The Real Deal

While at “the fair” last weekend, I was lucky enough to watch a hands-on soap making demonstration conducted by Mary Jane Toth, author of Goats Produce Too.  Ms. Toth was a wonder to watch, for she made soapmaking so approachable.  For the first time, I felt that I could make real soap, and venture beyond my melt-and-pour roots.  (Some of my favorite melt-and-pour soap recipes are: eczema-friendly soap, shave soap,  anti-bacterial soap, and lavender rosemary soap.)

So, late one evening last week, I poured myself a glass of red wine (one must always be prepared for this type of new adventure I dare say), set out my lard, coconut oil and lye, and started this new journey towards homemade soap.  This was the real deal, and once those lye crystals hit the water, there was no turning back.

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Now I’m just praying the soap saponifies properly and cures as it should.  The waiting process on this type of soap is much different than that of melt-and-pour, so we shall see.  Fingers crossed 🙂

Forget About It

It seems as if it has been a very long time since I posted a recipe in this space, so here goes nothing.  As I’ve said a lot over the past few months, finding my grandfather’s recipe box has been a fun adventure filled with cooking experiments and taste tastes.

This particular card has been one I have played around with quite a bit over the past few weeks. And this weekend, after a lot of testing and even more tasting, I think I’ve come up with a great pumpkin bread recipe that allows you to forget about adding in all of that refined sugar and unhealthy oil.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups honey

1 cup coconut oil (melted)

4 eggs

2/3 cup water

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

15 ounces pumpkin puree

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat the honey and melted coconut oil with an electric mixer.  Next add the eggs and beat until smooth.  Then add the water and beat mixture again.  Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix both flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture slowly, beating with an electric mixer.  Finally, beat in the pumpkin puree.  (I add dark chocolate chips at this point sometimes too 🙂 )  Pour into two greased loaf pans.  Bake for 55-65 minutes.