I have been on a try-something-new-kick recently. I have tried things in my kitchen, that two years ago I would have scoffed at. Among them are Blackberry Wine, Red Wine Vinegar and sauerkraut. On the non-food side I have also made my own shampoo.
With any new venture there will be failure or learning curves as my Hubby says. There are also successes, I’d like to share both with you.
Ahh shampoo. Did you know that if you grate soap, melt it together with water and bottle it that it will solidify again? Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Well it never occurred to me, especially since I was following a recipe for shampoo. After about a day in the bottle the coconut oil slid to the top and the rest, well, I could have used it as a weight. So into the pot again with more water. I have a shampoo now that resembles jello but it works. At this point that is good enough for me.
Wine was comparably easy. I had several pounds of berries in the freezer left over from last year. We are lucky to have a wonderful “Organic Practice” Blackberry farm near us. With less than $40 in equipment (not including berries) I set to work. The berries were mixed with sugar and squished a bit to release their juice. After several days I strained off the juice and added yeast and more sugar. A week after that I siphoned it off into two small carboys (glass jugs) and now all I can do is wait.
Sauerkraut was by the far the easiest. Mom gave me a cabbage fresh from her garden. (More accurately I pilfered it from the CSA leavings) Combined with salt and weighted with a plate I finished that in ten minutes.
Next time I think I will try something with a bit more instant gratification. However since my inspiration comes from 1800’s kitchens and self-sufficiency books, I am not sure how.
I would still like to make olives, sourdough starter (that doesn’t turn pink), grow coffee and learn more about natural medicine.
Do you have a favorite recipe, staple or beauty product that you make? Do you remember your grandmother making anything that you wish you had the recipe for?