Honey (soap)

soapFirst in an occasional series.

In the years p.f. (pre Frankie), I used to mix up soaps; mostly they were cold process. Last night, I resumed my soap-making activity with a small batch of Honey Soap that I got from Diana's Sugar Plum site. I'll post a pic when it finally cures. So far, Frankie and I mixed the following:

vegetable shortening, 340 g
coconut oil (mp 76F), 114 g
beeswax, 28 g
water, 240 g
lye, 56 g
honey, 2 tablespoons measured by two squirts.

All the fats were combined, melted and brought to ca. 120F. The lye solution was mixed and cooled to 110F and combined. Frankie stirred a while and then I charged the honey and sped things up a bit using my (dedicated) immersion blender. We poured it into a plastic wrap-lined mold and placed an additional piece of plastic wrap on top while it did it's initial reaction to prevent carbonate formation on the surface. We'll unmold it in another day and let it cure for a couple weeks before trimming it for gifts and use.

Update (7-Sep-05)
I unmolded the block of soap in two days. It was kind of soft and let it rest on each of the bar's sides. According to the recipe, it should be cured in about 2-3 weeks. Everyday it gets a bit more firm and there's no carbonate on the bars at all. It's got quite a bit of excess fat (superfatted) so that's not too surprising. Keep you posted as it cures.


I hope you can't overdose on lycopene

tomatoIt's that time of year. Trish and Frankie go out to the garden every afternoon and bring back a bowl of "red gold". Tomatoes. The most perfect fruit in the world. Today Trish skinned a bunch for me to turn into pizza sauce.

Every night we have a bowl of coarsely chopped tomatoes dressed with a touch of oil and balsamic vinegar salt and pepper and sometimes we just slice and eat 'em with a spec of salt. It's a great time of year.

I think we'll be pressure-canning a bunch in the next couple weeks if the harvest continues and we become all tomatoed out.



Toll house cookiesStill nothing much to write home about with regard to interesting new adventures in the kitchen but the wife and kid made the best cookies ever Saturday. Toll house cookies. Recipe from the bag of chips and no skimping on the butter. These cookies present me with a vigorous challenge every time I walk by them. They're wrapped in plastic stacked on a plate in our kitchen.

The first time I walk by the dish, I sneek into the plastic wrap and grab a half of a cookie because half is better than whole - right? Well, the second pass by the cookie plate I feel must take the second half because then I won't get caught leaving just half a cookie. Well, you can see where this is going. Let's just say these wonderful little miracles don't exactly get stale sitting on the counter. I look forward to their future efforts. Frankie seemed to help quite a bit. At the age of 2 yrs and 5 months, she's becoming quite comfy in the kitchen.

Aside from that and a tasty focaccia recently (I might elaborate on it in a future post), not much going on. But we're not exactly going hungry. Hope you're all keeping cool.