Because we haven’t been buying stuff this year and because food is sometimes hard to come by without packaging, we’ve ended up making lots of things from scratch.
For those who want to follow along, here’s a list of “recipes” for some of the DIY projects we’ve done so far. (I’m not going to include all the things I bake since I am a rabid baker, and the list wold be way too long. I’m just going to include the things that we would usually buy, but have started to make to cut down on packaging)
Around the House
|toothpaste||6 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
4 tsp glycerin
15 drops peppermint or wintergreen extract Mix thoroughly. Should be a tooth paste consistency. Store in a container. You’ll be surprised with how fresh your mouth feels.
|laundry soap||There are numerous recipes out there. Click here for 10 of them. Right now I’m using this one (don’t be turned off by the strange texture, it does work):Hot water (about 2 gallons -7.5 litres)
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Soap (grated)Heat 2 litres of water with the other ingredients in a big pot until soap is melted. Pour 2 litres hot water into a 2 gallon pail. Add soap mixture. Top up pail up with cold water. Use 1/2 c per load.
|all-purpose cleaner||we use vinegar and baking soda for most everything|
|yogurt||1 litre of milk
1/4 c powdered milk (optional)
2 TBSP of yogurt with active culture
1 packet of yogurt starterHeat milk in a pan to 185F (85C -frothy but not boiling). Cool it in a cold water bath to 110F(43C). Add powdered milk (I didn’t do this step). Add yogurt or starter to milk. Pour into an insulated jar (a mason jar wrapped in a heating pad or towel works well). Put in a warm spot like the top of the fridge or a heating vent for 7 hours or so. Refrigerate and, once cold, enjoy.
|soy milk||6 c water or so
pinch of salt Soak the soybeans in water overnight. Put beans in a blender, cover with water and blend into a liquid. Put liquid into a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 min. Strain through cheesecloth and put into jars and into the fridge. The leftover soy pulp can be used in muffins and such or put into the compost.
watch a video here
|bread||I honestly usually use the recipe from the book that came with the breadmaker. There are tons of recipes online as well. I just put it in here because I’m damn proud of how we’ve jumped on board with making bread which is something we NEVER did before. We still buy about 50% of our bread (but always without a bag)|
|soda bread||I love this recipe because it is easy and requires no rising time. Makes great, hearty bread to go with soup or salad or have as toast. Not really sandwich style.
5c (1.25 kg) whole wheat flour
2c all purpose flour (+ about 1 cup for kneading)
1/2 TBSP salt
4 TBSP honey
1 litre (1 quart) buttermilk (I use regular milk with vinegar added)
1 TBSP baking soda
-Preheat oven to 350F
-Combine dry ingredients
-Add honey and buttermilk. Dough should be very soft, very moist, and a bit sticky.
-Turn out onto floured board and knead until dough gathers into a ball (add about 1 cup more of flour during kneading)
-Divide into 2 round loaves (I do mine oblong)
-Place in a rectangular pan that has been buttered and floured. Loaves should be close or touching.
-Bake for 1 hour
|pita||Instead of writing this out, I’ll just direct you to the Sugarlaws website which I love. This pita bread takes less than 1 1/2 hrs start to stomach, and I’ve used it for pitas, cheesy bread sticks, and pizza dough. I always make a double batch.|
|seedy crisps (crackers)||These are THE crackers. I’m not sure of the origin of this recipe, but I got it from my lovely co-worker Emilie.5 oz (1 c) whole wheat flour
4 3/4 oz (little less than 1 c) all purpose flour
1/3 c poppy seeds
1/3 c sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 TBSP olive oil
6 1/2 oz (about 3/4 c) water
-Mix the ingredients together and knead 4 or 5 times.
-divide the dough into 8 pieces, cover with a tea towel, and let sit for 15 minutes.
-set the oven to 450F
-roll the cracker dough out (a pasta roller works great for this), place on cookie sheets, score with knife or a pizza roller, optionally brush with olive oil.
->For a thin snack cracker, roll 1/16″ thick, bake 4 min, flip, bake 2-3 min more.
->For a thicker dipping cracker, roll 1/8″ thick, back 6 min, flip, bake 6 min more.
|pasta||1 c semolina flour
water This is vague, but it’s how I was taught. Slowly add water a TBSP at a time and mix with your hand until dough forms a firm ball. Kneed dough for 5 min and then let rest for 5 min. Roll dough out very thin- much thinner than you think (keep powdered with regular flour). Slice into long thin strips (fettuccine style) and boil for 5 min.
|granola bars||More specifically, these are Rowena’s Granola Bars (from my friend Rowena). Feel free to substitute any kinds of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.
1 cup brown sugar
Mix together in the order given.
|granola||My mom clipped this fabulous recipe out of a newspaper (maybe the Vancouver Sun? Feel free to let me know if you are aware of its true origin). I substitute liberally in this recipe, using any kind of nuts or dried fruit I have on hand. It always works out.
4 c (1L) large flake rolled oats
-In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, sunflower seeds, and wheat bran.
pinch of salt (optional) Whip your milk until it turns into butter. (you can also do it by putting it into a jar and shaking it like crazy)
Gifts and Other Stuff
|dress-up princess crown||Scrap materialI used gold quilted material and sewed two pieces together and turned them inside out to get a crown that was gold on both sides. I used elastic on the back and hand sewed “gems” and trim. Buttons make good gems if the kids are old enough notto eat them.|
|knitted toque||This is a pretty girly toque, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s officially called a Lace Slant Hat, and I got the pattern here.|
|tin can star ornaments||I snagged this idea from here and used it to garnish my Christmas gifts.|
|finger paint||3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
food coloringI made three colours out of this recipe, but I did find that the dried paint was pretty transparent. I’d be tempted to add some flour for base next time.
|growth chart||We used a found scrap board from a bed, used a jigsaw to cut out a castle shape on the top, and painted it with paints we had around the house|