April 26, 2013
April 24, 2013
I have a confession to make. Even though I now own a miter box, I still have issues cutting soap. I blame my silicone loaf mold. The soap is just too wide to fit into the box, so I have to cut the sides off first.
When I was doing this with the Cardamom, Coffee and Oatmeal, the knife hit that fun googie embed and went crazy. I ended up with quite a few bad-looking bars. And with the price of cardamom essential oil, I wasn't going to let those bars go to waste. (You'll find most soap makers hate waste. Not sure if it's a genetic thing or something that happens to you when you start making soap.)
I cut the wonky bars up and used them for this batch. Which I like even better than the first. I love the rich, chocolaty brown of the over-pour. That comes from using a stronger brew of coffee (Café Bustelo). I also used more coffee butter, but other than that the recipe is the same.
I ended up a little short when I poured the new batch over the embeds, so added that light brown strip with a good amount of coffee grounds for extra scrubbiness. I think it looks like foam on a latte.
Last week, I found cardamom coffee in a dollar store up in Harlem. It smells great, but doesn't taste so good. Kinda weak and just off. No matter—it'll make great soap. Can't let anything go to waste. Even dollar coffee.
April 21, 2013
April 11, 2013
It's kind of funny, my making soap with booze. I started out with White Star made with Champagne, but didn't get around to making soap with beer until months later. Usually, it's beer you start with since it's so much cheaper than Champagne.
The challenge was to photograph a plain bar of soap with one of your favorite things in the background. I used an oil painting done by Gertrude Hock, a friend of my parents. I really like the way it turned out. And it kind of gives the feeling of the ginger scent. Which was unintentional. A happy accident.
And I'm not really happy with the results. I don't mind that they're a bit dark. That kind of captures the feel of a quiet pint in a bar, but I think they look clichéd. And as a writer, I hate clichés.
April 6, 2013