It's a difficult thing trying to figure out what you can do to scour your raw fleeces without polluting the local watershed. I know that my little bit of Dawn liquid to wash my fleeces isn't that much, but how about when and if I start washing more then just 10 - 12 fleeces a year and what if you extrapolate my environmental impact by 100,000 (very conservative as there are more then 7 billion people on the planet so logically, more then 100,000 use Dawn dish liquid). Well anyway, it got me thinking. I wanted to make a healthy and socially responsible choice (yes I said socially responsible, not environmentally responsible). So I did a bit of research and decided it was time to find an alternative.
Is Dawn safe? Well, to find out I went to the Environmental Working Groups Dawn page...turns out, no, no it's not. Dawn has 0 products that have an A or B rating. And only 15.8% of their products have a C rating...the rest are D and F. I'm not sure I'm even willing to compromise with a C rating, but it turns out the Dawn dish washing liquid I was using has a D rating. Now these ratings, what's the skinny... well the image below is pulled right off the EWG's website and explains it all.
So as you can see, a C rating is moderate concern and D is "high concern." Eep! That's not what I want to be putting in my ground water is it something I wish to be putting in the ground water that my neighbors rely on for their drinking water (this is the socially responsible part).
So the detergent testing began. I decided to just use what I had in the house which left me with 3 cleaners to try (Ecover 0 laundry detergent, Ecover 0 dish soap, and Soap Nuts liquid). In case you are curious here is the EWG sheet on Ecover and the website for Eco Nuts.
In the image above, you will see 4 different covered containers. The one on the left is the Eco Nuts trial, the one with the pink top is the Ecover Zero Dish Soap and the two on the right are the Ecover Zero Laundry Detergent. In the image below you will see how the fiber came out after washing.
After handling all the different fibers after washing and watching the washing process, I[m the most happy with the Ecover Zero Landry Detergent. It did a really nice job and the handle of the dry wool was a little better then the dish soap.
I have another scour on the way that is environmentally responsible. It is really important to me not to pollute my water supply and the washer I use to process my wool drains into the ground (grey water). I will add to the review when I check out the new scour, which is normally way out of my price range but was on over 50% off sale from a store on Amazon.
On a day like today, I gravitate to easy dinner. For me that means pancakes! There is something so simplistic about being able to mix a few ingredients and create a delicious meal quickly. I don't know about you but in our household dinner usually takes at least a half an hour to make. Why most weekdays this is not an issue, weekends can be a different matter entirely. We have been going since 8 AM this morning and we are tired, so time for pancakes.
For those who don't know what going on a farm, even a small one, this is what our day looks like today. Get up, feed kids, Feed animals, dash outdoor for T-ball, play on playground, run home, start burn pile to burn massive trees that were taken down in front yard (the Mr. has literally been throwing 50-100 pound pieces of wood into a crazy hot fire all day), prep garden beds, lunch sometime in there, shovel compost out of chicken coop, do a quick kitchen cleanup, nurse baby ... There's more but I'm tired...everything today has included wearing the little miss in her wrap, except for the broad fork activities.
Our busy season is upon us! Pancakes will be on the me he more. Most commonly served with bacon and eggs or burger drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with salt. We aren't vegan, but these pancakes can be made vegan quite easily. Enjoy the recipe!
6 tablespoons Aquafaba or 2 large eggs
Anyone who has been in the gluten free any period of time knows that gluten-free sandwich bread is the proverbial unicorn. Perhaps I should say, simple gluten-free bread is the proverbial unicorn. Most gluten-free bread have about 500 ingredients. Well okay, not really 500, but let's be honest, there's a lot and most of them are not something you could produce in your own kitchen.
