HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP
6½ lb or 3kg fat
3 pints or 1¾ litres cold water
5 empty 1 litre milk cartons or cardboard box lined with old sheet.
Old cloth for straining fat
Old clothes and gloves
Order ground suet (fat) from butcher or supermarket 2-3 days early.
Melt fat over low heat. Strain through old sheet. Let cool to lukewarm. Pour cold water into enamel bowl. Add the caustic soda and stir with wooden spoon until soda is dissolved. The mixture will become very hot. Caustic soda burns, so be careful!
Let the caustic soda cool to lukewarm. Both fat and soda must be the same temperature. Test by putting your hand underneath – NEVER IN – the container.
Pour the fat in a steady steam into the caustic soda, stirring slowly. Keep stirring until it gets thicker. The fat can be a little warmer than the caustic soda liquid, but not the other way around. Watch carefully for the sudden transformation from a shiny liquid to a thick, opaque mixture which looks like thick honey – soap.
Pour quickly into a mould. Keep soap warm while still in moulds. I cover them with a couple of old towels and keep them in a warm corner of the kitchen. Next day, still wearing gloves, remove mould and cut soap into cakes. Put into an airy box and leave for at least 4 weeks before using. Soap needs to be mature and the caustic contents have to evaporate.
Herbs, spices, oatmeal, bran, ground almonds, colouring or essential oils can be added to the soap. Colouring agents must be oil based.
How to use:
Put soap in an old sock and tie a loose knot. Fill washing machine with hot water and agitate with soap in it until the water is very milky (hard water) or very soapy (soft water). Rub stains with soap first.
We are a family of 5 and one lot of soap lasts me 2 – 3 months and costs only $3.30 to make. It is excellent laundry soap for washing clothes. Rub stains with it and then grate into hot water and agitate washing machine until soapy. The whites become really white and the coloureds lovely and bright. Also good for woollens.
JENNY FURNISS, Mt Gambier, SA
SPRAY AND WIPE CLEANER
Mix 1 tablespoon cloudy ammonia, 2 tablespoons detergent and fill up to 1 litre with warm water in a spray container. Use for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens.
Vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
This requires effort to rub in but gives a beautiful gloss. Mix together 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts cooking oil. Store in a glass jar in fridge. Rub into furniture with a soft rag.
SEAWEEK SPRAY FOR GARDENS
This can be used for fungal or bacterial plant infections. Collect some seaweed from the beach and wash off excess salt. Put in a bucket of water. Cover, leave to soak for a few days until water is light brown. Use in a spray bottle or spray equipment.
LEONIE WESTENBERG, Wembley, WA.
Fill an empty spray bottle with 3 tablespoons of ammonia, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and cool water. Great for windows and mirrors.
GRANOLA (TOASTED MUESLI)
This is a favourite breakfast cereal in our home, served with plain yoghurt and raw almonds.
4 cups rolled oats
The following additions are optional according to taste and budget!
1 cup bran 1 cup nuts
1 cup coconut 1 cup raisins
1 cup wheatgerm 1 cup sultanas
1 cup millet 1 cup dates
1 cup sunflower seeds 1 cup dried apricots
1 cup sesame seeds 1 cup dried apples
Mix all together. Your basic ingredient is the rolled oats. Just add whatever else you have on hand, or you fancy, or you can afford. If things are tight financially, you can use rolled oats on their own! I have done this many times. Add half a cup of oil and half a cup of honey (warmed together). You may have to use a bit more if you add lots of extra goodies. Place in shallow, baking pan and place in a low oven for 20 – 30 mins, turning frequently. Cool. Store in airtight containers. This is a great breakfast cereal. Enjoy with milk or preferably plain yoghurt. Add chopped bananas.
Warm 3 pints of milk to a 'hot warm'. Add 1 cup skim milk and stir in. Add 2 – 3 tbls plain yoghurt. Place in a thermos or in preserving jars wrapped around with a cuddly rug and place in the hot-water cupboard or a warm place until thick. Refrigerate.
PLUM CORDIAL 2.2 kg plums
Day 1. Dissolve 70g tartaric acid in 4 cups cold water. Pour over fruit and leave 24 hours. Strain. Add 3 cups sugar to each 2 cups juice. Stir to dissolve and bottle. Keeps for years.
Day 2. Dissolve 56g tartaric acid in 4 cups cold water. Pour over the same fruit and leave 24 hours. Strain and add 2½ cups sugar to each 2 cups juice. Stir to dissolve and bottle. Keeps 6 months.
Day 3. Dissolve 28g tartaric acid in 4 cups BOILING water. Pour over the same fruit and leave 24 hours. Strain and add 2½ sugar to each 2 cups juice. Dissolve and bottle. Keeps 3 months.
To make up: Approximately 1 inch in glass, top up with water.
JENNY DUNNETT, Kaikoura, N.Z.
BACON AND EGG PIE
1½ cups soft bread crumbs
4 rashes bacon
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted.
Chopped parsley, onion, grated carrot, peas or whatever you may desire. Salt, pepper, mustard
Butter pie dish. Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs on bottom, then layer of bacon and vegetables. Beat eggs, add milk, butter and seasonings. Pour into dish. Finish with rest of bacon and breadcrumbs. Bake in moderate oven until cooked – about ½ an hour or so.
ALMA McAULIFFE, Tokoroa, N.Z.