We've been pondering different livestock options and thinking about ways to use what they produce. B keeps coming back to goats. One of the things that we've been toying with is making goats milk soaps. Well, we have been pondering this for a while and have not fully decided (there is a lot of ground work structurally we need to get completed to bring them on here).
In this months Martha Stewart Magazine
, there were recipes for making soaps from herb and fruit purees. As I was drooling over all of the luscious descriptions, I decided we should just start experimenting...why wait? What is so nice about these soaps is that they are easy, made with a glycerin base (so I don't have to worry about scary lye concoctions with the kids around), and they can have components like goats milk added to them. The craft store didn't have any of the clear soap pieces so I went with opaque. This is after all experimental right? So here goes....
As you can see from the photo, I decided to use some of the lavender that I dried from last years garden. I figured that it would not get lost in the opaque base and would also have a mild exfoliating quality to it. The first thing that I did was strip the flowers off of the dried lavender bunches and then ran a rough chop over them with a kitchen knife.
I then took the soap base, chopped it up, and tossed it in a microwave safe measuring cup (so the melted product would be easier to pour). I microwaved in 30 second increments stirring in between(don't let it boil). It starts to solidify very quickly so you have to be on your toes once it gets to the smooth consistency.
Once it got smooth and liquidy like water, I quickly stirred in 3 tsp. of the chopped lavender flowers and a 1/4 tsp. of lavender essential oil. Then very quickly poured them into apple sauce or pudding containers that I am recycling for this purpose. They measure 1/2 cup each. The article says you can use any kind of container and if you use something larger, then you can slice bars too.
Once in the containers you let them sit on the counter for 20-60 minutes (depending on the size of the container you are using), so they can set. At this point put them in the freezer for 2 hours. This is a great tip, because the soap shrinks away from the container edges just slightly and pops out of the cups easily.
Voila! Soap! I linked the article above, there are tons of cool fresh recipes you can use, or just read through and wing it on your own! I'm thinking these will make it into farm boxes for sure.
**quick tip...The glass container was a challenge to clean, I wouldn't let it sit for too long to solidify once you pour. I think now that I know what I'm doing, I'll probably buy a dedicated container for this task :)