Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ocean Breeze Comedy Scene

Today I was making great progress in the soap room. I made a batch of lotion for a new product set (to be announced) and I prepared another batch of lilac lotion for a potential customer who owns a lovely shop in Michigan.

I knew I needed to make a batch of Ocean Breeze goat milk soap. It is a must to keep 2 or 3 large batches on the curing racks at all times. And I have to agree with you all, it is good soap. It smells good. It lathers up softly, silky, and it leaves the skin feeling smooth, conditioned. I am not left with a dry skin feeling at all after bathing with Ocean Breeze.

So, today I prepared all of the ingredients, weighed, melted, etc..., and then I headed to the house for lunch.

20 minutes later I arrived back in the shop. I lined the large mold for the soap batch. Mixed the soap ingredients and immediately realized the batch seemed too small. My thought initially was, "Did I make a 1/2 batch?" I make smaller batches when I am testing a new recipe or fragrance. I thought through today's steps, all of them, and determined that I had measured out the full amounts of all ingredients.

As I questioned myself, the batch appeared to be going into trace (thickening) quicker than normal. "Think, Mary, think!" I told myself, as calmly as possible. You can start giggling here, by the way

As some of you are aware, Ocean Breeze also contains chips of white unscented goat milk soap (reminds me of a gently rolling ocean, white sand, sea foam).

I headed to the mold with the batch of very thick soap. Lined the mold with the chips, poured the soap. Well...there was NO pouring to it. I was having to lift it out by the large spoon full. As I pushed the last bits of white goat milk soap into the globs of soap, and saw that the mold was only 1/2 full, I suspected the culprit.

I had only added 1/2 of the oils!

What to do? What to do?

I knew I had a bad batch of soap either way I went, so I emptied the contents of the mold back into the soaping pot. And, yes, most definitely found the missing oils, right where I had left them. Again, could have already ruined the batch, so what the hay...might as well try it.

I began stirring all of that missing oil into the nearly solid mass of what should have been Ocean Breeze soap. To my surprise, it looked like lumpy pea soup with white chunks added. Ha ha ha. Lovely? Oh yeah, you betcha'.

My old arms got the work out. There was no electric gadget to whip through that mess. Stir and stir and stir. I had a vision of my restaurant quality stainless steel slotted spoon bending in half. Tee hee. Okay...stirred, and I finally figured it was time to try it again.

As I lifted the pot to carry it to the make table behind me I caught the corner of a container full of large utensils. Each and every knife, pail opener, you name it, fell handle first into the pot. So, each and every utensil was adorned with a nice thick blob of Ocean Breeze goat milk soap. I put the utensils on ignore status. I laid them on newspaper.

I poured the soap. It looked really peculiar. A little peculiar?

And the rest of the story is...the soap appears to be going through its normal process now. I think I saved it. I try to make Ocean Breeze a wavy type of soap. I want it to be irregular, but hmmm...not quite THAT irregular!

And the utensils...upon my return, I had to use a paring knife to clean the soap off of each and every handle.

I need a nap!

Normal Ocean Breeze...(today's batch above):


Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

As you can tell, I can now add more than one photo again to my blog posts. I wanted to thank everyone that left comments regarding how they work around the Blogger issue. I ran updates through my computer this week and experienced the problems with Blogger afterwards. Blah! But I am back on track now it seems.

The green photo is hoot, huh? The soap is looking better. Ocean Breeze seems to change color. The last batch was more of a greenish blue, this batch is more of a light sea foam green. Always pretty.

Jennifer said...

It was just one of those days, we all have them! When everything seems to go sideways. Glad you can laugh about them!

KathyB. said...

Some days are like that, and giggling is better than throwing the utensils all over the place. And even better than quitting, which I just might have been tempted to do!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Oh, it was funny. Next time I take a lunch in the middle of a process I will make sure I note exactly where I am at before I return. Hoping for a decent picture of cut soap today, ha.

Alix said...

And THAT, my dear lady, is how greatness is born. Just think... if it wasn't for a brilliant mistake, we wouldn't have penicillin! Maybe the new batch of Ocean Breeze will condition skin AND cure cancer.

I might just have to buy some.

Vickie said...

Hey I sorta like the new 'look' of Ocean Breeze. It's ripply and wavey like the ocean should be! Here's your new product, Mary!