Using The WHOLE Orange!

recipe for orange peel and chocolate candy

We had the most marvelous navel orange tree at our home in the valley.  We planted the tree soon after we moved in and enjoyed it’s wonderful, healthful fruit ever since. That is, until we had to leave it behind when we sold our home so that we could move up to our new homestead.

We eat oranges for dessert with dark chocolate…

A bite of orange.  A bite of chocolate.  Repeat.  Good thing mandarins are just as good this way, because we were able to move our potted mandarin up to our new homestead.

How to candy orange peelA while ago I followed a recipe for candied orange peels that I found in a wonderful book called 1/4 acre farm. They were absolutely devine!  The orange peels ended up with a wonderful chewy texture and were beautifully translucent.  Really, you have to try this!  I was so proud of the fact that we were actually using the whole orange!

But then I made those candied orange peels again yesterday, and when the candy was done, I kept thinking about how good they smelled and how my fingers got so slippery when I was scraping the pith from the orange peel oil.

Orange oil.

Wait…      ORANGE OIL!

I wondered – if I saved the water that the orange peels were gently boiled in, would there be any orange oil floating on the top when it cooled down?  I had to try it, which meant I had to make another batch of candied orange peels.  Ah Shucks.  😉

But, instead of dumping the water the peels were boiled in (the orange peels are boiled in water 3 times), I saved it all in a large pan.  When the water has cooled enough to handle, I used a funnel and poured the water into a large glass bottle, like these…

Brewing Fermented Sweet Tea

I bought the front two, clear bottles at IKEA. The darker bottle in the rear was purchased at a craft brewery nearby.  Just flipping the bale and slowly decanting the water seemed to work just fine.

When filled to the brim, I inverted the bottle, and carefully placed it upside down into the refrigerator.  Why?  Oil and water separate – especially when chilled.  After a few hours of chilling, I slowly (very slowly), without inverting the bottle, let the water trickle out of the bottom.  My thought was that oil generally floats, so if I let the water out of the bottom, the oil would be left on the top.  I stopped decanting the water when there was about an inch or so left in the bottle.  Then I poured in more water and followed the same procedure. Once I had done this with all the boiled water, I could definitely see a sheen of oil on the top of the water.

Yes indeedy, I had orange peel oil!

I poured the oil with the last bit of water into another smaller amber colored bottle for storage.  Since this bottle had a dropper, I got rid of more of the water by sucking out from under the oil layer – remember, oil floats!  This is what I ended up with before sucking all of the water out from underneath:

How to make your own orange oil

can you see it… right there in the middle of the jar? Orange Oil! Wahoo!

I know if I had a small distiller, I would be able to get a lot more oil out of the orange peel, and I also need to experiment with different methods of extracting the oil.  I am also going to see if it makes a difference whether I separate the water and oil when it is still hot, or let it get cold first. Then, I want to see if I can do the same thing with our lemon and mandarin trees!

What will I do with my orange soap made from turkey fatoil? Make orange scented soap!  Or my version of lip balm! Or orange scented beeswax candles!  Or…  well…  you get the picture.  

The best part?  I KNOW this is organic oil because the peels came from my tree which we do not spray! We already miss that tree, since right now is the time the oranges are beginning to ripen. Hopefully, someday, if we can build a walipini, we will again be able to plant another orange tree.

Have you extracted oil from orange peels?  Do you have a better method you would like to share?

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Turkey & Hamburger Soap

Yup.  I did it.  I made soap out of

dun dun duuuuuunnnnn…….

Make soap from turkey fat and hamburger grease

 

Hamburger grease and turkey fat!

Eewwww, you might say.  Well, let me tell you, it actually made quite a nice bar of soap!

Seriously! How to make soap from hamburger grease and turkey fat

Just look at this pretty, creamy white bar of soap!

If this is something you might fancy doing, just save all of your (previously discarded) cooking fats!

All of them. Just keep your hamburger grease in one container, your chicken fat in another, etc., because each fat requires just a slightly different amount of lye (sodium hydroxide) for the chemical reaction of saponification to work it’s soapmaking magic!

When I boiled the Thanksgiving turkey carcass, along with all the skin and parts unknown, before it cooled down too much I strained the broth into a large saucepan, then set it into the refrigerator overnight.  The next morning I had a nice creamy layer of turkey fat sitting on top of some wonderfully healthy turkey broth.  Just carefully lift the fat off the top of the broth, scrape anything off the bottom that isn’t clean white fat, pop it into a container and then into the freezer!  You can also do this with chicken fat, duck fat, just about any kind of poultry you have! Once you have enough for a batch of soap – Make Soap!

