Early August Soap Making

Kim and I are ramping up our goats milk soap inventory in preparation for two large Fall festivals in late September/early October. Later this year we plan to attend the Pecan Festival in Richton and the Peanut Festival near Collins, MS. I’m hoping the new strain of Covid doesn’t completely shut down the Fall festivals as it’s so much fun for the locals here. And I’m hoping I don’t get it. Covid put me in the emergency room last year. I could barely breathe for weeks.

Today makes our third attempt at Pine Tar soap and my third recipe. Each time I’ve been lowering the pine tar content. On tonight’s batch we are down to 2 oz per loaf (or 5%). I suspect that’s where we will remain. The scent should be perfect, a bit smoky but not overbearing. This soap still incorporates the same amount of goats milk as our other bars, with the added benefit of pine tar.

The last recipe was at 4 oz per loaf (10%) and I can smell it when I walk into the bathroom. The smoky scent is still a bit too strong for my liking. It also doesn’t lather as much as we would prefer. However, I’ve been using it to scrub the itchy patch of skin on my chin. Not sure if it’s coincidence or not but it seems to have improved. Pine tar soap gives me the feeling that I’m extra clean, probably just in my head 😊.

A batch of soap for us is 2 loafs (16 bars of soap once cut).

We also kicked out another 3 batches of Oats & Honey soap. And finally, we did a single batch of Viking Sky, which Kim continues to give me a hard time about. But I keep telling her “We’ve got to have a few soaps that appeal to men!” I’ve spiced it up with Black Pepper essential oil, Sandalwood essential oil, and a touch of Clove. Now if I can just get the sky blue color I want. Indigo is just too dark and fades. So I’m looking into purchasing some woad powder. All-natural always.

My best friend Bob has given me a recipe that he wants me to manufacture. Several different scents which I won’t name just yet. If I like it as much as I expect I’ve already got the name picked out for it, staying with the “sky” motif. One of the scents he named off was ‘leather’. And of course, there isn’t an essential oil for leather. But I have an idea of how I might can mimic the smell with a touch of an all-natural oil.

In other news we lost a beehive. A tree limb fell, knocked the top from it, and some rain got in. The dampness caused the bees to swarm and they flew away in search of a new home. We had to burn some of the damp frames but were able to salvage the box itself. Luckily we harvested the Spring honey before this travesty.

It’s been a hot one in south Mississippi these last few days. Heat index has been over 100 most days and with a humidity that’s smothering.

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