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Peppermint Soap

Oct
28

Just showing off my latest homemade soap.
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This is peppermint soap.
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Not that there are any actual peppermints in it… But it’s made with peppermint essential oil for the fragrance.
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I made this soap with the cold process method, but it’s the same basic recipe that you can find here in my hot process tutorial.
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To make the swirls, I separated out a small amount of the soap and added red soap coloring, then layered that in as I was pouring out the rest of the soap and used a knife to swirl it through the soap. I’ve got it sitting out now to cure. I think it turned out really pretty!

Cold process takes a little more patience than hot process soap, and here lately I’ve been working on my patience.

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Cheese Days in Pictures

Aug
5

In July, I had a five-day retreat here that included two full days of cheesemaking and a day of breadbaking. We were lucky enough to have an attendee who is a photographer, and he took photos all day every day! I was so happy about that, and he has given me permission to share some of his photos here.

All photos in this post are the property of Rick Hutchinson. You can view his portfolio here.

These photos give a taste of what goes on in workshops here–I don’t take many photos because I’m busy teaching and cooking and milking, etc. Here, you’ll see everything from going to the barn to milk to mozzarella-making and hard cheese-making (with co-teacher Laura Phillips) to photos of the cows and around the farm during the three days Rick was here along with his girlfriend, Lynn. They were an adorable couple, and Rick is a fantastic photographer. Enjoy! And come to a workshop at the farm! See upcoming workshops here.

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Thank you, Rick!

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  1. IMG_6064

    July 22, 2015 - Obituary

    Yellow Squash, Professional Vegetable, dies at age three months.

    Yellow Squash, who was grown from seed, and who became the first vegetable in the garden to flower though his career was cut horribly short, passed away on July 22 in the studio garden as a result of a lack of pollination and flooding rains.

    When he was only 2 months old, he began flowering wildly, competing against a field … Continued…

  1. IMG_6016

    July 21, 2015 - All the Pretty Soaps

    I’ve been playing around with soap lately, trying out different flowers, seeing what happens. Here’s the wild phlox soap.

    Yep, the pretty pinks and purples turned green in the soap. Not all flowers lose their color. Here’s marigold.

    And this is clover on the right, dandelion blossom on the left.

    Dandelion … Continued…

  1. IMG_5998

    July 16, 2015 - Flower Identification Test

    Pop quiz!

    Identify this flower!

    And this one!

    To be honest, I have no idea what they are. I want to dehydrate some of the petals to put in soaps, but I have no idea what to call the soap because I don’t know what the flowers are! Help!

    If you’re the first person to correctly identify both flowers, I’ll send … Continued…

  1. IMG_5809

    June 19, 2015 - When the Rain Came Tumblin’ Down

    It’s been raining here every day. EVERY DAY.

    Even if I do have to wipe off my camera lens between every photo because it’s so humid, the lens fogs up in seconds.

    Though it does lend a magical mysterious ambiance to the garden. But it’s no mystery what the rain is doing! My tomatoes are blooming! And … Continued…

  1. IMG_5758

    June 11, 2015 - Wildflower Soaps

    While I was out playing with wildflowers the other day, I picked some clover and dandelion to dehydrate–then I made soap! I’ve made quite a bit of soap lately. Here is a sampling of the different soaps I’ve made in the past week or so.

    Far left, lavender. Then there’s a bar of brown sugar and oatmeal, and a bar of the cinnamon sugar. … Continued…

  1. IMG_5717

    June 9, 2015 - West Virginia Wildflowers

    This is a wonderful time for wildflowers as many of the spring wildflowers are still in bloom with summer wildflowers already sneaking in.

    Those are ox-eye daisies, which are edible! We’ll be making daisy jelly at this weekend’s wildflower two-day retreat.

    This is Philadelphia fleabane, which is slightly crumpled looking from rain.

    This … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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