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Showing posts from March, 2014

Loofah--from vine to soap

If you've followed my blog for a long time, you've already seen a post on one of my favorite things to grow--loofah, but I think it's time for another one.  People are often surprised when they learn that loofahs are grown.  No, a loofah isn't a sea sponge, but the mature "skeleton" of a zucchini-like plant.  Everyone knows they are good for the bath but they also make great natural pan scrubbers in the kitchen.  They are so popular that I have to remember to tuck away any that I want to keep myself. I raise three or four plants every year.  Like a zucchini or a cucumber, it likes to spread out with little regard to another plant's personal space.  Here is last year's crop. Early in the summer, the loofahs remained neatly on the trellis: But then they wandered over to the basil: Cozied among the tomatillos: And hung out with the butternut squash: Harvest time was a regular treasure hunt.  But I ended up with about 20 loofahs fr

Farmer's market soap--pumpkin kale

Last spring, I had the idea of creating a soap that represented some of the variety in my town's farmer's market.  The more I looked around, the more overwhelming the possible combinations--herbs, vegetables, dairy, fruits, even fats.  I could come up with a new combination every week as I looked around.  Maybe it was because my choices kept changing that I never settled on a set of ingredients and just did it. Dehydrated ground pumpkin--it makes a wonderful addition to angel food cake I recently narrowed down some of the abundance into my first version.  It may be March, but with the snow of the last two days (and still falling as I write), fresh vegetables are just a dream of the future.  So I used honey, dehydrated pumpkin and egg--all from the market--and dried kale.  (I used my own kale in this batch, not because it wasn't available in abundance at the market last summer, but I really couldn't justify buying anyone else's with a dozen fruitful pla

40 things....the remaining 33

I was in no way tempted to post 40 things about me, as SoapJam  did recently. But then I realized how much I enjoyed SoapSudsations' post and the peer pressure got to me so I thought I should play fairly and join in. You already read my first 7 here , so here are the rest: 1. I have red hair and blue eyes. 2. I am quiet one-on-one, but become an extrovert in a group setting. 3. When I grow up, I want to be a host/guide on the PBS show Globetrekker. I want to do it all--stay in dodgey hostels, eat suspicious innards, and meet wonderful people. And snag local soaps. 4. I spent 6 weeks one summer living in a school bus, first on a beach in Alaska, then traveling south through Canada into the States. 5. I have worked with autistic kids for almost 13 years, as a therapist and doing respite care.  Love it! 6. I love to cook and bake, especially desserts.  That's why soaping is perfect.  There are no temptations to lick or nibble and I don't have to work my way