Blackberry Jam and Laundry Soap

I spent the day today baking and making jam. There is nothing so relaxing as kneading bread dough. Nothing so satisfying as looking at the jars of jam as they come out of the canner and the pops as the lids seal. And the best part is eating homemade bread slathered with homemade jam:) The only thing better would be if I could make the butter too…
As many of you know, my husband and his family are survivalists. His family is Mormon and he has retained a lot of the attitudes even though he doesn’t still practice the religion. Consequently, we have spent a lot of time learning to do for ourselves. My mother-in-law and I are planning to make cheese sometime in the near future, as soon as we find a supplier of rennet.

Our previous successful venture was laundry soap. I can make 5 gallons of laundry soap for under $5 and it works as well if not better than commercial soaps. It takes about 2 months for my family to use a batch and we keep supplies on hand to make more. I made a new batch a couple of days ago.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 bar of soap (I use Yardley’s lavender or lemon verbena)
1 cup washing soda (this is different from baking sodad. You find it in the laundry aisle at the grocery store)
1 cup borax
5 gallons of water

1. Grate your soap. Put the grated soap into a pot with 1/2 gallon of water. Heat to boiling and stir constantly until soap is dissolved.
2. Put the remaining water into a 5 gallon bucket. Add dissolved soap, washing soda and borax.
3. Stir for 10 minutes. Soap will begin to thicken. Throughout the next several hours, stir occasionally. This will keep the soap from separating. It will have a gelatinous consistency.
You can use this soap as soon as you have mixed with up. I use 1/2 cup per washload.

Again, there is a certain satisfaction in doing these things for myself.
Hopefully, I never need to do these for any other reason but my own satisfaction.

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