GWEN DUNN'S JOURNAL

Recipes, Notes, and Other Observations
by
Gwen Dunn
The S-Line Ranch & Oasis :)

*Year Seven*

For: Blake and Blane and the girls. Just wanted to jot down some things I’ve figured out—Just in case . . . and for the future because there is a future. Please don’t doubt that!



Fly and Bug Spray: Different bugs, different oils, different herbs.  The mix changes, depending. This summer the mosquitoes haven’t tormented us like last year (been pretty dry, no rain). But the Noseeums are miserable. They’re driving us nuts not to mention Goliath.

Directions for bug spray:

Spray bottle half full of water (boiled)

Fill with witch hazel to top

Add (Essential Oils): 30-50 drops of a combination of Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Mint

Note: Essential Oils are not going to last forever. Substitute with fresh or dried herbs. Peppermint, Spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, cloves (anything mint)

Important:  Don’t let Jess T cut down the citronella grass on the south side of the barn.  He thinks they’re weeds. They’re not.

Boil Water and add dried herbs (experiment with combinations) 3-4 TBSP; mix and cover; let cool; strain herbs out; mix with witch hazel (1 cup) (1/2 tsp of vodka as a preservative-optional) cider vinegar (1 cup)

*** (In a hurry, I use ½ C. witch hazel + ½ C cider vinegar + eucalyptus oil)

Miss Tuggs gave me this next one. Nice lady. Sometimes, I wonder how she weathered all this. I wonder how a lot of people weathered all this . . .

Four Thieves Bug Spray: An Old, Old Recipe

Apple Cider Vinegar; Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint; quart jar with airtight lid

1.  Vinegar and dried herbs in jar.
2. Seal tight. Shake well each day for 2 to 3 weeks.
3. Strain the herbs out.
4. Very strong; dilute with water to use on skin.


June: Finally found my aloe vera soap recipe. Soaps from storage are running out, although they lasted the magic seven years. Colonel Kennedy planned on a Biblical seven years of lean (Genesis 41) and here we are still living lean. Time to make soap.

Find soap mold. Check storage shed.



ALOE VERA SOAP RECIPE:
7.5 oz ”mineral” water
3 oz lye (caustic soda)
1.5 lbs extra virgin olive oil
0.4 oz beeswax
1.8 oz aloe vera juice (remember to show kids how to harvest the aloe pulp)
0.18 oz mint essential oil

**Careful**Gloves and Goggles**
1.  Pour water into saucepan. Add lye SLOWLY, stirring gently until it is dissolved.
2. Use the thermometer heat to 120 degrees and 140.
3. Heat olive oil to between 120 and 140 (in separate pan) stirring in beeswax slowly.
4. Remove olive oil from heat. Add lye mixture to olive oil. Stir slowly. Don’t splash.
5.Stir every once in a while (every 15 minutes until it thickens and congeals.)
6.Stir in aloe vera juice, and essential oil. Stir for one minute with a spoon or whisk. (Don’t make foam)
7.         Pour into greased soap mold. Tap out any air bubbles.
8. Cover with a towel, let stand 2 days. Uncover and let stand for another day.


Hardtack:  good enough for civil war soldiers, good enough for us . . .

4-5 cups of flour
2 cups of water
3 tsp. of salt

Mix. The mixture should be dry rather than wet. Roll it out (1/2 inch thick). Shape into rectangle; then cut; 3x3 inch squares, poke holes top and bottom. Bake for 30 minutes @ 375 degrees, flip, bake for 30 minutes more. Let dry and harden for as long as it takes. Store in airtight bucket.

To eat: soak in water/milk (15 minutes) fry in buttered skillet.

Emergency Toilet Paper: “Cowboy Toilet Paper”

Mullein and borage both look alike, but I like Lamb's Ear because you can do other things with it.  (I've heard it called 'woolly woundwort. Gets about 12 inches tall, perennial, flowers spike up to about 18 inches. I'll make a sketch when I get a chance.)


Birthday Cake-Wacky Cake (no eggs, milk, or butter, my Little Grams’s recipe) for when the hens are molting or it gets too hot and they’re not laying. [Reminder; Let Tess know that the big brown hen has started hiding her eggs again.]

Ingredients –

1 ½ Cups flour (all-purpose)
3 Tbsp. cocoa (unsweetened)
1 Cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Cup water
Mix first 5 ingredients; make three depressions (two small, one big) Add vinegar to small depression, add vanilla to other small depression and oil to big one; Pour water over and mix until blended smooth.
Bake. 35 minutes. Frost

HAPPY ALMOST AUGUST BIRTHDAY ALPHA AND ZETA, FIFTEEN YEARS OLD