A cold rainy weekend is the perfect time to make soap. For me, soap making is therapeutic. I can focus my attention away from the stresses of daily life and be creative. A big part of the fun is formulating and trying new recipes, always looking for the perfect combination for whatever purpose I have on my mind. I was in the mood for holiday scents, and simple colors. This session, I made five different batches of soap and some lotion bars. Some of these will make great Christmas gifts.
Zebra - Facial bar
Made with face friendly oils including rice bran, avocado and sweet almond, and scented with tea tree, peppermint and carrot seed essential oils, this soap was divided and layered in a loaf pan with charcoal and bentonite clay. I've wanted to make this for a long time and can't wait to try it.
Oats, Milk and Honey
This one is a repeat favorite I keep trying to perfect. It has chopped oats and local honey added along with the goat's milk. Honey is a little tricky to work with and always makes the soap batter hotter than usual. Against my better judgement, I used a loaf mold and, even in the freezer, it gelled in the middle. It may look a little different after curing for several weeks, but even if its two tone, it will be an awesome soap. I cut these into extra large bars.
Cloves and Orange
I had a couple of firsts with this recipe. For the first time I used olive oil pomace, and as advertised it caused the soap to thicken more quickly than usual. It is colored with natural tumeric, another first, giving it a rustic orange color. Along with the clove and orange essential oils, it smells and looks like gingerbread. It also gelled in the freezer even though it was in a flat pan, but only adds to the rustic look. It will be a hard, bubbly soap.
Using one of may favorite basic recipes, this one is swirled with french green clay and kaolin clay, and scented with eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint.
I like to keep a simple white on hand for some of my customers. At first, I wasn't sure what to call it, but after cutting a few it reminds me of cream cheese frosting on a cake. It is scented with clove, mint, lavender and eucalyptus (seems to be the theme for the day). It is made from another simple but tried and true recipe.
I hate to waste things, so periodically I take the shavings from all the soaps I've made and trimmed up - to smooth and improve its appearance - and melt them down. The scents from so many varieties mixed together don't always work out so well, so I added some Almond Biscotti fragrance oil at the end. It doesn't look like much, but it is still usable soap. I usually give these away, or think someday I'll use them to make felted soaps.
In addition to soap, I made three scents of lotion bars in Christmas and winter molds. The white one is scented with Turquoise fragrance oil, one is Almond Biscotti fragrance, and the other is mint, clove and orange essential oils. The gold flecks are from the chamomile infused sweet almond oil.
Earlier this week, inspired by my hairy oldest son, I decided to try making beard balm and beard oil. So far, his reviews are positive. Since the oils used are a little expensive, I will make these as needed, so if you would like some as Christmas gifts, let me know.
In between all the soap making, I was grooming Callie, chasing Bailey who learned how to get out of the fence, taking does to the buck for dates, and finally putting gravel in the walkway. I even managed to salvage a few boards of barn wood for a future project.
Two things I have a lot of lately is goat's milk and garlic. Since May, much of my time at home is spent milking and making cheese. We've experimented with a variety of cheeses, from soft cheese and yogurt to coffee creamer and hard cheeses. I've made lotion, and froze all I can for future soap. This is the view inside my refrigerator:
And my kitchen is a cheese factory
And then, there's the garlic. Besides the usual uses in cooking, we've made garlic powder, and recently discovered Garlic Jelly
The recipe, adapted from the Ball book of Home Preserving was a success. It will be great on a bagel with some fresh goat cheese!
My name is Christy Franklin.