Sunday, 17 May 2009

Garden update and soap

Remember the soap I made weeks ago? After much toe tapping, eight weeks has passed and it's ready to use! 

I used some of the olive oil soap for washing the dishes with one of the cotton dishcloths I knitted.

It even foams and everything! I used some of the soap with coconut oil to wash my hair in the shower, it's even more foamy than the olive oil soap, and I'm very impressed :) There's plenty of it, and I'll be making some more soon. I might try some different oils and fragrances. Watch out family, you're going to be experimented on! 

I've done nothing in the garden all week - it's been pouring with rain, and I've been shut in the attic writing. I popped outside today in a break in the rain, and found the broad beans making a bid for the sky.

In the front garden, the perpetual spinach has suddenly shot upwards after being a short leafy plant for months. It seems to have got this tall almost overnight. 

I cut some of the tender leaves, and we sliced them and put them on top of a home made pizza, along with some herbs out of the garden.

Not a good picture, but you also see the oven gloves my mum made for my birthday last year. The pizza was lovely :) 

I can't remember whether I posted about it, but a few weeks ago I had a go at making ginger beer, using this recipe from the Simple, Green, Frugal co op blog. It was very easy, just make a ginger beer 'plant' by mixing water, sugar, yeast and powdered ginger, then add a spoon of sugar and spoon of ginger to it each day for a week. 

After a week, I mixed it with water and more sugar, and then bottled it. After several weeks of moving it from one place to another in the house, loathe to throw it away because I was hoping it would get fizzy if I left it for long enough, I finally opened it.

It's fizzy! Well, a little bit... far too sugary, and not gingery enough, and I'm not sure we'll manage to get through 8 bottles since it's basically ginger flavoured sugary water, but very exciting nevertheless. 

I think my mistakes were being a bit cautious about adding too much ginger, trying to bottle while also trying to do something else, and ending up leaving the mix overnight in the pan before bottling it (oops!), and not sealing the bottles quick enough after reading lots of horror stories about them exploding. 

Any ideas about what to do with it? I don't want to tip it down the sink really! Maybe it'll be nice mixed with Malibu... :) 

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