Tag Archives: Homemade laundry soap

On Grilling Halibut

19 Jul

My oldest son brought me a big bag of halibut steaks and some king crab legs for my freezer (fresh from the water!) I love king crab but haven’t quite had the nerve to tackle cooking it yet. BUT! I’ve grilled halibut twice now and both times it has been fantastic. All I did was heat the grill up fairly hot, wipe the grating with a little olive oil on a paper towel, and drop the halibut onto it. Five minutes on the first side, then scoop it up and flip it, and five on the second side. I washed a couple potatoes and carrots and put them straight on the grill about ten minutes before the fish and just rolled them over once or twice. A little asparagus again for a green veggie (I need some other ideas). When I pulled the halibut off, I dotted a little butter on it to melt and grated some garlic pepper seasoning over it, then let it sit for a few minutes while the vegatables finished cooking. I love veggies cooked on the grill. The potatoes get a crisp skin and a steamy middle and the flavor is so yummy. It was quick and simple and cleanup is next to nothing with the grill. You just burn off anything left, brush the grates with the wire brush and you’re good to go!

I can’t believe I have settled for fast food and premade food for so many years. This is so much better.

The little voice in the back of my head is going, “yeah but…aren’t you supposed to get cancer from grilling?” I’m sticking my fingers in my ears and singing “la la la.” I’ll look into that …later.


This week was second son’s birthday and he wanted a cherry pie instead of cake. Cherries are !!!! $7.99 !!!! a pound at the grocery store right now. Regular cherries! Not organic! In season!!!! So! Freezer section. Frozen dark cherries are still spendy but not as bad as fresh and I refuse to even look at the canned kind. Okay, that’s a lie–I did look at the canned cherry pie filling to see a) what was in it and b) how much cherries you need for a pie. But I didn’t buy it.

I did however, buy a nice set of pie crusts. Or rather pie crust dough, the kind that is already rolled out for you and ready by the cookie dough in the refrigerated section of the store. So sue me.

Cherry pie, turns out, is incredibly easy to make. Dump a bag and a half of frozen dark cherries in a sauce pan, add about a third cup of sugar, a half teaspoon of lemon juice, and three tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir until bubbly and thick (mine took about 8 minutes). Roll out (or unroll in my case) the first crust and put in the pie plate with the edges hanging over. Pour the cherry goodness into the plate.  Cut the second crust into roughly half inch strips and criss-cross them over the filling, folding back alternate strips to weave a lattice pattern. Then roll the lower crusts edges over the ends of the lattice strips and pinch it into a pretty zigzag fluting all around. I forgot that I was supposed to dot some butter on top of the filling before the top crust went on, so instead I melted some and drizzled it over the top crust. I skipped brushing the crust with eggs or milk or whatever was supposed to happen, and instead I sprinkled a little sugar over the whole thing for a finish. 400 degree oven for twenty minutes, pull it out and wrap some foil loosely around the edges so they don’t burn, back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes and viola!!! It was gor-gee-ous!!! After singing happy birthday, we ate it hot with Breyers vanilla ice cream. The crust, despite its non-homemade status, was very very good.

Three things I will do next time: 1. Try skipping the cornstarch (or using much less) and just let it be juicy. The filling was a little too thick, I think. But otherwise delish. 2. Use my beautiful hand-thrown ceramic pie plate that I bought at a fundraiser for kids with disabilities several years ago and forgot I had. 3. Take a picture!! What was I thinking?

Someday when I’m rich (or if prices ever return to normal) I’ll try it with fresh cherries. Sounds so good. Prices are so ridiculous right now. This morning I bought one nectarine, organic, and didn’t look at the price first. $1.50! For one nectarine! And its summer. It’s so depressing–but the nectarine was delicious.


On the health front, major progress: (TMI warning here! Skip over the next if you don’t want to read girl hygiene stuff!)

For the last ten or fifteen years my period has been horribly, unmanagably heavy and long. Always a mess. I double up pads or use depends just to control it. This last week it was ———– normal. Normal! Light, easy, no leaks, no fuss. I can’t remember the last time it was that way. Well before the birth of my youngest at least, who is now 10 years old. Now I am pushing menopause age, so it could be that, but it seems an awfully big co-inkydink to me. I think my body is really responding to the changes I’ve made over this last month and beginning to heal. Thanks to God!

If it stays this way, I want to try using washable cloth pads instead of paper products from the store. Might be a lot of work, but maybe worth it. The bleach and processing chemicals used in paper sanitary products is supposed to be another contributor to estrogen dominence, so it might be another step back to health.


Finally started my laundry soap experiment. I’m still not out of the store bought stuff, but I got out the bar of fels-naptha and ground it up. I couldn’t find my cheese grater–the boys have apparently found some other use for it–so I took a knife and shaved it down and then just crunched up the shavings with my fingers until I had a course powder. Might be easier if I froze it or chilled it first, but I wonder if that would affect its dissolvability at all? Anyway. That gets mixed with some washing soda and borax and used liked a powdered detergent. I’m a little worried about soap buildup in my washer and on the clothes, and wondering if it will dissolve and rinse away easily. I was describing my venture to a friend who has triplet toddlers, and she said she used fels-naptha on her baby clothes and they still looked brand new when she passed them on. She thought I should melt it into a liquid, but I’m going to give this powder formula a try first. I think it might be easier for my kids to manage when they help with laundry. The fels-naptha has a strong scent. My house smells very soapy now.