Washing powder 2

For some reason this was not posted till now, but it was written months ago… Ok today I was down to 2-3 scoops so I decided to try out the bicarb soda, soap and washing soda recipe I found on the internet here, which was recommended by another blogger who has a blog called Caleigh's Corner.


16 cups baking soda (8, 4, 2)

12 cups washing soda (6, 3, 1.5 )

8 cups of grated castile soap/pure soap (4, 2, 1)

10-12 drops lavender essential oil

Brackets mine, as it makes quite a huge amount and I only had 2 bars of soap left. I did not worry about the essential oil, as stated before... I am happy with adding the water soluble stuff to the load as I go.

We do not have castile soap yet but I noticed you can get some very reasonably priced at chemist warehouse.

This time I used the thermomix, maybe I should have used a mask as the dust particles got into my nose and throat. However I cannot be blaming the washing powder entirely as well I am quite afraid of toads... earlier today, I found a dead one in our house and screamed like a banshee. Honey thought I was being attacked by an axe-murderer and came in to find just a smallish huge dead toad. I cringe just typing this stuff.


The clothes smelled fresh straight out of the washing machine. Slightly different to the last “potion”. But looked just as clean and smelled pretty much the same when dry as the previous powder did.

The wet clothes felt slightly different, and dry were perhaps a little starchier. I will play with the amounts of powder to see if I can tweak the perfect wash.


The last powder I made lasted until today. I was keen to see how this worked using pure soap Coles brand. This little beauty has really impressed me as a stain remover. It appears to be palm-oil free too. I used the 4:3:2 ratio, however the 3 blocks of soap I wizzed made slightly more than 2 cups and I added the lot. I will keep you posted as to how it cleans the clothes.


The Castile soap was better for general stain removal. There are 2-3 articles of clothes that I constantly have to check before popping them in the wash for stains. When I remember to check them, and rub some soap with water on the stains they come out clean, otherwise the stains do not come out in the wash. This could be the fabric that the clothes are made from, I even gave in and bought a spray stain-remover to save time and they were still spotty.

There was no marked difference between the Coles and Woolies brand pure soap, the Coles soap smelled slightly better when the box was opened but the clothes smelled the same after a wash.


IMG_0793[1]I noticed on a few recipes that citric acid was used in the home made washing powders. You had to be careful not to add too much as it would interfere with the salt and washing soda balance. I had heaps of powder left so I decided to add some vinegar with the wash. I had somewhat better overall results, however the 3 garments were still a problem. Making sure the soap was ground to a fine powder was also recommended. I wizzed the rest of my powder for 20 seconds and the results are at the side.

I added vinegar (about half a bottle) to an empty bottle of water soluble eucalyptus oil, with a cap full of 100% eucalyptus oil and have been adding that to the wash instead of the customary cap of eucalyptus oil. This has saved money on eucalyptus and still leaves the clothes smelling fresh.


Stain removal is better than other ones I have tried, it worked on a tomato sauce stain without spray, but oily stains are still a problem. Though it’s not quite as good as bought powder, I am looking forward to trying the addition of sard soap and a bar of castile soap. I will halve the powder I have left and add castile to one lot and sard to the other… Several weeks later there was not much difference in the quality of the wash. I did not find the addition of with bar of soap to be particularly more effective in a cold wash as we use.

Testing the Grain Mill

We did the first test run of the grain mill tonight attached to the drill press motor. I am not 100% happy with the results but it is very functional. A couple of things are still problematic, first the mill is turning at 2 times per second which is twice what is recommended as the optimal operating speed. Secondly when you switch the motor on it is necessary to give the flywheel a quick nudge to get the momentum going. This is not really an issue except I would like to put a safety shroud over the flywheel and belt which would mean that I would not be able to give it a push start. Both of these problems would probably disappear if I could change one of the pulley sizes to halve the speed.

We filled half a 4 gallon bucket on the first run which is probably as much as I would do on any single run as it was necessary to allow the motor to cool down. This setup will do fine for the amount of grain that we need to mill but I will be keeping my eyes peeled for pullies and motors that I can scrounge that might be better suited for the job.

Motorize Country Living Grain Mill Motorise Country Living Grain Mill

Thermie Washing Powder; mix 3

I found this recipe on The Road To Loving My Thermomix blog. The difference between this recipe and others I have see is the addition of acid and salt.

I must say I was sceptical that the salt would rust the machine and make the water “hard”. However, it is apparently handy for scrubbing power and prevents mould as well as being a natural disinfectant.

