Homemade Soap

Check out Holistic Mamas Atlanta. They are giving away 3 of my soaps. It ends in 5 days. Here is the link: http://www.holisticmamasatlanta.com/blog/2014/8/25/soap-and-me-time-a-give-away-wrapped-in-an-enigma-wrapped-in-a-paradox

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Since developing my own soap recipe a few months back, I have been making a lot more soap.  My favorite is definitely hot processed soap. There is a certain rhythm to it for me: weigh the oils, melt them, mix the lye and water, pour the lye into the oils, reach trace, cook, add essential oils, and pour in molds. In about 1h30 to 2 hours,  I have soap ready to cure and dishes done. I usually leave my soap in the mold for 24 hours before cutting the bars to let them cure further.

Until recently, I have been using either bread pans or wooden boxes we built as molds. But, since I am selling my soap on Etsy and can’t always cut straight, I am thinking of buying this kind of mold. So my bars will be more even which is easier for labels. The only downside is that I might loose some of the natural look that I like so much (i.e. the uneven top of the bar).

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Another change is that I have switched to solely using dōTERRA essential oils.  I feel that the quality of their oils as well as the scent is purer than other oils I have used in the past. I love how versatile they are as well as their potency.  If you are interested in learning more about dōTERRA oils and/or ordering some you can click on the dōTERRA link on the right.

labels

My husband and I also designed some new soap labels this weekend. I love the way they turned out. I drew the little guy on it and decided on the main layout, then my husband played his magic on the computer. I will handwrite the essential oils I use and any add-ins on the back so that way I can have one standard label that I use for all of my soaps…so much easier and practical.

Don’t forget to check out Holistic Mamas Atlanta. They are giving away 3 of my soaps. It ends in 5 days. Here is the link: http://www.holisticmamasatlanta.com/blog/2014/8/25/soap-and-me-time-a-give-away-wrapped-in-an-enigma-wrapped-in-a-paradox 

Kitchen Happenings

It feels like Tuesday I spend most of my day standing in the kitchen making/preserving food and herbs. Here is a tour in pictures:

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Oils from left to right: Comfrey and Jewelweed from my yard; Comfrey and Rosemary from my yard; Dried rose petals and dried elderberry flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs. I am leatting the oils steep for at least a month before I use them in my soaps. I used olive oil for all of them.

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Jewelweed steeping in Witch Hazel. After a month or so, I will strain the herb materials out and use the extract to treat poison ivy and insect bites.

Fire Cider for my parents: ACV with local garlic, ginger and Jalapeno.

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Ginger bug. Hopefully, in 3 days I will make some fermented root beer with it following this recipe: http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-root-beer-recipe/

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My first batch of canned tomatoes ever. I mostly used these resources: http://pickyourown.org/canning_tomatoes.htm and Canning and Preserving with Ashley English. I used the hot water bath method. I also dried some tomatoes in the dehydrator since that has been my favorite way of preserving them for the past 2 years.

Abundance

We finally picked the squash that was growing allover the front and backyard. Some of it is winter squash and, to our surprise, the rest is summer squash (hence its hugeness!).

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Summer squash  (+1 small winter squash) and tomatoes from the yard

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Winter squashes

Recipe ideas for the summer squash:

  • Fermented: either http://www.culturesforhealth.com/grated-zucchini-kraut-recipe or http://www.culturesforhealth.com/lacto-fermented-summer-squash-recipe
  • Zucchini bread: the recipe from Against All Grains by Danielle Walker. Although I am disappointed that all the recipes I have found only use a small amount of zucchini…I mean do you see how much I have?! I have also never made zucchini bread so we will see if I even like it.
  • Zucchini pasta: my favorite. Especially when sauteed with other veggies until soft.
  • Anyone has any ideas of what else I could do?