Friday, 16 February 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--The True Story of Little Golden Hood (France,1888)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.

This week we are looking a version entitled The True History of Little Golden Hood by French writer Charles Marelles. It is said he was dismayed at the unhappy ending of his countryman Charles Perrault’s tale and so he wrote a version of his own in 1888. It was published in 1890 by Andrew Lang in his Red Fairy Book.

I really like this tale as it is less about being a victim and more about being empowered, which is pretty impressive for 1888. Admittedly, Little Golden Hood is a bit dozy and feckless at the start but is saved by her wise Granny who has cleverly thought to put a magic spell on the child’s hood. Then when confronted with the wolf, doesn’t get eaten, but captures him a sack like “a letter in the post” and throws him down the well with the intention of turning his pelt into a muff and feeding his bones to the dogs. Little Golden Hood is hysterical at this point and calling out for her mother, but Granny gives her a bit of cake and wine to help her calm down. It ends with her learning her lesson (as in the Grimm’s tale) but one rather thinks the lesson is less to always be obedient, but rather to grow up to be wise badass like her Granny.

Image result for little golden hood
The True Story of Little Golden Hood

YOU know the tale of poor Little Red Riding-hood, that the Wolf deceived and devoured, with her cake, her little butter can, and her Grandmother; well, the true story happened quite differently, as we know now. And first of all, the little girl was called and is still called Little Golden-hood; secondly, it was not she, nor the good grand-dame, but the wicked Wolf who was, in the end, caught and devoured.

Only listen.

The story begins something like the tale.

There was once a little peasant girl, pretty and nice as a star in its season. Her real name was Blanchette, but she was more often called Little Golden-hood, on account of a wonderful little cloak with a hood, gold-and fire-coloured, which she always had on. This little hood was given her by her Grandmother, who was so old that she did not know her age; it ought to bring her good luck, for it was made of a ray of sunshine, she said. And as the good old woman was considered something of a witch, everyone thought the little hood rather bewitched too.

And so it was, as you will see.

One day the mother said to the child: 'Let us see, my little Golden-hood, if you know now how to find your way by yourself. You shall take this good piece of cake to your Grandmother for a Sunday treat to-morrow. You will ask her how she is, and come back at once, without stopping to chatter on the way with people you don't know. Do you quite understand?'

'I quite understand,' replied Blanchette gaily. And off she went with the cake, quite proud of her errand.

But the Grandmother lived in another village, and there was a big wood to cross before getting there. At a turn of the road under the trees, suddenly 'Who goes there?'

'Friend Wolf.'

He had seen the child start alone, and the villain was waiting to devour her; when at the same moment he perceived some wood- cutters who might observe him, and he changed his mind. Instead of falling upon Blanchette he came frisking up to her like a good dog.

' 'Tis you! my nice Little Golden-hood,' said he. So, the little girl stops to talk with the Wolf, who, for all that, she did not know in the least.

'You know me, then!' said she; 'what is your name?'

'My name is friend Wolf. And where are you going thus, my pretty one, with your little basket on your arm?'

'I am going to my Grandmother, to take her a good piece of cake for her Sunday treat to-morrow.'

'And where does she live, your Grandmother?'

'She lives at the other side of the wood, in the first house in the village, near the windmill, you know.'

'Ah! yes! I know now,' said the Wolf. 'Well, that's just where I'm going; I shall get there before you, no doubt, with your little bits of legs, and I'll tell her you're coming to see her; then she'll wait for you.'

Thereupon the Wolf cuts across the wood, and in five minutes arrives at the Grandmother's house.

He knocks at the door: toc, toc.

No answer.

He knocks louder.


Then he stands up on end, puts his two fore-paws on the latch and the door opens.

Not a soul in the house.

The old woman had risen early to sell herbs in the town, and she had gone off in such haste 
that she had left her bed unmade, with her great night-cap on the pillow.

'Good!' said the Wolf to himself, 'I know what I'll do.'

He shuts the door, pulls on the Grandmother's night-cap down to his eyes, then he lies down all his length in the bed and draws the curtains.

