When making soap, you have a large variety of oils to choose from. Historically, the oils of choice were from animal fat - usually lard or beef tallow. Modern soapmakers tend to use oil blends made from coconut, olive and other oils. Because I feel very strongly about getting back to my roots and learning more about living off the land, I want to do it the "old fashioned" way. SO - I will be rendering pork fat into lard to use in the soap making process. Yep. I'm going to render lard. (Those of you who know that I grew up in the city can stop snickering now.) Some supermarkets do sell lard, but the store lards tend to be hydrogenated, which means what, folks? - Trans Fats. Bad stuff, people. BAD stuff. Besides, we raise hogs here at the farm and have an abundant supply of pork fat when it freezer filling time comes around. Two birds. One stone.
For the other major part of soap making - I also have to purchase the lye, which is apparently pretty difficult to find in hardware stores anymore. Amazon.com sells lye in different quantities, so I just have decide how much to buy and place my order. It is pretty expensive! It ranges anywhere from $2.75 to $4.25 per pound (including shipping)... and then, there is the question of fragrance. Do I want scented (I do) and if so, what scent? I'm considering orange chamomile for my first batch. One batch will make about 28 four ounce bars, so if it doesn't smell good, it will take a while to burn through it! :D
But for now, laundry calls. Thanks for reading!