I like making soap, and only use soap that I make (with the occasional emergency fill-in from an old friend - thanks for the goat milk soap Dawn!). Ever since I moved out here, I started to form ideas about what a batch of Unalaska Soap would be like. I made other batches out here - the Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie came out especially nice - but I was always thinking in the back of my mind about would make the perfect soap that summed up the island.
This week all the planets finally aligned and I decided to knock out a couple different batches, the first one being an attempt at this mythical Unalaska bar. I had gathered seaweed along the beaches and ground it fine after careful cleaning and drying. I had decided on three scents that gave it a sort of Irish Springy-type scent with a splash of patchouli. I knew I wanted a marbled look, and I wanted the colors of the sea.
The batch was a disaster from the start - without using a lot of soap making jargon, I got over excited (I was finally making my dream batch!) and mixed the oils with the lye solution at the high end of the acceptable temperature range I like to work in so the soap came to a light trace very quickly and then started setting up. Despite Goldfish's help, all the extra hands in the world were not going to get the colors and scents incorporated then mixed together in time. We did our best and crossed our fingers, covering and insulating the batch.
This being most decidedly a MAN soap, it was VERY disconcerting to uncover the batch the next day and see nothing but PINK. Now soap making is half science and half art, so the unexpected does and will occur but PINK? REALLY?? In the second photo showing the cross section of a cut bar you can see the pink was just a thin rind covering the top of the soap, but I didn't KNOW that until I sliced it . . . . .
Anyways, I thought this made some cool looking soap, and I was really happy with how the seaweed looked, but there is massive room for improvement, so the quest for the perfect island soap continues . . . . ironically, the second batch, a lovely green colored by spinach powder, came out great because I was relaxed, did a little Wii hula hooping with Goldfish while the oils and lye cooled, and didn't try to get too creative with the scent combinations. I'll post photos of that batch when I cut it tomorrow . . . . cheers and have a great night!