In the meantime, the good Blanchette went quietly on her way, as little girls do, amusing herself here and there by picking Easter daisies, watching the little birds making their nests, and running after the butterflies which fluttered in the sunshine.

At last she arrives at the door.

Knock, knock.

'Who is there?' says the Wolf, softening his rough voice as best he can.

'It's me, Granny, your little Golden-hood. I'm bringing you a big piece of cake for your Sunday treat to-morrow.'

'Press your finger on the latch, then push and the door opens.'

'Why, you've got a cold, Granny,' said she, coming in.

'Ahem! a little, a little . . .' replies the Wolf, pretending to cough. 'Shut the door well, my little lamb. Put your basket on the table, and then take off your frock and come and lie down by me: you shall rest a little.'

The good child undresses but observe this! She kept her little hood upon her head. When she saw what a figure her Granny cut in bed, the poor little thing was much surprised.

'Oh!' cries she, 'how like you are to friend Wolf, Grandmother!'

'That's on account of my night-cap, child,' replies the Wolf.

'Oh! what hairy arms you've got, Grandmother!'

'All the better to hug you, my child.'

'Oh! what a big tongue you've got, Grandmother!'

'All the better for answering, child.'

'Oh! what a mouthful of great white teeth you have, Grandmother!'

'That's for crunching little children with! 'And the Wolf opened his jaws wide to swallow Blanchette.

But she put down her head crying:

'Mamma! Mamma!' and the Wolf only caught her little hood.

Thereupon, oh dear! oh dear! he draws back, crying and shaking his jaw as if he had swallowed red-hot coals.

It was the little fire-coloured hood that had burnt his tongue right down his throat.

The little hood, you see, was one of those magic caps that they used to have in former times, in the stories, for making oneself invisible or invulnerable.

So there was the Wolf with his throat burnt, jumping off the bed and trying to find the door, howling and howling as if all the dogs in the country were at his heels.

Just at this moment the Grandmother arrives, returning from the town with her long sack empty on her shoulder.

'Ah, brigand!' she cries, 'wait a bit!' Quickly she opens her sack wide across the door, and the maddened Wolf springs in head downwards.

It is he now that is caught, swallowed like a letter in the post.

For the brave old dame shuts her sack, so; and she runs and empties it in the well, where the vagabond, still howling, tumbles in and is drowned.

'Ah, scoundrel! you thought you would crunch my little grandchild! Well, to-morrow we will make her a muff of your skin, and you yourself shall be crunched, for we will give your carcass to the dogs.'

Thereupon the Grandmother hastened to dress poor Blanchette, who was still trembling with fear in the bed.

'Well,' she said to her, 'without my little hood where would you be now, darling?' And, to restore heart and legs to the child, she made her eat a good piece of her cake, and drink a good draught of wine, after which she took her by the hand and led her back to the house.

And then, who was it who scolded her when she knew all that had happened?

It was the mother.

But Blanchette promised over and over again that she would never more stop to listen to a Wolf, so that at last the mother forgave her.

And Blanchette, the Little Golden-hood, kept her word. And in fine weather she may still be seen in the fields with her pretty little hood, the colour of the sun.

But to see her you must rise early

Stay tuned next week for a version by Walter de la Mare which emphasises the greed and shallowness and vanity of the young woman in the red hood, but does it with a twinkle in his eye. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

What We Ate Wednesday—Mardi Gras King Cake (vegan and GF!)

Hello lovelies! Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, so depending on where you live it was Pancake Day (The UK) or Mardi Gras (The US.)

Spiderman came home from the shops with a twinkle in his eye and an extra shopping bag. I could definitely tell he was up to something. I looked in the bag:
Gluten free puff pastry
Vegan cream cheese
Food colouring

What was this all about?

“I have decided I would like to make a King Cake,” he replied.

King Cake (in case you don’t know) is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870 and is a type of cake eaten in Louisiana after Epiphany (hence the name KING cake, since Epiphany marks the arrival of the Three Kings who visited Baby Jesus) and in the big pre-Lenten blow out that is Mardi Gras. Lent is a time in the church for giving something up, and in the early church, a time for plain foods without fats or sugars (or fun) until Easter. Hence eating lots of fatty, sugary cakes right before Lent to use up all your ingredients. This is also why folks in the UK traditionally make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, to use up their fat and sugar before Lent.