Soap from Hamburger grease

You can pour your hamburger grease into a paper cup, cleaned milk carton, cleaned tin can – whatever you have (thought it’s harder to get it out of a can). When hardened, pop it out of the container and store in a baggie or some sort of air-tight container in the freezer.

The hamburger fat?  Well, to be technical, hamburger fat is really just another name for tallow!  When you brown your hamburger, save the fat that you drain off into a cup or tin can, then pour in just a touch of hot water and set it in the fridge to cool. Once the fat is congealed on the top of the water, you have tallow!

Did you know you can also make soap with bacon grease?  Yes Indeedy!

Because of the chemical process called saponification, you can make soap out of just about any kind of fat or oil known to man!  I suppose that if the SHTF anytime soon, I could make soap out of chipmunk fat, though I’m not sure how much chipmunk fat it would take to get a pound of soap!

Sorry, Simon, Alvin and Theodore!  Just joking……. maybe.  😉

So, here is what I did:

After saving my fats, I had 390 grams of turkey fat and 192 grams of tallow.  I went to the handy-dandy calculator at Brambleberry.com and plugged these numbers into their calculator and found that I would need 192 grams of liquid (for this batch I used water, but you could also use milk, tea, coffee, etc.) and 77.29 grams of lye (sodium hydroxide).  The yield would be 850 grams, which is a little less than two pounds of soap.  Cool!

I won’t go through all the details about how to make soap here, you can find that just about anywhere.  You can also peruse several of my other soap making recipes on the soapmaking tab above, or CLICK HERE.

soap made from turkey fat

This soap cut very easily and was a beautiful creamy white color.

Anyway, I decided, when I reached trace, that I would add in some Rosemary essential oil along with Clary Sage. Not because I was afraid of what turkey and tallow soap would smell like, because I have already found out that the chemical reaction of the lye and the fats make the soap smell clean and very pleasant – even without added scents!  But because I enjoy experimenting with different scents!  I am blessed that my daughter-in-law, Wendy, is a distributor of How to make soap with turkey fatDoTerra, a wonderful brand of essential oil.  In fact, for Christmas she gave me some more, along with a wonderful, handy dandy holder! If you would like to try DoTerra essential oils, you can go to her webpage HERE.  So, when I tested the sage and rosemary EO’s together by taking off the lids and holding the two bottles together, swirling them beneath my nose, I liked the combination. I further tested the blend by adding one drop of the Clary Sage on a napkin, then added one drop of Rosemary right on top, let it sit and blend for a few minutes, then smelled it again. I really liked the blend of these two scents.  It was woodsy and clean smelling with just a hint of manliness – a little like one of my husband’s favorite aftershaves. Also, the scent seemed to barrel it’s way right into my sinuses – so I thought this would be a wonderful combination of scents during the winter cold and flu season!      Right?

Besides….    doesn’t sage go well with turkey? 🙂

Well…  ahem…   I wouldn’t call it a mistake….     maybe just a little faux pas.

You see – the soap is reallyHow to make soap out of cooking fats nice and seems to clean well with a good creamy lather. However, every time I smell it I am reminded of Turkey stuffing!  The sage scent took over and I think I added too much!  I also found that I don’t need to use as much DoTerra as I would other essential oils.

Next time I make turkey fat soap, I think I will use a citrus blend. 😉

The soap itself is just a bit softer than a pure tallow or pure lard soap would be, but it’s hard enough to work well in the bath or shower, or at the sink for handwashing.  As you can see from the picture above, I got seven nice sized bars of soap.  Not bad from something most people just throw away!

how to make soap from cooking grease

Have you made soap with any animal fat other than lard or tallow?

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Rebatching Soap

If you have known me for a while, you know how frugal I am.  I don’t just pinch pennies, I crush them!  So, when I found out that you can take small slivers of soap, grate them up, melt them down, and make bath sized bars of soap again, I decided to dive right in.  You know that old saying “everything old is new again”?  Well, this is yet another example, because this is exactly what our forefathers (ahem, foremothers) used to do!

I did a lot of research to find out the best method to do this.  Apparently you can re-melt the soap on the stove, in a crockpot, in the microwave or in the oven.  I’m sure you could also melt soap in a barbecue, but thank goodness I didn’t see a tutorial on that one or I would have tried it!

