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Here is a brand new, really nice video review of my products by Kelsey (Kelabelle) on her YouTube channel.  Check it out!

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I have a cat named Jett who is very cuddly and quite talkative.  He is also a little (ok, a lot) high maintenance and makes sure to let me know exactly when he wants something.  Like, for example, when he wants me to shake his food bowl.  Yes, that’s correct, shake the bowl (I told you he was high-maintenance). 

We have one of those bowls where you can fill it with lots of food and as the cat eats from it, more food is supposed to fall down.  A clever (or assertive) cat could stick their little kitty paw into the bowl where the food is and make more come out.  That’s just not Jett’s style.  He prefers to meow very loudly and constantly at me until I go to his food bowl and shake the food out of the top for him.  We have this conversation every day about his food bowl, typically between 11 and 1 (lunch time – he’s on a tight schedule, you know).

Jett:   meow, meow

Me:  Hi Jett! ( I reach down to pet him hoping to appease)

Jett:  meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow    (this is also when he jumps in front of the computer or aggressively rubs against my leg)

Me:  What is it Jett!  I’m busy!

Jett:  meow, meow, MEOW, MEOW, MEOW, MEOWWWWWWW, MEOWWWWWWWWWW

Me:  Fine!  I’ll  stop what I’m doing to shake your stupid food bowl!  (I stomp into the room where his food bowl is, give it a good shake and stomp out)

(2 minutes later)

Jett:  MEOW, meow (I pretend this means thank you)

I let Jett get away with this bratty behaviour because he is just so darn cute and loves to cuddle.

Recently I brewed my very own, from scratch (whatever that is) all natural root beer.  From actual roots.  True story – there are actually lots of roots in root beer.  Go figure….that fabulous, herby, sweet beverage doesn’t just come from a sugary artificial extract.  This was my second batch – I wasn’t quite happy with the first, so I tweaked it and tried again.  It is actually quite tasty!  And easy to make.  I researched for about a month before ordering the hard-to-find roots online (at Mountain Rose Herbs) and coming up with this recipe.    

ingredients to make homemade rootbeer

  • 1.25 quarts filtered water
  • 1/4 oz sarsaparilla
  • 1/2 oz sassafras*
  • 1/4 oz dandelion root
  • 1/8 oz burdock root
  • 1/8 oz licorice root
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 1 pound white sugar
  • 1/4 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 5 drops wintergreen essential oil

NOTE – measure the roots and sugar by weight, not volume 
*sassafras was banned by the FDA in 1960 because it’s oil, safrole, was labeled a carcinogen, so root beer today does not contain it.  It is a primary ingredient in old rootbeer recipes.  I decided to use it since it is such a small amount, but please do your own research on the subject.   

 
Add everything except the vanilla and wintergreen to a pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer uncovered for 1.5-2 hours.  Remove from heat and strain out the herbs.  Add vanilla and wintergreen, stir well.  Let cool, and funnel into glass or plastic bottles for storage.  Keep in refrigerator or may also store in freezer.   

concentrated homemade rootbeer syrup ready to be mixed

This makes a concentrated root beer syrup that needs to be mixed with soda water before drinking.  Use 1 part root beer syrup to 4 parts club soda or seltzer water (I like the seltzer water best)   

Tasting Notes: 
I really like this root beer!  It’s a little rootier (is that a word?) than what you think of as root beer and not quite as sweet.  Really refreshing, and I like that it’s all from roots and herbs instead of artificial flavors.  It is lighter in the glass than store-bought root beer, but I’m gonna guess that’s ’cause there’s no artificial color added to it.  This batch is darker than my first batch, though, I think because I boiled it longer.  Next time I think I will try brown sugar instead of white, and I might leave out the wintergreen all together.  Even with only 5 drops, it’s pretty strong, but gives a nice rootbeer flavor.  I might also up the sassafras a little next time to make it even more root-beery.   

my homemade rootbeer all mixed up and ready to enjoy!

Did I mention this whole experiment spawned from me wanting to make root beer soap?  I figured I should know what goes in actual root beer before I try to make a soap that smells like it.  Stay tuned for the soapy version 🙂

I am a blog posting delinquent.  It has been 3 weeks since my last blog post.  I was doing pretty good there for a while and posting more regularly, and then, I just don’t know what happened.  I guess I haven’t had anything interesting to say.  Or maybe it’s because I always forget to take pictures of the interesting things I am doing and I feel like a blog post without a picture is not worthy.  Either way, I’m back from hiatus and have some fun new posts planned.  I’m putting that out there to hold myself accountable.  I feel better now.

Now, on to the body scrubs.  I’ve been making these salt and sugar scrubs for a few months now, but have just now posted them on Etsy.  These scrubs are, of course, all natural with no preservatives or artificial anything and are scented with essential oils.  They are really popular at craft shows and markets, and I have several customers who are already hooked on them.  They tell me they don’t need moisturizer after they use them in the shower – they’re that good.  I’m just sayin’.   Check them out on Etsy (shameless plug).

sweet orange brown sugar body scrub

margarita sea salt body scrub - yum!

lavender brown sugar body scrub

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