Saturday, September 25, 2010

laundry powder


A few weeks back Maeve and I had a go at making our own Laundry Powder after being inspired by Amanda's post here. Let me just say it works a treat! I really can't stand the smell of commercial wash powders (or many man-made perfumed scents for that matter...they give me nausea and headaches), so this stuff has been a much welcomed relief for my sensitive nose/head.
We were a bit lazy and grated the soap in the food processor, which made the whole process super speedy. Maeve was a great little helper!

For those of you that live in Australia, it seems that some of the ingredients can be hard to come by so I thought I would share where I got mine:
  • The Borax was a tricky fella to track down. I couldn't find it anywhere, until I did a home shop through Woolworths online and they had it! None of my local Woolworths stocked it, but online did...go figure? I have also heard that some Bunnings stock Borax.
  • The Dr Bronners castile soap can be found at most good health or vitamin shops. If not, ask and they will probably order it in for you.
  • Washing soda. Well, this one is a rather long story. At first I couldn't find it in my local supermarket, but I did find 'soda crystals', which I had read about on a lot of forums and people said its the same thing as washing soda. Don't be fooled folks, its not! The soda crystals have water added and the washing soda is a dry powdery salt. Anyway, because the soda crystals were all I could at the time, I got them, and thought maybe I could pop them on a tray in the oven to dry them out and hence remove the water content. Turned out the soda crystals had a much higher water content than I thought, and pretty soon I had a deep tray of liquid boiling in the oven! This went on for ages, and in the end I stuck the tray on the hotplate to boil quicker. It eventually all dried out (I am talking hours later) and I was left scraping the powdered stuff out of the tray. The tray was completely trashed, and had to be binned. See the jar in the photo below? That how much washing soda powder I got from a full bag of soda crystals. Pathetic! And if that experiment wasn't torture enough, the next day I came across a bag of washing soda in a small grocery shop close by for half the price. Arrgghh... I couldn't believe it!! I will n-e-v-e-r be making my own again!
    Now, I am sure you could use the soda crystals if that's all you can come by. But if the recipe calls for 1 cup of washing soda, you may want to substitute 3-4 cups of soda crystals.
On another note, this Laundry Powder seems to work great in both top loader and front loader machines. I have a front loader and have no issues yet. It is not too sudsy at all.

{happy washing!}

Thursday, September 16, 2010

taste testing

This cheeky boy of mine got into the fruit and veg delivery while I had my back turned and took a bite out of each strawberry, leaving only two untouched! I must say he enjoyed every minute of it, making sure each berry was just as delicious as the one before. We did have a good laugh, after my initial panic realising he eaten through the plastic wrap and all to get to his tucker. Since no one else was keen to eat what remained, I stewed them up with some apples and they were delicious on top of our yogurt.
While we are talking food, I have to show you the yummy lemon tart I made Luke for Fathers day. It was so so good! I even made my own pastry which wasn't half as bad as I imagined, and boy was it melt in your mouth material! We will be making this one again.