Thursday, July 2, 2015

I gained ten pounds

Although there is the distinct possibility that I did in fact gain ten pounds in the last few days (family is visiting, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it), that's not exactly what I'm talking about.

We (meaning Paul) are finally able to see the light at the end of the pork-fat tunnel.  The chest freezer has had packages (and packages, and packages, and....) of frozen pork fat in there since the last time we were gifted it from Aaron.  Paul sliced up several bags (and his thumb) and went to rendering it
Thumbs Up for Soapmaking!
And yes, that is duct tape.  Sometimes a Band-Aid just doesn't cut it.
Get it. Cut it?!  Ugh. Nevermind.
Since we already have quite the stockpile of lard for our culinary use (and I can't convince my Mom to take any), I thought it would be a good idea to show Paul the ropes of soap making.  That and the fact that I no longer have any room in the refrigerator or freezer for more lard.

Making your own soap is really not that difficult.  There are just a few simple ingredients, the most basic recipe containing nothing more than fat, lye and water.  There are just a few simple rules; don't be a moron and remove the children & animals out of the soap making area.  If you'd like a somewhat more detailed tutorial on my unprofessional & happy-go-lucky process of making soap, click HERE.

I showed Paul how I make my blender soap and what to look for in that magical moment of "trace" that all makers of soap strive for.  I showed him my "Soap Diary" with all of it's trials, errors and successes.   And although I was wont to scent every single batch with the wonderful aromas of Patchouli or Sandalwood, Paul refused to let me make more than one as he didn't want the entire house to smell like "a dirty old hippy".  So he also got to go through my box of fragrance oils and pick out his favorites.

We made four, 2 1/2 pound batches and they are currently sitting in the dishwasher until they can be unmolded and cut up into bars.  
Figured since I don't use the dishwasher anyhow it would make
a great place for my soap to cure.  And yes Dad, those are the
restaurant quality breadpans you gave me.  Which I will still
use for making bread after the soap is out of them.
We took free pork fat, mixed it with some caustic solution and BAM! - our house gained ten pounds of wonderful, aromatic, handcrafted soap!

And as soon as they are ready to ship, I promise that I'll have a give-away here so you can lather yourself up with a homemade concoction of pig fat and sodium hydroxide.   Not THAT sounds like something worth waiting for, right?



  1. Kudos to Paul for being willing to enter into the soap making world! (Although tell him he's only got one more thumb, so safety measures need to be taken. Or a few more rolls of duct tape purchased.) I can hardly wait for the soap giveaway!

  2. I laughed when I read the description, "dirty old hippie". I was completely able to conjure up that patchouli scent in my head. I also have a husband who has duct taped himself from time to time. -Jenn

  3. So, what fragrances DID Paul choose? Eau d' Bacon? My inquiring mind needs to know!

  4. Carolyn,

    Good to see Paul took part in making homemade soap. What fragrance did Paul pick out since he doesn't care much for the dirty old hippie smell? Dish washers make great places to hide/store things as long as someone else doesn't turn the darn thing on :-)
    Can't wait for your soap give-away!!!

  5. I believe the scents he chose were lilac, orange spice and almond. I got to make a Sandalwood one :)