Country Traditions

November 16, 2010

How to make soap | Life and style | guardian.co.uk

Filed under: decorating, farming, recipes, soap making, Vinegar, wisdom — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 8:19 am
Handmade soaps sold at Hyères, France

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“Never put vinegar in your eyes and remember, the quickest way to kill someone is through the optic nerve straight to the brain,” Sharon Homans warns.

Whoa. I’m glad I’ve come on a soap-making course: I’ve always been interested in the idea of making soap, but nervous about handling the ingredients. But the dangers posed by household vinegar hadn’t even crossed my mind (soapmakers keep a bottle of vinegar handy to neutralise alkaline burns from the lye).

Some of my 25 fellow students have travelled to London from far-flung parts of the UK. The man on the door tells me people have flown in from Japan and Brazil before. The course is led by Melinda Coss, who is something of a grande dame in the soap world. She advises numerous cosmetics companies, and products devised by her are sold in Harrods as well as in the high street chain Lush.

via How to make soap | Life and style | guardian.co.uk.

via How to make soap | Life and style | guardian.co.uk.

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September 17, 2010

Housekeeping 1896

Filed under: Churning butter, gardening, laundry, recipes, sewing, soap making — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 11:50 am
"Good Housekeeping" magazine is one ...

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Posted by Miss KimAugust 16, 2010
From the 19th into the early 20th century the ever increasing number of middle class housewives found that having a “systematic” way with housekeeping details made for more leisure time for the housewife.
“Orderly, systematic work is the great time-saver in housekeeping, as is every other vocation in life.
A written programme, of which the following is suggestive, of the order in which the regular daily work is to be done, kept where it will serve as a constant reminder, will aid greatly in the establishment of habits of method in one’s work :
1. Make the fire ; fill the tea-kettle and reservoirs. Polish the stove, when needed.
2. Dust the kitchen, which should have been left clean and in good order the night before. Wash the hands preparatory to getting breakfast, as it is always essential to have the hands and finger nails clean before handling foods and cooking utensils.
3. Get breakfast.
4. Make any preparations for dinner which may require early attention.
5. Wash dishes, including dish towels; clean sinks, hoppers, and garbage receptacles, if any.
6. Extras. Under this division may be arranged different duties for regular days; as, for example, one day each week may be devoted to extra cleaning of cupboards, reservoirs, ovens, etc.; two other days to washing and cleaning the refrigerator, extra scouring of utensils and faucets, cleaning of lights, woodwork, walls, windows, and cellar, all of which require more or less of the housekeeper’s attention, though not always demanding daily care.
7. Put the kitchen to rights. This should be done after every meal before leaving the kitchen. At the close of the day’s work everything should be left in perfect order.
It is desirable to have the housework so planned that work which must be done regularly each week, as baking, washing, and ironing, shall have its own appointed day arranged as best suits the needs and convenience of the household. There is always a best way of performing even the simplest of household details ; seek out this most advantageous method and save time by employing it.—Mrs. E. E. Kellogg in Good Health.”
~Good Housekeeping Magazine 1896

http://www.vintage-homemaking.info/

September 16, 2010

17th Century Household Duties

Compared to present-day families, the seventeenth century household served a wider range of functions and had more porous and flexible boundaries. It served a variety of productive, educational, religious, and welfare roles that have subsequently been shed to other institutions. It was, first and foremost, a unit of economic production, whose size and composition varied according to the household’s labor needs (Mintz & Kellogg, 1988). Inside the household, the division of domestic roles was far less specialized or rigid than it would later become. This was especially true for women. The historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has aptly described seventeenth-century mothering as extensive rather than intensive. Households were busy and often crowded places where childrearing responsibilities had to be balanced with other demands on a woman’s time. Mothers were not only responsible for feeding, clothing, supervising, and instructing their own children, but also supervising, disciplining, and training apprentices and servants and assisting in their husband’s economic affairs. An industrious housewife was supposed to be a skilled spinner, sewer, knitter, food processor, brewer, and cook; a productive gardener; a household manufacturer; and a resourceful trader

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/mothersfathers.cfm

September 14, 2010

Recipes for Homemade Toiletries: Soaps, Shampoos

Filed under: home remedies, recipes, soap making — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 2:05 pm
A collection of decorative soaps, commonly fou...

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Homemade Deodorant

One of the best deodorants is plain old baking soda. You can pat it right onto your skin or mix it with a little cornstarch for extra staying power and moisture control. Try 1/2 cornstarch and 1/2 baking soda. Some readers say that mixing in anti-bacterial tea tree oil makes it even more effective.

Homemade Shampoo

Old-fashioned castile soap can also be dissolved in warm water to be used as shampoo.

After shampooing, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine.

If regular shampooing is impossible for some reason, try mixing 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 cup cornmeal in a shaker bottle. Sprinkle lightly onto hair, then brush thoroughly to get rid of dirt and oil. A combination of baby powder and cornstarch can also be used the same way.

If you like your store-bought shampoo but would like to add to it a little, the essential oils that old-timers relied on for hair care really do work.

