Subject: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 52

-The Shoppe Newsletter No. 52-
In this issue:
- Why Use Alternatives?
- What are the Alternatives?  Vinegar, Bicarb Soda, Soap, Oatmeal, Herbs,
Eucalyptus Oil, Rice-flour, Lemons
- Basic Uses and Tips
- Tomato Talk: tomato recipes including pasta/pizza sauce, tomato chutney, tomato soup
and other tomato ideas.
Why Use Alternatives?
   If every human on earth lived the same privileged lifestyle as the developed nations what a mess our planet would be! The reality is that we (in the modern society) live far, far beyond our means and, more importantly, beyond the planet's means. The earth just cannot sustain this so-called 'wealthy' lifestyle. Planetary resources are limited. Consumer products abound like there is no tomorrow. Thousands of new products are created and manufactured every day - much of it ends up as land fill because it either did not meet consumer need or due to over production - all discarded as if we do not have a worry in the world. This era of consumerism must change - it is outdated, irrational and a dangerous way to live. It may have seemed practical and advantageous in past times but now is well and truly obsolete.
The ‘4 C’s’: Consumerism, Commercialism, Capitalism & Chemicals
According to history books ‘capitalism’ (as we know it today) originated in the 16th century in Italy. It’s loosely based upon four main concepts:
- The endless accumulation of wealth and capital
- The endless pursuit of growth and profit
- The exploitation of labour
- The exploitation of nature (animals, the environment).
Although the above may have been a wonderful concept when first begun in medieval Europe (and served humanity well over the last 400 years). Times are now very different. No longer do we live in adverse poverty and strive for a more even distribution of wealth. Nor do we have a narrow-minded view that the Earth is flat and life on Earth is only about as far as we can travel on foot or with a bullock and cart! Attitudes change – and one is now well due. Thankfully we now see ourselves universally as inhabitants of Planet Earth – billions of inhabitants in fact! We see the whole picture, that is, billions of people using resources, living a lifestyle, that they rely solely upon Earth to maintain into the future. How irrational that now seems?
Times Have Changed
Everyone should hear this message - because it's the only way forward: 'Consumer products have finished - gone - relegated to the past'. The only impediment to 'using alternatives' (and less consumer products) is habitual. It doesn't cost extra money, time or effort - it's just a matter of habit changing. Of doing something different - 'old habits die hard' as the saying goes.
What are the Alternatives?
Here are the most useful and practical alternatives:
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Vinegar:
Basic uses - Cheap generic vinegar: cleaning, disinfecting, deodorising, anti-bacterial agent, insect repellent
Better quality cider or white vinegar: hair conditioner, culinary, skin astringent, personal deodorant, therapeutic uses, preservative (food)
 Useful Tip - Use plain vinegar in place of commercial preparations as a disinfectant or make something similar by half filling a recycled plastic bottle (an old vinegar bottle is ideal) with cheap (white) vinegar. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Add a few drops eucalyptus oil and 2 drops green food colouring. Apply lid and shake. (For Lavender disinfectant use lavender oil and pink/purple colouring). Looks and works just like commercial disinfectant!

More information e-Book No. 33 Versatile Vinegar - download information here
Bicarb Soda:
Basic Uses - abrasive Cleaner, deodoriser, whitener, stain removal
Useful Tip - Make a quick Carpet and Room Deodoriser by three-quarter filling a clean medium-sized jar with bicarbonate soda. Add 6 drops eucalyptus or lavender oil. Apply lid. Shake well to blend. Leave 24 hours for the perfume to permeate the bicarbonate soda. Punch holes into the lid of the jar to form a sprinkle-top container. To Use: Sprinkle onto the carpet area, focusing specifically on areas that require extra deodorising. Leave 30 minutes - then vacuum or brush off. Deodorises the room as well as the carpet.

More Information e-Book No. 9 Amazing Bicarb! - download information here
Soap:
Basic uses - Household cleaning, personal cleaning, garden spray (insect repellent), deodorising, general household use
Useful Tip - Turn a bar of soap into 20 litres of Economical Soap Jelly to replace all your commercial detergents by grating one bar of soap. Put one half in one 9 litre bucket. Put the other half of grated soap in another bucket. Add ½ cup washing soda and 2 litres of boiling water to each bucket. Stir both buckets until mixture has dissolved. Top each bucket up to full with water. Leave to cool. Use approx. 1 cup of mix to full wash tub (for clothes) OR use to wash dishes OR as a liquid hand wash or hair shampoo.

