Homemade Borax-Free Laundry Detergent

Homemade Borax-Free Laundry DetergentThis recipe costs about forty cents per load – not too bad for doing it yourself!
1/2 cup baking soda

⅓ cup of lemon juice

1 cup washing soda

1/4 cup coarse sea salt

1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soap ( these are available with natural fragrance as well)

Directions:
Grate the bar in your food processor, or very finely by hand.

Place the grated soap in a large bowl and combine the other ingredients and stir to break up any clumps.

Pour the soap into a container with a lid

Pour the laundry soap into an airtight container for storage.

If you’re doing regular-sized loads of laundry, use 1 tablespoon of laundry soap per load. If you’re doing a large load, or your clothes are extra dirty, use 2 tablespoons per load.

Do-it-Yourself Dryer Sheets

Do-it-Yourself Dryer SheetsThese dryer sheets eliminate static cling and keep your laundry soft and smelling wonderfully fresh!

Cut cotton cloth into five-inch squares ( old cotton t-shirts work great).

Add five drops of your favorite essential oil and toss the cloth into the dryer.

After a few loads, add a few more drops of essential oil ( lavender, grapefruit, and lemon are all great options).

Liquid Soap Nuts Recipe

Liquid Soap Nuts RecipeSoap nuts are as natural as it gets and are available in many health stores and online.
1 cup of soap berries

4 cups water

½ cup white vinegar

Directions:
Put all ingredients into a large pot and bring it to a boil.

Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.( with a lid)

Use a slotted spoon to mash the berries while they are cooking.

Remove lid and simmer for 30 more minutes – stir once in awhile.

Take the pot off of the heat and strain out the liquid.

Let it cool and pour into an airtight jar.

This should give you about 40 loads in a HE machine

Lavender Laundry Soap

Lavender Laundry SoapThis leaves you clothes super clean and smelling great!

2 cups very hot water

1 cup baking soda

⅓ cup salt

1 cup castile soap

10 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:

Add the two cups of water to a saucepan and warm.

Add the baking soda and salt. Stir until dissolved

Pour into a clean gallon container.

Add the castile soap.

Add the essential oil

Use about ¼ cup for each load. Be sure to shake well before use.

Evergreen Shortbread Cookies

Evergreen Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh conifer needles and/or tips – can use fir, Douglas fir, pine, spruce, hemlock, or substitute rosemary

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons orange zest

Pinch of salt

2 cups all-purpose flour
Finely chop the evergreen needles/tips using a food processor, coffee or spice grinder, or high-powered blender like the Vitamix Dry Grains Container. (You can also use a knife but be sure to chop very finely.) The mixture may be a bit sticky and fibrous. Remove any large fibers or stray, whole needles.
In a large bowl, combine the evergreen needles/tips, butter, sugar, orange zest, and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until creamy.
Gradually add the flour, mixing thoroughly after each addition to form a buttery ball of dough. You can mix with a wooden spoon, your fingers, or both
Divide the dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Using the paper as an aid, roll each piece of dough into a 1.5-inch diameter log. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
Unwrap the dough and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Depending on the conifer you used and the grinding method, you may see little fibers sticking out the edges of the cookies. These are harmless and fine to eat, but for prettier cookies you can take the time to pick them out or smooth them down before baking.
To bake, place the cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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RECIPES FROM THE KITCHN

Summer Cabin Recipe: Foraged Evergreen Shortbread Cookies

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Emily Han

Jun 12, 2013

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Did you go to summer camp as a kid? I didn’t, but just last week I learned that it’s never too late when I boarded a bus full of strangers and embarked on an adventure complete with campfires, bunk beds, and hands-on workshops. It was a life-changing experience, accompanied by the taste of fragrant mountain conifers.

In the San Bernardino Mountains two hours outside of LA, a group of young-at-heart adults gathered for CAMP, an innovative new conference for entrepreneurs and creatives. As a workshop leader, I taught attendees how to forage and cook with some of my favorite wild foods of Southern California, including our local White Fir and Jeffrey Pine.
Have you ever stuck your nose into the bark of a Jeffrey Pine? It’s like smelling a platter of warm vanilla-butterscotch cookies. Not to be missed — and way more appetizing than those Little Trees air fresheners that dangle from rearview mirrors.

While these shortbread cookies aren’t vanilla-butterscotch, they do evoke the warm, woodsy scent of a conifer forest. The recipe is based on the one I shared with my class, where we suffused the cookies with White Fir. At this elevation the White Fir trees are just starting to sport bright green, lemon-flavored tips. I like using a combination of tips and older needles, which have a deeper citrusy flavor.
Depending on where you are, you might use the tips or needles of any fir (Abies), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea), or hemlock (Tsuga; not to be confused with Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum, which is a completely different plant). Or simply substitute rosemary, which may not transport you to the forest but will still be delicious.

Like CAMP, the cookies are fun but have grown-up sensibilities; in other words, they’re sweet but more aromatic than sugary. If you like, you can sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar before baking. Because I developed it for cooking in a cabin, this recipe is deliberately simple and doesn’t require too much in terms of ingredients or technique. Depending on your altitude, you may need to make some adjustments; this high-altitude baking guide from King Arthur Flour is helpful.
Finally, a few notes on foraging for conifers. Once you know how to positively identify the above-mentioned species, they are all edible. However, it really comes down to personal taste. Flavors vary between seasons and individual plants, so nibble as you walk and pick what tastes and smells good to you. Never cut off the top of a tree, which can open it up to decay and disease — just pinch or cut off the tips of the branches or gather the needles (pruning shears work well). Be mindful of the health of the trees, their ecosystem, and your role in it. If you live in an urban area, be sure to avoid foraging from trees that you suspect have been sprayed with pesticides or insecticides.
Evergreen Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh conifer needles and/or tips – can use fir, Douglas fir, pine, spruce, hemlock, or substitute rosemary

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons orange zest

Pinch of salt

2 cups all-purpose flour
Finely chop the evergreen needles/tips using a food processor, coffee or spice grinder, or high-powered blender like the Vitamix Dry Grains Container. (You can also use a knife but be sure to chop very finely.) The mixture may be a bit sticky and fibrous. Remove any large fibers or stray, whole needles.
In a large bowl, combine the evergreen needles/tips, butter, sugar, orange zest, and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until creamy.
Gradually add the flour, mixing thoroughly after each addition to form a buttery ball of dough. You can mix with a wooden spoon, your fingers, or both
Divide the dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Using the paper as an aid, roll each piece of dough into a 1.5-inch diameter log. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
Unwrap the dough and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Depending on the conifer you used and the grinding method, you may see little fibers sticking out the edges of the cookies. These are harmless and fine to eat, but for prettier cookies you can take the time to pick them out or smooth them down before baking.
To bake, place the cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Per serving, based on 48 servings. (% daily value)

Calories61

Fat3.9 g (6%)

Saturated2.4 g (12.2%)

Trans0.2 g

Carbs6.1 g (2%)

Fiber0.1 g (0.6%)

Sugars2.1 g

Protein0.6 g (1.2%)

Cholesterol10.2 mg (3.4%)

Sodium0.6 mg (0%)