Water + Lye + Lard = Soap!

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Sometimes I come across recipes that peek my interest. I’ve been fascinated with the home life of people who lived in our area back in the 1800’s. From their clothing, to the homes, transportation, health remedies, train schedules and their cooking habits. Last week while doing some research I came across a hard soap recipe from June 11, 1881. It’s hard to imagine making soap instead of just going to the store and picking up a few bars of the many brands available. I remember hearing stories from my mom about her grandmother making soap and the grand children helping. Usually the soap would be made outdoors after rendering lard from pork skins. After rendering the lard the pork skins and cracklings would be removed from the lard. The lard was then strained and the soap making would begin.

Hard soap recipe found in the Jacksonville Republican Newspaper (Alabama) from June 1881

Hard soap recipe found in the Jacksonville Republican Newspaper (Alabama) from June 1881

Since this recipe contains a few products that I’m still unsure of where to buy, I decided to try an alternative recipe that uses only three ingredients: lard, water and lye.

*As with any recipe that uses lye, extreme caution is advised! Directions should be followed exactly! Order of adding ingredients matter.

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Popup Camper Mod – LED Interior Lighting

New LED Lights!The new LED bulbs arrived this week! Just in time for a long weekend of doing a few repairs on the Coleman PopUp Camper. It’s incredible how hot the old bulbs would get and it is a wonder they didn’t melt the lens covers. These bulbs do get warm, but nothing like the old 1141 incandescent bulbs. I bet the battery will last a lot longer now!  This has been the easiest mod by far and the only hazard was removing the old bulbs too soon after the pictures without letting them cool.  What will I do with the old bulbs?  Those bulbs are now spare bulbs that will go into the tool box in case we ever have a bulb go out for any of the other exterior lights.  For more information just click on the bulb photos.20141011_175939LED_MOD

Camping Food Doesn’t…

Curry Soup

Meals don’t have to be blah when you are hiking or camping!

Camping food doesn’t have to be burgers and hotdogs. Make your next hiking or camping trip special! This meal is easy to make ahead and it’s easy to make once your have your campsite set up. Great when your tired and you don’t want to have to dig out all the grilling equipment, clean the grill..you know what I mean.

Here’s a list of the ingredients so you can make your own.

Rice Noodle Curry Soup 1 Serving

  • 1 Serving Rice Noodles (my packet said it had 4 servings, so I used 1/4 the package
  • 1 ounce Coconut Cream Powder (1/2 the packet)
  • 1/4 cup Dried Veggies
  • 1 cube Veggie Bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • Small sprinkle of Cayenne Powder (more if you like it HOT!)
  • 2 Cups water (more or less to suit your taste)

Directions – Place noodles and dried veggies in a zip bag or container (container #1). Set aside. Place coconut powder, bouillon cube, curry powder, and cayenne powder in a separate container or baggie (container #2). When ready to cook boil the noodles and veggies (container #1) in 2 cups of water. When the rice noodles are tender mix in the ingredients (container 2). Enjoy! Quick and easy!