Thursday, November 13, 2014

Basic Goat Milk Soap recipe

After over 4 yrs making & selling soap.... goat milk soap, lard soaps, tallow soaps,herbal soaps, vegan soaps, sheep milk soap...etc., I have alot of formulas for soaps!
But this formula/recipe right here started it all!
It makes a small 1 lb batch of soap.

Basic Goat Milk Soap 

10 ounces Lard
4 ounces Coconut Oil 
2 ounces Olive Oil 

2.3 ounces lye 
3.08 ounces water
3 ounces Goat Milk

1 ounce fragrance/essential oil (optional)
color can also be used, I use natural colorants from herbals or minerals 

Basic Cold Process Directions: 

1. Wearing rubber gloves/ safety glasses and a surgical mask careful not to breathe in fumes. If weather allows I do this outside.
Measure your goat milk/water into one glass bowl.
Measure lye, Pour lye into the water/goat milk SLOWLY while stirring with a whisk (never pour water into lye) - this will heat up quickly, Set aside to cool
*To keep milk from burning and turning orange I use some ice cubes as part of my water measurement . Lower butterfat milk such as Alpine seems to blend better and not turn as bad.

2. In another pot , Melt oils together 

3. When oils are approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit and lye water/milk is approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit, gently pour lye into oils (never pour oils into lye) Blend with stick blender... 
please have safety glasses and gloves on!!!

4. Mix until soap traces. 

5. Add essential/fragrance oil and color (optional)

6. Pour into prepared molds ..I use wood molds, they need to be lined with freezer paper.

7. Cover with plastic wrap. 

8. Allow to stand covered and out of drafts for 24 hours

9. Remove form molds, let air dry another 24 hours and cut as desired

10. Allow to age in open air for about 3 to 4 weeks before using 

From this point you can take this basic recipe and make it your own... different scents,, colors,, make it with different milks... coconut milk, cow milk... camel milk! ha!
Or no milk.. just use all water... or half water , half cucumber juice makes a wonderful soap!!
If you Do not want to use lard,, replacing it with palm oil works for this recipe too. It will not be as gentle of a soap, but it will still be nicer than anything you can buy at the store!

Happy soaping! If you have any questions just ask :-)

By popular demand: Sourdough Starter recipe

After my post to facebook about my fabulous Chocolate Sourdough muffins I had quite a few asking for the starter and the recipe... so to save myself some time ...all info is here!

First the starter.. which was insanely easy to do! 
This starter was shared with me by this guy
Check out his gorgeous photography!

I am so thrilled with the results. Here ya go....
2 tbsp. rye flour (or flour of your choice if you’re baking other than a rye bread)
2 tbsp. water

Add flour and water together in a Pyrex measuring cup or small jar and cover with plastic wrap. Stir daily for about 3 days and you should begin to see activity (bubbles usually within 24 hours) and detect a slightly sour smell. Once you begin to see bubble forming in the starter, you need to start feeding it daily.

To feed the starter, add 2 more tbsp. of water and 2 tbsp. of flour on the first feeding. By the second day, you'll now have about 1/4 cup of starter. When you feed it each time, you are doubling the amount you're feeding it so now you'll need to add 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of flour. As you can see, you can end up with a lot of starter very quickly so what you do is when you get the amount the recipe calls for, you throw out half of the starter each time you feed it. If you have 1/4 cup of starter, throw half of it away (1/8 cup) and add 1/8 cup of water and 1/8 cup of flour. You can give the discard starter to friends or refrigerate it for later use. You only need to feed it monthly in the fridge. Always make more starter than the recipe calls for so you can save some back for future batches. It will keep a long time in the refrigerator and the older it gets, the better it gets.

At some point you'll pull it from the fridge and notice a grayish liquid on top and it will smell like alcohol. It is alcohol and it’s because your starter is very his is because it’s hungry. This is part of the flavoring so stir it back in and start feeding the starter again for several days to get it nice and active for your next baking day. The alcohol cooks off during baking.

Now for the Chocolate Sourdough muffin recipe you need to go here:
Sign up for their newsletter and download the awesome sourdough e-book! Full of recipes and tips...
I want to say the Lacto-fermented vegetable book is also amazing, and really, so are all of them!

Remember, the right kind of carbs are not the enemy.... the ones that come in pretty packages, with 30 ingredients and fancy singing commercials .... those carbs are the enemy!
Getting and staying healthy in America is not easy... stay focused , pray for strength and get moving!
The human body is a beautiful machine that needs whole foods to preform its best....and if you're eating whole nutrient dense foods, you don't need to eat as much as you think you do!
As a former fatty that has battled my weight my whole life I would know ;-)
And as a naturally lazy person , It is truly only through the grace of God I am able to stay on track, eat right and have the energy to run this crazy farm!! Which is way more work than I thought I was signing up for that great day in 2010 when we bought the place! haha!!

Now be blessed and Happy Baking!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

And the fall harvest rolls in!

For those of you who really know me.. You know my obsession about the garden has grown over the last 4 years...

It's not enough to have a great summer garden.. I want a four season garden!!!!!
Living in southeast TN lets me achieve this fairly easy really. So many things grow well here . 
It's one of the reasons I have scaled back our livestock profile from high input/high producing dairy goats & sheep to low input heritage goats... Which can still be milked but are way less maintenance. 
Plus I truly believe fall/winter gardening is easier than spring/summer gardening!!! No there's not as much variety ... There's also not as many pests or weeds to deal with!!!!
I am growing garlic, onions, carrots, chard, spinach, lettuce, broccoli , aragula and many kinds of kale , mustards and collards. Some of these will be harvested through out the winter.. Some early spring 
I'm still learning about the best ways to get the most out of my fall/winter garden..
I think the trick to any successful garden is growing the right variety for your area ..  Which is hard sometimes if you don't like what grows in your area !...I don't like chard but I am learning ways to cook it so I will eat it! Chard grows so ridiculously good here for 3 seasons of the year! If I plant it in the right area it will grow year around!
Variety is so important also for taste...and can help you love what will grow...
For example, okra... My Yankee husband hates it... My southern self loves it ...
For 2 years I just grew what was most popular ... A lot went to the goats because I couldn't eat it all! But then I found this amazing tasting heirloom okra that my husband loves and I like better than any other okra I've had!!
So.. As for chard... Ive always grown rainbow which I think tastes like dirt unless in get real creative or totally hide it in quiches! However with a little research and thanks to those who save seeds I think I may have found a chard that doesn't taste like dirt :-) 
Now if it can be productive ....

Until then...praise God & Have a blessed day!