Hello!

I'm Krisha - a Scandinavian mama and physician, a crafter, and an avid coffee drinker - trying to nudge my family towards a greener lifestyle!

   elQuiltro

Entries in home made (7)

Wednesday
Apr172013

yellow and lilac

 

 

Looking around the blogs it seem Spring is late all over the Northern Hemisphere this year. It has been very cool here in Oslo. I am not complaining though. I like a slow Spring. It gives me time for the proper transition between seasons. The cleaning and putting away of the winter gear, taking out the summer clothes, and, best of all, making something new just for Spring season. I have tilted completely on the combination of yellow and lilac and, with the Oliver+S book Little Things To Sew in my hands, I found some left-over fabrics and made this little ear hat for baby A. She loves it! The pattern is actually a little bit too big for her so I will have to take it in a bit to have it properly protect her little ears on cool Spring mornings. We both just adore it though. I think its the perfect "piece" for her going  into spring beautiful yet very functional.

 

Or maybe  it's these lovely potato flowers that are causing my color hang up? Yes I am growing potatoes in flower pots in my living room. It is all part of my grand vision for homesteading on the fourth floor - a small step in the direction of urban farming, if you will. I am planning herbs on the balcony and maybe some gralic and a potato tower in the courtyard? I  really want to try out a few different things this year all in the spirit of learning good planning for next year. How is your Spring getting on?

Sunday
Jan272013

Home made deodorant - and some thoughts on plastic! 

I have been making my own deodorant for a while now. It is very easy to make and this little tin lasts recycling papa and me about 6 weeks. Needing to make a new batch this weekend, I decided to share with you both the recipe and why I started making my own in the first place.

About a year ago, I started a serious effort to reduce my plastic consumption. My primary concern when I set out was global warming - a big, ominous and seemingly overwhelming issue, threatenig our safety on so many levels, we can’t even begin to think about it. So I decided to go about it the same way I keep my house – one step ahead of total chaos.  I focus on one tiny area at the time. So I focused on plastic.

I figured global warming is caused mainly by human over-consumption -> most of what I consume is wrapped in plastic -> reducing my plastic consumption will reduce my over consumption.  My search for alternatives to plastic first let me to Beth Terry which in turn led me to a film called Midway Island. The first time I saw this film, there were tears streaming down my cheeks – those poor baby birds.

The overwhelming size of our pollution problem really started to dawn on me.  My incentive to reduce my consumption of single use plastics certainly got a boost! Then I came across the plastic pollution coalition and started reading articles about how plastic enters our food chain and may cause other health issues as hormonedisruptors.

In my search for good recipes for homemade deodorant, I came across people talking about a link between breast cancer and deodorants - being a doctor I started searches on pubmed etc. I kept coming across articles and abstracts like this one. There is no conclusive evidence, but there is significantly more breast cancer in "Western societies."  Women who come from a non-western culture with low breast cancer rates who then move to the west and adapt western culture like, diet and hygiene, will run the same risk of cancer as western women. This phenomenon is often used to argue that higher rates of breast cancer might be caused by cultural, hence preventable, reasons and perhaps not genetic.

 

As an MD, I also figure that an imbalance in one part of the body might have dire consequences for the whole body.  One small positive and healthy change can create positive, rippling effects.  If one extrapolates one human body to the whole planet, the consequences could be that one small change for the environment can save the world.  Think about it!

Even if you’re not a crafter, or a general do-it-yourselfer, you might find that making something that you’ve always taken for granted as a “store bought” item, like deodorant, can provide you enormous satisfaction.

Here is one more, small caveat before launching into the recipe.  As nice as this deodorant works and smells, it can get into your clothes a bit.  It washes off easily, but you might want to avoid using it with your white satins, etc.  If you do get it on your clothes, try using a little shampoo on the affected spot.  (Shampoo is generally a good option for removing fatty stains on satins or on your childrens’ clothes.)

OK – recyclingmama’s recipe for homemade deodorant:

You need

1 tbs grated beeswax ( packed)

3 tbs coconut oil

2tbs corn starch

2 ts baking soda

Fragrance:

1/4 ts tea three oil

10 drops essential geranium oil

10 drops essential bergamot oil

5   drops essential clove oil 

You can use any essential oil you like - I just like the "clean" smell of this combo.

This is how:

in a double boiler measure up the beeswax and the coconut oil and melt it. measure up the cornstarch and the baking soda in a small mixing bowl. I find it helpful to measure up the fragrances before I start as well - Much less mess that way..

When the wax and oil is melted mix it in with the baking soda and corn starch.( be aware that hot oil is very painful on skin!) Mix out all lumps. When the mix is cool enough to touch comfortably add the fragrances of you choice. mix well. then pour into a container. and let rest for 3-4 hours.  you apply it under your arms with your fingers. I should have the consistency of a "hard" cream. You can however make it thicker or softer buy changing the relationship between the beeswax and coconut oil.

It takes me about 15 minutes from start to finish to make this -  and like I said it lasts a looong time. 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Sep292012

the last of the plums

 

We have not been able to plant a fruit tree or start a vegatable garden at our summer cabin yet, but we have some neighbors who have a little garden parcel with a wonderful plum tree.   They're great neighbors, who generously share!