  • To nourish and moisturize, pour some shampoo or conditioner into your palm and add a few drops of cedar wood, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, rosemary, thyme, or ylang-ylang.
  • To add thickness and body, use cedar wood or clary sage.
  • To reduce oiliness, try bergamot, cedar wood, lavender, lemon, pine, rosemary, or ylang-ylang.
  • To add luster, try sweet basil, Roman chamomile, or lavender.
  • To detangle hair, use chamomile, grapefruit, marigold, passionflower, or sweet clover, and to relieve dandruff, try cedar wood, clary sage, lemon, pine, rosemary, or tea tree.

Homemade Moisturizer

For healthy skin, add rosemary oil to the bathwater.

Another age-old tradition to prevent wrinkles around the eyes is to apply a drop of castor oil around each eye before going to bed. Castor oil acts as a humectant, meaning that it attracts and retains moisture in the skin. This promotes healthier skin cell rejuvenation. Some plastic surgeons apply castor oil around an incision after surgery for this exact reason.

Eye Make-up Remover (Safe and Gentle)

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil,
  • 1 tablespoon castor oil, and
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • For use on your entire body, put some castor oil in a little spray bottle. To maximize absorption, spray it on your skin after showering and gently rub it in while your skin is still warm and your pores are open.

Natural Skin Cleanser

Tales of the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, tell of her beauty and her radiant skin. Her secret? Apparently she used to take frequent baths in fresh milk. Researchers now have found that the lactic acid in milk is the cause of the stunning skin. Alpha hydroxy acids help loosen dead skin and give healthy skin a deep cleansing.

  • As the tub fills, pour in two cups to one quart of fresh milk or butter milk. Fresh milk can be substituted with one cup of powdered milk. A few drops of lavender essential oil may increase the relaxing effects.
  • Soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes and gently massage your skin with a wash cloth or a loofah to rub off all the dead skin.
  • After taking your bath, drain the tub and take a quick shower to rinse off all the milk on your body.

If you don’t have time to soak in the bathtub, below is a recipe for oatmeal soap.

Oatmeal Soap Recipe

  • Gather these ingredients: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup small soap pieces, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil, 1 tablespoon water
  • Put the soap slivers in a plastic bag and pound them into small chunks.
  • Put chunks in a blender, add the oatmeal and pulse until grainy.
  • Pour into a bowl and add the oil and water.
  • Mix with your hands, removing any remaining bigger chunks of soap.
  • Shape the mixture into a ball and let sit until hard, about two hours.
  • Be sure to wash the blender thoroughly to remove the soap residue.

Homemade Toothpaste

Washing your hands with toothpaste and water will eliminate fish odor.

Even today, baking soda remains in the lead for tooth-whitening products. Unlike other modern toothpastes, baking soda is gritty enough to remove plaque, but not abrasive enough to remove tooth enamel. A combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide lifts particles caught between teeth and kills bacteria.

Do not add anything to the baking soda to make it more abrasive. You may want to add an artificial sweetener for taste (which is essentially all some of those “natural” toothpastes do).

Note: Dentists ask that you have fluoridated water; if so, baking soda toothpastes are just fine.

Homemade Toothpaste

  • Mix ¼ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide and ½ teaspoon baking soda, scoop the paste up with your toothbrush and proceed as you normally would.

Homemade Minty Toothpaste

  • To make toothpaste with a more traditional toothpaste consistency and a mint-y taste, mix together 6 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons glycerin, and 15 drops of peppermint or wintergreen extract.
  • Depending on how much you use at a time, this recipe is good for 15-20 applications and should be stored in any appropriately sized container with a snug lid.

Homemade Cinnamon Mouthwash

  • Boil 5 cinnamon sticks with 1 cup water in a covered pan.
  • You can make up to a 3-day supply by increasing the amount of cinnamon sticks and water, but keeping the ratio the same.
  • Remove the pan from the heat after about 5 minutes of boiling and remove the lid.
  • Discard the cinnamon sticks and let the liquid cool.
  • Store your mouthwash in a clean bottle and use as desired.

September 12, 2010

How to Make Soap in a Crockpot

Filed under: soap making — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 4:38 pm

This looks like fun even though I think you will need an extra pair of hands the first time. additional info.http://www.millersoap.com/soapsfluid.html

This is a great base recipe for all kinds of soaps! I loved the “Favorite Castile” recipe posted by Nancy on The Soap Newbies page but wanted more lather in the finished bar and a little less of the slippery quality, so I upped the coconut and palm oils in this version. I keep coming back to this recipe…it’s a wonderful hard bar, lathers well but is still mild.

*“Favorite Castile” II Soap (Kathy Miller)

24-28 oz. cold water (depending on how firm you want the bars in 24 hours)
12 oz. lye crystals
55 oz. olive oil
16 oz. palm oil
16 oz. coconut oilTemps around 110-115 degrees

[Lemon Verbena Soap]

This Lemon Verbena batch was scented with 2 oz. Lemon Verbena FO and colored with yellow candle dye and 1 T. dried dill weed for texture.

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