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Making My Own Products, Long Term

August 16, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend about how I hadn’t made anymore mozzarella or ricotta after my first attempt, though it was relatively quick and easy. I started thinking about how many things I have tried and haven’t repeated or I’ve tried and did for awhile then fell out of the routine of doing them.

What is sometimes easy to forget are the things that I do make regularly that have replaced purchased products. They are healthier if I make them myself, usually less expensive and more sustainable because an organic option is frequently available (and I use it if possible) and less packaging is used when I make things at home. All things I make at home are in glass jars or bottles that we wash and reuse. I also reuse the bands and dome lids on anything that isn’t being canned.

Here is a list of products that I make regularly that have replaced packaged products in our home. I’m focusing on food, but I’ll throw in a couple others just because.

  • Yogurt-I usually make half a gallon per week.
  • Fermented Ketchup-I make over a quart a few times per year, because we aren’t big ketchup eaters.
  • Granola-We don’t buy breakfast cereals.
  • Bone stocks-I make a huge batch, cook to condense it and then freeze; I collect bones and carcasses in the freezer until I’m running low on stock and am ready to do a new large batch. I do this a few times per year. I use stock in rice and other recipes that call for stock or broth. Tastes much better and is much better for you than canned stock or bullion.
  • Kombucha-I make about a gallon per week.
  • Mayonnaise-I make a pint every couple of weeks. More frequently if we are eating lots of tuna salad. I am going to do a tutorial on making mayo in the next couple of days, because the last tutorial I did was on the now-defunct Yamhill County Urban Homesteaders blog and I had someone email me for my mayo recipe.
  • Baking soda and vinegar rinses-For my hair. No shampoo or conditioner here for the past three years.
  • Cheap-otle sauce-(Lawrence coined that spelling!haha!) I make a few times per year, a quart at a time. Much, much cheaper than the store bought version.
  • Roasting my own coffee-I buy green beans by the ten pound bag from a local roaster, so there’s much less waste and it’s very fresh.
  • Jam-I’ve made jam the past several years and haven’t purchased it in a very long time. All the jam is made from fruit we picked ourselves.
  • Salad dressings/vinaigrettes-I make as needed.
  • Soap-I make natural soap and haven’t bought any since I started making it a couple of years ago.

What about all of you? How do you feel about this subject? Are you making more products for yourself than you used to? Do you wish you had time to integrate more? What kinds of things are you making? Please comment or, if you’d like, post about it on your own blog. Let me know if you do!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lewru permalink
    August 16, 2008 9:35 pm

    Ooh! Fermented ketchup! Would you mind posting a recipe? That sounds great!

  2. Mojavi permalink
    August 17, 2008 4:45 am

    ok- how do you get the lard/fat to make your own soap? another blogger I read makes her own and gets it from a butcher.

    Also how do you make your own yogurt?

  3. Angelina permalink
    August 17, 2008 9:06 am

    Ricotta. I won’t buy it anymore.

    Salad dressing. Too easy and better.

    croutons. Love them!

    Jam. Best made by me. Haven’t bought jam in years.

    3-bean marinated salad. I can it myself.

    Dill pickles. Used to buy them but now I make them myself and love them!

    Clothes. I haven’t made any in a while but have made many of my own over the years.

    Pot holders.


    Pita bread. Haven’t bought factory made since I learned to make it myself over 12 years ago.

    I wish I had tons more time. I want to do so much more.

  4. Evelyn permalink
    August 17, 2008 12:53 pm

    I started making my own chipotle sauce after you told me about it. Although, next time I make it, I am going to try the dried chipotle peppers. I went on line for Badia spices and found where I can buy them here.

    I am using my journal I told you about to get more organized, and then I want to get back to doing more stuff myself. We hardly ever eat out anymore. Not just because we can’t afford it, but I prefer homemade food.

    Now that I have a sewing machine, I want to get into making gifts and making my own clothes again. I used to be pretty good at it so I am sure I can do it again.

    I make my own “shampoo and rinse” from you instructions. Don’t want to use anything else now.

  5. Lisa permalink
    August 18, 2008 3:42 pm

    Lewru-I will try to post a recipe today, if not today then tomorrow.

    Mojavi-I don’t use lard. I use vegetable oils, specifically coconut, palm, olive and I’m now transitioning to safflower from soy bean oil. I should also post a yogurt tutorial.

    Angelina-Can you believe I’ve never made croutons! I might have to watch you do it sometime because yours are very tasty.

    Mom-That’s a good idea to do it from dried chipotles. I didn’t much care for the list of other ingredients in the canned ones last time I looked at it.

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