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Laundry Update: No detergent at all!!

September 9, 2011 • Paige

A few years back, I began reducing the amount of laundry soap I use by half, then by half again.  After that, I started making my own, but these days I almost never use any kind of soap or detergent in my laundry.  (WHAT??) 

Yes – I said I don’t use soap or detergent in my laundry.  It sounds crazy but it’s not necessary.  These days, I add a half cup, or sometimes a full cup of white vinegar to the wash load, and that’s it!!

I still can’t conquer static completely, so I use half of a perfume and dye-free dryer sheet if the humidity is low enough for static to be a problem. In Louisiana, most of the time the humidity is high enough that I don’t need even a half a dryer sheet.

Using white vinegar instead of detergent or soap has actually made our clothes very soft.  Our towels are more absorbent than ever.

Doing my laundry this way has had an interesting effect:  I can’t stand the feel of clothes washed with detergent and softeners!  I can feel wax on my fingers after touching clothes washed in commercial products.  The perfumes added to detergents and fabric softeners are over-powering and I much prefer unscented, unwaxed clothes now.

Dry Beans Vs. Canned Beans Conversions

September 4, 2011 • Paige
These are not exact, since beans are different  sizes.

One 15-ounce can of beans equals:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans
  • 1/2 cup dry beans, before cooking

1 pound dry beans equals:

  • 2 to 2.5 cups dry beans, before cooking
  • 6 to 7.5 cups beans, after cooking
  • Four to Five 15-ounce cans of beans

1 part dry beans equals

  • 3 parts cooked beans

How to use dry beans:

First, rinse and sort dried beans, discarding any blemished ones or any grit and small stones.

First, Soak:

LONG SOAK: Cover dried beans with three times their volume of water and lets stand in refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight. Drain.

QUICK SOAK: In saucepan, cover dried beans with three times their volume of water and bring to boil. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour. Drain.

Then, Cook:
In a large saucepan, cover drained, soaked beans with three times their volume of fresh water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, and topping up with water if necessary, for about 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours, depending on age and type of bean. Drain.