Monday, September 10, 2012

We Made Soap!

I spent a delightful weekend in Seattle, where I got to spend lots of quality time with quality people. I visited Joel and Heather at their home, got a tour of their community garden plot, a delicious lunch, and excellent playtime with 10-month-old Marie, who I hadn't yet met. My family and Joel's have been connected in numerous ways for a long long time (his father was my 3rd grade teacher, his mother was my flute teacher, his little sister is one of my best friends, my brother was Joel's best man...) and I am so very glad he married Heather, who has become a great friend as well. It was so grounding to catch up with them, after far too long between visits.

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.


Sam said...

Great job girls they turned out perfectly! Love the photos of the cat too, why do they all love towels so much? Sam xox

FlowerLady said...

I've not made soap from scratch, but I have made some re-batched soaps, and bought goats milk melt and pour and added my own essential oils. I need to make some more.

I'm glad you had a good experience and your soaps look wonderful.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Laurel said...

Now people know what to get you for the Christmas! Stick blenders and silicon molds and scales and what not.

Heather said...

Wow makes me want to try making soap too! And that is a kitchen to die for.
It was so good to have you!

farmer_liz said...

looks like fun. I'm going to a tutorial with our permaculture group in a couple of weekends, and I might then be tempted to try it myself, its so good to be able to chose what to put in the things you use on your skin and the things you eat!