Today, I finally got around to making a batch of hot process soap for the first time. I didn't take pictures during the process since it went pretty fast, but I followed instructions that I found at Candletech, in conjunction with my own recipe. I made a one pound batch which requires 16 oz of oil/fat (I used 8 oz lard, 4 oz coconut oil, and 4 oz olive oil), 2.3 oz lye, 7 oz water, and essential oils. I used peppermint, tea tree, and pine needle oils. The house now smells heavenly.
Since the soap is hot processed, its ready for immediate use once it sets. I used some that I flaked out of the crockpot once I'd filled my molds, and fell in love with the rich lather. It really beat my original lard/lye cold process soap, and left my hands feeling soft and clean. The bars themselves didn't turn out as pretty as I'd hoped. I think I didn't quite mix it long enough to develop a good enough trace, so its a little crumbly in spots, and I took them out of their molds a little early for fear they would get stuck in the thin plastic mold. But once they've been used a couple of times, no one will notice anyway, I'm thinking.
So finally I'm off to a decent start of a self sufficient year. It is time to start planning the garden, but I'm just not sure I'll get it in in time this year, with all the work I'll have to do on the garage, getting it ready to turn into my business. I may have to refill my homeade self watering containers so they can be moved around during the construction. Tomorrow it's back to work at Mom's shop, and I'm looking forward to it.
What new things do you plan to learn this year to make yourself more self sufficient?