soapmaking: pt II

today i cut up the solidified soap and put them in a box to cure for 3-4 weeks. nate took a chunk to see if it works now as is while he’s in the bath.. i told him it wouldn’t be my fault if his butt burned off.

it sure looks pretty!

IMG_1872 IMG_1870

soap: part I

when i got my gazillion metric tons of lard (ok, i exaggerate), i knew i couldn’t use it all – i only make pies a couple times a year, and even then i use half lard, half butter. what to do, what to do.

after a google search, one of the options was to make soap. i decided to give it a try. i found a recipe for lard soap, cold-press method. while cold-press method involves less cooking, it does take longer for the soap to “cure” – almost a month-long wait after actually making the soap, versus a couple days. if i do this again, i’ll probably buy an old crockpot and try the hot-press method.


after some more research on soaps, it turns out that all-lard soap, while moisturizing, is very hard and not very latherific. i decided to add some coconut oil and castor oil to my mixture (castor oil helps with lather; coconut oil helps with softness).

the fat:

  • 400 grams of lard
  • 250 grams of coconut oil
  • 50 grams castor oil

Lye solution:

  • 80 grams lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 228 grams distilled water

gogglesmeasure everything out, and use a completely separate container for mixing the lye (apart from your food – i went to goodwill and got a used bowl, pot, and whisk for this endeavor). mix the lye into the water (this is apparently VERY IMPORTANT as every website i visited had in call caps LYE INTO WATER, not WATER INTO LYE). lye is pretty acidic. i wore goggles and latex gloves while i mixed. mix until the water is clear.

lyethe lye also gets pretty hot, so while you’re letting that cool down, melt the fats on the stove in your old and busted pot. once they are about the same temperature, although i think my thermometer is wonky and i didn’t have them the same temp, mix the lye solution into the fats.

now you’re supposed to use a stick blender to mix it up, but i thought, eeeeehhhhh, why waste my stick blender attachment? i’ll just whisk it…. yeah….. after about 15 minutes, i got my stick blender out and went to town. it only took another 5 minutes or so to get to the “trace” stage, where if you drizzle it, it’ll leave a trace on the top.




mixed in my lavender and rosemary mix as well as a little lavender oil and purple coloring. pouring it into a bread pan, and now it’s sitting in the basement waiting 1-2 days to turn out and cut before curing.

update to come when it gets turned out!


i meant to video some macaron making, but it totally slipped my mind. 🙁

liz came over and we made two batches of macarons – pistachio and lemon. both are delicious.

tomorrow i’m going to attempt to make soap! i will do my best to photodocument it.

two and a half workdays this week – i took off thursday for the fourth and i worked an additional 4-1/2 hours for the parade on friday. woo!


lemon curd is cooked and ready for tomorrow’s macaron-baking day. i think i might try to get video of the macaron making process.

#yesallwomen … but

found on pinterest.

found on pinterest.

here’s a slight beef i have with the bunch of recent calls to draw attention to the rape culture, #yesallwomen, and a call for women to be able to wear whatever they want (ALL OF WHICH I AGREE WITH):

people are sexual beings.

i know; it’s a hard concept to grasp.

i agree that if it’s hot outside, ladies should be able to wear whatever they like without drawing attention to themselves. BUT.

but, to teach boys that girls are not sexual objects? that’s like trying to teach people that they don’t need water. (asexuals aside – sorry asexuals i may offend.)

i am not condoning that shorts and sleeveless tops be banned in schools – i think that’s ludicrous. but i will argue that most high school girls know when what they’re wearing will attract the attention of the opposite sex. besides, how many times do high school girls go to football games to take a gander at the players’ tight pants? i don’t see tight football pants being banned anytime soon. that’s a double standard if i ever saw one. a recent news phenomenon case in point: the good-looking felon in the news recently.

i am not defending cat calls, lewd gestures, rapists, any of that. i understand that when women are the ones catcalling, men (generally) don’t feel threatened because they don’t have the pervasive fear of assault that most women are able to claim. physically, men will generally be able to overpower women and do what they’d like, whereas women can’t claim the same.

but perhaps instead of separating people from their sexual sides, how about teaching everyone that all people deserve respect? how about instead of saying “no, you can’t be attracted to that person”, say “you can be attracted to that person, but if s/he doesn’t reciprocate the feeling or aren’t ok with your gestures, keep it to yourself and respect his/her decision.”

ultimately, i think our puritanical view towards sex in the country is really contributing a lot toward this. slut-shaming is definitely a thing, and if we could move past the fact that women have sex for fun and because it’s nice and it doesn’t matter how many, with whom, or how often, then i think we could take a step in the right direction. quit judging and start respecting others’ decisions.

ATK: the chewy brownie

nate says my old recipe is better. i don’t think so.


what’s weird about this recipe? well, it calls for optional espresso and boiling water. it has a lot of ingredients, which is something i don’t like to see in something that replaces box mixes. but oh well, because this is DELICIOUS.

now, nate was a little liberal with the directions. he just tossed in chocolate without weighing it and replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil (which he EYEBALLED – baking is a science! omg, i nearly had a heart attack).

but these turned out awesome. i highly recommend replacing the vegetable oil with coconut (if you like coconut) because it was like eating a little piece of heaven. i had a bowl of brownie bits, raspberries, and cream today, and it was like summer in my mouth. i took some to work and got nothing but raves about it. gave some to my mom and i haven’ heard from her since – she may have died from chocolate overload.

point ATK.


1. my printer took a dump right when i got two etsy orders. i had to order the prints online. ugh.

2. making ATK’s “chewy” brownies tonight. they’re in the oven as i type. we’ll see how these turn out, since nate was pretty liberal with following the directions :/ pic and review to come tomorrow.

3. tomorrow i make banana cake with coconut cream cheese frosting for a coworker’s birthday. that’ll be interesting!

4. i’m going to attempt to make soap. i have the lard for it, and i just got some lye at menard’s. now all ineed to do is go to goodwill and get a set of dishes to make it in since you don’t want to mix your eating stuff with soap making stuff.

5. running goal this week: 6 miles. maybe tomorrow or wednesday night, depending on how i sleep. (sleeping has been elusive lately for some reason, and it’s really hitting me hard. ick.)