“During the cold, wet winter months there are times when I have to move my homesteading activities inside until the weather improves. Last weekend, during a bout of bad weather in my neck of the woods, I decided to make a quick batch of soap in my crock pot.” –Tess Pennington
I decided to try out this soap recipe. The instructions are very easy to follow though I would add a couple of layers newspaper on your work surface for any spills of oil or lye. I mixed up the lye outside on the covered patio to avoid making any fumes in the house. From start to finish it took about an hour to mix and heat up the batch of soap. Right now the soap is in the mold and it will take a day or two for it to setup to be cut. I can say the recipe works as soap. When I cleaned all of the equipment, using the leftovers of the soap in the crock pot, I had soapy water and my dish cloth is very clean plus the fibers of the cloth became super soft. I can see why Tess uses the leftover water to do the laundry! It has been about 5 hours and the soap in the mold is starting to setup and harden! I’m feeling positive I will be able to make some soap bars to cure in the next 7 days. While a bit early, I think Tess has a great recipe for soap.
Update on the soap: I got the soap out of the mold (silicone bread loaf pan) and cut into bars. In a week or two the soap should have cured enough to be used. This was a great recipe for me to start making soap. I did a couple of changes for protective gear mixing up the lye;
- I used a clear full-face safety/ protective mask
- I put on a disposable plastic apron to protect my body/clothes from any splashes of the the lye mixture.
These safety measures might be a little over the top. I figure if lye getting in my eyes is a bad thing, having it hit my face anywhere would be extremely unpleasant. The disposable apron would protect my clothes and avoid a hasty undressing and cold shower if the lye got on my clothes. I just happen to have those items on hand because of the Ebola medical prep I did last year. One of the greatest things about prepping is most items are multi-taskers that have many different applications.
I recommend you check out Tess Pennington at http://readynutrition.com/ as the blog has all kinds of great information.
I got some mulch for my backyard paths and a neat little river-rock looking idea for a step stone/mulch pathway. I don’t mind using concrete forms or rock pavers if it can create my vision for my yard that looks good and is functional. I am very excited about getting started on the perma-culture/ food forest idea this year.
I got a call from the city about the HUD loan and the city folks are waiting on the “Historic district” people. It seems my home was built in the 1920’s rather than the 40’s as I was informed when I bought the house. While there might be some limitations on some of the projects I think it is sort of cool that in 4 years my home will be 100 years old and is still standing. For me, as an amateur historian owning a hundred year old home is kind of fun. Plus I like the many of the “Art deco” and 1920-1930’s styles of “Country/Rustic” with a modern take using modern materials.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to go “country” but if I can’t sell/pay off this house for more than I owe on the mortgage, it will take a bit more time to save up cash. But until all the “stars align” for a country place I can still work on making this house rock solid and start on saving cash for a truck and a small yard tractor as well as making this a house a great place where I’m happy to live . Plus I’m still learning about plants, gardening, micro-climates, how to use mulch, raised beds along with container gardening. While I can’t get a student loan from the Government. I am getting educated!
I think it is very important to learn to make use of all available resources where you live “right here and right now”. I doubt things will ever be “perfect” but a person can reach for “perfection” where ever they live.