But this, darlings, is what failure looks like.
My very precious and rare jar of potash arrived.
|So, that's potash...who would have guessed?|
|You can see that I was all optimistic and prepared for a helpful "how-to" blog post here.|
Whaa-whaaaa. Here it is - the moment when it all heads south. After a consult with the blogless Janine, who (of course) makes soap all the time from both her own goat's milk and lard that she renders herself, I realized I made every mistake. This seems to be a pattern for me. I heated the potash solution too high. I added the fat too quickly and I stirred it too much. That yellowish stuff should not be there. Yet, I persisted. I added the salt and hoped upon hope that it would miraculously heal itself.
A day later and the miracle cure did not happen. I tried to reclaim it following Janine's advice but it never really jelled. I did get something that seemed vaguely soap-like if you squinted and I attempted to put this into the pan I had ready to be a mold. And that is when exciting chemical reaction #2 occurred. This one, however, was unplanned and sent me running to my bottle of vinegar. Whoa. A healthy, new respect for the alkaline.
I have one more chance to make a fresh batch and then my potash supply and time allotted will be finished (the soap needs to cure for a good, long while). Since there are no guarantees in life, I did what any quick thinking artist would do - hello, etsy? Fortunately, there are plenty of people out there who have made all their mistakes and now create beautiful bars of traditional soap for sale. Just as a back-up, mind you.
To soften the blow, Lucy made delicious cupcakes.
And a neighbor brought us over a sample of each of his jellies and jams. I made the mistake (or perhaps the clever calculation) of mentioning to him that we had no jelly last year and how it felt criminal to actually pay money for it in a store. The next day, there he was with a bag of his finest.
It is a balm. It strengthens one, you know, before reaching for that next jar of potash.