Monday, May 19, 2008

The Monday Menu + a recipe for laundry soap

This week's Monday Menu includes not only the typical Meal planner (recipes for the asking) but also a recipe for home made laundry soap is found at the bottom of this post.

This week I'm making cheese. As I've yet to buy or make a cheese press I'm going to start with Mozzarella. I'm going to start buying extra milk and saving it for cheeses. I may be this cow's only customer by the time I'm done with yogurt, cheese and milk for the kids. I tried my hand at milking today. I only got a quart before my muscles were fatigued. I'm going to work up to being able to help with the chores so the cow's owner can leave town on occasion.

With the mozzarella I'll make Panini sandwiches. I'll use the whey focaccia bread and then dress the sandwich with a spoon of pesto, and red onion and greens.

I've got whole roasting chicken in the freezer that need to be used and a smoker that has never been used so I thought I'd pair the two and learn to use the smoker.

We'll be having a few all vegie meals such as salad and corn, and I didn't actually get around to the tofu and shrimp dish so that will be coming up as well. I've got my head in the garden and am not really focused on the menu so much just now.

As far as the soap goes,we didn't always just run to the store and pay alarming rates for specialty laundry detergent that is bad for the environment. Really, making soap was normal a couple of generations ago. This recipe for soap comes from Soaps gone buy, a really great site with good prices where I've ordered the Fels Naptha and the washing soda. The borax is readily available here. For scented laundry, you may add a couple of drops of essential oil (gardenia or lavender) in 1/2 C vinegar to the rinse water.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light loads, use 2 tablespoon. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.

To make a large batch - grate 6 bars of Fels Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well and store in covered container.

TIP: Home made laundry soaps will NOT make suds in your washer so don't be alarmed. Fels Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new HE washers as well as traditional washers. You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener or in most cases you can even eliminate the use of softener completely.

Now, go hang your laundry out on the line!


Melissa said...

I've heard if you really miss softener you can add a bit of vinegar to the rinse cycle. I haven't tried it; we don't miss it. I had seen the soaps gone buy website too and was going to order some fels naptha once my current supply of store bought stuff runs out, but I had wanted to do some research about what borax actually you know? I assume it's better for the earth than the stuff found in a bottle of 'regular' detergent, but haven't gotten around to doing the actual research yet...

Verde said...

My I don't know what it is but it is one of those really old products and is natural. The box says not to take internally.

I believe it is related to boric acid that I used as an eye wash as a kid.

Melissa said...

well, I have to admit, that's enough research for me :) anything you can wash your eye with can't be too bad! I wish I could try this now...I'm a bit of a hoarder sometimes so I still have 3 bottles of regular detergent in my laundry closet that I need to use up.

Verde said...

I hear you, I have to use what I have - usually I have several put back from sales but I haven't found a good laundry deterget sale in a while.

I'm not sure if I've missed them or if this town's prices stay high or if there arn't sales as often.

God_Guurrlll said...

I admire your lifestyle.

BTW you got tagged. Click here.

e4 said...

We are apparently living semi-parallel lives. My hands and forearms are fatigued from hand milking. (it gets better the more you do it, but I'm still not quite able to do it without a break.) We've made butter and yogurt, and next up is - you guessed it - mozarella. And I've also assembled all of the ingredients for the very same laundry soap and plan on making it tomorrow. :)