More Information e-Book No. 50 Recycling Soap - download information here
Oatmeal:
Basic uses - mild abrasive cleaner, skin care & cleanser, water softener, culinary, hair-care, chemical free soap alternative
Useful Tip - Make a deep skin cleanse Oatmeal-Honey Facial Scrub by blending together: 4 teaspoons oatmeal, 1 tablespoon clear honey and juice of one lemon or water (for sensitive skin). Apply to the face. Massage in gentle circular motions for approximately 3- 5 minutes. Rinse off. (Apply once weekly)

More information e-Book No. 30 Natural Skin Care - down-load information here
Herbs
examples: rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, lavender
Basic Uses - skin care, hair care, personal deodorant, general deodorising, oral care, cleaning, mild disinfectant, insect repellent
Useful Tip - Make a simple Herbal Infusion by placing 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, lavender and thyme leaves in an earthenware or glass container. Gently crush the herbs with the back of a spoon (to aid release of essential oils). Add 250ml boiling water. Leave to infuse for about 5 minutes or for a stronger infusion leave longer. Strain and use as a hair rinse, skin (facial) astringent or pour into spray bottle and use as a mild deodorant or body spray. Add to homemade skin creams and other products.
More information e-Book No. 61 - Harnessing Herbs - download information here
Eucalyptus Oil:
Basic Uses - stain removal, deodorising, disinfecting, cleaning, therapeutic, insect repellent
Useful Tip - Make a very versatile and useful All-purpose Grime/Stain Remover and Surface Spray by mixing together 1/3 cup each of water, cloudy ammonia* and liquid soap-jelly**. Add 8-10 drops eucalyptus oil. Mix and pour into a recycled spray container. Cleans everything: Stains on clothing (apply before washing) or spray onto surfaces to rermove grime, grease and dirt from walls, vinyl, stove top, tiles, around light switches, etc.
* cloudy ammonia has a strong odour - replace with vinegar if preferred
** see recipe above or use bio-degradable dish-washing detergent if soap jelly is not available.

More information e-Book No. 23 - Green Cleaning - down-load information here
Rice-flour:
Basic Uses:personal care products, talc alternative
Useful Tip - Make a simple Foot Deodorising and Healing Powder by mixing equal parts rice flour, bicarb soda and dried or fresh sage & rosemary. Pour into food processor and blend to fine powder. Store in a clean jar with metal lid. Pierce holes in lid with nail and hammer to allow for easy sprinkling. How to use: Sprinkle onto dry feet after bathing or showering

More information e-Book No. 27 Fantastic Feet - download information here
Lemons:
Basic Uses: mild bleach, cleaning, deodorising, skin care, hair care, disinfectant, culinary, insect repellent, therapeutic
Useful Tip: After squeezing juice from a lemon (for salad dressing or other culinary uses) save the half lemon skin for cleaning. Simply dip in bicarb soda or salt and use to clean sink surface or wall tiles. Alternatively place lemon halves into a bucket or bowl of water in a room overnight - it will absorb strong odours such as smoke, cigarette odour and fresh paint/chemical smell.

For more informtion: e-book No. 10 - The Humble Lemon.  Download information here
The Benefits:
     Using alternatives will benefit you (safer/less chemicals), the environment PLUS save you money by replacing expensive commercial products with cheaper alternatives.  Here's what you can remove from your shopping list: oven cleaner, dish-washing detergent, laundry detergent, carpet deodorant, surface spray, floor cleaner, carpet shampoo, wooden surface cleaners, surface sprays & cleaners, abrasive cleaners, deodorizing agents, bathroom cleaner, mould remover, disinfectant, toilet cleaner, drain cleaner, window cleaner, water softener, stain remover, skin cleansers and astringents, hair shampoo, toothpaste, talc, shower gels and personal cleaners, liquid hand soap, pet care products, hair conditioner, floor & wood polish, insect repellents, garden sprays, air fresheners and room deodorizers and much more!!
For more information:

Environmentally-friendly Basics e-Book Set download
Six e-books covering with the most common household alternatives – Bicarb Soda, Vinegar, Lemon, Eucalyptus Oil, Soap, Oatmeal - that have a multitude of safe, environmentally friendly uses around the home. Very cost effective!

