Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Just a few snippets from this past weekend...I love slow, easy Saturdays...

{making apple butter}
two words: YUM-O. :) I may or may not have eaten with a spoon what wouldn't fit into the jars...
recipe adapted from here. I halved the recipe and yielded a little over 2 pints.  
First, I peeled and quartered 7 granny smith apples and put them in the crockpot. (You can cook them with the skin on so you get all the good nutrients and then just pick it out later.)

Next I drizzled 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla over the apples.  Then just covered and cooked on low for 2-3 hours.  The original recipe said to cook for 8 hours, but my crockpot always cooks everything faster so my apples were definitely done in 2 to 3.  Also, the original recipe said you would have to mash the apples with a fork after they finished cooking, but mine were completely mushy--I just stirred them with a spoon.  Then stir in 3/4 cup white sugar, 6 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves.

Cook on low for another 30 minutes to an hour.  Then spoon into jars!
 {Tie a pretty ribbon on, and I'm thinking these would make lovely happies.}

Note: I didn't boil the jars to properly seal and preserve the butter so I'm not sure how long it will keep in the fridge.  But I have a feeling it won't need to keep long because I finding plenty of excuses to eat it! :) 

{attempting to start a garden}
I'm planning to build a small raised bed in the backyard soon.  Let's just hope these seeds sprout. I have my doubts.  And so does Paul.  But he won't be too disappointed if these plants flop...it's not like he eats vegetables anyway. I mean really, who doesn't love a fresh tomato or squash from the garden?  I could totally be a vegetarian.
And now we wait...wish me luck!
{replenishing my supply of laundry detergent}
I've been making our own laundry detergent for about 4 months now...works just as well as store-bought, super easy to make, and a huge $ saver!  My sister-in-law has been making hers for probably a year now, and I know several other people who do it too.  If you'd like to give it a try, here's the recipe which I adapted from the one on this super cute blog
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 bar of soap, grated (such as Dial or Ivory)
1-2 drops essential oil (optional for added fragrance)

Just mix this all together and then put in a blender or food processor to get it to a smooth consistency.  Note: If you have a mediocre (at best) blender like I do, you will want to blend only small portions at a time so that your blender won't get clogged.

You only have to use 2 tablespoons per load...at first, you may feel like you're not using enough because you are so used to using a large scoop of the store-bought, but trust me, 2 tablespoons will do the job!  One recipe is enough to wash 32 loads.  
So how much does this DIY actually save you? Well, it depends on which store-bought brand you currently buy.  I did some calculations and bottom line is: with this recipe, your cost is 4 cents per load!  Liquid Tide can run as much as 35 cents per load--almost 9x the cost of the DIY.  And even if you buy the cheap stuff like we used to (i.e. powdered Arm & Hammer which is 9 cents per load) it is still a huge cost savings--less than half the price.  Yes, I'm a nerd.  I like to find ways to save money!
Hope you enjoyed your weekend, and your week is off to a wonderful start!  

1 comment:

  1. Just getting caught up on your blog. I must say...this is pretty...well...nerdy.

    I just received some calls from people that are wanting you and Mrs. McGoo to teach a class on nerdiness.


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