Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Defeated by the Simple Things

Sigh. I made a batch of soap yesterday.

So I used the formula here to calculate how much oil I needed for the two wooden soap molds my Dad made for me. Even I can follow a mathematical formula, I thought. I was incorrect. I did the math, and it told me I needed 6lbs 2oz of oils. I used 6lbs. I filled 3 molds - luckily I had already lined a spare. I hope all my family and friends like orange and cinnamon, or slse we will be using this stuff for years.

My digital scales had taken a couple of knocks ie. the weigh plate had come off at least twice, between my DH and DS rootling around in the cupboards, and I'm not too sure of their accuracy anymore - not something I want to feel uncertain of when dealing with caustic soda, so I shan't make any more soap until the weekend when I can pick up a new one.

soap freshly poured in molds; then in 2nd picture, same soap in full gel

Today I unmolded and cut the soap. Enter another simple thing that defeats me - consistency of bar size. I weighed the 'logs', then drew lines at equal distances to give me the size of bar I wanted; for example, one mold contained 3lbs 12oz of soap; so to get 4 oz bars, I divided and cut into 15. Of course, the weights of the bars varied, sometimes by as much as 1/2oz.

Now, had I not been doing a stellar imitation of the Scarecrow of Oz today, I would have written down the weights of the soap from each mold, so I had a record for next time of how much oil turns into how much soap for each mold. On the plus side, it's curing on layers of greaseproof paper and the house smells fabulous.

Yesterday my neighbor Su asked me to pop in and switch on her slow cooker with the chicken in today at lunchtime. ''No problem'', says I, ''happy to help''. Firstly, I remember about it - always a good start, and an achievement in itself. I clicked the little switch, but it's an old slow cooker with no red light to tell that it's on; I even checked the wall socket. This evening she called me to thank me for the fact that her fish and chips were delicious.

So let's have a quick flashback to last week's knitting project, which was successful:

a lacy bordered baby cardigan for my BIL and SIL. They popped in for a cuppa on their way up to Norfolk last Friday, and were - or at least seemed to be - chuffed to bits with all the various bits I'd knitted for their bump.

So tonight I'm kinda thinking maybe I shouldn't do anything, you know, anything that requires any concentration, a modicum of thought, common sense or one working brain cell, as no doubt it will be doomed to failure.

I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain

(The Scarecrow's Song from the Wizard of Oz)


  1. Hey we all have "one of those days" :0)
    the soap looks great ,I did smile when you wrote your neighbour said she enjoyed her fish and chips :0)
    Hope today is a better day !

  2. Nah, you don't have straw for a brain...we've all been there. I love the THOUGHT of soap making...probably will never get around to it! C


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