15 September 2010

It's Hanno's birthday, plus other excitement

First things first. It's Hanno's 70th birthday on Sunday! The whole family is coming, my sister arrives tomorrow, and all the kids will be here for a party we're having on Saturday. It promises to be a beautiful day, one we'll remember for a long time. Hanno does a lot for us as a family and we're all looking forward to being able to show and tell him how much he is loved and appreciated. I'm at my voluntary work today so from tomorrow it's full steam ahead with the preparations and cooking.

Another exciting thing happening here is that Penguin is interested in my book. I've been talking to a delightful woman named Jo and if she is anything to go by, I will enjoy my association with Penguin very much. But that also brings me to the not-so-good news. I need to take a break from my blog for a little while. I have to work on some material I need to send to Penguin, we have the party to prepare for, and enjoy, and with some other things happening behind the scenes that I can't tell you about yet, I'll have my hands too full to write here every day. I hope you'll read through my archives.

I haven't had a chance to work out the costing on the bar soap yet. I'll do it when I come back. The point with making soap, is not to follow my recipes, although I'm more than happy that you do that, but to see what oils are available to you locally at a good price. When you have your oils, run some amounts through a soap calculator to see how much lye and water you need. Then you'll have your recipe. For instance, if you want a mainly olive oil soap and you want to make about one litre/quart of it, you might put in your olive oil amount as 500mls/17 oz, then maybe 250mls/8.5 oz of coconut oil and 250mls/8.5 oz of macadamia oil or cocobutter. The choice is yours, dependent on what you can source easily and what is in your price range. Don't go overboard with expensive oils, lower grade oils make excellent soap. Make up small batches of new recipes to start with to make sure it's going to be something you like using. BTW, in reference to my precious post, lye is caustic soda which you can usually find at the supermarket or hardware store. And if you have no rain water, use distilled water, or, even cheaper, tap water that you allow to sit in an open container for 24 hours. That will allow the chlorine to evaporate off. I hope you enjoy your soap making. I want to hear many of your stories about making your first batch.

Whole lemon cake, made using the whole orange cake recipe.

I won't be gone too long and when I can post a photo, or write, I'll be here with bells on. I still have so much to share with you, I feel ready to burst some mornings typing away, connecting with you. So bear with me, enjoy the archives, and I'll be back as soon as I can be.

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