My ‘Back to Basics’ Journal: Thoughts on Self-Sufficiency, Sustainability and Survival

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Alison*s Back to Basics Journal: Getting in Touch with My Ikigai

Lately ‘Back to Basics’ A Simple Healthy Green Natural, Relaxed and Thrifty Life has become my Ikigai, my reason for being. Ikigai is a Japanese word that roughly means what motivates me ‘to rise and shine’ each day. My Back to Basics projects certainly qualify as just that. On a daily basis, I rise and head for my laboratory (also my kitchen) to see how something is fermenting, gelling, infusing or whatever process is used as a back to basics alchemist.

I am not very good at remembering things. I have numerous paper recipe notebooks. But I either forget to write things down or do a terrible job of it. On the other hand, I love to blog. So I decided that Alison*s Back to Basics Journal, an online collection of blog posts, would be the best way to go. This also provides a recording of my current Ikigai and an archive of these activities.


Back to basics is my Ikigai
Journal notebooks. Photo credit:

Here I am at a new beginning. I have completed a few ‘Back to Basics’ projects. So before I forget what they are and the details, I better get going with this journal. I have been working on five projects that are at various stages of maturity. They include:
• orange essence infused vinegar (not shown)
• homemade apple cider vinegar
• Kombucha
• Kefir water/Kefir milk
• homemade laundry detergent
(not shown)


Making Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar
Making Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar, Photo from

I have already written a blog post about homemade apple cider vinegar. Ironically, it is the last project to be started and the first to be written about. I have followed Janella Purcell’s instructions as indicated:
“Here’s what you need –
cores and peels from 6-8 (preferably) organic apples (colour not important)
2 tbsp organic sugar or raw honey
filtered water to cover

Return the liquid to the jar and cover it again with a paper towel and band. Leave it for 4 more weeks, stirring daily.
Taste it and see if it has the acidity you would like. If it does, transfer it to a bottle with a lid for storage. If not, leave it in the wide-mouthed jar for a little while longer, checking every few days.” ‪#‎applecidervinegar‬ ‪#‎janellapurcell‬ ‪#‎fermentedfoods‬”

Since I just started yesterday, I have to wait until the 28th to remove the scraps. Then I have to wait another 4 weeks to taste it. I am going to have to be very patient with this project. Next, I think I will explain how to make orange vinegar. It is easy, fun and great for house cleaning. It also smells great.


Why You Should Be Drinking Kombucha from
Why You Should Be Drinking Kombucha from

The most involved are the Kombucha and perhaps the Kefir. They involve not only fermentation but also a special mushroom to transform the ingredients added to them to give them probiotic qualities for consumption. Both Kombucha and Kefir have links to them so you can learn more about them. In fact, if you can’t wait for me to include them in my Back to Basics Journal, you can learn how to make them from watching YouTube videos and asking lots of questions, yourself.



The Difference Between Kefir and Yogurt from
The Difference Between Kefir and Yogurt from

Kefir water can look very similar to Kombucha. But Kombucha has some effervescence and Kefir does not. They are both supposed to be very healthy. So I guess it is a matter of taste preference. I actually prefer Kombucha to Kefir water and Kefir milk to kefir water.




Last but not least is my homemade laundry detergent. I am having lots of fun working on perfecting the consistency. I may wash all the clothes in my neighborhood by the time I perfect it. One bucket goes a long, long way. But I am going to wait for another day to go into detail on that project in my Back to Basics Journal. Suffice to say, I have grown to love it. The savings makes it even more desireable. There is a blog with a recipe in the additional resources below.

Why You Should Be Drinking Kombucha
Kombucha Health Benefits
What Is Kombucha
How To Make Kombucha
Making Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar
The Difference Between Kefir and Yogurt
Back to Basics Laundry Detergent For Only Pennies A Day

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