Mousetrap

I started writing this post on Saturday, then thought I should add a couple of food snippets (as this is a food blog) and before you knew it, I had a post written about my pavlova.

So what have I really been doing over the Christmas break?  Making soap, of course!

This is my Chalk and Cheese soap.  Remember my little mice?  As you can see, they are now perched on a big piece of cheese.  The main soap turned out perfectly, it is lovely and smooth.  It is fragranced with green tea and lemon grass.  I was really nervous about making the holes in the soap but it was dead easy.  A melon baller worked a treat.

These little guest soaps are very cute but they are a result of a failure.  I had a wonderful idea (another polymer clay idea that didn’t work) of making “stained glass” soap.  I sculptured a layer of soap that resembled stained glass on the base of 8 individual silicon square moulds and then filled the moulds with soap batter.  The plan was the bottom would become a lovely stained glass top.  Except … some of the soap batter leaked under the base which was not a good look and, in any event, the “stained glass” was not well executed.  Maus tried to convince me they were all right but I wasn’t convinced so I sliced the tops off, cut the soap in half and added the flowers and leaves.  Now I think they look gorgeous.  Maus is not so sure.  She really doesn’t like glitter.

This is my Oatmeal Milk and Honey soap.  I recently added the very cute little bee to it.  I love the extra touch

Remember in my last soapy post I said I wanted to make some sheep? Well here they are!  I intend to make 12 but they are taking me AGES.  Those tiny soap balls take forever to make and keep falling off.  When I have twelve sheep, I will make some green soap to sit them on.  I have plans for grass too.

Ages ago, I decided I needed some soaps especially for men.  I made “Ironbark”  with men in mind.  But it is fragranced with Sandalwood and everyone loves sandalwood.  So I went looking for masculine fragrance and bought Leather.

This is my first rimmed soap.  I made the rim out of two wine colours (Bordeaux and Merlot) and some white.  In retrospect, I don’t think the white was such a good idea.  The rim has a  crocodile hide look that I painted with mica. I think they turned out pretty good.

Now I have worked out how to make the rims I will be doing it again.  I have bought lots of patterned fondant mats to try other patterns.  I think I will try something more feminine next time.

This is the latest version of my Antique Rose soap.  I didn’t realise I had already taken a photo of it before it was packaged (for my Soap for Sale page) so now I have two photos of Antique Rose.

This one is as good as it gets for such a difficult fragrance.  I kept the batter as fluid as I could and had Maus helping me.  She stirred the batter as I poured the fragrance into each container.  We had a few seconds to swirl it and get it in the mould before it went hard on us.  Excellent team work, if I say so myself.

This is the pre packaged photo, I had forgotten I had taken .

This last soap is a new one.   I am calling it Rainbow Connection which I think is a really cool name.  I love names with double meanings.  The soap has a connection with a rainbow as the coloured bits are all the off cuts we had trying to make the rainbows for my Over the Rainbow soap.  I can’t bear to waste any soap so I cut the pieces up, along with my failed stained glass attempt and made these little beauties.

I think the tops are pretty cool.  We made the template out of a silicon chopping board and it worked perfectly.  The only trouble was I worked out the amount of soap I needed exactly but, to make it easier, you really need a bit more so when you drag the template across the top of the soap there are no gaps.  It turned out fine in the end but next time I will know to be a bit more generous with the batter. 

The addition of cornflour and vinegar

Hello everyone.  Yes, I am still alive.  We have been pretty busy over the festive season so I have ignored my blog (and the blogging world, in general). 

“Doing what?” you may ask.  Well, there has been a lot of cooking.  Some of the things I have cooked could easily have made it into a post but I have lost my photography mojo so nearly all didn’t even get a photo, let alone a post-worthy photo.

One dessert that was snapped is the head photo.  The recipe is from the December copy of the Donna Hay Magazine and I was instructed to make it for our family get-together.  I was pretty proud of the final product so I snapped a photo before it was devoured. Continue reading

Sanbuseh – Savoury turnovers

 

Ok … Summer is here and the festive season is upon us and that means outdoor activities.  We will have gatherings to host and requests to ‘just bring a plate’.  Finger food is the go.

Instead of making meat pies, sausage rolls and mini quiches, how about making some Sanbuseh?  They are just as easy to make but taste and look just that little bit different.  I have already served them twice this season and they have been a hit both times.  Best of all, they are dead easy to make.  They use commercial puff pastry and the filling ingredients are all in together.  They can be served straight from the oven or at room temperature.  How easy is that? Continue reading

Slow soap

A few people have asked me how I made the celebratory “Over the Rainbow” soap featured in my previous post.

So here goes…

Firstly, I searched the web for days for ideas as to how I could make the rainbow.  I, finally, settled on a method used by a French lady to make polymer clay rainbow pendants.  Basically, she rolled out pieces of clay of each colour, layered them on top of each other then draped them over a piece of tubing.  She then sliced through the layers to get thin rainbows.

Ok, I was ready to go.

Continue reading

Over the rainbow

This household is over the rainbow that Australia has finally caught up with the rest of the world and legalised same sex marriage.  Congratulations to all who campaigned for the change. It was a fight well won.

Society has come a long way in my adulthood.  I remember marching for the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the 70’s.  My, how things have changed!

Of course, the less said about that ridiculous postal survey the better.  I am sure the pain of it will lessen over time and we will only remember the victory.

In My Kitchen- December 2017

It has been sooo long since I did an In My Kitchen post – 6 months, in fact.  To prove it, I have included this photo I took last May for my June In My Kitchen post that never happened.  Clearly, I decided to make tomato sauce out of the last of the tomatoes.  (Here is the recipe if anyone is interested.)  Before long, I will be taking photos of this year’s tomato harvest but, for now, I am buying them.  It breaks my heart to do so when I know that, in a few weeks, I will have so many I won’t know what to do with them all.  It is always the same. Continue reading

Is Maus right?

Maus thinks I am obsessed.  I don’t know why.  She complains that I only talk about one thing.  And for some reason, she doesn’t think it is normal that I spend all my spare time watching YouTube videos.  I don’t know what her problem is.  I think I am normal 🙂

You see, I just love soap making.  It is so addictive, it is hard not to love it.  I have considered the reasons and discussed it in detail in a previous post, Pavlov’s dog and intermittent reinforcement.  The more I get obsessed with making soap, the more I think I am right. Continue reading