Seriously, I would have. 🙂

After several tries, I think I have found the easiest and simplest method… for me, at least.

how to rebatch soap

A loaf of rebatched soap before being cut into bars. Isn’t it pretty?

Before any of you send me nasty e-mails or curse my first born son about the kind of soap I am using, I am going to add this disclaimer:

“I, Vickie, being of sound mind and body, do solemnly swear that I understand the health implications of using commercially prepared soaps containing caustic and poisonous chemicals and substances which potentially could be damaging to my health”.

That being said, read the first sentence of this post again. 🙂

It’s the same peril when you get a borer in your fruit tree.  If you spray the tree with insecticide, then the fruit can no longer be considered organic.  But if you don’t spray, the tree will die and you will therefore have no fruit!  I prefer to be organic, but that being said, I like to eat also!

Because of the peril that commercial soaps carry, I have recently begun to make my own soaps using home rendered lard and tallow, organic olive oil and coconut oil and pure essential oils.  You can see those posts by clicking on the tab above labeled soapmaking.  So, I hope to think that my penance will soon be paid and any future re-batching will be done with my home-made, totally organic, skin loving soaps.  I promise.

Enough said.

So, If you would like to venture into rebatching your used slivers of soap or even rebatching a bunch of those free soaps you get at the various motels and hotels you have visited, here is how I do it…

 

How to make soap bars out of soap sliversFirst, weigh your slivers to find out how big your batch of soap will be so that you can chose the appropriate mold.  This batch is about 2 pounds (just shy), so I set the free end of my adjustable soap mold at the 2 pound mark and lined the mold with waxed paper. That is when I took the picture below.  But then, mid shred, I found a bit more soap, so I reset the mold at the 3 pound mark but added one block on the inside because my batch was larger than two pounds, but certainly not three pounds. I forgot to take another picture of the mold with just the waxed paper rebatching commercial soap lining it in the three pound plus block position (wow, doesn’t that sound technical!), but you can see what it looks like in the picture below with the soap in the mold. The block is another adjustable end, so if I wanted to I could make two batches of soap at one time.  My husband made this mold for me (he is so clever and handy), and if you would like to see how to make one, go HERE.

making new soap out of old soapNext, either chop, shred, grind or grate your soap.  You want the pieces to be as small as possible.  You can use your cheese grater, your food processor or a cutting board and sharp knife.  The process is a bit tough on my old food processor and I found it to be just as fast and easy using old fashioned elbow grease, a good knife and a cutting board.

Pour the chopped/shredded/ground soap into a heavy bottomed, oven proof saucepan, then place on the stove on low.  I have found that if I start the process on the stove, I can tell if I need to add some more water or not.  With almost two pounds of soap, I started out with 1/2 cup of water.  This seemed to be sufficient because I saw the soap starting to melt on the bottom.  Be careful, though, because it isn’t hard to scorch the soap!  You are just jump starting the melting process at this point.  Once I can see that the soap is melting, I place the saucepan in the oven with a lid on at the lowest temperature your oven will allow.  Mine only goes down to 170 degrees.  After 1/2 hour, stir the soap and assess whether you will need more water or not.  I added just a bit more soap at this point, and the mixture seemed a bit dry, so I added another 1/4 cup of water.  You don’t want to add too much water at this point.  It won’t really hurt anything, but it will take longer for the bars to dry out and be sufficiently hard enough to use!how to make soap out of old soap

The soap was put back into the oven for another 1/2 hour.  At this point I had a fairly loose slurry of soap with small chunks interspersed, which I thought looked really cool, so I went ahead and glopped the soap into my soap mold.rebatched commercial soap

Yes, glopped.  Rebatched soap won’t pour like home-made soap will.  It glops.  Which makes it a bit harder to put into the mold, smooth out the top or get any bubbles out.  No matter, because I’m not entering these bars into the county fair, for heaven’s sake!

If you don’t want to see little chunks of soap in your final rebatched bars (I think it’s pretty, but to each his or her own), you can continue to melt and stir the soap in the oven, but depending on how small you got your chunks/shreds/pieces of soap, you may or may not be successful in getting a completely smooth, one color, no chunk bar of soap.

how to make old soap into new bars of soapLet your soap cool and re-harden in the mold for a day or so, then cut and use.  Unlike home-made soap, you don’t have to wait for re-batched soap to cure because the soap has already gone through the curing process  back when it was manufactured.  However, if you want to rebatch home-made soap that has not fully cured, you should either wait until the curing process (saponification) has been completed before you proceed, or make sure you let the soap cure again until it reaches a pH of 8.5 or less.

