Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Boston beans, homemade dishwasher powder and laundry soaps

pressure cooking on my barely adequate stove
I've been trying to convert some of the things I used to take for granted into things I make homemade.  A year or so ago we gave up grocery store canned goods (metal cans) because of BPA.  As a result, simple easy lunches like beanie weanies (baked beans and hot dogs) had been virtually removed from our diet.  I was getting pretty good at using the pressure cooker to provide cooked beans for us but still that requires enough foresight to get the beans out and soak them, sprout get the idea.  Last week though is the beginning of the end of that inconvenience!  I canned my first batch of Boston baked beans!  I know real exciting but we were missing having that as a food option.  I used the recipe from Jackie Clay's Growing and Canning Your Own Food  which I'd recommend if you want to take canning to a level beyond just single ingredient fruits and veggies.  If you don't, the classic Ball Book of Canning is just right for just about everything else.  I don't think I can just post the recipe but it was basically navy beans, brown sugar, molasses, onion, mustard and bacon- which the instructions didn't say to cook and drain the bacon but I think next time I will since there is a LOT of grease in those beans.  They are super tasty though!  I think this is the start of some serious bean canning because that will seriously make dinner time easier to do on the fly.

the turkey roaster was the only pot big enough to cook them in

finished jars (after a few were given away)
A few other items I now DIY are dishwasher and laundry soaps.  I found the recipes on a website (I think e-how) but since I've adjusted it a bit I'll just post mine.  I was using those cascade complete packets with lemishine on the side but I'm not missing the cascade at all.  I can't seem to get away from lemishine though.  That stuff just rocks!  If TEOTWAWKI happens I'll have to try to get case loads of the stuff....oh wait, I won't have electricity most likely so nevermind.  I need a good liquid dishwashing soap recipe if anyone has one.

Dishwasher Machine powder

1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup kosher or canning salt (I use canning salt...its what I have on hand)
1/2 cup lemishine or citric acid

(after breaking up the borax clumps) dump all ingredients into a wide mouth quart jar.  apply lid and shake.  Use about 1TBS per load.  If you have cruddy water like mine you'll need to add a 1/2 TBS of lemishine in the prewash pocket. 

My laundry soap is just as easy...can't remember where I found this one but its really close to the way I found it.  Its gets even my kid's nasty stinky cloth diapers clean so I feel pretty good about it.

Basic dry laundry soap

1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup kosher or canning salt (can you tell I have bad water?)
1 bar of Fels naptha shaved

I take the ingredients and put in the powder-y stuff first into my blender.  I put the shavings on top and pulse until I get a nice fine consistancy.  I use about a heaping TBS in each large washload.  Its best to dissolve this stuff in hot water first but I'm usually too lazy and it does just fine.   I would imagine you can substitute the Fels Naptha but I kind of like the smell.  We were formerly using Country Save and it had absolutely no smell so a little scent is nice.


  1. Oh, if you didn't know TEOTWAWKI stands for: the end of the world as we know it. That can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people but I think the most likely would be a collapse of the financial system or an actual depression (think Great Depression).

  2. I am super impressed with all that you do!

  3. It's all out of sheer! Thanks :)

  4. So funny! I just did baked beans today, though I'm freezing mine since I've got plans for them very soon. I made our first batch of shampoo two days ago and plan on getting our first batch of liquid laundry detergent done! The dish detergent will have to wait until we move out because my mother refuses. She's so distrustful of my homemade things? It took her several times of me canning jam for her to try it.... random. Anyway - yay you! Yay homemade stuff! :)

  5. I saw your shampoo its simplicity. I'm still pretty addicted to the commercial shampoo so thats something I need to work on.