It is also traditional to hide a little something in the cake to represent Baby Jesus. In the past it might have been a dried fava bean, but these days it is a plastic Baby Jesus. This Plastic Jesus is for some reason almost always an unnatural shade of pink, but we did once find a brown one which I thought was more appropriate. Throughout history, the person who found it might be crowned the Lord of Misrule and be able to order everyone about in silly ways. These days, whoever finds it buys the next cake.

King Cake is a bit like a giant cinnamon roll with drizzled icing and granulated sugar in purple, green and gold (PURPLE which signifies "Justice," GREEN for "Faith," and GOLD for "Power.") And the best ones have a cream cheese filling. Hence, why Spiderman brought home a tub of vegan cream cheese.

“If you are going to go out, you might as well go all out,” he said as we unloaded the groceries.

We decided to flatten out the puff pastry and spread the cream cheese on it with some cinnamon and roll it up, and bake it then top with traditional icing and coloured sugar.

It is worth noting that in the UK Jus Rol brand puff pastry is accidentally vegan, and they make a Gluten Free version too. I don’t know what’s available in the US, sorry folks.

Then while it was baking, we coloured our sugar. In the UK, sugar is vegan, but in the US many white sugars are bleached white by filtering through ashes made from bone char, which is just a fancy way of saying burned up animal bones.

I know…yuck.

We couldn’t find purple food colouring, so we had to use a mix of red and blue. No matter where you live, check your labels on the red. If it says cochineal, carmine, natural red 4, crimson lake or E120 then it is made from crushed up bugs.

Crushed up bugs, people! Blech…. And you should know that this is the most common colouring in cosmetics such as lipstick.

He found some food colourings labelled Suitable for Vegans at B&M Bargains for £1 each. Our red dye is made from paprika extract.

Anyway, we put about 20 drops of each colour into a quarter a cup of sugar and dyed our sugar the requisite colours.

When the King Cake had cooled we drizzled on a glaze of icing sugar and the sprinkled on our coloured sugar.

Then went into a diabetic coma for a bit.

This is by far way more sugar and fat than we normally eat…but bloody hell it was delicious.

And it is a holiday.

The only thing we didn’t have was a plastic Baby Jesus.

King Cake
One sheet of Jus Rol pastry, regular or GF
1 container vegan cream cheese (we used Violife. Tesco makes one, but we found it a bit plasticky)
1/2 cup icing (powdered) sugar to beat with the cream cheese

1/3 cup icing (powdered) sugar
A bit of warm water to make a glaze
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided into quarters
Food colouring (red, green, yellow and blue)

Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Beat your softened cream cheese with the half a cup of icing sugar and set aside.

Roll out your sheet of pastry, spread cream cheese on it and generously sprinkle cinnamon.

Roll up and carefully pull around into a roughly circular shape. 
Bake for 20-22 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.

While baking, divide your granulated sugar into quarters and add a few drops of food colouring into each one and stir until you get a colour that you like.

When cool, make a glaze with  1/3 cup sifted icing sugar mixed with enough warm water to make a runny paste. Drizzle over the cake and then sprinkle the coloured sugar on top.

note: we managed it get it in a horseshoe shape, but in future (and there will be a future) we will just leave it as a tube and not bend it as it cracked a bit and some of the cream cheese leaked out.  Also would suggest pinching ends shut next time so aforementioned cream cheese didn't leak out. Also, this is way too much coloured sugar than you need. So either make more King Cakes or make other baking endeavours more festive. 

That’s it! Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Fairy Tale Friday--El Lappelin Rosso (Italy/Austria, 1867)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.

Today’s version is a very gruesome offering that was collected in Italy by Austrian folklorist Christian Schneller in 1867 in his book , Märchen und Sagen aus Wälschtirol: Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Sagenkunde. If you thought the first one from 14th century France where the little girl eats the flesh and drinks the blood of her grandmother was shocking, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I debated about talking about this one second straight after the 14th century French tale due to their similarities (extreme cannibalism and not a wolf but a bzou/werewolf or in this case an ogre) but ultimately, I decided to go chronologically.

