Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cold Process

The title of this blog couldn't be more fitting as it not only describes the technique of soap making that I have been experimenting with, but it also sums up our winter so far—a very cold process.

This Friday we got about three more inches of snow, adding to the four to five left from the last winter event. So I took to the outdoors to shovel the walkway, stairs and driveway and even hauled out the snow rake to remove as much snow as possible from the edge of the roof. I'd like to think that the chore of wrestling the snow rake's 16 foot extension to essentially pull the snow off the roof will lessen the chance of ice dams. Truth be told, I already have ice dams along the gutters from previous snow melts. I'm surprised that no one has come up with a removable gutter; one that would enable you to take down gutters for winter and re-install them come spring.

So, as I watched the outdoor thermometer hover 10 degrees both sides of zero, I turned to soap making. I removed last weekend's batch from the milk carton mold and, despite its sad appearance (right), discovered it produced another good result— well formed and consistent in color throughout. Cut into bars and trimmed, the soap will be fine for testing purposes (below).

I made another one-pound batch today using yet another recipe and will be anxious to see which of the last three batches will become my primary soap recipe. I've also lined the milk carton with freezer paper which should resolve removal issues and appearance. The batter for this last batch was amazing: rich, thick and velvety. We may have a winner!

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