I’ve started trying to reduce my grocery lists, replacing store bought items with things I’ve produced at home. When looking online for ideas, the most common thing I’ve come across is laundry detergent.
To be honest, I don’t get it. Rather than buying one item, I’d now be buying several. And then mixing them, and storing them in a different container. They may be cheaper, but that’s not simpler, which is also my goal, as I focus on minimalism and reprioritizing my life.
I love gardening, which led to my interest in canning. Which somehow managed to lead me to dehydrating. It must have been the herbs that did that one. I happened to be making spaghetti sauce, and added store bought dried oregano.
I had the thought…wait a minute, I’m growing oregano! So as I dried herbs last year, I got to thinking, what other spices could I replace at home? I don’t just want to buy something different at the store, but instead not need to buy the item at all.
Last year, I grew cayenne peppers for the first time. I had no idea what I was going to do with them when I planted it, but I was in the mood to see what we could do. And, oh my, that little pepper plant produced! I’ve never see so many peppers on a plant–and it kept going at that pace all season.
I had cayenne peppers coming out of my ears. In desperation, I ended up drying those suckers whole. Last night, I pulled them out, trimmed the tops and removed the seeds. I ground them in the coffee grinder, and ended up with beautiful cayenne powder.
The color is even more gorgeous in person. And the strength of the peppers is so much stronger than store bought. Sounds wonderful, right? Uh, not so fast!
The coffee grinder is not airtight. And I wanted the powder to be very fine. So I got a cloud of powder airborne. I tried to keep it contained by placing a paper towel over the grinder, but whenever I opened it to add more peppers, I also released more powder into the air.
Long story short, I quickly ended up with a burning nose and face. Heck, it’s the next day and my fingertips still aren’t happy with me.
So how important it is to produce something at home versus buying it at the store? The store is definitely more convenient. And there’s definitely a time investment to producing an item at home. But there’s more than to consider.
Will I do it again? Maybe. If I’m armed with latex gloves and a dust mask. And as long as the Dawn and rubbing alcohol are on standby.
Yes, the Dawn and rubbing alcohol really do work. I promise.