There is also an interesting similarity in the paths they take. In the 14th century French version they talk of “the path of needles or the path of pins.” In this version the ogre asks, “Are you going across the stones or the thorns?"

There is also a strange theatrical convention where the young girl repeatedly asks an innocent question, the ogre replies under his breath with a horrible answer which causes the girl to ask him to repeat himself. Then the ogre replies with a sensible answer and the little girl is none the wiser. This made me feel like it was written to be performed, but I have no proof of that.  I also like that it follows the traditional banter of “what big something you have” and “the better to whatever you my dear” but the words are slightly different to the ones we are used to.

Be aware, this tale is more akin to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre than the nursery. You have been warned.

Image result for little red riding hood ogre

El Lappelin Rosso
Once there was an old woman who had a granddaughter named Little Red Hat. One day they were both in the field when the old woman said, "I am going home now. You come along later and bring me some soup."

After a while Little Red Hat set out for her grandmother's house, and she met an ogre, who said, "Hello, my dear Little Red Hat. Where are you going?"

"I am going to my grandmother to take her some soup."

"Good," he replied, "I'll come along too. Are you going across the stones or the thorns?"

"I'm going across the stones," said the girl.

"Then I'll go across the thorns," replied the ogre.

They left. But on the way Little Red Hat came to a meadow where beautiful flowers of all colors were in bloom, and the girl picked as many as her heart desired. Meanwhile the ogre hurried on his way, and although he had to cross the thorns, he arrived at the house before 
Little Red Hat. He went inside, killed the grandmother, ate her up, and climbed into her bed. He also tied her intestine onto the door in place of the latch string and placed her blood, teeth, and jaws in the kitchen cupboard.

He had barely climbed into bed when Little Red Hat arrived and knocked at the door.

"Come in" called the ogre with a dampened voice.

Little Red Hat tried to open the door, but when she noticed that she was pulling on something soft, she called out, "Grandmother, this thing is so soft!"

"Just pull and keep quiet. It is your grandmother's intestine!"

"What did you say?"

"Just pull and keep quiet!"

Little Red Hat opened the door, went inside, and said, "Grandmother, I am hungry."

The ogre replied, "Go to the kitchen cupboard. There is still a little rice there."

Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took the teeth out. "Grandmother, these things are very hard!"

"Eat and keep quiet. They are your grandmother's teeth!"

"What did you say?"

"Eat and keep quiet!"

A little while later Little Red Hat said, "Grandmother, I'm still hungry."

"Go back to the cupboard," said the ogre. "You will find two pieces of chopped meat there."

Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took out the jaws. "Grandmother, this is very red!"
"Eat and keep quiet. They are your grandmother's jaws!"

"What did you say?"

"Eat and keep quiet!"

A little while later Little Red Hat said, "Grandmother, I'm thirsty."

"Just look in the cupboard," said the ogre. "There must be a little wine there."

Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took out the blood. "Grandmother, this wine is very red!"

"Drink and keep quiet. It is your grandmother's blood!

"What did you say?"

"Just drink and keep quiet!"

A little while later Little Red Hat said, "Grandmother, I'm sleepy."

"Take off your clothes and get into bed with me!" replied the ogre.

Little Red Hat got into bed and noticed something hairy. "Grandmother, you are so hairy!"

"That comes with age," said the ogre.

"Grandmother, you have such long legs!"

"That comes from walking."

"Grandmother, you have such long hands!"

"That comes from working."

"Grandmother, you have such long ears!"

"That comes from listening."

"Grandmother, you have such a big mouth!"

"That comes from eating children!" said the ogre, and bam, he swallowed Little Red Hat with one gulp.

