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Monday, October 3, 2011

A Road Trip, Some Good Clean Fun, New and Old Friends

Buenos días todos. Este es mi nuevo amigo, Felix.
Conocí durante nuestro viaje a Edom, Texas.
¿No odio cuando su novio es skinnier que estáis?
Translation:  Good morning all.  This is my new friend, Felix.  We met him during our trip to Edom, Texas. Don't you hate it when your boyfriend is skinnier than you are?

Okay, my Spanish is not very good.  I understand a few words and phrases and most of the food words (taco, fajita, queso, etc.)  Bing has a great site called Bing Translator, and I made use of that site!

Jean and John
Wednesday evening we had company grace us with their presence!  We just love these people...they are so much fun.  John is a great musician (at one time he was a guitarist for the band Asleep At The Wheel) and Jean is an amazing cook and crafty lady.  Jean and John are on a month long trek to Missouri to visit friends.  They stopped by StarDragonfly farm on the way to Oklahoma and really wanted to see a little of Northeast Texas.  Last year, we visited Winnsboro, ate at Art & Espresso and had a great afternoon visiting Antique shops and driving around the beautiful countryside.

 This year we decided to make a trip to Edom, have lunch and then make a stop at Blue Moon Gardens.  (Can you even guess whose idea that was?)  If you love plants or love to photograph plants and have never been to Blue Moon Gardens, I highly recommend you make the trip!

If you google for a map their address comes up Chandler but they really are not at Chandler but just this side of Edom.
They still have lots of herbs.
Okay, it really is a straight shot from here to Tyler.  From Winnsboro take 37 til it becomes US. 69 South at Mineola.  When you get to Loop 323 in Tyler turn right.  Then you will turn right on Erwin St. West/TX-64, then Left on FM-279 and Blue Moon will be about 5 miles down the road and on your left.  I guess that's about as straight of a trip as it gets in East Texas.  Personally, I would call before I drove down there and check on when they are open.  The phone number is listed on their website.
And vegetables

Sandra looking at just a
small sampling of
flowers that are still available
Anyway, the drive is pretty (dry and the trees are brown but what can we expect after the summer drought?).  And there are several really yummy places for lunch.  We decided on THE SHED.  The food was awesome!  If you like sweet potato fries, theirs are really good.  And they are a historic place in Edom.  They are strictly down home cookin' and very proud of that fact!

How To Make Hand Milled Soap

We love homemade soap.  But, since I already dominate the kitchen with my herbal experiments and lots of cooking (experiments, sometimes!) the last thing I really desire is another project that takes over the kitchen.  And that would be the nature of making homemade lye soap.  No thank you.  But, what I did discover is that I can make hand milled soap.  Hand-milled soap is simply soap that has been grated, melted and formed into molds.  Easy and no dangerous chemicals lying (really, no pun intended!) about.
Okay, let's get started......Rich and Foamy Milk Soap........you'll need:   2 bars mild unscented white soap (I used Ivory), 1/2 cup dry instant milk (used Goat's milk), water (1/4 c.), a wooden spoon , plastic soap molds (found at craft supply stores) I have used the cut out bottoms of yogurt cups or egg cartons, a cheese grater, and 3 drops of essential oils (optional), (of course, Cousin Sandra wanted her soap Almond scented.  I do not have Almond essential oil so we are trying Pure Almond Extract),   ...................... Grate the bars of soap, like you were grating cheese for pizza, into a bowl.  In your small sauce pan put 1/4 c of water.  Now add your grated soap.  Heat on low until melted. Try not to stir.  You will be tempted to but don't, or you'll make bubbles that you don't want.  "Sandra, please don't stir the soap"..........."uhhh, I already did"...........oh, well, it will be okay.  Fortunately, she didn't stir too enthusiastically, so no harm done.  Let me tell you, this is a looooooooooooong melting process.  I suggest you make yourself a snack.  I cut up some carrots and celery to munch on.  Clean the kitchen, read a book or clean out the frig.  You don't want to rush the melting or you will have scorched soap. When it is all melted, fold in your dry milk.  Make sure you don't stir, it's very important to fold gently.  I really hate to tell whoever made this recipe that there is no way that powdered milk is going to mix in that glob of melted soap without some stirring. Remove from heat, and add essential oils, if desired.  Spoon into molds and stick into the frig until it's set and hard.  You can put the mold in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove the soap from where ever you put it and take your soap out of the molds.  Put your

soap on a cooling rack, and put it somewhere to dry.  The drying can take up to three weeks.  It's very important to make sure your soap is completely dry before wrapping.  When you're sure it's thoroughly dry, wrap your creation with plastic wrap, tightly.  Tape the wrap closed.  Use your imagination on further packaging of your soap.  Tissue paper and ribbons are always pretty.  These little soaps are great items to add to a hostess gift.  Have some good clean fun making your own hand milled soap!

Well, friends and neighbors, the blog is finished for this week.  I don't want to promise what I will do next week because you never ever can predict what is going to happen around here on any given day.  But, I do have one more soap recipe for you and we will take a gander at the soaps that were molded today.  Until next time.....Always bubbly, Susan

Ode to Head of Ranch Security

As Head of Ranch Security
Chi takes her job seriously
Her herb dog instincts are of utmost purity
And always she loves to play deliriously!

Sandra Jean

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