Saturday, December 11, 2010

Too much time on my hands...

People, people, sure do say the goofiest things. A few days ago I mentioned to a friend of mine I was planning to make soap. Her immediate response was  "must be nice to have so much extra time on your hands." I just grinned. Poor thing, she actually thinks that God has given me MORE time than He has given her. Truth is, I have 24 hours in each day just like her. No more , no less.  I just CHOOSE to use that time in a different way than she. And when I say I am making soap, I did not mean to imply in any way that it would be my only task of the day. In fact I was choosing to add it to the list of other things that still had to be done.

So, despite my friends opinion that I had more time than she did, I went ahead and made soap .I entered the wildly weird world of saponification (google it, I had to) and I liked it. Because it is made with lots of lard from our Red Wattle Hogs, I am calling it Wishy Wattle soap.  I made it after after all my daytime chores were done squeezing it in before I made supper. Mixing caustic lye and raw milk like an Irish Tinker in a tiny trailer, just call me Donegal.  Thus the soap making was done between 7pm and 10 pm. Supper was finished at 10:30, we ate and fell asleep once again, on the kithen floor. This time amidst all the soap making pots and pans. Now that I think about it, I cannot remember what we ate that night for supper but the soap recipe did not make as many bars of soap as it said it would.

 Oh well, people spend big money to be "cleaned out" in a expensive spa setting. Keith and I may have gotten the same treatment for about 1/10 the cost.  Stop with the   "tsk-tsk" -ing. Look at this soap concoction. Does it not look  like the best chicken soup ever ?

I rest my case.


  1. Yay for you~ and all in 24 hours time! Cute soap name and beautiful bars! I have been enjoying delving into the soap world (goats milk soap) and love the results on my hands. We have made lard based soaps with our farm fresh lard as well~ it's especially good with some ground oatmeal, cinnamon and honey. I added some coconut oil to the last batch for some extra bubbles. I'm no expert, but you can always ask if you have any soapy questions and I'll try to help you out:))

  2. Yes ! I do have a couple questions. What is the best think to use to color your soap, how do you know when the soap has cured long enough , and what is the best written source you have found for soap making. Many many thanks Crazy Farm Lady. And if anyone else knows the answers to these questions (Dot ?) please chime in.

  3. Your welcome crazy farm lady!!

    Coloring~ Cinnamon makes a tan to brown, paprika will make orange to red depending on how much you add, cocoa will make dark brown, sea kelp will make green, turmeric makes yellow. Simply heating your lye mixture fast or slow will give you a range of white to dark brown. You can add the spices by themselves, but sometimes they leave a grainy feeling in the soap. It works well to heat up some oil (a few Tablespoons), add the spices, then strain it (I use a milk filter and a pint jar) and use the colored oil. Add this at a light trace. I have heard of melting crayons down and adding to your oil mixture but have never tried it~ imagine the possibilities! And of course you can swirl or layer your soap to make it extra pretty. Here's a link that has lots of other natural colors.

    Curing~ Cold Process soap should cure 3-8 weeks. There is a danger of the lye burning you anytime before this, but honestly I haven't had any trouble with trying the soap at 2 weeks (just because I was inpatient and wanted to sample a new recipe). The longer a soap cures the harder the bar gets, as well. Lard makes a harder bar of soap than most oil blends. There is always the good old tongue test~ basically put your tongue on the bar and if it tingles (like a battery) it needs some more curing time. If it tingles on your skin when you use it is also too fresh. Any time after 3 weeks should be fine, and other than losing added scents, the soap only gets milder the older it gets.

    I have only used the world wide web to research soap making so will add a couple of links:

    My (in the works) soap/goat sight:

    If you want to add scents this is a good sight with free shipping:

    My Lard recipe with added coconut oil for extra lather:

    Terri's Lard Based Goat's Milk Soap Recipe:
    35 ounces Lard
    5 ounces Coconut Oil
    5.8~ ounces Lye
    14.4~ ounces Goat Milk
    Scents (1 ounce +) or Additives of choice

    100-110 degrees.
    This is a great recipe to add honey, cinnamon and ground oatmeal! This makes about 14 bars.

    Have fun! Soapmaking is an addictive hobby! If you lived closer you could come and visit our farm and I would teach you what I know about soap. Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm having a little soap giveaway if you want to enter here:

  4. WOW, Thank you for all the great info and links. You're right about it being addictive. Everyday I check my little soap bars like they are new babies. Is the color changing ? Are they harder ? How do they smell today ? Are they warm enough ? should I enroll them in the bath and body works preschool now or wait ? etc etc...

  5. Wow is right! Your soap looks great! Sam made me some soap molds about 3 years ago............whick I have never used. After reading all this, I'm feeling quite inspired. Now, if I could just find someone to sell me some lard.............:)

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