Stay tuned for a version entitled The True History of Little Golden Hood which contains a pluckier grandmother then we have seen in other versions as well as some magic.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

What We Ate Wednesday-- Oat and Sunflower Seed "Sausage" Patties Three Ways (With mash and gravy, with quiche and grits and on a pizza)

 Hello lovelies! I know  a lot of vegans don't like mock meats, but we really like these. Basically, they use sausage spices and are shaped into patties and baked. They are not trying to imitate sausage, but just give you an easy, delicious  food to throw together with some side dishes. I make them small, but you could make them bigger and use as them as a "burger" on a roll. 

Their size and shape remind me of Jimmy Dean sausage patties I ate at as a child, but without those weird bits of gristle that used to make me feel sick. I try not to think too hard about what sort of body parts ("Lips and butts!" according a friend's child) were in cheap commercial sausage. 

That's why these are so good--lovely, savoury taste and no lips and butts! 

They are easily made gluten free by using GF oats and tamari instead of soy sauce. They also freeze and defrost well. It makes approximately 28 little patties which feed us for 4 meals. Just pan fry in a smidge of oil to reheat. 

I have to cook it in 2 shifts in my oven as there is not room to cook both pans at once. Besides, I have never  had much success with cooking two things at once. One is always burned and the other is underdone, even when I rotate pans. It does mean that the cooking time is an hour--but you only need to show up every 15 minutes to flip them over. You can spend the time in between washing the dishes, reading or scrolling through Facebook or whatever floats your boat.
We had them twice with mash, gravy and vegetables. (4 patties each)

We had Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) and ate them with QUICHE and grits. (4 patties each.)

I had 4 patties left, so I crumbled them and fried them in a little oil put them on a pizza.

The original recipe is adapted from THIS WEBSITE  and she uses walnuts. I was out of walnuts but had lots of sunflower seeds as were given a kilogram of them for Christmas. I have made them both ways and felt there was little to no difference except in price. Walnuts are way more expensive. So use walnuts if you can afford to, sunflower seeds if you can’t. 

Oat and Sunflower Seed "Sausage" Patties
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F
Line two large baking sheets/roasting pans with parchment paper.

3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
1 tbsp. dried sage
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning(1 tsp each basil, oregano, thyme, pinch rosemary)
2 tsp fennel seeds
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 
3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (I just processed my old-fashioned oats in the food processor a bit and it worked great.
 1 cup walnuts or sunflower seeds – pulse in a food processor a few times until they are like nuggets or crumbs--don't over do it or you'll make a paste. 

1. Combine all ingredients, except oats and walnuts or sunflower seeds, in a medium sauce pan; bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Remove from heat; add oats and nuts or seeds and stir well. Allow mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. Scoop mixture into 2 inch round balls; place on prepared baking sheets and flatten gently with hands. I do 14 on one sheet and 14 on the other.  Bake 15 minutes; flip sausages and bake an additional 15 minutes.

If you want to freeze them wrap them in cling film and wrap the cling film in foil and put in a sandwich box. I can fit 4 flat in the bottom of a sandwich box, with a piece of parchment on top and another four on top. Parchment between helps them stop sticking. The rest prevents freezer burn. Defrost overnight in the fridge and pan fry to reheat and re-crisp the outside. 

Friday, 2 February 2018

DIY Brushing Your Teeth With "Dirt"

Hello lovelies! I have had several private messages from people politely asking, “When are you going to talk about tooth powder???”

So, your wish is my command.

We stopped using conventional toothpaste around the time we emigrated to the UK in 2004. 

We had become vegetarian (later transitioning to vegan) and were concerned about the ethical considerations of buying from companies that test on animals.

There is also a concern about the number of harsh chemicals in toothpaste such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) which is an industrial degreaser used as a foaming agent. SLS is a known skin irritant and can cause canker sores. Toothpastes also often contain propylene glycol which is component in antifreeze. 

I had also become increasingly concerned about fluoride.  I mean, you read the back of a tube of toothpaste and it says to call POISON CONTROL if you swallow too much.

HUFFINGTON POST reports that a Harvard study links fluoridated water with reduced IQ and brain damage. 

The facts are :
1. Fluoride is industrial waste from the fertiliser industry, specifically phosphate rock which is often contaminated with high levels of fluoride - as much as 40,000 parts per million, or up to 4% of the raw ore.  

