I stayed with Laurel at the beautiful house she and her husband bought this spring. Her kitchen is to die for, and we took advantage of the fact that she has way more fancy gadgets than I do, and we made a batch of soap! We'd been wanting to do it for a long time, and used this method from Down to Earth. It was remarkably easy, only took about 30 minutes, and went off without a hitch (not counting the fact that we went on a wild goose chase around town trying to find lye. Tip: try small neighborhood hardware stores).
See? Gadgets I don't have- a stick blender, candy thermometer, and scale. Although this was so easy and fulfilling I might have to invest so I can do it at home...
Laurel is excited to make soap! (Note the stylish orange butcher paper we used to cover our staging areas).
Lye + Water = Heat! (and fumes. I coughed a bit).
Chemistry in action.
Bite-size brownie pans = wee soaps!
We covered the soap with parchment and towels to cool slowly overnight, and this is what we found in the morning.
Tiger says, "It was so thoughtful of you to lay these piles of comfy towels on the table for me!"
Taking it out of the moulds the next morning.
Success! All of the bars are now curing on a shelf in Laurel's laundry room, and she will send me my share in a month or so once it has solidified a bit more. I think I have caught the soap-making bug.