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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Experiment Successes and Fails

I think it's important to regularly experiment. Our experiments may fail, at times. But that's not the same as us failing. In my opinion, my own failure would come from never trying new ways to do things. Besides, success becomes sweeter after a failure or two. Here's what went right and what went wrong in the past few months.

My new hair routine

I have not used shampoo for 4 months now. 

This is what I've been substituting for shampoo, an inexpensive conditioner designed to protect color-treated hair. I continue to be pleased with the look and feel of my hair. I'd say this experiment was a success for me with my hair type (coarse, dry, curly, with a tendency toward frizz).

Some mini coffeecakes

I had a dream a week ago. I was in a bakery, and in the glass case were these coffeecake muffins. I awoke with such a hunger to replicate those pastries. I finally got around to making them yesterday and was very pleased with the result. I didn't use a recipe, but made a standard coffeecake batter, a cinnamon-brown sugar-pecan filling, and a streusel topping. I scooped a layer of batter into the bottom of the muffin liners, topped with the cinnamon-sugar, then another layer of the batter. I used a knife to swirl the cinnamon through the batter. Finally, I sprinkled the coffeecakes with streusel, then baked. 

They were everything I dreamed they would be, minus the bakery setting.

My nasturtium plant and seeds

Last fall, I brought one hanging basket with a healthy nasturtium plant indoors. I was hoping to collect a dozen or so seeds from the plant. 

The plant was setting seeds, so it looked like my hopes would come to fruition. Sadly, this is all I was able to collect from the plant -- 3 very tiny seeds. 

I don't have much confidence that they'll grow into anything. The only upside is it is now nearly February and my plant is still hanging in there, sitting in the kitchen window. 

It might survive until spring when I can set it outside again. Keeping my fingers crossed. But I think I'll need to buy nasturtium seeds to grow more plants for this upcoming summer.

So, I had two successes and one fail. I learned a lot about expectations. I also learned that I would never know the answers to my questions if I didn't at least give it a try.

What have been your best experiment successes? Any experiment failures that surprised you? 


  1. My success goes back several years and that is receiving a bag of friendship batter from one of my daughters high school friends. This is the kind to make a sweet bread from with pudding and lots of sugar. The problem is that you have to make something every couple days with that batter because you feed it and then need to use it or give part of it away. I transformed that batter into a regular sourdough starter and have it in my refrigerator. Sometimes months go by and I think I killed it but it always comes back to life for delicious sourdough bread. I'm sure the sugars that were used originally are now totally gone and in return I have a good starter. That was more than 8 years ago. Success.

    Another success is homemade laundry powder and after researching before making it, I have used a box of gain detergent as part of the mix so that I wouldn't get funky smell some talk about when making homemade detergent. So its a success.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I had some of that friendship bread starter, too, a long time ago. I'm glad you were able to turn it into a regular sourdough starter.

      What's the recipe you use for powdered laundry detergent? We do something similar with adding a bit of detergent to boost our melted soap laundry liquid. I do think it helps.

    2. 1 box borax, 1 box arm and hammer washing soda, 3 bars pink zote soap (shredded)
      1 box of gain (or your choice of powdered detergent), 1 container of laundry crystals.

      I put all of this in my food processor to make it more powdery. We like it and it doesn't smell funky after several washes like I have heard some say.


    3. Thank you, Alice. I may give that a try.

  2. We have completely opposite hair types! Glad you found something that works for your hair. I love your bakery dream and how you made it a reality. Looks delish!

    Offhand I can't think of anything to add although I'm sure I have tried different things through the years. I mostly experiment in the kitchen--I have substituted fruit purees in baked goods, made rhubarb/blueberry sauce ... not sure if that constitutes anything that is truly experimental. I tend to get an idea and Google it to see if it's been done before (it usually has). Oh, I have discovered (through Google) that cooking polenta is MUCH easier and less time consuming in a crockpot than on the stovetop--does that count?

    1. Hi Kris,
      I definitely think trying out someone else's idea in your own circumstances qualifies as an experiment. And thanks for the tip on cooking polenta in the crockpot. I'll give that a try.


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