Cold Prevention and a Few Other Nifty Tips

Cold Prevention:

I know I’ve posted this before, but I have kept colds at bay for years with this simple infusion:

  • 5 drops each lemon, peppermint, tea tree and oregano oils into a mug of boiling water. Inhale through your nose three times, then inhale through your mouth three times. WARNING: close your eyes; the steam will make your eyes water. Also, breathe carefully or you will start coughing; it’s pretty powerful. Repeat every hour or two, or when you think of it. The infusion is good for 24 hours. Additionally, taking elderberry zinc lozenges also help to stop colds before they start. At the first sign of a scratchy throat, try both of these to help avoid a cold.

Some Cleaning Tips:

  • White vinegar is a cheap and effective way to clean the nasties out of microwaves. Fill a small bowl with white vinegar, and put it in the microwave for 5 – 10 minutes. The steam will loosen the dried on gunk and makes it easy to clean it off with a sponge. You can also use white vinegar and baking soda as a “sweetener” for stinky kitchen drains: dump a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the sink, then follow with a big splash of white vinegar. You’ll get a mini-volcanic eruption that’s fun to watch and freshens the drain.

How to make your own laundry soap (each ingredient can be found in your local supermarket):

  • 1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax powder
  • 2 gallon bucket

Grate the soap and put it in a large pot (if you own a lobster pot, that’s just about the size you’ll need). Add six cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it’s dissolved. Removed from heat. Pour four cups of hot water into the 2 gallon bucket. Now add the soap mixture and stir. Now add one gallon plus six cups of water into the bucket and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry; it will cost you about a penny a load.

NOTE: The finished soap will not be a solid gel; it will be more of a watery gel that looks sort of like egg noodle soup. Also, the soap is a low-sudsing soap, so if you don’t see actual suds, that’s ok. Suds are NOT what does the cleaning; it’s the ingredients. We have used this for years, and it does a great job. Not only that, but sheets and towels washed in this mix come out fluffy and soft in the dryer.

Easy-Peasy Chicken Broth

The next time you either roast a chicken or buy one already cooked, it’s easy to make a good chicken broth. This broth can be enjoyed by itself or you can add chopped chicken, vegetables, rice or pasta to it for a heartier soup. Here’s how:

  • Strip the meat off the carcass (leave some meat on the bones), and set it aside. Chop it up if you want to add it to the finished soup.
  • Put the carcass into a large pot, and add enough water to just cover it.
  • Add an onion cut in half (skin and all), some garlic cloves (also cut in half with skins on), a couple of carrots cut in half, a few stalks of celery, some black peppercorns, and a generous pinch of salt. Add a few shakes of seasonings: paprika, parsley, thyme, and, if you like the taste; curry powder.

Let it cook (medium heat) down until the carcass is about 2-3″ above the water. Strain this mixture into a new pot, and throw out the bones, vegetables, etc. (I do NOT recommend using the chicken from this mix; it will be pretty played-out and tasteless at this point.) What’s left over is a wonderful chicken broth. Pour it off into a container (a glass bottle is what I use), let it cool, then refrigerate. If it gels after being in the refrigerator, you’ve made a great broth.

You can freeze the broth if you like and use it as is, or add in chopped chicken, onions, carrots, celery, etc. I’ve also added a can of corn and some cilantro to give it a Southwestern taste.

Good luck and have fun!


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