Production Day

December 30, 2004 at 1:31 pm (Soaping and Knitting)

Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like–I have things that need making and I purposely rigged my schedule so there would be no shipments to pack so that I could get my lazy ass in gear and make things. Besides, I have been handed the most excellent reason to do R&D (read: Engineer and carry out Mad Scientist experiments): someone needs me to come up with a formula for a special reason!!

Joyyyyyyy!!!! I LOVE doing things like this, especially with the need to engineer the scent from things that will help with the condition! Thanks so much Moe for giving me a reason to mix up a men's goodie scent from scratch–I will be making up a nice, manly blend that is all-natural, something that won't hurt the new product line (nope, no linkee until all intellectual properties connected with it are secured). Besides, it means I can play with the new stand mixer my future mother-in-law gave me. The lady understands me all too well–when I asked if she'd be insulted if I used it mostly for making my stuff, she said, "Why the hell do you think I'm giving it to you? You better use it for that, girl!" Other than the fact that she'd just called my 40-year-old ass "girl," I was pickled tink.

Now, an hour after I pulled the mixer out of the box and began work, I have molten shea butter in the freezer. You see, that stand mixer was supposed to make it so I didn't have molten shea in the freezer–the idea was to make it so I didn't have to melt down the beautiful unrefined shea I work with and could just whip in the yummy, skin-loving oils I work into it. But nooooooo!! My fiance had to put the very bowl I need to do a good job on this task somewhere in the house where 10 minutes of searching couldn't turn it up. Shit. So, melt and mix and freeze and whip…well, I know it'll come out just as I need it to….right???

Um, no. Not so far. I had to heat it nice and high because the normally rockin' shea I get from Agbanga Karite has spoiled me for what I have on hand today–it's not quite as pretty as I prefer, so I have to filter it once…maybe twice…

After reheating 3 times during the filtering (the stuff kept hardening during the filtering) I decide, back to the regular process. I heat the shea to 170 to pasteurize and make sure all the natural components are melted, then I mix it well…then into the freezer…out of the freezer…onto the new stand mixer, which I should be able to use just fine even tho…

Um, no again. The bowl size I need to use to put a good whipping on this puppy means that it spatters. Shea that's still 160F is still hot as hell when it hits your skin in little tiny spatters. I decide to just Let It Whip (please God don't let me get that awful song in my head pleasepleaseplease).

Um…no. If I leave the smaller bowl that's not made for this mixer stand to its own devices it threatens to show up on DTW's airport radar. Not wanting to make an air traffic controller lose what's left of his mind, I stand there, just letting the bowl bump itself on my fingernails (more pressure slows the bowl, less makes it prepare for geosynchonous orbit). Once it shows signs of not cooling much more, back to the freezer it goes. I massage the oil on my skin in (FAR be it from me to waste good shea), set the timer, clip it to myself since I still haven't worn out that VR CD yet and it's just me, the cat and the dogs in the house.

Ten minutes later, I wonder what happened to the timer. I peek down to where it's clipped to my shirt. Then I put it to my ear. It's beeping. OK, so the VR's cranked a little beyond what'd keep me from getting a noise pollution ticket if I weren't six miles outside of town, tough shit–it's my hearing and besides it doesn't rock really nicely in the kitchen unless it's this loud.

Back to the kitchen–pop that slowly solidifying puppy back onto the stand. It should behave now–no nasssty pelting of sizzling oil, no more flying off the stand…

Do I need to say it again?

I didn't think so.

So, here it is two hours after I got the bright idea to do this job on the stand mixer. It's not flying off the stand, but it bumps around pretty badly anyhow and I've found I have to re-chill to make sure the blades of the mixer haven't heated the shea due to the speed they're moving at. But the whipped shea butter is beautiful, creamy, completely mixed with the emu, evening primrose, jojoba, and Vitamin E oils I've added to this batch, and it'll do the job nicely. NOW I'm happy with my mess.

All I have to do is make up the EO blend to put in now. That won't take me long; it should be a really easy, really quick job…

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