I sit here tonight drinking a test cup of nettle, dandelion, chokecherry leaves, semi-crushed dried berries and stems, and homegrown mint leaves and stems. I mixed one part dandelion to two parts of everything else more or less, and one part mint roughly. The resulting tea had a very grassy taste with a decidedly nettle scent, but with a bit of honey, tastes very mellow. Not bad as it grows on you. That mix of tea is now in a little labelled container up in the tea cupboard. There’s enough chokecherry crushed to make tea for a long time this winter! Nettle has a decent amount in the cupboard too, but I only had enough dandelion root for the blend I put together this evening.
The first bottle of infused shampoo is in the shower now as well, along with infused facial scrub and leave-in conditioner. We also made more of the chokecherry vinegar as well, meaning I need to pay back the VISA for yet more buckets of salad mix and salad dressing. I also need to pay back the VISA for a second bottle of shampoo as shortly, all of us will be using the same shampoo instead of different bottles. I’m looking forward to updating that spreadsheet needless to say!
The flour attempt with dried rice pulp resulted in very fine almost salt-like granules coming out of the grain mill. Trying to crack dried chokecherries with the hand grain mill threatened to tear up the countertop, so we resorted to pounding in the mortar instead. Eventually I was able to use the mill to break the berries down further, but only got them so far. Using a metal strainer, we managed to get maybe half a cup or more of chokecherry flour to date.
The first batch along with the rice made about one cup that I threw into the breadmaker using the basic white loaf recipe. The resulting loaf proved dense, meaning I probably should have chosen the whole wheat bread recipe instead, but otherwise, the loaf did not taste much different than normal. I’ll be testing again soon. The second reason for denseness may be due to the fact the chokecherry flour has no gluten in it. We’ll see how the next loaf goes. We have lots of dried berries to crack and grind now! We’ll have to see how much flour we actually get out of it. Rumour has it this flour can be used in place of corn starch for thickening soups and sauces. I’ll have to try that out soon too.
Facial cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, window cleaner, bathroom cleaner, tea, salad dressing, salad greens. . . all a mix of foraging, vinegar, baking soda, and more liquid glycerin soap than I thought I’d end up making. . . eucalyptus oil thrown in here and there for good measure. . . eventually I’ll be able to clean both the house and myself using far fewer chemicals! The wild salads have more nutrition in them than what we were doing before as well. Add to that saving money on those aspects of grocery shopping, and it’s a win, win, win situation.