February 27, 2008

A little green, a little terror

More news in the green living department in the last week.

I made my own all-purpose totally nontoxic cleaner - water, baking soda, vinegar, and some grapefruit essential oil for smelling nice. Works just fine to clean the bathroom! Also, I've switched to just using straight-up vinegar to clean all glass surfaces (mirrors, mostly, since I'm not much for window washing). A little bit really goes a lot way, and the smell dissipates fairly quickly. Also, as you can see from the very beautiful picture, I made a reusable cover for the Swiffer out of some of Lara's old flannel swaddling blankets. I've since discovered that flannel works infinitely better than the plastic pads that come with the Swiffer. When I run out of its cleaning liquid I'm going to do the surgery recommended here to put my own cleaner into the special non-refillable Swiffer bottle.

I initially wasn't going to take a picture of these doings because both came out less than photogenic, especially compared to all the wonderful homemade soaps and things all over blogland. I mean, people go all out - designing graphics for their own labels, color-coordinating their Swiffer covers... And then I thought, oh for cripes sake, it's just something to clean the toilet with.

So, on to the terror. What the heck is this thing? It came in the farmer box and looks to me like nothing so much as a skull with more than the usual number of eyes. Misha was pretty freaked by it as well, and Lara wouldn't even hit it with the stick she was using to drum on every other thing in the kitchen. Clearly it's eeeeeeevillll.


Linda said...

I'm not completely sure, but it looks like celeriac, a root vegetable related to celery, to me. Makes a great mash.I'd be interested to see what other people think it might be.

I've also made an earth friendly all-purpose cleaner recently - water, dishwashing detergent and tea tree oil. Works a treat! And there's nothing like vinegar, a scrunched up piece of newspaper and a bit of elbow grease for cleaning mirrors and windows. And little kids love to help!

Love seeing the things you make. Good luck with the vegetable! Assuming it is a vegetable. :)


mwg said...

My God - this thing looks scary. It also looks like one of the props for one of the Hollywood "B" sci-fi movies :)... Oh, and I have NO idea what this is..

Mortimer's Mom said...

well, I knew the parsnip and rutabaga, but this one.... stumped!

Anonymous said...

I Google'd "strange looking root vegetables" and decided that looks like Celery Root... sort of. But evil celery root. Do not cook it!

MomVee said...

I'm pretty sure it's celeriac. Peel it, boil it, and mash with an equal amount of potato. Or peel, dice and add to soup--might be good in a poule au pot in lieu of or in addition to turnip.

cyndyava said...

Have you seen the 70's horror film, "Don't be afraid of the Dark?" This looks like one of the scary little men in it! Yup, I'd have to agree with celeraic...a rotton little bugger, though. You make me laugh!
Just wanted to know what proportions you used of each ingredient to make the cleaner?
Best to you and yours,

Rachael said...

I've used celeriac before and that looks nothing like it! My guess would be one of the fungi.. unless it's something that has already gone rotten. Ewww does it smell?

Mama Monster said...

Run away!!!

MM said...

I liked the "Run Away!" comment/guess - it pretty much summs up all the above comments:)

Anna said...


You guys are totally hillarious! I was dying with laughter at these comments.

Cyndyava - I didn't really use... um... proportions as such. I think I filled up the squeeze bottle with water, then added maybe 8 - 10teaspoons of baking soda, and then maybe 5-7 drops of grapefruit extract (until I could smell it in the water basically). I'm sure there are actual formulas for what proportions to use, but I was way lazy.

Nai said...

How does your cleaning solution hold up over time. I attempted something similar and bad things happened inside the bottle. Thanks.

Anna said...


good question, and you're right, this didn't really hold up over time, mostly because after use, the baking soda clogged the spray bottle. I've now switched to a mix of just half water and half vinegar with a little bit of the essential oil if I'm not feeling too lazy to add it, and that keeps just fine. I just shake it a little before use to recombine.