Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Cheesecake, herbs, but sadly no Borax

I've been trying to eat healthily, because since about January I feel as if I've been in a biscuit-eating competition. And I've won! So now is the time for vitamins and fibre. So I was pleased, when we went to Scotsdales the garden centre earlier, that they had a good, healthy, non-indulgent lunch for me. I could feel it doing me good even as I ate it.

We'd gone to Scotsdales because yesterday I went out on a mission to buy 2 items: Borax to make my own washing powder, and a Lemon Balm plant so I can make this lovely lipsalve Mumma Troll gave the recipe for on her blog the other day. Well, I won't say I walked the length and breadth of Cambridge looking for these two items because I didn't, I mainly popped into Homebase and then into a more general DIY-type place, but I drew a complete blank. I've looked for Borax also in Tesco and Waitrose and nothing. Don't you think it's odd that you can buy 90 different kinds of things to put in your washing machine and not one ingredient to make your own? I do, in fact in Waitrose I started muttering about being oppressed by capitalism which was a bit hypocritical on many levels. You can buy caustic soda in Homebase, though (you make soap with caustic soda – it is sodium hydroxide, lye) which is useful to know for when I run out of the supply I've got at the moment. (I have a soap-related confession, actually. You're supposed to let your homemade soap cure for 4 weeks, but I used mine last night after only leaving it a fortnight. And it's great! I'll put more scent in the next batch, but really, for a first attempt, I'm very happy. I shall be putting some soap in the post to my mother tomorrow who is going to risk her skin PH and try it out for me (no, really mum, it'll be fine, you'll survive.))

Anyway, after I couldn't get any lemon balm either I started to think there had been a great big meeting of shopkeepers in Cambridge, and they had somehow tapped into my brainwaves as I slept and worked out everything I might ever want to buy so they could make sure they wouldn't ever stock it. Note to shopkeepers: procion dyes and spindles. You get destroying your stocks. But my fears were unfounded. Scotsdales had loads of herbs:

And I got a nice big pot of lemon balm. I think it's too small for me to strip it of leaves this year, but I will wait to see if it establishes and get ready for next year. This will be the start of my herb garden.

This is my lily which is blooming at the moment, soon I'm hoping it's going to be joined by some friends. The bees aren't keen on it though, surprisingly. They prefer a scruffy bush just opposite. There is no accounting for the aesthetic senses of bees, they are mysteries to me, mysteries with fuzzy white bottoms.


Mumma Troll said...

Awww thanks for that, this is my first mention from a fellow blogger, and I am touched. I promise it will be worth the wait, I couldn't resist and opened a pot of it yesterday. It smells like Lemon Curd.Mmmm.xx

lalheg said...

I got borax from Tescos about a year ago - can't say I've noticed it since. Let me know on Rav if you want some sorrel sending for your garden

Susie said...

Hi Mumma Troll, no problem, it looks a lovely recipe, I'm very encouraged to learn it smells like lemon curd :-).

Ialheg, thank you, what a lovely offer, off to message you. (Actually you might be right about Tesco, I could try a bigger one. I just find the big Tescos a bit overwhelming. I could perhaps conquer my wussiness for Borax.)