Monday, April 15, 2013

Split Pea Soap

Just one more soap batch before I hang up my soaper coat and focus more on the garden. I wanted a lime-ginger soap, so I planned a a recipe with a higher proportion of hard oils to give me the perfect fancy top. I'll use spirulina as my main colorant. For the top, I'll mix a little of the bronze oxide into some green for the top. I wanted to do a spoon-drop or faux funnel type soap using an essential oil blend heavier on the lime and  anchored with a little patchouli and litsea. I wasn't sure how much ginger to add so I kept it to a splash. I made sure I made my teenage daughter was sleeping so she couldn't give her two cents about the green. She hates natural colorants, tending to neon blues, pinks, and greens. They have their place, but I like the look of natural soap.

I mixed up my oils which were more on the beige side, due, I think to the rice bran oil I've been using. I divided into two equal proportions leaving one portion natural, the other with spirulina and started glopping it into my two pound wooden loaf mold. I put into the oven for an hour at 170 to force gel. I was really anxious to see how the inside looked. I knew it was like an ugly geode rock just waiting to be cracked to reveal glorious insides.  I let it cool completely and removed it from the mold. At this stage, I usually let it dry some more before cutting it up, but I am woefully impatient. I cut it, and sure enough, each slice showed a little drag. The line distinctions were blurry. My daughter, awake now, and as predicted, gave my creation a sniff and a huff. She said it smelled nice, but the colors boring. I disagree. I reminded her that the colors will lighten up with time and further evaporation, but if it's not neon, florescent in-your-face green, it's a thumbs down and not worthy for the soap dish. I reminded her, too, that different people look for different things in their soap. Scent is huge for me and soap feel. I want soaps that will good for my difficult aging acneic skin, but she just wants a pretty (soap) face....sigh.

Once my soap is cut, I like to keep it on the dining room table, centrally located between living room and kitchen, so I can make several passes at different angles throughout the day to ponder what went wrong, what went right.
Curiously, I was making pot of split pea soup for dinner and noticed how similar in color it was to my soap. Hubby said I should call it Split Pea Soap.

The Dirt
No major gardening this weekend, but I did wander the garden and thin out the sprouting cold season vegetables. My hubby and I went on a glorious 10 mile run in preparation for my friend's marathon, On My Own Two Feet, just a week away. I'n going to bring a soap basket to raffle off a soap basket to benefit victims of domestic violence. We passed a swollen lake swooning with water fowl: ducks, blue herons, and a white egret-like bird I've never ever seen. We passed clumps of emerging skunk cabbage a color green my daughter would love.

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