I made a 3x lot as I had almost that amount of citric acid. It had been sitting in my cupboard for a while and had stuck together so I had to destroy the carton to remove it. A quick blend in the TM and we were good to go. IMG_0792[1]

There is no dropper on my EO so I added it by the cap full, one cap for each “lot” and an extra one for good measure, basically I wasn’t sure if it was more diluted than essential oil, but it seems they are pretty much the same thing.

To get the soap fine enough, I should not have put more than 2 soap bars in at a time. The soap came out rather coarse, if it’s a problem I will re-blend it.

Some sites recommend that you leave the oil in for a few days before you use it. So I am using up my old stock, and will blog the results.

Alterations I made

I had about 2.5x citric acid what I needed for one lot of washing powder. As the TRTLMT website recommends not exceeding the 1/4 cup to 1 cup ratio of citric acid:washing powder, I added 3x everything else, however only 2x the salt… I just could not make myself do it.

The recipe also recommends the addition of one cake of Sard laundry soap for stain removal. I may try adding some Castile soap that I have left from my previous experiment to see how it goes too.

Sprouting Avocado Seeds

Judie and I love avocado’s and go through a lot of them on sandwiches and in cooking and I was interested in putting in a few more avocado trees in the backyard. I checked the net and found a project that someone was doing where he sprouted seeds in glass jars by putting three toothpicks in and then filling the jars up until the water touched the bottoms of the seeds.


We tried this and put a bunch of bottles on the top of the fridge but didn’t seem to have much luck until weeks later Judie realised that a bottle hidden and the very back had a seed in it that had sprouted with a vengeance.













It appears that this was something that I really shouldn’t have tried in the cold weather as there was such a high failure rate but I will be giving it another go in late spring.

I also found that the plant had a bit of shock when transplanted to potting mix. I soaked the roots in Seasol for a while before transplant but found that the seedling didn’t take of again until I put the pot in a bucket and added 10 cm of water to the bottom to keep it nice and wet.

August Lawn to Lunch

Saxon Bellows
A Saxon Bellows

Vinegar, Herbs and how to make Olive Leaf Extract.



Bamboo Flutes

Bamboo Flute and Walking Stick

Cheese Making

Egg smoking demonstration

“Nuclear Cold Remedy” Honey and Garlic! and a cobb oven.

Italian Soup- Thermie Style

This week I made Italian Soup in the TMX. I halved the recipe on the packet and there was still not much room in the TM bowl. I do not make it exactly the way the packet says I should. I swap the cabbage for potato and add the ingredients at different times. The result from these timings was the the lentils and veggies were not quite soft enough but still nice. I like the method for making Maltese soup which I shared before, and I have applied that to the Italian soup. It means that all parts of the soup are soft and comforting to eat. Trying a new method for the recipe. I have popped the ingredients in bold so you can easily see what you need.
I chopped the ham from the bone, leaving some pieces with skin on and a little ham fat. I then popped it in the TM bowl with some butter on Varoma reverse speed soft/speed 1. I left it cooking for about 10 minutes. Then removed the ham and wizzed the onion, and popped the ham back in and continued to cook as above for another 6 minutes.
I had the lentils (I used the Italian soup mix) soaking on the side while I was preparing beforehand. I popped IMG_0773[1]them into the basket with the potato (about the size of a bar of soap, cubed) ham and onions. The basket was pretty full. I popped in some water, veggie stock and tomato paste and set that to cook on Varoma speed 4. I had to turn it down to 90 after about 10 minutes as the soup started bubbling over.  When it was time to add the carrot (diced) and a 1/4 cup brown rice, they would not fit in the basket, so I took it out and had everything in the TM bowl cooking at 90 degrees on reverse speed soft for half an hour.
I then repeated the step above with the celery (diced, reverse speed soft 90 degrees for 30 mins). Then add a handful of pasta to a casserole dish and pour hot soup over and stand for 30 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, and a slice of bread.
Cooking with less ingredients, say 1/3 of the lentils mix and a little less ham (leaving enough room for the carrot and celery) would mean that I could cook it on a higher temperature without the mixture bubbling. If I was making it in the Kogan TB, I would keep the lentils, veggies and ham in the basket, so they were away from the blades.
Certainly making it this way means that there was not a whole heap of soup that I was eating for days on end. There was enough for dinner for 2, lunch for 1 and breakfast for 1. If More food was the desire, than cooking it for longer on lower heat would work too. If using a TB you might have to sacrifice a little in appearance… but then again its soup, is it meant to be pretty?

I have tried this recipe in the Kogan withoth the blade cover but it shredded the ham, so I made cabonara instead.

Follow by Email