Irish Soda Bread

No yeast? That’s ok.

1.5 cups buttermilk*
3.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

*if you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can curdle the 1.5 cups of milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar


  1. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Create a well and pour in buttermilk
  3. Combine to a slightly shaggy dough, then form the ball into a nice loaf. The dough should be slightly sticky at this point.
  4. Flour your hands and form into a round loaf. (You can add a little more flour or milk to achieve the right feel.)
  5. Score the loaf with a knife into an X, then poke a hole into the middle of the X with your finger.
  6. Bake at 400 F in a Dutch oven or on a cookie sheet/pizza stone for about 30-35 minutes until the crust is hard but sounds hollow inside if you tap or thump the shell.

Share pics in the comments of your loaves!

Here’s the video where I learned how to do this:

Tea n’at

I’ve never been an herbal tea drinker (well, for a short time Honeybush tea tasted good then it started to taste like elephant hay) but I figured eventually I was going to plant a tea garden so I might as well figure out some stuff I liked.

I was looking around for loose leaf tea and spotted a spearmint/lavender combo that sounded interesting. I’ve had 2 cups so far and decided I like it with a spoon of honey.

Makes it taste like Wrigley’s spearmint gum… which is oddly satisfying.

Working through the house

I’m working my way through the house and the products that I use regularly to see if there is a better option for these things. Coincidentally, I started with food stuff and the kitchen in January and moved on to the bath in February. This chart showed that too so I might use it for a template, but we’ll see.

A Year of Zero Waste chart by Green Indy

I’ve been “greener” for a long time with lots of products (some met my modest needs, but just can’t withstand the more in depth cleaning requirements of cats and boys, so I had to switch to something with more oomph and less green…sigh) Method’s cleaners have done great for a long time for me, not being too toxic to have around kittens that lick everything, but I’m starting to see if I can get away with less packaged products. They did a good job with selling refills and not making it a total PITA to get. Selling it at Target was helpful, however Target changes up its lineup occasionally which throws a monkey wrench into the works. In any event, I’ve been looking around to see what I will be able to change to with confidence when my pantry runs out.

Something concentrated that I can dilute is good. I do use Castile soap for a lot for things as well as vinegar with orange peels for some other things (but not all things). I’m hoping this will be enough for the general cleaning.

I want my cleaning basket to look like this (spoiler alert; it won’t LOL):

Image credit: Michelle at nnuulloo

For the bathroom, I’m finishing up my existing stocks of shampoo, toothpaste and soap while inserting a test product in the mix as I find things to test. Face soap is the one that makes me a bit nervous. Dove plain white soap is great on my skin, but it comes in a box with plastic wrapping. Sigh. [EDIT: the single bar packages are in compostable cardboard so I can get a single bar at a time plastic-free! Excellent!] I’ve heard some good things about goat milk soap and I think I saw some available in bulk at Whole Foods so I’ll get a bar and use it to see how it works on my skin. (Bonus if B likes it as well. His skin is even more particular than mine so swapping a known working item can be tricky. If you swap to something greener and have to buy all sorts of medicine to counteract its effects, you’re doing it wrong.)

Shampoo bars I’ve talked about, but conditioner bars I haven’t found locally so I might have to order and test that.

Toothpaste tabs are on the way and I need to work my way though the tubes I have left. I can’t wait! I read somewhere that there are mouthwash tablets, too, excellent!

I’m headed out on a quick trip in a couple of weeks, so all my non-liquids will make it easier to pack. Very pleased!

Things I accomplished this week Feb 3 2019

  1. Found toothpaste tablets for a reasonable price that, while it isn’t local and in bulk, it still comes in compostable packaging. This will be great for travel, too. Will let you know how they taste etc.
  2. Have been saving my compostable stuff in the freezer and I’ll set up a compost bin soon (is raining this weekend and B’s bday) so, next week…soon.
  3. Organized my lotion bar and self care supplies. So far I have lip balm, lotion bars (shaped like toy story aliens), and hair leave in conditioner. I gave lotion bars to Mama and the kid for xmoose and an alien to my friend.
  4. I’m test driving a new deodorant that has refills for it. I just got it, so thoughts later.
  5. Bulk shopping at Sprouts and Whole Foods hasn’t been too bad. There are a few things I haven’t found that I would like to get, but it’s a start AND I can use my mason jars and not use plastic bags to carry the stuff home.
  6. Using local and pasture raised milk, eggs, and butter. Might see what the local farmers market has.
  7. I’m buying various fruits and veggies and just eating those throughout the day. Oh avocados, how I 💚 you.
  8. Made a yummy pot pie using leftovers and stuff from the pantry so things wouldn’t get wasted.