Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homemade Liquid Dish Soup

Sunday is perhaps my favorite day of the week. It's the only day when I really get to piddle around the house (whether my house or the Camp's house) and do things that I want to do, because there is typically always something planned for Saturday. I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but after church, Sunday is my day to get things done if I can resist the inevitable Sunday afternoon nap. Today was no exception.

First, I made soap. Sort of. I made liquid soap. I've started making my own dish soap because it's a lot cheaper than buying the decent stuff at the store, and it's super easy to make. If you look on the list of ingredients for most liquid soaps, the first one listed is water (aqua). I can dilute my own soap without all of your chemicals, thanks.

To make dish soap, I use a stock pot filled with 1 gallon of water, a grated bar of soap (for this one I used a bar of Mrs. Meyer's Basil scented that I found on sale), 2 tbsp vinegar for de-greasing, 2 tbsp washing soda for a little extra oomph, and, not pictured because I forgot, 2 tbsp of liquid glycerin to help with the liquification.

Melt everything together in the stock pot over low heat until the soap shavings dissolve.

Let it sit for a few hours until it cools and hardens. You'll have a nice block of a white jello-like substance.

Since white jello does not make good liquid soap, add a little extra water and go at it with your hand mixer to break up the chunks. Ta-da, liquid dish soap! I just made a gallon's worth of Mrs. Meyer's dish soap for about $3.50. Beat that, Walmart.

I also use the same recipe to make body wash, except I omit the vinegar and the washing soda. Works like a charm!

I also go creative and made a batch of McGuire's brownies with fresh whipped cream and a Basil-Leek Pizza for dinner. Delicious, and meat-free! Probably one of the best vegetarian recipes I've tried so far. Most of the recipes I've tried have come from the Moosewood Low-Fat  Favorites cookbook, and it's a winner. Give it a try, whether you're vegetarian or not!

The brownies intrigue me because I only had half a cup of the 1 1/3 cup of vegetable oil I needed. The last bottle of vegetable oil I bought was sometime last year, so it's not exactly something I check that often. Anyway, so I decided to melt butter to make up the difference. I only had 1/3 a cup of melted butter. Moving on to Plan C, I decided to try coconut oil and see what happened. To make a long story short, these brownies have three different kinds of fats in them. I didn't read anything online that said mixing the fats would hurt anything, but it appears that you end up with a crusty outside and partially-cooked gooey inside.

I love Sundays!

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