Friday, April 26, 2013

Soap Making

 Why make or buy handmade soap? Besides that it is so customizable, you can make it any color or no color, any scent or no scent. Handmade soap uses little ingredients. It's not like the bars and body washes at the store. Those are made of tons of chemicals, things we can't pronounce and remember the skin is your largest organ. We should take care of it!  Handmade soaps are made with simple good for you ingredients. Oils, fabulous butters such as shea butter, colorants from clays, micas & pigments, fragrances from synthetic fragrance oils or natural essential oils. Soap makers control what goes into them. Some are all natural and some are mostly natural with the exception of say fragrance oils. The one below is made with a fragrance oil, my usual oils and cocoa butter.

Blue Sugar handmade soap

Master Tonic

     Have any of you ever made or tried a master tonic? Sometimes they are called plague tonics because they are believed to cure everything, mainly colds & flu. So I thought I'd give it a shot. I made this one back in February. We haven't had the need to use it here in our family.

This spicy little jar has a combo of  fresh onions, garlic, jalapenos, ginger root, horseradish & unfiltered apple cider vinegar.  This mix can be used by drinking a few teaspoons when you feel sick.

Use fresh ingredients:

1 part onions                                              1 part ginger root
1 part garlic                                                1 part horseradish
1 part jalapenos or any hot peppers        Unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Wear gloves!!
Start by chopping up all the veggies & roots. Pack them in a jar that will seal. Cover the veggies with vinegar and tighten a lid on. Let this mixture set for 2 weeks, shaking it once a day. After the two weeks is up strain all the goodies off and keep in a cool place out of the light. I have mine stored in a cabinet.

To use: gargle, swish & swallow a teaspoon once you feel cold like symptoms coming on. Several times a day. Now remember I've never tried this so I have no idea if it actually works!

Hopefully we won't ever need this but just in case...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wild violet vinegar

I saw a few posts recently on making different things with violets. I never knew the little tiny purple flowers I picked as a child in my yard were violets. I also didn't know the many things you can do with these things! Make oil, vinegar (which is what I did here) candy them, eat them in salads and make jelly. I'd love to gather enough to make jelly but for now I made a vinegar. I guess I should have infused them in oil and maybe I could have used that in soap? Hmmm
I really just wanted to see the beautiful color this would turn out to be. So I give you

Wild Violet Vinegar!

We picked the flowers, trimmed the stems & rinsed them off. Placed them on paper towels to dry out a bit and then placed them in a old salsa jar. Next you heat up some vinegar till it's warm enough to cover the flowers and let the flowers steep. The bottom left picture was taken maybe and hour after adding the vinegar. The bigger picture on the right was taken about 12 hours later. It's a magenta color and it's so pretty.

So in about a week I'll strain off the flower and be left with this gorgeous vinegar.
Now I have no idea what I'm doing with the mixture but it sure is pretty to look at.