This year, in addition to plum jam, I made plum chutney which was really great and really easy. I just boiled a liter of plums with sugar, ginger, cloves and chilli.  It came out smelling and tasting wonderful! 

Saturday
Sep222012

Whipped cream

 

I have been wanting to get into making my own body care products for a long time now. I have been reading books, blogs and searching the web for recipes and wisdom. The idea that most of what I need for good, fresh and healthy skin care are available to me in my kitchen is very appealing to me. It is also very compelling that making my own products reduces my use of petrochemicals - both on my skin and in the plastic packaging.  You won't believe all the harmful substances that are used in skin care and cosmetics - I'll try to avoid ranting about it just, but I won't promise not to get on that rant on another blogpost! Anyway, today I want to share with you how easy it is to whip up this most luscious camomille and lavender body cream.  

This delicious body cream really smoothes the skin.  It also works wonders on baby A's tushi rash and B-boy's eczema. There are no additives - just oils, herbs and water! I found the recipe in Soul Mama's book Rythm of family, so I can't share it with you here, but there are an infinite amount of similar recipes on the web.  

If you have rudimentary kitchen skills and can handle basic cooking, making your own cream is easy peasy.  I really recommend it - it's healthier, cheaper, less polluting, involves no animal testing AND it will really impress your kids!

Sunday
May202012

Rhubarb and strawberry jam

We have this tiny, tiny cottage on an island in the fjord. It sits on a huge lawn. On Friday the five of us piled into it for the weekend. I love the idea of spending time there, however I am really to old for the cramped quarters and so for the first few hours I am very crankiy. But then I get into it, sitting on the porch with my morning coffee watching the young dears trying to position themselves to the "ladies," listening to the birds.  And all this is only 30 minutes from our apartment in the center of town- sheer luxury! The garden is huge and under-developed, but we are slowly getting to know it , and know what we want to do with it. 

This weekend I spent most of my time in the raspberry brushes, which the scratches up my arms will prove. And I found some long forgotten and overshaddowed rhubarb patches.

I just LOVE rhubarb and strawberry jam so I picked the few who seemed to have grown properly, saved some strawberries from breakfast and, when we got home, I made this one jar of precious rhubarb and strawberry jam!

Sunday
Feb122012

home made yoghurt

It's all the rage on the food blogs lately, and some of the instructions seem quite overwhelming. But I guess it's an age old technique, not rocket science, so I decided to give it a go without any special equipment. And, as you see, you don't really need too much stuff!

Here's what you need:

a kettle, a thermometer, ladle, a whisk a cup, a spoon, containers for the finished yoghurt, a stove and a little bit of patience.

This is how I did it.

I placed 3 tbs of yoghurt ( with live cultures) in a cup -this is often referred to as the starter.

I took 1L of whole milk, heated it up to 85 degrees celsius (185 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes  (the amount of milk you use is the amount of yoghurt you make)

I cooled the mix down to  43C (110 F)

I spooned 2 tbs of milk into the cup of yoghurt (starter) to loosen it up

I added the cup of yoghurt (starter) to the milk in the pot and whisked it all in

I put the lid on the pot

I placed the pot in the stove with the pilot light on ( 45 degrees celcius) for 7 hrs.

I removed the pot and placed it in a ice water bath and whisked rigorously for a little while.

I poured the yoghurt into the jars, and put them in the back of the fridge.

Homemade yoghurt tends to be more runny than store bought, which can be explained in different ways. One explanation is that store bought yoghurt contains pectin, another is that the fattier the milk the less runny.  Also, I read that the longer it stands to ferment the thicker it gets ( but it also gets more sour.) I guess the full explanation is a combination of the above and a few other factors. You can find more detailed descriptions and explanations here and here.

 

Mine came out creamy with a nice twang and  an acceptable runniness. Next time I will try to sweeten it a little and flavour it with vanilla bean.

 There are many good arguments for making the yoghurt yourself.  For me the most compelling is the reduced use of disposable plastic waste. One liter home made yoghurt produces a milk carton cap's worth of plastic waste rather than two big, sturdy tubs of plastic.

Not that I quite understand why we have to have a plastic screw cap on our milk cartons. We did fine before. Our fridges now are better and cleaner than before, and so odor or spoiling due to a carton that's not hermetically sealed can't be a real problem. And how often do you really need to lay a carton of milk flat in the fridge after opening it to save space?

 A little screw cork doesn't seem like much, I know, but it adds up. Just consider these three facts;  there are no longer any beach on the planet that does not have plastic washed up on it, there is a garbage patch of plastic the size of TEXAS in the Pacific.  Finally, and most alarming to me, all of the plastic ever produced on this earth is still in circulation, most of which unproductively.   All this, and I won't even get started now on the negative health effects of plastic-wrapped food....

Saving another cap of plastic is motivation enough for me to think up creative solutions to reduce the use of plastic for me and my family. I try not to go overboard about it, but at least I look for plastic free alternatives when I shop.

 If you want to hear more about reducing plastic waste go to my plastic free life or read more about the impact of plastic go to stop plastic pollution

Are you doing something to be a little more environmentally conscious?

If so I would really like to hear about it!

Have a great week!