Soapity soapity soapity soap

This is this week’s pièce de résistance.  Not only do they look fab but the stars are made from melt and pour soap which I made myself !!

For those who don’t know, melt and pour soap is a soap base which is, usually, commercially made (because it has lots of long, technical sounding ingredients in it) and can be remelted.  Hobbyists buy it, add fragrance, colour and other bits and pieces to customise their soap.  It comes in clear and opaque versions.  I happened upon a recipe in a soap forum that did not include ingredients I did not know how to say and decided to give it a bash.  Wow!  Not only did it work but I was able to imbed it without it melting during saponification of the white soap.  I haven’t stop asking Maus whether she thinks the soap is beautiful (and, by implication, that I am smart 🙂 ).  Maus has coined them All Stars and I think that name will stick.

I am making lots of soap at the moment for an Easter stall at our local markets.

This is a repeat of Pipe Dreams but, geez, did I stuff it up.  I did the calcs wrong so I had way too little white and way too much coloured soap.  And then, when I poured the white batter, it set on an angle.  And that, my friends, is why there are only 6 bars not 12.  I am so angry with myself because this one takes ages to make.  Still, the 6 that I have are gorgeous.

Yep, watermelon soap!!  I have been thinking of this one for ages and trying to work out how to do it.  Firstly, I wanted a round shape like a slice of watermelon and I wanted blotchy green skin (because water melon skin is blotchy) and I wanted seeds and I wanted bright colours.  Not bad for a first effort but all aspects can be improved.  If it is popular, I will give it another bash.

Happy Easter eggs.  I found this Easter egg mould in an Op Shop and decided to make a few to see if I could sell them for Easter.  I didn’t want to make too many because if they don’t sell, I will be stuck with them for a year.  If they are popular, there is still time to make more.  If I do make more, they will be chocolate coloured and fragranced.  This was just a trial run.

Another pièce de résistance!  I didn’t know whether the pattern would work or not but they were a raging success.  Maus came up with the name The Blockade for this soap.  The layout is Maus’ idea too.  It is supposed to represent a chain.

This is a remake of my Chantilly Lace soap.  All went to plan with this soap so I have no complaints.  It still amazes me that you can get such a fine lacy look on soap.

I have slowly come to the realisation that some people like the rustic look.

The side and below photos are some re-batched or re-milled soaps I made with this in mind.   Re-milled soap is grated soap and a wee bit of water melted in a double boiler or crock pot.  Once melted, and if you like, you can add fragrance, colour, etc.   In my case, to add to the rustic look, I added some extra soap pieces that didn’t get to melt.  The  inside of this soap looks like aggregate concrete.  With this method, you do not get smooth soap. I quite like the look but Maus DOES NOT.  She, clearly, is not a rustic type of woman.  Using this soap is no different from the smooth cold process soap – it just looks different on the outside.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!

Here is another attempt at the rustic look.  This soap has mica drizzled on it.   I have also made some little pots in the same technique (see below).  I have (nearly) decided that I like the pot shape best for this type of soap so, maybe, I will stick with them.

The process and look is very similar to hot processed soap which I am yet to try. Hot processed soap is cooked until saponification is complete.  The main reason I haven’t tried it is because, once it is ready, you can’t do much more than blob it into the mould and I really like the creative part of making the soap look pretty.

BTW:  If you would like to buy any of these soaps or any other soap on my Soap for Sale page, just send me an email. Also, if you would like to know how I made any of these soaps, again, send me an email and I will send you the details.

Also, if you noticed that some of the photos are a different shape (Brownie points to you), I accidently changed the aspect ratio on my camera.  Funnily, I quite like it for some of the shots.

Some Tasmania shots

I know this is not a travel blog but I thought I would show you some of the better shots from our recent little holiday in Tasmania.  We went for 2 weeks which was long enough to see the sites but, clearly, not long enough to see all the state has to offer.  Maus hadn’t been before so we ticked off items on the “must see” list like Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Stanley, Launceston, etc. but, if we went again, we would skip these places and go on the less touristed path.

First stop was Eaglehawk Neck where you can see the absolutely amazing tessellated pavement.  It is so hard to believe that this formation is all natural.  At first, Maus thought it was an old convict building quarry where they had cut out building blocks and left their scar on the environment but, no, it is all due to tidal erosion. Continue reading

Corn fritters (Bhutteyan Da Kebab)

Did I mention that we have a lot of corn at the moment?  The first day back from our holidays, I picked 14 cobs and, two days later, eight more. We, usually, have a glut this time of the year and go into corn fritter mode.  I have previously posted Bill Grangers’ sweetcorn fritters with roasted tomatoes and bacon and corn & ricotta cakes with roasted tomatoes and pesto from Delicious magazine.  If you are inundated with corn or love corn fritters, I recommend both recipes but, for us, it was time to try something new. Continue reading

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