Yesterday I made Olive and Palm soap from this site.
Last year I bought some beeswax from The Rocks in Sydney when we were up there, intending to use it to polish the furniture. What a laugh. As if I’ll ever get around to doing that. A part of me really wishes I was that sort of woman, but I’m clearly not. So imagine my joy when I saw the recipe, weighed my little chunk of beeswax and realised I had exactly the right amount to make this recipe! How frugal! Earlier that day, I went to the supermarket and came home with lots of different oils to play with, plus some more caustic soda. How not-so-frugal!
The palm oil I used is the most amazing deep orange colour. It looks incredible. I was going to put the oatmeal in with it, but orange and oatmeal didn’t really seem right together. So I went black and used poppy seeds instead. It’s a warm looking mixture, almost exactly like pumpkin soup. The poppy seeds look great and I was really pleased when I cut it and saw that the seeds were evenly positioned all the way through the soap. I wasn’t sure if they’d all sink to the bottom and I’d have to lie through my teeth to you all and say that it was an exfoliating layer.
Then I decided to make another batch. I still wanted to use oatmeal. I love oatmeal in soap; I think it makes me feel all healthy and regular or something. The first recipe I made yesterday came to trace in 5 minutes when using the stick blender which is actually dangerous. At the rate I’m going, we could be buried under mounds of soap if it’s too quick to make. But then again, if I make the boys take lots of showers then we’ll need large amounts of soap, so I suppose it’s all good.
This time I made a Castile soap and put some quick cooking oats in. Some recipes for Castile soap say that because it only has olive oil in it, it takes a long time to come to trace and to cure, but it’s worth making because it’s so gentle on the skin. So I’m allowing around 6 weeks for the other soaps I’ve made to cure, while I’ll give the Castile soap till the end of the summer holidays. With all of the soaps, the longer you leave them the harder they are and the longer they last. So to speak…
It’s not quite ready to cut yet. I unveiled it and the middle looks like it’s progressing well, but the edges are still mushy. I’ll come home at lunchtime, I think, and see how it’s going. I read somewhere that castile soap needs to be cut fairly soon after you make it because it dries very hard. I can’t imagine the boys’ faces when I hand them a piece of soap weighing 1.5 kilos and tell them to use it in the shower….
If necessary I guess I’ll cut off the edges and recook them so it doesn’t go to waste. Funny though… you’d think the edges would cool down first, wouldn’t you? Maybe it wasn’t mixed enough…?
Here’s the first batch after a day and a night of sitting around. I wish I added some more turmeric as the orangey ones are looking looking wishy-washy peach. The ones without any colour at all look just lovely.
Only 6 weeks to wait before I can try them!!!!