Contains:  No. 9 - Uses for Bi-carb Soda,  No. 10 - Humble Lemon,  No. 33 - Versatile Vinegar,  No. 51 - Uses for Eucalyptus Oil,  No. 50 – Recycling Soap, No. 58 - Old-time Oatmeal.  (Also available for purchase individually).
Tomato Talk!
  This time of the year backyards abound with home produce - fruits and vegetables. Reflected by the fact it's also the time of year when I'm asked to run my workshop 'Making Jams, Chutney and Pickles' - offering some practical kitchen know-how and experience for turning garden produce into tasty homemade products.
    My home-grown tomatoes are in abundance at present - I've a full bucket picked last night 'waiting' in the kitchen to be transformed into something for use later throughout the year when not so abundant (and flavoursome). If you do not grow your own a many greengrocers and produce suppliers offer (cheaply) cartons of 'sauce tomatoes' for sale. Check-out your local farmers market for good organic produce. Here's a couple of my favorite tomato recipes ideal for using up excess tomatoes.
Simple Pasta or Pizza Sauce
(Tastes much better than the commercial bottled variety!)
   Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add about 1 kg of ripe tomatoes (chopped), 2 cloves of garlic (crushed) and 2 medium onions (chopped). Fry for a few minutes to soften.
Add 250ml water or vegetable stock (depending on your taste preferences). Add 1-2 teaspoons sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Continue boiling (for about an 30 minutes) until a thick pulp remains. Leave to cool.

NB: Either leave as it is - thick chunky-style - or blend to a thinner-type sauce. If blender is not available push through a sieve. This will also remove skins (if preferred). Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or, for longer storage pour into containers for freezing. Use as a pasta sauce, tomato dip, or pizza base.
Tomato Chutney
You'll need: 2 kilograms ripe tomatoes*, 1 kilogram cooking apples, 500g onions, 625ml (2 ½ cups) malt or cider vinegar, 625g (2 ½ cups) sugar, 45g (1/4 cup) sultanas, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon mustard powder, ½ teaspoon ginger, 10 cloves, ¼ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
Method: To remove skins (optional) - blanch tomatoes in boiling water - skin can then be easily removed from the pulp. Coarsely chop tomato flesh. Place in a large heavy based pan. Peel and core apples, cut into rough slices or quarters. Add to pan. Add peeled and chopped onions. Stir in vinegar, sugar, sultanas, salt, pepper, cloves and mustard. Bring to boil. Add ginger and chili powder. Bring to boil again and then simmer without lid for l ½ hours or until very thick consistency. Pour into clean, hot jars. Seal. When cool, label with contents and date. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 6 months . Refrigerate after opening.

*Use 4-5 cans of tomatoes if fresh not available.
Tomato Soup

You'll need: 1 kg ripe tomatoes, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 1 tablespoon plain flour, ½ litre milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper to taste
Method: Chop tomatoes and place in saucepan with salt and sugar. Cook slowly (covered) until soft. Blend or process (or push through sieve) to puree to fine pulp. Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Add tomato pulp and plain flour. Heat gently for 2 minutes.
Slowly add milk while continuously stirring - do not boil as it may cause curdling.
Season with salt and pepper if necessary before serving.
Optional: A finely chopped onion and/or crushed garlic sautéed in the margarine or butter before adding the pulped tomatoes will enhance the flavour.
Other quick uses for tomatoes:

Savoury Poached Eggs
: Poach eggs in tomato juice instead of water. Poached fish may also be cooked via the same means.

Grilled Tomatoes: Slice top and bottom from medium-sized tomatoes. Drizzle each tomato with olive oil or melted butter/margarine.
Season with salt and pepper. Grill both sides 2-3 minutes till soft and browned. Great served on toast for breakfast or supper or as an accompaniment to meals.

Quick Tomato Bake: Place alternate layers of sliced tomatoes, onions and bread crumbs with a little melted butter or olive oil in a greased baking dish. Top with a layer of bread crumbs covered with grated cheese (optional). Bake in moderate oven for about 30 minutes. (Crushed garlic and a little Parmesan cheese may also be included amongst the layers if desired).  

For more tomato information:

e-Book: Ways With Tomatoes:
The many uses for tomatoes: culinary (tomato jam, sauce, chutney, soups, pasta sauce, pickles, salads and other tomato based dishes);  cosmetic (skin toner and cleanser):  therapeutic (lotion for sun-burn, poultice):  insect repellent (boiled leaves as a garden spray). Also: growing tomatoes (including in containers), seed saving, preserving, drying, freezing, juicing.    24 pages   Price:  $12.00
For download information click here
Workshop Updates
  I run regular workshops on a range of sustainability orientated topics (Green Cleaning, Natural Skin Care, Hair & Body Alternatives, Chemical Free Living, Backyard Self-Sufficiency, etc.) through-out metropolitan Adelaide and SA country areas.  I'm currently preparing to offer workshops, talks, activities further afield and interstate.
For more information about the workshops CLICK HERE 
If you would like to receive regular workshop updates (which includes information, tips and recipes) CLICK HERE
    I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. Keep well - and I'll catch you next time.
Pam Marshall -The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe
email: theshoppe@tpg.com.au
www.theshoppe.com.au

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© 2014  Pam Marshall - The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe

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