Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Odds and ends...

I just I thought I'd post some pictures of some of the things I've been up to the last couple of days...The time change has me waking up earlier.  Early for me, anyway.  :)

When I save up 4 gallons of goat milk, it's time to make cheese!

 ...and wash the empty jars:
 Cutting the curd:
 Draining the curd... I LOVE making cheese, now that I know what I'm doing.  It was hard to learn.
 It's all in the press now:
I made a 3-loaf batch of long, slow - rise whole wheat bread:
I had been saving up leftover fats from cooking for quite a while.  I also had several small jars of salve I had made that was not up to par, and so I combined all of that together to make soap.  Here the fats are melting:
The water and lye ~ ALWAYS add the lye TO the water, not the other way.  If you add water TO the lye, it can explode!
Here I'm mixing the soap with a hand-held blender:
And now it's at "trace."
Here is the soap after I cut it into bars today.  It will be interesting to see what it's like after it cures for a while.
I tried sprouting some broccoli seeds...
but the seeds must be old, because they didn't do too well.
I ate a yummy banana:
While I was looking at pictures of newlyweds on our fridge.
A trip to the hoop house resulted in things for a nice salad:
And I started a batch of sauerkraut in a Pickl-It jar:
I really don't have any new recipes to share with you right now.  If you have any questions about any of these things, just leave me a message!


  1. Your soap looks awesome! Did you scent it?

  2. Thank you! No, I rarely scent soaps. This has a very nice clean smell. I've made soap just once before with saved fat and it was the nicest soap I ever made. This has a little bit of beeswax from the salve, and of course, some of the botanical extract in it from the salve. Should be good stuff! The beeswax might help it hold up better with our humidity.

    1. Beeswax should help keep it solidified.

      I was reading how pioneers used to clean saved bacon or pork fat and thought of you. They would boil it with an equal amount of water and let it cool. All of the scent and impurities would be left behind in the dirty water with the clean fat floating on top. What kind of fat do you use and how do you clean it before you use it to make soap?

    2. I did pretty much the same thing. I save bacon fat, fat leftover from cooking dead animals, lard that I've used for deep frying... Then I boil it with some water and take the cooled fat off the top to save.

  3. This is timely! I'm just about to make my first batch of cold-process soap EVER next week. I saved all the tallow from making beef stock.

    What proportions did you use? Most soap recipes I can find avoid animal fats. I'm only making soap to use up my tallow.

    Would tallow work in a button lamp, or would that smell? What kind of fat did you use?

    You know so many things!!

    1. Hi Margo. In order to figure out your soap recipe, go to this lye calculator site. You plug in your values and it will explain proportions and temperatures.


      Yes, tallow would work in a button lamp. Any kind of fat will work. As to the smell, I have no idea, but I think if I needed light, I wouldn't care very much!

      In this batch of soap I used roughly 45 ounces of the collected cooking fats (which I just called "lard" in the recipe) and 25 ounces of the leftover salve, which is mostly olive oil, so that is how I figured it.

      Good luck! Tallow makes marvelous soap. You might consider adding some coconut oil to help it bubble more. Maybe in proportion - 1 part coconut oil and 9 parts other fats. That's not exact. Do what you can! I use the cheaper coconut oil in soap.


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