of butter, I took my store ad to Wal-Mart and price matched the butter.  This butter sells for over $5 a pound!!  That is crazy expensive!!  As I was checking out the checker noticed that there were coupons on the front of the package for .30 off of each box.  I got 10lbs of butter for $17.50! 

 I was so excited!  What a steal!  They went right into my freezer.  And I also have my rain check to get more when my store is restocked.  I hope some of you have a Kroger store in your area to take advantage of this deal.
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