Wednesday, 15 January 2014

DIY liquid soap - no chemicals required!!

A year or so ago I bought a bulk lot of liquid castille soap that I've been using in our reusable hand soap dispensers, but a few months ago I ran out. I prefer liquid soap for hands as it is easier in the kitchen and bathroom and doesn't leave the same mess as home made olive oil soap bars do with regular use (all that lovely glycerine gloops out). However, with increases in postage (no local suppliers) it just wasn't practical to buy more online, so I went looking for another solution.

I stumbled across this post at The Frugal Berry - in a nutshell you use a bar of Castile soap (say Dr Bronners, but of course you can use home made soap), water, a bag and some time. Seemed far to easy, but nothing venture nothing gained, so I gave it a whirl.

It worked! In a week I went from this
to this
and it really was as easy as the instructions on the blog. I did use two cakes of soap, but mine were small. In fact this was soap that didn't work so well (with calendula flower threads) so this has been a great way to use it up. It made 1L of liquid soap, and probably cost less than $5.

Liquid soap problems solved!

Monday, 6 January 2014


Back from holidays and there were a few cabbages in the fridge from our veg box scheme that needed some love. Kimchi is the answer!  This Korean fermented cabbage dish is super easy to make, and I like it a lot more than sauerkraut.

I followed the recipe from the excellent Joy of Pickling book, but there are load online too. After 12 hours in brine I added minced ginger, garlic and a Japanese 7 chilli blend to mine ( like it hot) and into the cheese fridge (a wine fridge I bought at a garage sale for $25) for 3-4 days. The cheese fridge keeps it below 20 degrees but above fridge temperature, to allow fermentation to occur. I sealed the top of the jar with a food grade plastic bag filled with more brine - this allows air to escape but keeps the contents sealed from nasties.

Once it's reached a good taste, then just seal the jar and refrigerate. It keeps for months.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2014 everyone. I hope you enjoyed some relaxation with family and friends over the holiday season. We had a bit of a break in the city and then to the coast. For Xmas Jerry gave me a swim with seals and dolphins - it was EXCELLENT.

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