Busy Weekend

Busy weekend, homemade lemongrass and ginger soap with a copper mica topping ( bit OTT but smells amazing); berry flavoured Shea butter lip balm; home- made ketchup, used the last of the Roma tomatoes, and bone broth – all before lunch!

i have milk kefir fermenting ( thanks to Aisha for the scoby) and have been converting some of the grains to water kefir over the last week or so. I now have 2 bottles of cranberry kefir brewing, and 2 bottles of grape. Will post separately on the process and the results.

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Lemongrass and Ginger Soap

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I love this soap, it’s really easy to make, lathers well and really gentle on my skin. The bar sets hard so it lasts well and smells great. Ginger is so good for the skin. I have to say, my poor photography skills don’t do it justice!

I used a basic soap recipe.

olive oil 400g

palm oil 300g

coconut oil 200g

castor oil 100g

water 380g

lye 148g

Lemon grass essential oil 15g

This recipe works well with a number of additions At thin trace I added the EO and about 30g of fresh ginger juice. It poured really well and set up after only 12 hours.

 

Mixed Berry Tea Soap

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I planned to make this soap from an organic mixed berry tea infusion, however once I added the lye to the infusion it turned from berry red to murky green and lost it’s berry fragrance!

I used a basic soap recipe of 14oz Olive Oil, 4oz each of Palm and Coconut Oils, 3oz lye and 8oz water (or in this case tea). You’ll notice that I switch between metric and Imperial weights when I make soap, depending on where I originally found the recipe and how complicated the recipe is. For this basic recipe ounces is accurate enough.

As I didn’t have any natural berry colouring or essential oils, and in attempt to to bring it back to something resembling a berry soap, I mixed in a cup of crushed blackberries at trace. I also mixed in a tablespoon of jojoba oil as I thought the berries might be a bit astringent. Jojoba oil makes the soap mixture set up really quickly, so always add it in last.

At this stage the mixture was an olive green with blackish specks, and I wasn’t overly impressed. It pored easily enough and I set it to cure.

I took it out of the mould after couple of days and it was a lovely pale olive colour with purple specks. It took a long time to cure properly, about 8 weeks, I suspect because of the extra liquid (crushed blackberries).

As it cured it lightened to a dark beige and is a lovely soft, rich soap that lathers well and is very mild, with the berry seeds providing gentle exfoliation, I really like it.

Orange, Sandalwood and Frankincense, Double Butter Soap

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This soap is made with both Cocoa butter and Shea butter so is extra moisturising. It’s creamy and lathers well, yet is a surprisingly hard bar when cured, so it lasts well. And it smells divine! I bought the sandalwood and frankincense in the old souk in Muscat, so it’s pure Arabia. Here’s the recipe:

270gms Olive Oil

270gms Coconut Oil

90gms Palm Oil ( sustainably sourced)

90gms Castor Oil

90gms Shea Butter

90gms Cocoa Butter

326gms Distilled Water

124gms Lye

1 tsp Turmeric

1tsp Ground Frankincense Resin

Approx 2tsp powdered Sandalwood

15mls Sweet Orange Essential Oil

I mixed the turmeric and orange EO with a couple of teaspoons of the olive oil and set aside to infuse. I made the soap in the usual way, ( I’m assuming anyone reading this far knows the basics of soap-making. If not, there are plenty of tutorials on-line. I haven’t worked out how to post a link yet, but will add in later). At a thin trace I divided the mixture into 2 portions, 1/3 and 2/3. I mixed the orange/ turmeric mixture into the smaller portion and poured into my mould. I sprinkled a thin layer of sandalwood over this layer immediately and pressed it down ever so slightly. With the remaining portion I mixed in the frankincense that I’d ground down earlier, (I also added in a bit of white mica as I wanted a shimmer effect, however I obviously didn’t add enough as it was unnoticeable – but the soap is none the worse for it, so that’s why I’ve left it off the list of ingredients). I poured that over the sandalwood layer and made swirls/peaks on top. The soap had set up after 24 hours and I removed it from the mould and sliced it immediately.

It smells and feels lovely, one of my favourites so far!