There you have it.  Rebatched soap.

I did a little calculating with this batch of soap.  The rebatched soap  was approximately 2 pounds and cost elbow grease and a little bit of energy, but certainly less energy than it would cost in gas to run to the store.  At Walmart, if I were to purchase about the same amount and same kind of soap, online it shows an 8 pack of 3.75 ounce bars (a couple ounces less than 2 pounds) of Irish Spring for $ 3.75

So, essentially I saved $3.75.  Yes, I agree, that’s not so much.  But it was fun and I had an hour to kill.  Plus…  I like to pinch pennies!how to make new soap from old

Actually, this is one of those skills that is good to know.  It’s not uncommon for soap makers to rebatch their botched batches of soap!  Say that one three times!  If a soap maker discovers that not enough lye was used, the fragrance was a bit off, etc., rebatching can save the cost of making the soap.

Oh, I forgot to mention something.  In case you were wondering…  no, rebatching used soap is NOT going to spread germs.  Period.  Most viruses are killed by 108 degree fahrenheit temperatures.  That’s why our bodies get a fever when we are sick!  And as any cook knows, pretty much all bacteria are toast when they reach 160 degrees fahrenheit. When you melt your soap in a 170-ish degree oven, all of that is taken care of!

So, what do you think?  Would you ever rebatch soap?

2 Crochet Hooks

 

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DIY Soap Molds

Do you like soap?  So do I.  Especially the ones that have a nice, creamy lather and smell fresh and clean.  You too?

Yes, I knew we would be friends! 😀

Every time I go to a craft faire or farmer’s market, I seek out the booths that have those wonderfully scented, beautifully decorated soaps.  I always go for the lavender, lemon verbena or any of the naturally scented soaps. I really enjoy talking with the soapmaker about what is actually in the soap, and have paid anywhere from 3 to 8 dollars for a bar of soap, and was glad to pay it!

So it was a natural progression that I would try to make some myself.  But first, I needed some basic equipment, including a soap mold!

Make your own wooden soap mold

You can use just about anything as a soap mold – old shoeboxes, food boxes, milk cartons and loaf pans. All that is needed is waxed paper or parchment paper to line the container!

Naturally, I did a lot of research in books and on the web, and found that I could use just about any bread loaf pan, shoebox or plastic food container to use as my soap mold, as long as it was carefully lined with waxed paper or parchment paper.

Then I found this website at Lowes:  http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/woodworking-and-crafts/easy-to-make-soap-molds/project

It shows how to make a round soap mold out of PVC pipe and a loaf type mold out of wood.

The round soap mold is easy peasy – just buy a foot or two length of 3″ (inside diameter measurement) PVC pipe and two end caps.  In the picture, you see the white PVC pipe and end caps.  I bought my PVC at Home Depot because they have 2 foot lengths already cut – no need to buy an entire 10 foot long piece of pipe!  The pipe itself cost $7.75 and the end pieces were $6.21 each, and with tax it came to a little over $20.00.  I didn’t mind spending that much money because I knew I would be using the mold over and over again and it could make several pounds of soap at a time!

How to make a round soap mold

The hardware store made my round soap mold for me!

The wooden mold was a bit more involved.  The Lowe’s tutorial can be a bit tricky to understand, but basically you are just making a wooden box.

However, after looking at several retail websites for molds, I decided I wanted a mold that would be adjustable for larger or smaller batches of soap.  After a bit of thought, this is what my husband made for me:

soap mold

The finished product. Isn’t it a beauty?!

You can see that the end of the box is stationary and screwed into the sides.  The the opposite end is adjustable to four different sizes!  Just unscrew the wing nuts, pull out the screws (which go through all thicknesses of wood) move up or down the box depending on how large your batch of soap is, push the screw back through the holes, screw the wing nut back on, et voila!  I sized the box to handle batches of two, three, four and five pounds of soap.  The width is 3-1/2 inches wide and so is the height, so if I want to make a square soap, I just fill the mold up to the top.  Or, for a smaller soap, I can fill the mold to whatever desired height I want.

Isn’t my husband the greatest!

So, here is how he did it:

DIY wooden soap mold

First, we started out with two 1″x4″ poplar boards, one was 2 feet long and the other was 3 feet long.  You can buy these already cut.  Buy one 1″x6″ poplar board 2 feet long.  You will also need two 6″ long screws, 2 wing nuts and 2 hex bolts (the long screws).  We used 14 wood screws to put the box together, but the box is actually longer than what is needed to make a 5 pound batch of soap!  I’m thinking of having my dearest drill a few more holes into the sides, so I can make a couple of batches of soap at a time in the same mold!  Of course, I will also need another end piece for adjustment.

