Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 17 The Long Haul and Laundry Soap

"Mmm, this is like it was before we went on food storage. It tastes good," said the 10 year old. "Really? Did the other food taste bad?"

The three year old is asking for bananas. Banana's I can't improvise. Maybe he'll settle for banana pudding. The teenagers are glad to be eating somewhere else tonight - the youth activity at the church. They are fantasizing of going to get gas and sneaking a gallon of milk and maybe a trip to Hu Hot's.

It is more of a mental game to stay out of the stores and refrain from buying fast food for 90 days than a physical challenge. This is the real "intestinal fortitude" I am hoping to develop. We have been able to cook chocolate chip cookies with mayonnaise, make a homemade batch of ranch dressing for dinner tonight, drink chocolate milk and eat fresh salads. No one is suffering unduly. In fact the meals are probably a little better balanced because I'm thinking about them. Being prepared means three months without a trip to the grocery store is almost a seamless transition. (We are not there yet. I am making a wish list.) Once proven that it can be done, one has to stay the course.

Homemade laundry detergent is simple and it really works. I followed a recipe from the newspaper this time to make a 4 gallon batch: 1 bar fels-naptha soap, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax. Melt the fels-naptha in 6 cups of hot water on the stove. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir until dissolved. Pour into 5 gallon bucket. The I added 1 cup of our favorite liquid fabric softener to add a fragrance to the detergent. Essential oils also work. A normal wash calls for 1/3 cup. The detergent will form a gel. Periodically mix it up again before use. If you need stronger detergent, add more borax. Everything is Eco friendly and biodegradable. The cost for 1000 loads of laundry is under $10.00. The compact two small boxes for 1000 loads is far more efficient than 3-4 large boxes or buckets. We may never go back to a traditional laundry soap.

Breakfast: "Pumpkin Pie" made with a winter squash hybrid called "Argonaut" squash. These taste like a butternut/banana squash, are 18-24 inches long, and shaped like a butternut. I cooked them, then blended 2 cups, added all the spices, substitutes know gelatin for 1 out of 3 eggs, and baked it like a pumpkin pie. My 5 year old was my helper. It was delightful one on one time with her while I worked away in the early morning hours while the rest of the house was asleep. We served cottage cheese (yes, the expiration date is 2/11/2010) with the pie.

Lunch: Tuna noodle casserole with fresh frozen peas. I used the multicolored corkscrew noodles. Little changes in the pasta or vegetable make a traditional dish exciting.

Dinner: Baked chicken breast, mashed potatoes -real with 1/4 added instant, green beans tossed with orange zest and ginger paste in margarine, Green salad with ranch dressing, (the tossed greens from Sams are still holding fine.) Chocolate Chip cookies for dessert.


  1. Is that laundry detergent HE (suitable for high efficiency washing machines)?

  2. I have had no problems with this detergent in my HE front loader. I have learned to keep the detergent liquid by adding water because it slowly dries out over the months. You can decrease the detergent to 2 TBS per load if you are worried.

  3. Hi there :) I make my own laundry soap too. I make my own bar soap so I substitute my homemade soap for the felsnaptha soap. Great to see someone else doing this and so glad that I found your blog

  4. Oh and a quick comment on the high eficiency machines. A homemade laundry soap doesn't contain the foaming agents that a regular laundry soap does so there doesn't seem to be a problem with HE washers. (not mine anyway)

  5. I have been making this detergent for years now...and I'm still using all my original items...they last FOREVER!!!

  6. I'm making this right now and have a question. With only 6 cups water added how does it become 4 gallons?