Wednesday, October 27, 2010

❤ Goat's Milk Soap ❤

Making soap is like most things, it requires the right tools and lots of upfront preparation. This week I made my very first batch of soap, and it actually worked !! Here are some of the highlights.

The first task I undertook was to research how to make milk soap. The library and on-line resources gave me lots of tips. Next I went to a few local thrift stores and loaded up on the necessary supplies. I filled two big plastic tubs with stuff, from stainless steel pots, to spatula's, measuring cups, ice cube trays, towels, a thermometer, and soap molds.

LOL, my patio vegetables are still making fruit inside. Check out the flowers on the tomato plant.

My recipe was very basic: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Goat's Milk, and Lye. I made half just like that, then tried to get fancy with the other half of the batch. To that I added Clove Scent, Poppy Seeds, and Cinnamon. Here are the two batches in their molds.

I tried a few experiments with the second half, such as putting Cinnamon or Poppy Seeds at the bottom of the molds, and stirring Cinnamon into the soap once it was poured.

After 24 hrs in the molds, I froze them for an hour which made it pretty easy to pop the soap out. Next I needed to cut the large block, and use a vegetable peeler to soften the edges. Don't the muffin ones look cute, like little cinnamon tarts?

Finally, the soap needs to cure. Over the next few weeks I'll rotate the bars and watch as they get harder and better. Before long the Goat's Milk Soap will be ready to use. This was a fun experience !!

༻ Fall Colors ༺

Fall has lasted a very long time this year, so a number of flowers are still tempting my camera. Here are a few shots from around the yard this week.

I'm not going to complain - another day with flowers is certainly a good day.

Be watching for my next posting. I have begun a new adventure: making homemade goat's milk soap !! The first batch is curing on the table beside me and in a few minutes I'll remove them from their molds and take a few pictures. Details next time !

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

✈ Enjoy While You Can ✈

As the warm days start to slip away, I've been trying to appreciate my flowers everyday. There aren't many left, but luckily the gaillardias are still blooming. Today I got a treat when a lovely monarch butterfly came by to help me enjoy the blooms:

The honeybees were also busy on the flowers:

I'm not ready for snow !!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

༻ String It Up ༺

The garden produced a lot of peppers this season, so I strung them up into Ristras. First I pulled up the plants and hung them upside down in the garage for a few weeks, then indoors for another few weeks. Finally I cut them off the plants and used a needle and thread to create long lines of peppers.

I put about 5-6 dried red peppers per string, then tied a few pepper strings together into one long group. These will be pretty to look at and make handy pepper dispensers when we need them for cooking. In addition, some peppers were frozen earlier in the season, and maybe we'll chop up some of the dried ones later to make a pepper spice. Hopefully they will last through the winter and help us create some delicious meals.