                                         ♫ Oh sweetheart…  

Back to the project 😀

Make your own wooden soap molds

Measure 3-1/2 inches, which is the inside measurement between the two sides of the box.

First, the 3 foot long 1″ x 4″  was cut to 2 feet long, to match the other 1″ x 4″.  The left over board is what makes the ends. We measured and marked the bottom board 3-1/2 inches apart, which is where the inside of the boards would be placed.  This was so that we would have a standard 3-1/2 inch bar of soap.

DIY adjustable soap mold

You should always pre-drill the holes so that the wood will not split when you insert the screws!

The sides were then screwed from the bottom into the 1 x 6 board.  Because we didn’t want the screw heads to scratch anything, Ray counter-sank the screws into the wood.

Next, with the 1 x 4 board that was cut off, measure two pieces to be 3-1/2 inches wide and carefully cut those as straight as possible.  These are your end pieces.  Screw one of the end pieces between the sides, flush with the end.  This is your stationary end.

DIY adjustable soap mold

The green tape is a guide to where the holes in the side walls will be. The stationary end has been screw into place

Now, as carefully as possible (this is where a drill press would come in handy), drill two holes through the length of the 3-1/2 end piece.  Ray was able to do this without a drill press or even a drill guide.  If you are drilling the holes free-hand, you really should have someone watch to make sure you are perfectly vertical with your drill bit.DIY adjustable soap mold

Now, measure your holes.  If you were successful in keeping your holes perpendicular, they should be about the same distance apart on both sides.  If not, you might need to adjust your holes a bit.  Now, with the adjustable piece laying as it will in the mold, measure from the bottom up to the center of each hole, then transfer these measurements onto the side board about six inches from inside the end.  The purpose is so that when you thread the hex bolt through one side, it will go through the adjustable end piece and through the other side.  Drill those holes.  Test to see that the screw goes through the side holes and through the end piece.  Now, do the same on the opposite side.  Test again to make sure the screws go through the entire run of wood.  You may need to ream the holes out a bit to get the screws to work through. That’s okay – nobody’s perfect!  Screw on the wing nut.  That’s the first set of holes.  Now, go onto the next set of holes in the sides, then the next.

DIY adjustable soap mold

All of the holes have been drilled and tested.

After reading about the sizes of the soap molds, we spaced the holes as follows:  From the inside of the stationary end, place the adjustable end at 6 inches.  This will make about a 2 pound loaf.  Then, space the holes on the sides every 3 inches to make 3 pound, 4 pound, or a 5 pound loaf of soap.  Of course, this is approximate and you will have to experiment with your recipes. The last set of holes for a 5 pound recipe of soap will be approximately 15 inches from inside the stationary end to inside the adjustable end.  DIY Wooden Soap Mold

So, all of you soapers out there, what do you think?  Isn’t this mold the coolest?

Now – on to making some soap!

 

Thank you for stopping by!  Please make my day and leave a comment, ask a question or just tell me how your day is going in the comment space below!

Vickie

 

The party is here: Turn To ShineThe HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  Create it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday;  Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Project Pin It;  Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop;  Pinworthy Projects PartyFriday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday;  Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend;  Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayNo Rules Weekend Party; The Pin Junkie;  Say G’Day SaturdaySuper Saturday; Simply Natural Saturdays; Saturday Sparks;  Show and Tell Saturday;  My Favorite Things;  Dare to Share;  Nifty Thrifty Sunday; DIY Sunday Showcase; Snickerdoodle Sunday;  Simple Life Sunday; Think Pink Sunday;  Mum-Bo Monday; Thank Goodness It’s MondayClever Chicks Blog Hop; Homemade Mondays;  Mix It Up Monday;  Amaze Me Monday, Motivation Monday; Mega Inspiration Monday; Made By You MondayHomemaking Mondays; The Backyard Farming Connection Hop; Show & Share Tuesday; The Gathering Spot;  Brag About ItTuesdays with a Twist; The Scoop; Tuesdays Treasures; Two Cup Tuesday;Tweak It Tuesday; Inspire Me Tuesdays; Tuesdays at Our Home; Turn It Up TuesdayLou Lou Girls; Inspire Us Tuesday

 

 

 

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