Archive for the ‘Little Obsessions’ Category

Little Obsessions: Soap

I am a terrible soap-hoarder–from sample slices of goat milk soaps bought on vacations, to bars fashioned out of the last saved bits of old bars, to the gallon of Dr. Bronner’s lavender I keep stashed along with a smaller bottle of almond.

But when I get low on Hemp, Hemp Hooray soap, I really start to worry.  So today, I’m making another batch.

The hemp glycerin soap base is from Ponte Vedra Soap Shoppe.  It comes in big blocks that need to be cut up and melted down slowly.  I guess I could gather ditchweed and make my own hemp oil, but that seems like a project only to be undertaken when civilization as we know it breaks down and weed crews quit spraying the hemp.

That, and I’d hate to get pulled over with garbage sacks full of fat buds in the back of my truck.  But, officer, I was just gathering seeds to make soap…

Once the glycerin is melted, I’ll add olive oil, coconut oil, buttermilk paste, and a sprinkling of calendula petals. Then it’ll get a few drops of rosemary and grapefruit essential oils before being poured into the molds.

I’ve got a few actual soap molds given to me by a friend (who also gave me my favorite soap recipe) and the rest will get poured in wide-mouth half-pint canning jars, which make a great round bar.

The curing time for this soap is about six weeks in a dry place.  Once I unmold the bars, they’ll go on a baking rack on top of the fridge to start the drying process.  Once they’re fairly dry (no longer actively “sweating”), I’ll hang them in a small mesh onion sack. The longer they dry before use, the longer they last in the soap dish.

Little Obsessions: Tiny Bowls

The collection is growing...

Walked downtown on an errand this morning and stopped in at the Civic Council, Vermillion’s flagship thrift store.

There wasn’t a ton that interested me–a lot of the shelves looked fairly bare, but I did find a couple fun things–a wire mesh basket with handle that’ll be great for harvesting cherry tomatoes (and has the added benefit of being sterilize-able), a little piece of embroidery, and a sweet little bowl, too.

Is it just me, or does that look like a...

I’m not sure how this all started, but I’m starting to amass a collection of little bowls.  I’ve got plenty of cereal and soup bowls, bigger mixing bowls of glass and Pyrex and stainless, and a great, big stoneware bread bowl, too.

But it’s the little ones–single, usually (though a couple have mates) that I can’t stop myself from picking up.  I like the fun designs and interesting shapes–some wide and saucer-like (and the gold-rimmed cherry blossom design is a saucer–I’ve got the cup), some only big enough for a couple minced cloves of garlic or a little mound of spice.

This handled green oven-safe stoneware one came from the famed Ghost Town Rock Shop in Okaton, South Dakota.  I picked it up on my way out to Rapid with a friend for the Dakota Rural Action Local Food Summit.

This scalloped salmon-pink duo is also oven-safe–they’re Fire-King, an earlier rendition of Pyrex.  I found them at the Civic before Christmas last year, and I’d planned on giving them as a gift to someone or other, but they never got out the door. 😉

Love the detail on this handmade stoneware bowl from a local artist.  I bought it at an on-campus art sale a couple of years ago–it’s a nice size for granola or just a little soup-snack–it’s a little more hearty in size and heft than most of the little bowls in my collection.

I don’t remember for sure who the artist was, but I think it might be Darcy Millette based on what I can make of the bottom signature.

A lot of the bowls I have are fairly mass-produced–though some of the older ones might be hard to find now–as I said before, I’ve only got a couple with mates.  But I prefer that–I’m not necessarily one to have a set of matching dishes–I like to have lots of fun variety.

The ruby-colored square one featured in the group photo at the top is “Charm” pattern Depression glass.  I had a green one, too, but it broke, and now serves as a garden ornament (somewhere under all that snow).