I got slammed this year with last minute wholesale customers who want hundreds of bars of soap cured...ummm. yesterday and now and chop chop.... so I try to accommodate as much as I can, of course. In the tornado of formulating and keeping p with my retail and wholesale orders in addition, Gift Sets fell to the way side this year for the holidays. O.O
Yesterday I was racking my brain about what I should offer and I came up with some great ideas, but none of them had a soap inclusion because we only have a few of each scent of soap. There isn't one bar we have tons of except the chai soap that just looks marbled and turned out too cinnamon-y spicy. (there is a point to this story, hang in there)
So as I finished pouring soap for a customer, I had a lye mixture set aside for 2 batches just waiting there for me to use. Perfectly measured and waiting for me to add fat and make the magic soap with. Oh the fantasy...
my glowing magical stick blender
I picked up one of my books, Smart Soapmaking by Anne L. Watson, which I always have lying around, but rarely pick up anymore. Read the whole book in 20 minutes. Great book. If you haven't read it or haven't read it in a while, pick it up and re-read it. It's a great overall look at the art of soap making. She is refreshing and not so rigid as so many pros are. Anyway, I looked at her CPOP (cold process-oven processing) description where one makes cold process soap and then cooks the loaf molds in the oven (covered) for two hours in 170-200 degree heat and then stays in the oven with the oven off for 12 hours. Now Dreaming Works Soap recommended that the soap cure for 2 weeks after that. This author mentioned that the soap was ready for use after it was unmolded but also mentioned that it would get harder with time so depending on its hardness depends on when you want to serve it up. So my lack of soaps in my gift set got me to trying the CPOP process. I didn't want to do the hot process this time. I wanted a new thing. I also find hot process too waxy for me to work with. But that is me. Other people love it. I can see all the benefits. And I love them! I just have a hard time physically maneuvering the glop. AND I burn myself every time. What's that about?
I suppose we need to check. I have two batched in the oven now. Covered with a wooden cutting board which is now completely warped. I might have to find something else to cover CPOP molds in the future that work better than that. Good thing they were cheap (Ikea).
I'll keep you updated on my CPOP batched. Pics to come.