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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

His and hers soap

Last Saturday I left early in the morning with my husband to the motorcycle shop. I was there to meet up with one of husband's customers, Pastor Mike.

Pastor Mike not only makes his own soap, but he cans, and makes beer and makes the most gorgeous furniture I have ever seen. He is a retired Marine, biker and Minister. A well rounded individual.

Pastor Mike arrived at the shop, and Large, Small and myself followed him out to his place. Medium stayed at the shop to help husband. Once there I met his dog and his wife. A wonderfully cheerful woman. I brought some dandelion syrup as a gift to her. You should always take a gift to your hostess. I realize that it is outdated to do so, but you are in a way, putting them out, even if you were invited over. And a gift of something simple and homemade is not only welcome but can be an icebreaker as well. They had never had dandelion syrup, and it seemed to be much appreciated.

I digress, we started to work immediately. He showed me how to figure out how much lye was needed for what we wanted to do. He mixed his with lye and water, I mixed mine with lye and goats milk. Pastor Mike also like to use lots of different oils, and palm and coconut oil was added along with the deer tallow. He is a hunter as well, and renders his own deer fat.

At first, my goat milk lye mix didn't want to cool down, but after a bit, it was finally cool enough mix with the oils. Pastor Mike and I stood in the garage for awhile, stirring the concoction as he talked about himself and his life. Husband says he talks a lot when he is nervous. I didn't mind it one bit, as it kept us from complaining about the amount of stirring we had to do. After a bit he asked his wife to show me all the lovely furniture he had made, and put Large and Small to work stirring as he supervised.

He made is own dinning table, hope chest, 2 huge desks, a complete bedroom set including the mirror frame. She then showed me the china hutch he just finished. Gorgeous! She complained that she had no where to put it, but he was insistent about making it. A shame it is hidden away in the basement.

After the tour it was time to pour the soap into the mold. He used a cut up cardboard box as the mold. Spraying it with oil and lining it with wax paper. It was poured in and allowed to sit. He said to leave it there with him, after 24 hours he will cut it up and bring it to the shop. It took a total of 2 hours to do everything.

Yesterday husband arrived with the soap. Pastor Mike had forgotten about it, and cut it after 48 hours. So it looks broken into chunks rather than cut. But that is fine. It is my first batch, and I don't plan on selling it.

His is on the left, mine on the right

I am looking forward to doing it again, and soon.
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Anonymous said...

oooh, I'd love to hear how he determined the amount of lye to use; and why did you decide to use goats milk instead of water?

I hope to render tallow from our steer.

Thank you for the post!

Phelan said...

I had brought the goats milk as a gift, but he decided to go a head and use it in mine

SkippyMom said...

Sorry, but it is not outdated to bring a hostess gift these days still - it simply shows which of us were raised right and which weren't ;D

Seriously tho' - i always do this as it was the way i was raised and my kids do it also [when they go to friends houses for sleepovers/parties etc] so i would argue that it is not outdated yet.

Soap looks good - i miss making soap - it always reminds me of my grandma - and i love using it in the laundry [i am down to my last two bars, eek!]

Kelle said...

We used rendered pig fat( which was my offering, plus oils and flowe petals), coconut oil and olive oil in the soap we made with our friend. I added calendula petals and orange and clove essensial oil( just enough for a light scent)My friend used dried lavendar and a small amount of the lavendar essensial oil. We're loving ours, it clean very well and even my super sensitive skin is loving it!

Happy soap making Phelan :o)

Phelan said...

I will post tomorrow about how to determine the lye content.

Skippy, I will send you some if you want.

Kelle, sounds wonderful. I plan on using lamb tallow when we start butchering in the fall.

Meadowlark said...

You're brave!

And for the record, the title Marine is always capitalized, as it IS a title, not a noun. Didn't ya KNOW I'd have to have a comment! Tell my brother-in-arms I said Semper Fi. :)

HermitJim said...

This is a great thing to learn how to do! Your new friend seems to be quite a handy guy to know!

I think it's cool to take a hostess gift, but that's what I remember my family doing so it just seems natural to me.

Sounds like Pastor Mike would be a good teacher for life skills!

Phelan said...

Yes ma'am!

Actually it was a typo, and I fixed it along with some of the others. :)

Jim, he does indeed seem to have a bit to teach. I am glad he wandered into my husband's motorcycle shop!

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