Saturday, May 19, 2007

no explosions . . . yet

Well, we made the soap. I used frozen goat milk from an ice cube tray, lye, olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, and lavender essential oil for the fragrance. There were no problems with adding the lye to the milk--probably because it was frozen. John was very helpful and ran in and out of the house washing things and fetching things. His undergraduate degree was in chemistry, so he knows from bases and acids. He was a tremendous help. We used the stick blender to get it to trace, which I was thankful for--otherwise I'd still be out there stirring. Now it has to repose undisturbed for 12-18 hours, after which we can cut it into individual bars, which then have to cure for 3 weeks. It's kind of a creamy yellow color--it looked like hollandaise sauce for a while. I'm excited to see how it works.

The goat demonstration last night went very well. Traci was very patient, and put up with a lot of noise and crowding. The kids loved the goats and petted them all night, and everyone asked a lot of questions--especially about the disbudding scars on the babies' heads. We were able to let a few kids try milking, and some of them were even able to get a few streams of milk out. I sometimes wonder if milking ability is an inborn trait--I was able to milk the first time I tried. It just seems intuitive--squeeze the top of the teat to seal the milk into it, then squeeze the milk out. But maybe it's because I'm a female mammal. The woman in charge of the whole thing took a lot of pictures of the event, which she is going to send to me, so I can put them on our Local Harvest site. It was a lot of fun.