2. Fluoride used to be released by smokestacks, but all cattle and food crops on nearby farms withered away and died due to Fluoride Poisoning.

3. Phosphate Mining Corporations then tried to get rid of excessive toxic fluoride chemicals by dumping them in rivers. This killed all the fish, because fluoride is a bio-hazard. It is now a violation of federal law to dump hexafluorosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride into the water. To do so is considered an act of terrorism unless that water is used for water fluoridation. Because it is somehow acceptable to poison people under the guise of "trying to prevent cavities."  

Dude, I don’t want to poison myself.

For many years we used fluoride free toothpaste we bought at a Health Food Shop. We really liked it, but it cost like £5 a tube. Five Quid a tube, people!

Two years ago, I started a more holistic solutions to cleaning our teeth. Bicarbonate of soda is a natural ingredient you often find in toothpaste, so I thought, "why not just avoid all the harmful chemicals and make some healthy tooth powder?" 

Bicarbonate of soda is antimicrobial, whitens teeth and makes your mouth more alkaline (the more acidic your mouth, the more chance of tooth decay.) Salt is also an ingredient that can improve oral health and even heal ulcers. Himalayan Pink Mineral Salt is a good choice as it is thought that the high mineral count can help with remineralisation of teeth. (I buy mine at Tiger.) Peppermint essential oil provides a pleasant, fresh taste to your tooth powder.  If you do find it too salty you can add some xylitol (just make sure it is from a birch source rather than corn to avoid GMOs.)

Basic tooth powder recipe:

3 Tablespoons food grade bicarbonate of soda (the sort you would put in a cake)
¼ tsp Himalayan pink sea salt (or other natural sea salt)
10-20 drops peppermint essential oil

Store in a small airtight container. To use: wet your toothbrush and dip it in the tooth powder and brush as normal. It may feel strange in the beginning if you are used to a toothpaste that foams.

Last year, I saw an interesting post about a homemade toothpaste on the blog DON'T WASTE THE CRUMBS. She even has a post about how using a homemade toothpaste HEALED HER HUSBAND'S GUM DISEASE 

                             Redmond Clay Bottle, 10 Ounce
The star ingredient is bentonite clay. This clay is known to have an abundance of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron, and potassium. that support oral health as well as the fact that it is negatively ionically charged and binds to toxins and heavy metals in your body when in contact with water so that you can spit them away after brushing. It is important to NEVER use metal measuring implements with bentonite clay or it will reverse the negative ion charge rendering it useless.

Remineralising Tooth Powder recipe:

2 Tablespoons bentonite clay
1 Tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp Himalayan Pink Mineral Salt
10-20 drops peppermint oil
It is recommended to store this particular tooth powder in a glass container. Remember it must not come into contact with metal, so don’t choose a container with a metal lid. Top tip: A small glass spice jar is perfect for this. I bought mine at Tiger.

Glycerine, which is non-harmful  (I use it in my DIY Jizz Face wash) is very slippery and is an ingredient found in nearly every toothpaste, whether regular or the sort you buy in a Health Food Shop. Glycerine coats the teeth and can prevent remineralisation. This tooth powder is glycerine free. It travels well as you don’t have to worry about it spilling or dripping as it is powder form. I store it in glass at home and plastic for travel. But never metal! (sorry to remind you, but it is important!)

We are *in love* with this tooth powder. Your teeth feel so CLEAN after brushing. Squeaky clean. Seriously, after you brush rub your finger over your teeth and it makes an “EEeeEEeeEEee” sound! 

We really like it the way it is without sweetener. But if you are just transitioning from artificially sweetened toothpaste, feel free to add a bit of xylitol (but be warned, it is kind of expensive.)

So, your next question is bound to be How much does bentonite clay cost? We bought THIS ONE from Amazon and we still have about half a container left, even after a year. Perhaps you could get it cheaper, but this was the one that so many DIY blogs recommended. 

If you are new to the natural scene or the DIY scene, start with the bicarbonate of soda one before you invest in the bentonite clay. 

I bet you will find that you never go back.