I've been at this gluten free bread game a long time. I have young children and one of my favorite memories of my childhood are sandwiches. Sandwiches made by Grammy, loaded with peanut butter and raspberry jam. Grilled cheese. Tomato and cheese sandwiches. Ham and cheese sandwiches. Salami sandwiches. Oh the sandwiches! In high school I always went to the sandwich lunch line...I loved sandwiches. I wanted my kids to have that. But we are gluten free...and have been for nearly 6 years. The other issue I had was a lot of the gluten free ingredients I didn't consider "real food" mostly because I couldn't produce them in my own kitchen. Xanthan gum? Tapioca starch? Potato starch? Can I make these in my kitchen, no. Now you don't know me, but I'm a real foodie. I love real foods and have been trying to figure out how to make gluten free bread from whole foods (albeit ground into flours) in my kitchen for some time. Years if we are being honest. And while I have no problem with the other gluten free ingredients, it just wasn't ever for me. I also have a lot of food intolerances personally, and that drives my real food desire. There just had to be a way to make bread without gluten and without all that other stuff too... Please?!
So I've been trying all sorts of things. For a good chunk of time I focused most, if not all, my time and energy on sourdough. And I must say, that produced a darn good product but it didn't rise like I wanted it to. I had a lot of goals to hit my ideal gluten free bread...basically I wanted it to be just like the bread of my childhood...no big deal right. I only wanted a gluten free bread that was:
Well, I'm also stubborn, tenacious and don't give up real easy. The result, the bread you see in the picture above. The breakthrough point, a little invention called Aquafaba (AF). This was a game changer for me. I had figured out already that I could use glutinous rice in the place of gluten free starches (sweet white rice). I had already played around with whole psyllium a good bit and knew I could use that as a binder (I used it exclusively in my sourdough and all my other baked goods). I knew I could mix apple sauce and palm shortening to replace butter (the ratio is always tricky but it's possible). I had all this stuff I knew and I enjoy a challenge so when AF hit my radar, I started trying recipes again. This particular recipe is based off King Arthur Flour's Gluten Free Sandwich Bread. So thank you KAF for a good base to start with!
Even though I have my own little baking business, I have decided to give this one away. It's just such a game changer for me and my family and I didn't figure it out all by myself. I hope you enjoy it as much my family does! This is a moist bread though, it is not "dry" like gluten based breads on the inside.
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread - Allergen Friendly
150 grams Sweet Rice Flour aka glutinous rice flour (other starch will likely work, but I haven't tried them)
318 grams Sorghum flour (or gf flour bend of choice)
1.25 tsp salt
40 g Whole Psyllium
130 g Aquafaba (3 eggs if you can do eggs)
38 g apple sauce
20 g Palm Shortening
500 g Warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
3 T sugar
2.5 t Active Dry Yeast
1. Mix water, sugar and active dry yeast together and allow to sit for 10 or so minutes while you prepare everything else.
2. In standing mixer, combine all other ingredients using paddle.
3. Add water mixture slowly and mix for 2-3 minutes.
4. Allow to rise for 2-3 hours.
5. Shape and put in greased loaf pan for second rise.
6. Proof your preferred way, allow to rise until the outside of the loaf is within 1/2 inch of the rim of the pan. While it's doing the second rise, preheat oven to 375°F.
7. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until internal temp is 205°F
8. Allow to cool completely. If you want to eat it warm it will dry out a little quicker. Cut into when it's hot at your own risk.
Note: I bake my bread in a propane stove, in glass (Pyrex) loaf pans. I use filtered water. The AF I use is home made from chickpeas that were soaked then cooked in instant pot. My flours are bakery flours I buy in bulk and fine ground. My sugar is organic dehydrated cane juice. Humidity/room temperature etc will all change proofing times and possibly baking times. I have not done this in a bread machine, but I would mix outside the bread machine before putting in the machine and baking, it's a dense dough.
I hope you and your family are able to enjoy this bread!
Hi there, Wysteria here. I will be writing as regularly as possible on behalf of my family and regarding our adventures in farming, food, health and things of the like. My interest range widely and my brain wanders far. Namaste.