As promised, I spent some time with a few of the new books I got in the mail the other day. Actually, I ended up pouring over them for many hours because they were both better than I had expected! I always LOVE DIY books, and how-to's, and make-your-own, but sometimes the DIY is too time intensive or asks for ingredients I've never heard of, which can be a turn-off. Both Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, and Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills are straightforward and made for real people, not just DIY gurus. I was so excited too find really useful, practical recipes and DIY how-to's in both books. Every page I read I felt like I could do the project easy, no problem, with re-used stuff I already have lying around my house. Both of these books are wonderful. Also as promised, I picked out a few things to try out form each book. Both of these books suggest picking one project, starting small, and expanding from there. I think that's a good idea.
From Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, I picked out 2 recipes: one practical and one fun. The first was for home-made stick deodorant. As I mentioned in the last post, I hate store-bought deodorant (and would never use anti-perspirant) and have wanted to make my own for a while. This recipe re-uses an empty deodorant applicator, which means it's still going to be easy to apply and use. I also picked out another recipe for an ancient vinegar-based drink - like a substitute for soda (which I don't drink anyway). Last winter I made "Sbiten", a hot, traditional Russian drink, and since then I've wanted to try making more liquid treats like that. I really like vinegar-y drinks like kombucha, so this sounds like a delicious treat. There are a few different sweet + vinegar drinks in the book: oxymel, sekanjabin, and switchel. They all incorporate things like honey, ginger, molasses, and vinegar of course. I haven't picked which one, but I'll probably end up trying all 3. I'll let you know how it tastes!
From Make Your Place I chose a recipe for home-made toothpaste. I like the idea of home-made toothpaste, but usually recipes for home-made tooth care come in the form of a powder and I've tried that: it is not easy or fun to brush your teeth like that (in my opinion). This recipe is for an actual paste, and it only calls for a few ingredients. That's the best thing about both of these books, you begin to realize that with about 5 or 6 basic ingredients (in addition to whatever flavors or scents you'd like to add) you can make basically anything for your home and body. Everything is so simple! It makes you wonder why the ingredients list on what you're using now to clean your countertops and wash your hair is a mile long and you can't pronounce half of it...
Anyway, those are my first projects from my new DIY homesteading books. Deodorant stick, traditional vinegar soda, and toothpaste. I've always been a DIY builder, maker, and doer - but these homesteading tricks are new to me! I'm really looking forward to trying them out.
Stay tuned for pictures and posts about how they turn out!