Natural Fruit Fly Trap

Recently we have been plagued by fruit flies in our kitchen.  A combination of summer and our habit of composting causes this.  We wanted a way to deal with them that was cheap and didn’t use toxic chemicals so I made this trap.

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As you can see it was very effective.  Take a mason jar and pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar in.  Take a small piece of fruit, I used banana, and put it in, make sure part of it sticks out of the vinegar.  Put a drop of castile soap in to break the water tension.  I used our diluted lavender soap that we keep in the shower and it didn’t seem to cause a problem.  Then take a piece of aluminum foil and put it over the opening of the jar, poke a few holes in it with a skewer or fork and leave it near where the most fruit flies are.  It also helps to remove any other attractant, so our bananas are in the refrigerator for now.

 

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Adventures in Canning Part One: Bread and Butter Pickles

This time of year there are just so many cucumbers from the garden.  It’s a good thing these pickles are so yummy.  I didn’t think I liked bread and butter pickles until I had these fresh homemade ones.  I love these!  We used a spice mix we bought in the grocery store and the recipe on the box.  They turned out great.

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To can the pickles for longer storage you need to first sterilize the jars by washing them well in hot water and soap.  Then, pack the jars tightly with the recipe and leave 1-2 inch headspace at the top.  Next, you take a non-metal utensil and remove air bubbles by poking it all around the inside of the jar.  After that, you put on the lid and ring and put into a pot on the stove filled with water.  You want to make sure you have at least an inch of water over the top of the jars.  If you don’t you can turn them on their side but you can’t fit as many jars in one pot that way.

Once the water starts boiling set a timer for 15 minutes and keep the water boiling.  After your 15 minutes are up, you’re done.  Carefully remove the jars and let them cool down.  Once they have cooled down, you can label them (date and what’s inside).

Apple Cider Vinegar Homemade Mouthwash

The hero recently ran out of mouthwash and instead of buying another expensive bottle I decided to make my own.  I used apple cider vinegar, some peppermint from our garden, and water.  Simple.

Apple Cider Vinegar Mouthwash

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon dried mint leaf (or amount to taste)

about 12 oz. water.

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I used an empty glass soda bottle with a twist off top to keep it in so first I put the apple cider vinegar in the bottle.  Then I heated up some water and poured it over the mint in a coffee cup.  I let it steep for a few minutes then added it to the bottle.  Then I filled the rest of the bottle with water and put the top on.  It’s not water tight anymore, but it will keep the dust out.

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We both tried it after brushing our teeth this morning.  It seemed to work.  I had been a little afraid it wouldn’t leave that minty fresh feeling but it did.  The hero said he was a little concerned about its effectiveness, but he’s going to keep using it and see how it works.