Jul 15 2010

Back to Basics – I mean REALLY back, way back, far back!

You wouldn’t believe what we all take for granted these days.

I guess it all began with our parents. They grew up in a world where everyone knew that potatoes grew in the ground and peanuts grew on trees.

Their moms made bread and ice cream and sometimes soap. We like to say things were “simpler” then but really that’s not true.

Beating your sheets against a rock in the river was far less appealing than stuffing it into a machine that did all that for you. And even the dryer has become such a staple that my own kids don’t even know that you can actually hang up clothes to dry!

In some places clothes lines are illegal now because they are unsightly. Oh man, if my grandmother knew that she’d lose it!

Nowadays (I sound older there than I am btw) we rely on the conveniences for everything. My ex-husband thinks the 100 mile diet means that if the grocery store is within 100 miles that counts!

Now that I have successfully managed to work from home I have started to look around me to see just what we can either live without or make ourselves.

We make bread, lots of bread. I love doing it because it saves a bundle and I know exactly what is in the bread we make (still working on that recipe page for you ;)

We make ice cream. Mostly because a small tub of the stuff now retails for $8.99 which I completely resent! If there were flecks of gold or if it could make you thin I’d consider that sort of financial outlay for ice cream but so far I haven’t found any that does that.

This week I was marveling at the massive amount of lavender that is growing and blooming in my garden. I love the smell of lavender. I’d like to harness that smell and keep it all year long. Then it occurred to me that people have been doing just that for years. Actually, hundreds of years.

Since I feel it’s my job to impress upon my kids that we can do just about anything (with help from the ultimate convenience, the internet) I decided we’d make lavender oil this week.

Just a quick note here, you can actually burn lavender while making oil in a crock pot (a recipe that seemed infinitely easier than building an essential oil still from milk jugs and copper tubing)

Anyway, attempt #1 illicit a slightly burnt lavender oil. I’m planning on filling the pot with another round of flowers to see if I can strengthen the mixture.

If it all tanks, I have an alternative. We’ll dry a ton of the stuff and put it in eye pillows for when I make them do yoga with me! hee hee.

I feel a bit bad for the kids. They have no idea that they are about to enlisted to scour the neighbourhood for edibles like pears and apples and figs in the next few days.