Where do all these recipes come from? Who conjures these up? Why so many? Some begin with a request for a soap with a specific ingredient. Some soaps come from necessity or need. Some recipes are spawned with a fascination of a certain item and so, “why not incorporate it into my soap?”. Or how about the price of an oil tripling and so I am trying to keep the price down and the new oil turns out to make the best bubbles?
In the beginning, I mostly developed soaps due to necessity. I was switching out my household products with ones that I could make and control the ingredients and I was trying to protect my children from toxins in the home. Now I have enough foundation recipes that my recipes follow a desire for art or requests from soap lovers. People’s request for soaps are as diverse as the people. No matter how many soaps I make, some soul has a new request (yep, not very good at saying “no” and I am definitely a pleaser). Soap lovers quickly realize that just about any food ingredient or herb can be incorporated into soap.
I have a request for Turmeric & Oatmeal soap right now – it stems from a precious story of a little family waiting for the birth of their first child. And so, the recipe is in the making … because how could I not make it!?!
Yesterday’s recipe started with my absolute love of avocados. Hempseed's oil is also a love of mine for its deep down and smooth moisturizing. I wanted to Handfast two of my loves. So, you decide on the ingredients you want & run it through the lye calculator (my grandma, the Internet, is incredibly helpful. Yes, I can do the algebra and calculate the lye needed to bond the liquid and oil molecules – and we could even build a fire and glean the lye from the ashes. BUT … we are combining the best of both worlds … The naturalness of Mother Earth meets efficiency and modern convenience!) …
Anyway, after you have your oil weights and the ounces of lye you need, you start adjusting for your technique. I was going to add in fresh avocado puree, so it is necessary to discount the water to accommodate for the natural water in the avocado. You pick your colors and what earthy things will make that color (though, there are always surprises with clays and algae (in the case of Spirulina which creates an amazing green color) and herbs as colorants. Add a chemical reaction to anything and, “Surprise!”. Then I pick the scents. I want the scent to match the color and theme of the soap. I only use essential oils and I never buy blends … I like the learning process and soul that goes into coming up with my own concoctions.
This is “Yesterday’s Soap”.
I never actually had a fresh avocado until I got to Virginia as an adult & it was love at first taste.
I make sure to eat one daily. It is my splurge. It is my love of self. It is my commitment to “I am what I eat”. Nik says my skin is olive-toned strictly due to the Avocados. I am pretty sure there is not much Mediterranean in this Puerto Rican. But who knows? [One of my many goals in life is to make certain that I end up with an avocado tree or three in the backyard. (A lemon tree, too, please!)] So, due to eating the avocados, it has been tough to get to the actual making of this recipe. The best part of this recipe was that it used 2 ounces of avocado pulp – which was exactly one half of the fruit– and so the soap and I contentedly shared! I soaped, washed soap equipment, and then contentedly ate my half – topped with my Molcajete-made Creole seasoning. (We will have to talk about the Molcajete some day. There are a 100 reasons why it is front and center on my homepage!)
The jury is out on the name. Two Seeds in a Soap? Two Peas in a Pod? Hemp oil comes from the seed. But Avocado’s oil comes from the pulp … so though I shred & eat & treasure the avocado seeds, they weren’t really used in the recipe. Avocado is “Palta” in Spanish. Or “Aquacate”, depending on where you come from. It is clean & it is green - a cleaning machine. Green is a good color for Earth Day (which is EVERY day!) My soap should have been purple today - in honor of our dear Prince. Oh, the rabbit trail my mind goes on when naming a soap. Good thing I cure my soaps for six weeks - there is time. The right name will come to me - in the night, from a child, or from a deep desire to communicate the intention of this soap.
The intention of this blog? ... to show you a bit of my happy process ... to give you a glimpse of the soap maker behind the soap ... to sincerely wish you & yours peace & health this week ...