Saturday, June 23, 2007

Psst, buddy got any lye ?

Seems that in the two or so years since I last made a 20 lbs. batch of soap, yeppers I go big when I soap, lye has become DEA & Homeland Security issue. Lye is used in making meth. Who knew.
We're still trying to perfect hard cider into a useable form of unleaded gasoline.
Success rate is very low but with a platter of sharp cheese and wheat crackers we press on.

No longer able to buy lye at my local mega grocery store in a pure form panic started to set in. I have no coupons for commerical soap. I've been spoiled by handcrafted homemade soap. I have this homesteading skill I yearn to nurture.
If I had only known would have saved wood ash from my outdoor stove durning canning season.
Or tagged along on a police raid on a meth house.
Or simply stocked up on Red devil lye.
A day spent visiting rural hardware and grocery stores searching for old stock of the "right" drain cleaner (100% Sodium Hydroxide) yielded no results other than filling my head with fantasies of owning Nubian goats.
Last week my husband thought he had found it. Quietly and without much fan fare he bought a bottle.
Yesterday huddled over the kitchen counter with the shades pulled and our cars parked down the street we pulled the bottle from the brown paper bag and opened it. In the background the faint sound and sents of oils such as lard, coconut, and lavender infused castor warming in the double boiler filled the kitchen.
Any moment I imagined hearing the phrase," Step away from the Lye with your hands up"!

Yup lye alright.
Lye with these funny little gray pellets scattered in amongst the white.
Lye with something, something not needed for soapmaking.
Lye for drain cleaning.

All I want is to make 20 lbs. of soap using easily aquired ingredients from the store and my backyard.
My husband leaned over, brushing my hair away from my face kissing me on the cheek.
It's alright he whispered. We'll just have to implement soap saving measures. Will be good for the water conservation too.
My husband the newlywed homesteader, I think I'll keep him.

~~ pelenaka ~~

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Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest