House Keeping

Soda Ash On Homemade Soap

Soda Ash On Homemaade Copra-Olive Oil Soap

My reward for not covering a newly poured batch of cold processed copra-olive oil soap, is soap with a very heavy layer of soda ash. That the fats in the soap pot may have been cooler than they should have been when I added my lye water, and that I waited too long to pour…

Measuring Lye For Soap

Meassuring Lye By Weight For Soap

Modern Homesteading Soap Heresy When making soap, the lye, fats and water are measured by weight. I use a half-gallon Mason jar for mixing and measuring lye. Water should always be added to the lye, and never lye added to the water.

Airing Out Bedrooms

Airing Out A Bedroom

I’ve got some pretty old-fashioned and downright Victorian housekeeping notions. Every morning before breakfast I throw back the covers and top sheets on any bed that has been slept in to air out the sheets and blankets. After breakfast while I’m making up beds, (no matter how hot or cold or rainy or windy the…

Scraping The Bottom Of A Pan

Cooking Pasta For Pigs

It doesn’t happen too often. But every once and awhile I’ll burn or scorch something on the bottom of a pan. It makes a mess and can be really hard to clean. When I was younger I tried all kinds of ways to clean up a pan that I had accidentally blackened with food. Every…

Non-Electric Kitchen Sink Lighting

2 Flat Wick Oil  Lamps Near Kitchen Sink

I keep two flat wick oil lamps for task lighting near my kitchen sink in the event of an electric power outage. When both lamps are lit I have adequate lighting for doing the dishes and for general kitchen clean up. The lamp directly above the kitchen sink sports a reflector on the lamp holder.…

Spiffing Up An Old Butcher’s Block

Sanded & Waxed Butcher Block

“A tree made into something useful continues to live.” – Old Puritan Proverb For the past few years I’ve been pestering my husband (and all of his male relatives) to move an old and extremely heavy butcher’s block, from my mother-in-law’s basement to my kitchen.  It was finally moved this summer with great difficulty. The…

Rose Petals Drying For Sachet Bags

Rose Petals Drying For Sachet

I’m in the process of drying rose petals and other fragrant flowers and herbs for sachet bags. If you don’t know already, sachet are small cloth pillows or bags that are filled with dried flowers. The sachet bags are placed in drawers, closets and in linen chests to help keep things smelling sweet and to…

Clothespins

Clothespin

Yesterday was warm and sunny. A perfect day to wash bedspreads and pillow shams and hang them out on the clothesline to dry. I’ve always preferred using spring clothespins over the one-piece wooden peg types. The lowly clothespin has a pretty interesting history and believe it or not some people collect them because there are…

Cleaning Wool Rugs & Blankets with Snow

Wool Rug In Snow

Did you know that the very best way to clean a handwoven, hooked, Persian or braided wool rug or wool blanket is with fresh snow? It’s true. Cleaning wool textiles with snow is an old-fashioned cleaning method that is very safe, gentle and completely non-toxic. It works better than sprays, steam cleaning or dry cleaning.…

Washing A Down Comforter

Fresh & Clean Down Comforter

Early fall is my busy time of the year. I have much to do to get ready for the coming cold weather months. One of the things that I do this time of the year is to wash my down and feather comforters and puffs. Some people send them out to be dry-cleaned but I…