Pumpkin Soap and 20 things

So, I made the pumpkin soap today. It looks really, really cool. Only time will tell if it darkens up as it cures. I hope not. It’s the most delicate shade, with little flecks of spices in it. I made it with pumpkin, a pumpkin oil, eo: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and then ground versions of those same spices. It smells incredible. Yay! I can’t wait to see what it looks like tomorrow when I unmold it.


Notes on making the soap: add scents to the oils before the lye. Add NaOH, and stir just until blended. Pull a couple of ladles worth into another bowl and blend in the pumpkin. Return blended mixture to big batch and blend until light trace. Sprinkle in spices and stir to blend. If clumpy, use stick blender, but that’ll speed up trace considerably. This soap will set up amazingly fast. From adding the pumpkin blend until pour, there’s only about 5 minutes to work before it’ll seize.

Oil temp at start: TX room temp – 80 to 100F. No hotter…the EOs have insanely low flashpoints.
NaOH temp: Shoot for low 80’s, but up to 100 will work

63oz oils – test recipe blend of coconut, palm, castor and rice bran
18.25 oz H20 (reduced from standard of 21.25 because of the pumpkin add)
260g dry NaOH

6oz pumpkin puree (started with 3, but that wasn’t enough)
2oz pumpkin oil
1oz sweet pecan oil
1Tbsp Cinnamon essential oil
3/4 Tbsp each Clove and Nutmeg essential oil
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice

This pour will end up being a little big for my bar standard, it poured almost to the rim of the 3×3.5×18 log mold. I’ll have to remember to pull a few ounces into guest bar molds next time…because further reducing the water would be a nightmare of seizing, I think.

And now, inspired by something over at Vox:
Let’s make a list. What are 20 things in your life that you’re grateful for?

In no particular order:

1.) my husband

2.) my son

3.) the rest of the loonies related to me

4.) my friends

5.) Darvon

6.) Modern medicine (yes, I know Darvon is a result of modern medicine…but considering the sheer volume of darvon it takes to get me through the day right now…it deserves it’s own category.)

7.) My Biker-size guardian angels…cause having them is the only way I could possibly have lived this long, considering my ill-spent youth.

8.) My ill spent youth. :)

9.) My brains. (Braaaaains! Braaaaaaaaaaains!)

10. Technology

11.) The intarweb…even the 2.0 part

12.) France – thanks for the booze and the food and the art and culture and all that. Annoyed by the fashionistas…but the cognac makes up for it.

13.) Cervantes, Homer, the Eddas and all the other literature ever written

14.) My critters (which, if the list were in order, would probably be way higher, simply because I have a 10 pound cat sitting on my head, and she’s got 5 pointy ends, doncha know.)

15.) Greece – because I like knowing it’s there for me. And someday, I shall go to it, and I shall never leave. Baklava for everyone!

16.) Chocolate. How women survived PMS without chocolate, I’ll never know. Those were indeed the Dark Ages.

17.) My body. It may be short and sort of round, and it hurts a whole lot, but it usually does what I want it to do, even if it is under protest.

18.) The printing press. Knowledge to the people!

19.) Free Will

20.) My life in general. It’s been a good run so far. A little weird, a little messy, and with a few bodies along the way…but overall, it’s good to be me.

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