Thursday, 14 July 2011

Day 14: Things that have worked!

Yes, it is report-back time.  I have previously detailed in these pages a couple of little experiments I have been conducting, and enough time has now elapsed that I can report on their results.

First of all, the Smelly Shoes Experiment.  If you recall Day 10, I dusted these with Bicarbonate of Soda, and then froze them.  Result = Success!  When they came out of the freezer, they were practically odour-free.  Having worn them since (without stockings), they have regained a certain fragrance, but nothing like before.  I am therefore predicting that this is a process I will need to repeat at intervals.  But at least it works.

However, there is one downside.  When one puts one's bare feet into bicarb-dusted shoes, and then one's feet proceed to sweat as usual, the result is that the sweat mixes with the bicarb residue to form something of a paste.  This paste then dries to one's feet, so that upon extracting them from the shoes, they are encrusted with an unpleasant-looking white substance.  What is more, this white substance renders the soles of one's feet really rather slippery when stepping into the shower. 

But what ho!  A minor problem afflicting the first day of wear only. 

Secondly, the Soup Pot Experiment.  Back on Day 5, I described how my book of rationing recipes contained a recipe for a kind of continuous stock pot, consisting of various root vegetables and bacon rind.  The idea was to bring it to the boil every day and take out whatever stock you needed.  It looked like it was meant to last several days, if not actually be continuously replenished.

Result= Success.  At least, if one defines success as no onset of what we shall euphemistically call "tummy troubles".  (Which seems like a pretty sound definition of 'success' to me.)  After chopping and freezing all the bacon bits, I stuck the quite copious amounts of rind  in a pot with a bit of onion, and boiled it up.  I did this for the next four days: boiling it briefly and then letting it cool.  I didn't even refrigerate it in between, but just left it sitting on the cooker.  Then yesterday I used it.  First, I skimmed off what little fat there was: it is now in the fridge and will be used later for frying or pastry.  (I understand this fat pretty much lasts indefinitely.)  And then I strained it and used the entire stock to make lentil soup.  It needed a fair amount of extra salt, and I probably should have added some bacon bit to the soup as a whole, but basically, it worked.  The soup was healthy, and so am I.

Success indeed. :D

My next experiment is to see if I can't make my own washing powder, which means tracking down some rather strange ingredients according to a recipe I have found online.  It will also be telling if the end result is cheaper or not than a decent brand-name powder.  Has anyone else out there ever done this?

Today's Expenditure: £0.00


Sharon said...

Hello Fran,

loving the blog! On the subject of things that work...and recalling a post about bottles of water at the airport might I suggest the "WaterBobble". I hate the taste of tap water but equally detest the notion and environmental impact of the bottled stuff. Enter the Bobble. It's a plastic bottle with an integral filter that you can fill up anywhere and still have yummy chlorine-taste-free water. The medium one is about £10 on Amazon (perhaps a scandal in your very frugal living) but will deliver 300 x 550ml bottles of filtered water anywhere you can find a tap (that's only 6p a litre by my calculations). You can take the airport then fill it from the fountains. Maybe an idea for a present perhaps.

On the bicarb front...if you can get someone to pick up the bicarb from Costco or the cash and carry it is shedloads cheaper and works brilliantly with the cheapest white vinegar (often called non-brewed condiment!) as a shower/bath/sink cleaner. Smells a bit when used but soon clears to leave effort free sparkle. Also great for unblocking sinks/drains...kettle of boiling water, few tablespoons of bicarb, good pour of vinegar and watch it fizz the problem away.

Watching with interest to see what happens next!


Fran said...

Hi Sharon. Thank you so much for your kind comments, and for your suggestions. I love the idea of the WaterBobble, and will look into ways of getting hold of one.

Also, thanks for the information about where to get hold of Bicarbonate of Soda cheaply. I think I know a couple of people with a Costco card, and will try persuading them to make a trip. Or get hold of a card myself, if I can. It has always seemed very mysteriosu to me, who can get one of these cards, so I shall need to investigate.

I shall try the bath cleaning tip, which is urgently needed right now. I have also used bicarb as a scrub for restoring a tea-stained "stainless steel" (hah!) sink to full shining glory. Far more eco-friendly than bleach.

Thanks again xx